This January, we will be launching the Nebraska Premier Futsal League for 11U-19U Select teams and a 5U-10U Hive Academy futsal program. Unfamiliar to some, futsal is an indoor adaptation of the game that is growing in global popularity. The game’s greatest players such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Pele all credit their experience playing futsal as being critically important to their development.
What is Futsal?
Futsal originated in South America in the 1930’s when people in large crowded cities faced a shortage of soccer fields. To adjust to the small availability of grass and reduced space, players in Brazil and Uruguay were forced into playing small-sided games.
Futsal is played indoors, which informs the name. Combining the Spanish words for ‘hall’ (‘sala') and soccer (‘futbol’) the term futsal was coined.
Using a 5v5 format, the game is played indoors on hard floors with a smaller ball that is weighted in order to reduce bounce. Much like the outdoor game, boundaries are marked by lines instead of walls.
Why We Play Futsal
Futsal improves all of the fundamental skills young players need to develop. The smaller space and smaller numbers mean that each player will get more time on the ball in each game. Individuals playing futsal receive the ball six times more than they do in the larger outdoor game.
More time on the ball means each player's confidence to perform skill under pressure will improve as a result. Improved confidence will lead to better decision-making and ball retention under pressure.
Playing indoors with lines marked as the boundaries allows us to maintain consistency as we transition from outdoors to indoors and back outdoors again. The presence of boards brings bad habits that are unrealistic to the game such as bunching along the boards and kicking the ball off of the wall without a plan. Eliminating the temptation of these bad habits better prepares players for the outdoor game.
Overall, we play futsal because it is the best way to give our players the opportunity to continue developing into players who are comfortable on the ball and with a solid understanding of the decisions that the game requires them to make.
ESC is committed to creating the best environment for our players to grow and reach their full potential. We believe that futsal is the best way to do this throughout the winter months.
11U-19U Nebraska Premier Futsal League
League play will begin January 5th and 6th. Games will be held at Grandview Middle School and Valley View Middle School in Elkhorn.
Each game will consist of two, 20-minute halves with a running clock. There will be a five minute half time in lieu of "time outs." When the ball goes out of bounds, it will be restarted with a kick-in. No punting of the ball by goalkeepers will be permitted.
The league is open to teams from all clubs! Registration opening soon!
5U-10U Hive Academy Winter Futsal Program
Players with 2013-2008 birth years will register individually for the Hive Winter Futsal Program. Each session will consist of training with professional coaches and a futsal game. Players will be assigned to different teams each week.
Space is limited to 40 players per age group per gender! Don't miss out! Register today!
“Futsal is an extremely important way for kids to develop their skills and understanding of the game. My touch and my dribbling have come from playing Futsal.” - Ronaldinho, FIFA World Player of the Year, 2004 & 2005
“As a little boy in Argentina, I played Futsal on the streets and for my club. It was tremendous fun, and it really helped me become who I am today.” - Lionel Messi, FIFA World Player of the Year 2009-2012, 2015
“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.” - Pele
“During my childhood in Portugal, all we played was futsal. The small playing area helped me improve my close control, and whenever i played futsal i felt free. If it wasn’t for futsal, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.” - Cristiano Ronaldo, FIFA World Player of the Year 2008, 2013-14