What Is Futsal

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Futsal, or futsala, is a variant of association football played on a smaller field and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side football.[1]

Futsal is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlimited substitutions are permitted. Unlike some other forms of indoor football, the game is played on a hard court surface delimited by lines; walls or boards are not used. Futsal is also played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regular football due to the surface of the field. The surface, ball and rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity, and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.

Naming

Futsal comes from Spanish fútbol sala or fútbol de salón and from Portuguese futebol de salão. The term is commonly translated as "indoor football" but it's actual transliteration is "hall/lounge football". During the sport's second world championships held in Madrid in 1985, the Spanish name fútbol sala was used. Since then, all other names have been officially and internationally changed to futsal. The naming was due to a dispute between FIFUSA (the predecessor to the AMF) and FIFA over the name of fútbol, FIFUSA has registered the word fut-sal in 1985 (Madrid, Spain). Since then FIFA has also started using the term futsal. The name has been translated into Italian ascalcio a 5 or football sala, and French as football de salle.

History

Origins

"Futsal" started in 1930 when Juan Carlos Ceriani, a teacher in Montevideo, Uruguay, created a version of indoor football for recreation in YMCAs. This new sport was originally developed for playing on basketball courts, and a rule book was published in September 1933. His goal was to create a team game that could be played indoor or outdoor but that was similar to football, which became quite popular there afterUruguay won the 1930 World Cup and gold medals in the 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics.

Ceriani, writing the rule book, took as example the principles of football (the possibility to touch the ball with every part of the body except for the hands), but he took rules from other sports too: from basketball the number of team players (five) and the game duration (40 actual minutes); from water polo the rules about the goalkeeper; from team handball for the field and net’s sizes. The result is a lively, evolved, dynamic, active and supportive sport.

The YMCA spread the game immediately throughout South America. It was easily played by everyone, everywhere, and in any weather condition, even in winter, without any difficulty, helping players to stay in shape all year round. These reasons convinced João Lotufo, a Brazilian, to bring this game to his country and adapt it to the needs of physical education.

Initially, the rules were not uniform. In 1956, the rules were modified by Habib Maphuz and Luiz Gonzaga de Oliveira Fernandes within the YMCA of São Paulo Brazil to allow seniors to compete. Luiz de Oliveira wrote the "Book of Rules of Fuitsal" in 1956, then adopted also at the international level.

In 1965 the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol de Salón (South American Futsal Confederation) was formed, consisting of Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

Shortly after, a unique tournament was organized. It attracted some interest in South American media, which regularly began to follow futsal. In particular, it was the journalist José Antônio Inglêz who passionately contributed to the rapid spread of the game, as well as being credited as the man who coined the name “futsal” to define the sport.