The word “Futsal” comes from the Portuguese name “Futebol de Salao” which translated literally means “room football”.
It originated from the inner cities of South America and was first played indoors at a YMCA in Montevideo, Uruguay around 1930. A similar form of the game was quickly developed in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The first known leagues were formed there in 1952 and the first known international competition took place in 1965.
Futsal is now an integral part of the football fabric of Brazil and many of its finest champion footballers have attributed the development of their football skills to playing a lot of Futsal as youngsters.
"I played Futsal for two or three years before I joined Santos... Futsal was important in helping to develop my ball control, quick thinking, passing... also for dribbling, balance, concentration... Futsal was very, very important, no doubt.
(Pelé, World Champion footballer 1958, 1962 and 1970).
From a player development viewpoint, there are widely acknowledged benefits to playing Futsal, with particular emphasis on the technical skills of passing, dribbling and close ball control. No other game demands technique, movement, quick decision making, pinpoint passing, ball control, tactical awareness, and fitness. It is a fast-paced, exciting game that provides players many developmental benefits.
Futsal is widely considered as a complementary player development initiative, it is designed to enhance, enrich and complement the 11-a-side game, not to compete with it. In addition to being a recognised and proven skill building area for the 11-a-side game, for those who excel or love the game in its own right, Futsal can also offer a pathway to progress for players, coaches, referees and administrators. Hence for those players that possess the required technique and football intelligence to pursue a successful career in Futsal, great opportunities both nationally and internationally are provided.
As futsal can be played in many different surfaces it facilitates and provides a fun and stimulating team activity to keep youth fit and actively involved in sport all year round.
Finally, currently futsal is considered to be the fastest growing indoor sport in the world and with the massive support for the game worldwide rapidly increasing, it is predicted that may not be too long before Futsal is established as an official Olympic sport.