Futsal is played with a half size and heavier ball on a small court. Having a small playing area forces all players to fully participate and be involved, which in turn fast-tracks the attainment of technique.
Futsal began in the South American countries of Uruguay and Brazil where, in the 1930’s, two versions of Small Sided Soccer were being played in the cities of Montevideo and Sao Paulo respectively. In Brazil, the large crowded cities and a shortage of playing pitches forced a soccer mad populace to play small sided soccer. A version began to develop on the streets of Sao Paulo, leading to the publishing of the first rules of the game in 1936 from the country that would soon become the masters of the game. Skills and techniques honed in Futsal soon began to become apparent in the performance of Brazil’s National Team – Pele, Rivelino and Zico all played the game at some time in their development.
The adoption of the game by FIFA has led to its spread throughout the world. There are large numbers of registered players in Europe, South America and Asia. There are more than 50 national leagues and even Professional Futsal leagues in Brazil, Iran, Japan, Italy, Portugal, Spain & Russia. Futsal gets terrestrial TV coverage in Spain, Italy, Brazil, Croatia, Romania, Ukraine and Russia.