What Is Futsal?

Futsal is a format of five-a-side football that is played extensively throughout the world.

It is played on a pitch (court) approximately the size of a basketball or netball court with a ball, which is smaller and heavier than the outdoor football and has a reduced bounce.

The ball forces a player to use their skill rather than the ball’s bounce to propel it.

As a small sided game, players are constantly placed in situations where they must receive or play whilst under pressure or in confined spaces.

History of Futsal

The origin of Futsal (Five-a-Side Soccer) can be traced back to Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1930 when Juan Carlos Ceriani devised a five-a-side version of soccer for youth competition in YMCAs.  The game is played on basketball-sized courts, both indoors and out without the use of sidewalls.

The term FUTSAL is the international term used for the game. It is derived from the Spanish or Portuguese word for "soccer"-- FUTbol or FUTebol, and the French or Spanish word for "indoor" -- SALon or SALa. U.S. Futsal adopted the term since it includes the initials "fUtSAl" (USA). The term was trademarked in the United States after U.S. Futsal changed its corporate name within the state of California.

The game is frequently referred to as Five-A-Side or Mini-soccer.  Once Ceriani got the ball rolling, Futsal gained rapid popularity throughout South America, particularly in Brazil.

The skill developed in this game is visible in the world-famous style the Brazilians display outdoors on the full-sized field.  Pele, Zico, Socrates, Bebeto and other Brazilian superstars developed their skill playing Futsal.

While Brazil continues to be the Futsal hub of the world, the game is now played, under the auspices of FIFA, all over the world, from Europe to North and Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and Asia and Oceania.