It’s no surprise that futsal, or indoor soccer, is gaining in popularity in Alaska. In a state that is covered by snow for a good portion of the year, players are used to being forced indoors for training, so why not add competition to the mix?
Futsal has been around for decades. It’s how the greats like Sergio Agüero and Lionel Messi grew up playing, only likely on their neighborhood streets. Futsal is a game played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlimited substitutions are permitted. Unlike some other forms of indoor soccer, the game is played on a hard court surface delimited by lines; walls or boards are not used. Futsal is also played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regular soccer ball due to the surface of the field. This type of play improves improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.
Alaska Rush has developed its own futsal program and this year had a robust seven-team Futsal Cup tournament, which will be held again in November. Youth (2007 and 2005) and senior division (2004 and older) games are held indoors January through April. Learn more go to its website at www.alaskarush.com.