Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean we can’t play soccer. (Parents if you’ve already read this post please scroll down to see updated info). I will once again be hosting a team to play indoors at Southwest Indoor Soccer (SWIS), but I’m really excited about a new twist: instead of playing indoor soccer, we will possibly be playing futsal!
Futsal is the version of indoor soccer that is officially recognized by FIFA (the international governing body of soccer). It differs from indoor soccer in several ways:
So what do I like about futsal? It’s still a much faster game than outdoor soccer, but the lack of walls makes it a little less frenetic than indoor soccer. The hard surface, combined with a less bouncy ball, places a lot of emphasis on foot skills, while the smaller field size encourages short passing. This type of play is more in the style of Brazilian play, and is also the way Express wants to teach our boys to play (ie building an attack out of the back rather than launching the ball long to a forward).
Want to see what futsal looks like?
This is a fairly long clip (10 mins) showing highlights from the 2008 Futsal World Cup. You don’t have to watch the whole thing but it does give a good idea of what the game looks like.
The reason I say we will “hopefully” play futsal is that this is the first time that SWIS has tried offering futsal. If they are unable to get enough teams registered we may need to play indoor soccer instead. Regardless of how things work out we will be playing some form of indoor soccer this season. UPDATE: There are other reasons that may prevent us playing futsal over indoor soccer. See below.
The season is 8 games long and starts December 10th and runs through mid-February. As I have in the past, I will be charging fees on a “per game played” basis, so you can feel comfortable signing up even if your son is only likely to be available for a few games.
Why should you consider futsal or indoor soccer?
- It’s a lot of fun – this will be my fourth season hosting an indoor soccer team and I’ve had a lot of kids play on my teams, but I’ve never heard of one who didn’t want to come back because it wasn’t fun.
- Keep your son’s skills up or even improve them – this is especially for those playing Division I and II; your son’s opponents are almost all playing (or at least practicing) some form of soccer over the winter and will come back in the spring fully prepared to play.
- Get a chance to play with a new group of players – I form teams with a mix of players from all Express teams (and sometimes non-Express players as well).
- Get a chance to play a new position – If your son wants to try something new, I’m all for it.
What does your son need to play?
- Shoes for futsal would have to be rubber-soled flat shoes. Indoor soccer can use anything – cleats, turf shoes or flat-soled shoes
- Goalkeepers playing futsal will probably want to wear knee and elbow pads
- Fees – determined by the number of players involved but usually runs $10-11 per game
- Needs to be age-eligible to play U11 (sorry no older siblings). Not sure what that means? Click here to see a chart.
- You do NOT need to be an Express player
A number of people who’ve asked me about indoor soccer already have also asked about practices. I am happy to hold practices, provided there is enough interest to make it worthwhile. I am even open to having players who are not playing indoor attend practices. One thing I would like to do is work on restarts–free kicks, throw-ins, etc. This is something that Express does not yet spend much time helping our kids with, and you can see the confusion during the games. Unfortunately, SWIS does not have space open for indoor practices (we would get one session), so we would either have to find an outdoor location or an indoor one (which might involve some sort of rental fee). Please let me know if you are interested, and if you are able to help me find a potential location or can offer help with practice email me and let me know.
Since I first created this post I had a chance to talk to Marcelo Galvao. For those of you who don’t know Marcelo, he is an Express trainer (he trains the 01B Red and Green teams, among others) and an Express parent (his son Cilus plays on 01B Navy, while his younger son plays as well). But even if you know Marcelo, you may not know that his a big promoter of futsal in the US. In fact, he is the state coordinator for Texas South for the USFF (United States Futsal Federation). And Marcelo has informed me that SWIS has not properly registered as a futsal facility. I still have hopes they can work this out in the next week and we can play futsal, but I have to be realistic and accept that they likely will not, and we will play indoor soccer with the expectation of futsal in the summer.
Marcello will be offering two week-long futsal camps/mini-tournaments over the winter break, one in December and one in January. These will not interfere with the league play I am offering. I have added his flyer to part one of this post (view here).
Below you will find a survey in which you can express your interest in winter soccer for your son. If your son has friends who play soccer and may be interested in either playing indoor or attending training sessions feel free to email a link to this page. PLEASE FILL THIS SURVEY OUT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE–THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS FAST APPROACHING.