|Alberta Futsal Leagues|
August 11th, 2009
Canadian College futsal? Oh, what a dream! Many in the futsal and soccer community believe it is only a matter of time before the CIS and CCAA adopt futsal as a sport. But you will be surprised to know which college association currently offers futsal to its members.
It was a very nice surprise to find out that sport existed at the college level here in Canada. No it is not run by the CCAA, OCAA, or the BCCAA. The pioneers of college futsal in Canada happen to be located in oil country where the Alberta Colleges Athletic Leagues (ACAL) has competitive futsal leagues for both mens and womens. When all of us at futsalcanada.ca first learned that the ACAL had competitive futsal, needless to say we were blown away.
All one has to do is take a look at their website www.acal.ab.ca and you'll see four main sports: volleyball, basketball, hockey, and yes, futsal! Naturally we were quite excited in learning more about the ACAL futsal system and how we could help promote them to the rest of the country. What we did was call up Mark Oxer, the Athletic Director and Head Coach of the 2009 ACAL's mens and womens champiionship teams from Keyano College in the oil boom town of Fort McMurray.
Like many who were relatively new to futsal, Mark was an instant convert, after seeing the results in his youth players when he introduced the sport into his training programs. His genuine enthusiasm for the sport was quite evident right off the bat when we spoke with him, a common trait among people who pick up the sport. He explained that the ACAL was essentially the 3rd level of competition in the Canadian post-secondary sporting scene. Most top athletes compete within the CIS system (Canadian Interuniversity Sport), while the CCAA (Canadian Colleges Athletic Association) also has its fair share of elite Canadian athletes. Mark likened the ACAL to Canada's division 3 level, when looking at the American NCAA model, but believes futsal will eventually become a part of all college and university athletic associations.
Naturally, the ACAL play using the FIFA Futsal Laws of the Game and all matches are played in large college gymnasiums. The league runs from November through March.
The mens division currently has 6 teams with colleges from Calgary, Edmonton and others the league has a 10 game schedule and like 95% of futsal leagues in Canada runs during the fall/winter season. Keyano finished atop the league standings via goal dofference after posting an 8-2 record before defeating Calgary's Ambrose College in the playoff final by a 5-2 scoreline.
Adrianna Martinez was named playoff final MVP as she helped clinch the womens title for Keyano with a 3-1 win over undefeated Ambrose. The womens divisiion has just 5 teams but Oxer says this season is going to see a major increase in new colleges for the league.
There are currently 12 member colleges within the ACAL and every one of them is expected to produce a futsal team this year in a demostrative capacity whereas the aim is to have futsal become a fully sanctioned sport by the 2010/2011 season. For those of you wishing to learn more about ACAL futsal and how to get involved and help build the sport in Alberta feel free to contact markoxer @ keyano.ca
2009 ACAL FUTSAL 1st TEAM ALL STARS
MENS 1st TEAM
Mike Stapley (Keyano College), Matt Eagleson (Ambrose College) Yuji Minestuji (Olds College), Lucas Curran (Keyano College), Phil Seutter (Taylor College),
WOMENS 1st TEAM
Casey Boda (Ambrose College), Jessica Griffin (St. Mary's College), Allison Parry (Ambrose College), Andrea Mann (Olds College), Cali Seater (Olds College)