Research has been conducted by UEFA Direct to study and compare passing performance in football and futsal (the FIFA-approved, indoor, 5-a-side, format of football) and to investigate the transfer of passing skills from futsal to football.
Throughout the study, 48 elite male youth players (24 football and 24 futsal), aged between 13 and 15 years, played six-a-side football and futsal games, lasting five minutes each, on scaled-down pitches.
Decision-making and technical skills associated with passing performance were evaluated. Furthermore, the players wore special goggles that assessed where they were looking when passing the ball, to examine the processes underpinning their decisions. Game and performance-related variables were analysed and compared between the groups.
The research report recently released by UEFA (UEFA Direct , March 2017, Page 11) has found that Futsal players were able to execute passes quicker and more accurately than outdoor Football players as a result of Futsal having higher technical demands in smaller spaces than that of Football. It found that Futsal players were able to focus more of their attention on decision making whilst Football players were spending more of their time controlling the ball.
The study concluded that Futsal players:
Have more technical game demands than football and play at a higher intensity, with 23% more passes per minute, less time for execution and greater pressure from opponents.
Execute passes half a second quicker than footballers, that are 18% more accurate.
Focus more attention on decision making then controlling the ball.
Have higher demands on passing performance than football and subsequently players develop quicker technical and decision-making ability to cope.
The report concluded that playing Futsal from a young age allows kids to develop quicker technical and decision-making skills and that it is effective training for those looking to play the outdoor format in the future. You can easily transition Futsal from a basketball-sized court to an outdoor field given that there is far more space and time for players control the ball, make decisions and execute passes or shots.
Futsal is a highly popular fast-paced sport played all around the world, and one of the fastest growing sports in Australia. It is exciting to play and watch and is known for producing many of the world's most talented played over the years including the likes of superstars such as Messi, Ronaldinho and Neymar.
For more information about Futsal, please contact the expert contributor.