Futsal (Portuguese Pronunciation) is a variant of football that is played on a smaller field and mainly played indoors. It is official five-a-side indoor soccer game and the only indoor soccer recognised by FIFA (Federation of Internationale Football Association). Futsal is the game of 5 vs 5 players including the goalkeepers and played on a small field roughly the size of a basketball court. The game is played with the touchline boundaries and does not require the use of dasher boards. The official ball is a special low bounce ball that is smaller than an official size soccer ball. It develops the overall fundamentals of football more effectively. It has been proven that youth players develop quicker reflexes, faster thinking and pinpoint passing. It is a superior game in terms of establishing player’s technique. Futsal is played in all the continents of the world by over 100 countries with 12 million players. The sport is a great skill developer as it demands quick reflexes, fast thinking, pin-point passing. The small and heavier Futsal ball requires players to hone their ball-striking and ball handling technique. Great soccer superstars such as Pele, Zico, Ronaldo, Messi, Kaka and Katia grew up playing the Futsal.
Futsal was started in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1930 when Juan Carlos Ceriani created a version of football for competition in YMCAs. In Brazil, this version developed on the streets of Sao Paulo, and eventually a rule book was published. The sport began to spread across South America, and its popularity ensured that a governing body was formed under the name of FIFUSA (Federación Internacional de Fútbol de Salón) in 1971, along with the World Championships. The first FIFUSA World Championships were held in São Paulo, with hosts Brazil crowned champions ahead of Paraguay and Uruguay. Even more countries participated in the second World Championships held in Madrid in 1985. Due to a dispute between FIFA and FIFUSA over the administration of fútbol, FIFUSA coined the word fut-sal in 1985. FIFA took control of the World Championships in 1989. Under new rules made by FIFA, the technical aspects of the game for players and spectators were improved. The linesmen were replaced with a second referee and there were unlimited substitutions. It also introduced a size 4 football, which was weighted to reduce bounce by 30% compared to a conventional ball, which enabled faster play and, for the first time, scoring goals with the head. In 2004, members of PANAFUTSAL (The Pan-American Futsal Confederation) formed AMF (Asociación Mundial de Fútbol de Salón, World Futsal Association), an international Futsal governing body independent of FIFA. And now both FIFA and AMF continue to administer the game.
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