FALL FUTSAL LEAGUE: OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2017  

REASONS WHY FUTSAL IS BETTER THAN INDOOR SOCCER

Futsal is the best form of indoor soccer. But that is not the only reason -- it's a better skills development, promotes quality touches, eliminates the injuries associated with wall collisions and less expensive which makes quality soccer more affordable.

Futsal players fight to keep the ball from crossing the touch line and you will immediately begin to see how futsal develops skill, control, and technique. A small field with lines puts players constantly under pressure from other players and out-of-play boundaries. Players must learn to settle the ball rapidly, cut sharply, shield effectively, pass quickly, and move into space.

Futsal places a greater premium on ball control. There is no reward for errant passes or shots because the other team gets the ball. There is no incentive to 'kick and run' because the field is too small and packed with players. Players with the ball must use proper technique to maintain control and must seek out other players in space. Players without the ball must move to 'real' space and must truly support their teammates.

With futsal, the emphasis is clearly on control and technique. Without control and technique, you cannot expect to succeed in futsal. And, if the players want to be more successful at the higher level, it is clear that they must better train and prepare on proper technique. If you are serious about skills and technique development, futsal is the superior activity. Futsal promotes better technique and develops skills more rapidly. And if you are serious about the quality of time you spend playing or watching soccer matches, futsal is clearly better.

HOW DOES FUTSAL PROMOTE BETTER TECHNIQUE?

Just watch futsal players fight to keep the ball from crossing the touch line and you will immediately begin to see how futsal develops skill, control, and technique. A small field with lines puts players constantly under pressure from other players and out-of-play boundaries. Players must learn to settle the ball rapidly, chop sharply, shield effectively, pass quickly and move into space.

Compared to walled soccer or large indoor field soccer, futsal places a greater premium on ball control. There is no reward for errant passes because the other team gets the ball. There is no reward for errant shots because the other team gets the ball. There is no incentive to 'kick and run' because the field is too small and packed with players. Players with the ball must use proper technique to maintain control and must seek out other players in space. Players without the ball must move to 'real' space and must truly support their teammates.

With futsal, the emphasis is clearly on control and technique. Without control and technique you cannot expect to succeed in futsal. And, if American players are to be more successful in the international arena, it is clear that we must better train and prepare our youth on proper technique. Playing indoor soccer in a hockey rink just does not make sense to any serious development program. If you are serious about skills and technique development, futsal is the superior activity. Futsal promotes better technique and develops skills more rapidly. And if you are serious about the quality of the time you spend playing or watching soccer games, futsal is clearly better.

HOW IS FUTSAL BETTER THAN WALLED SOCCER?

Futsal improves player soccer skills better than walled soccer for both offensive and defensive skills training.

As an attacking futsal player, there are no walls to save errant passes. There are no walls to stop long balls. There are no walls to rebound errant shots. There are no walls against which to pin the ball or your opponent. There are no walls to help you if you lack the feinting skills to beat a defender. There are no walls to save you if your teammates are not moving into space to support you. In general, you must control the ball, use proper touch and technique, use correct pace, send accurate service, and truly work dynamic combinations.

As a futsal defender, you can 'face up' on an oncoming player just like in outdoor soccer (there is no wall pass to beat you). You can let errant passes go out of bounds to win the ball (the proper result of your opponent's mistakes). Goalkeepers and defenders can concentrate on proper shot blocking angles. You do not need to worry about long overhead balls which should go out of bounds. You can drive an oncoming player into the side to break up break-aways or outnumbered breaks. In general, you can train and perfect the defensive techniques which apply to outdoor soccer. You don't waste time working on defending against phantom players (i.e. walls).

Consider some of the key problems with the following typical hockey-rink style indoor soccer scenarios:

Question: In hockey-rink soccer, what happens when a child bounces a ball against a wall in order to beat an opponent?

Answer:
The child advances the ball past a defender when there is a wall available without the need or effort of feinting, chopping, or chipping. Hockey rink soccer supporters defend this as a useful simulation of passing to a teammate who subsequently one-times the ball as part of a 'give-and-go'. Futsal sees this as a lost opportunity to work on skills to beat defenders (i.e. never waste an opportunity to work on the skills required for the outdoor game).

Question: In hockey-rink soccer, what happens when a child bounces a wall-pass to a teammate?

Answer:
The child advances the ball to a teammate when there's a wall available without the need or effort of passing. Hockey rink soccer supporters defend this as a useful simulation of passing to a teammate who subsequently one-times the ball to the forward-most member of a 'triangle'. Futsal believes the best pass is to a live player. You should be developing dynamic combinations of moving players who move into space. The player with the ball looks for moving teammates and anticipates those movements. Do not assume a stationary target (i.e. the wall) is always there ready for your pass. You need to be trained on the realities of the outdoor game and your teammates need to learn how to support you.

Question: What happens when a child blasts a shot against a wall so an onrushing teammate can score on the anticipated rebound?

Answer:
The child creates scoring opportunities when there is a wall available to either side of the goal without the need to make an accurate shot. While some soccer aficionados label this a useful exercise others feel it is best to practice taking accurate scoring shots.

Question: What happens when a child beats a defender by 'dumping the ball into the corner' (รก la NHL) and chasing it?

Answer:
The child beats a defender when there is a wall available without fear of the ball rolling out of bounds without the need or effort of passing or dribbling. Futsal supporters argue that players should always be reinforcing the need to control the ball and keep it in play (i.e. never waste a touch).

It should be apparent that there are serious problems with the above scenarios in terms of developing proper technique for the 'real' game of outdoor soccer:

1. These indoor soccer techniques assume that a wall is available. If there is no wall available, then these wall-based skills have questionable value.

2. These so-called 'wall skills' can account for a frighteningly high percentage of the touches in a game. Therefore, the quality of the time spent in terms of developing useful outdoor soccer skills is limited.

3. Playing with walls introduces a real danger to the child. What happens when a player pins his/her body against the boards either to advance a ball past a defender (who is also pinned against the boards) or to stop his opponent from advancing? And what can happen when players run at full speed toward the boards? Real horror stories abound.

Futsal places a premium on control and technique. Take away the walls and you can still have as much fun as walled soccer. But there are far more quality touches and repetitions which directly translate to the outdoor game. With futsal, you make better use of your time and money.

IS FUTSAL AS MUCH FUN AS WALLED SOCCER?

Absolutely. If you like outdoor soccer, you will love futsal. It is fast paced and exciting. With the field being so small, scoring chances abound and games are often high scoring affairs with many different players scoring goals. Even though the ball may go out of bounds, the ball must be put back in play within four seconds or the opposing team gets possession. This not only encourages better control but it also keeps players moving. You cannot sit back and wait for the ball to rebound off the boards (as in walled soccer) because you must fetch it promptly and kick it back into play within four seconds.

It is interesting and important to note that, unlike outdoor soccer, THERE ARE WALLS IN MOST FUTSAL CENTERS! The walls are typically three to ten feet from the boundary lines. Therefore errant balls rebound quickly back to players who subsequently put the ball back into play within four seconds. So, you experience the speed and continuous play of 'walled soccer' along with the benefits of small-sided skills-oriented gaming.

From a developmental standpoint, you satisfy the magic objective of teaching proper technique while having fun. This is, perhaps, the most wonderful achievement of futsal.

HOW IS FUTSAL SAFER?

Eliminating walls makes soccer safer but there are other aspects of futsal which make it safer as well. Besides fewer broken bones and concussions (which too often occur in hockey-rink walled soccer), there are fewer high speed collisions because the field is shorter. You don't develop the same full head of steam running for the ball in futsal and consequently have less of those related injuries. Finally, a game which emphasizes control under pressure versus kick and run inevitably leads to more heads-up play. In general, it is safer by virtue of the fewer injuries due to the nature of the arena and the game.