By Daniel Hoeppner, MB Games Host Society

History of Futsal

For the first time ever, futsal (foot sol) will be an event at the 2022 Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro. While the sport is new to the Manitoba Games, futsal debuted at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires and has been played around the world for almost a century.

It was created in 1930 in Uruguay by Juan Ceriania, a YMCA physical education teacher. Uruguay won the FIFA World Cup for the first time that year and the country was obsessed with soccer. Juan observed many youths using basketball courts to practice their foot skills. He quickly designed an indoor soccer game, borrowing rules from soccer, basketball, polo and handball. The new game spread across South America, and official rules were printed in 1936 in Brazil.

The premier international futsal championship, the South America Cup was played in 1965. By the time FIFA started governing the Futsal World Cup in 1989, the sport was being played all around the world.  FIFA Futsal World Cup is held every four years. Argentina most recently won the Cup in 2016.

What is Futsal?

Futsal is an intensive, fast-paced, five-on-five indoor soccer game played on a hard basketball court. Its name comes from the Spanish Futebol de Sala – which translates to ‘indoor football’. Futsal is recognized in soccer clubs around the world but it is very much its own game. The smaller court means players must be quick-thinking and creative. The game develops close ball skills and control. It is all about technique and for this reason many professional soccer players play futsal to sharpen their skills.

Soccer vs Futsal

There are many differences between soccer and futsal. Obviously the team size – futsal is five a side while soccer is 11, and the indoor hard court versus the large outdoor pitch. Futsal also has a smaller ball with 30 percent less bounce and a four-second rule on restarts, where soccer has no limit to restart the game. Soccer is played in 45-minute halves with no time-outs. Futsal is played in 20-minute halves with one time out per half.  For a full list of the rules check out the Manitoba Soccer Association (MSA)’s website.


2022 Manitoba Winter Games in Niverville

The 2022 Manitoba Winter Games will be held in Niverville from February 27 – March 5. Ten futsal teams will compete at the Games: two male and two female teams from the Winnipeg Region, and one male and one female team from each the West, East, Region and North Regions. Players are between 14-15 years of age. All individuals wanting to compete in the games must be registered with the Manitoba Soccer Association.

History will be made with futsal’s first-ever appearance at the 2022 Manitoba Winter Games!  This sport is sure to be played at the Olympics in the future. Come out and enjoy this entertaining, rapid-play game and support our young athletes.