The Oakland/Alameda Futsal League is currently making preparations for the commencement of our tenth season. During the 14 seasons, over 12,000 local youths participated. Futsal, the official indoor sport of FIFA (soccer’s governing body), is an exciting, fast-paced game that will improve a player’s passing, shooting, dribbling, defending, and overall team skills. People are always amazed at the great ball-handling displayed by top South American players, and often wonder where they learned it! The answer is simple – they played Futsal growing up.
While Futsal was once South America’s best-kept secret, it is now a widespread international sport, with over 146 countries participating worldwide. The sport has already had seven FIFA World Championships. The next FIFA Futsal World Championship will be in November 2016 in Colombia. It is rapidly growing within the United States where some 46 states are affiliated with U.S. Futsal. In California there is a thriving Futsal population lead by the California State Futsal Association. The larger leagues are situated in San Francisco, East Bay, Sacramento, Cotati, Rohnert Park, San Jose and Marin.
Futsal works hand-in-hand with the outdoor game by helping to develop and polish a player’s individual and team skills. The off-the-wall variety works in reverse and actually breaks down a player’s skill level. Played with a special low-bounce ball, Futsal necessitates players using their skills, rather than the ball’s bounce, to propel it. In traveling around the country conducting clinics and preaching the virtues of the sport, I am constantly amazed at the coaches’ reactions. They all agree that after a winter of playing Futsal, the individual and team skills of their players have vastly improved. It is a great game for those what want to improve upon their abilities, and helps recreational and competitive players alike.
I have often listened to many National Team Coaches, explain how important 4v4 training is for the overall skill development of our youth. Futsal is exactly that–4v4 plus a goalkeeper.
Since the league is affiliated with the California Futsal Association, State and League personnel will conduct a coaching and referee clinic for all participating teams a week before the season commences. The top teams in the U10, U12, U14, U16, and U19 categories will also be eligible to take part in the Regional Futsal Championship, which will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area on March 8 – 10, 2014.
This season, as an added benefit, select teams will participate in inter-league matches with teams from Marin Futsal League and Diablo Valley. This should prove to be very exciting, as our top teams competitive teams will be matched against the best these leagues have to offer.
If you are interested in becoming part of the future by joining the Oakland/Alameda Futsal League, please look at the programs that are currently being offered and register online! For more information, please call 510.836-8733 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and we look forward to your participation.
Alex Para – East Bay Futsal League