Excellent news from Alberta sees the provincial association hosting their 1st ever futsal championship.
For the first time ever, the Alberta Soccer Association futsal championship provincials will be held this weekend.
The Futsal Provincial Championships run April 5 to 7 at the Garrison in Edmonton for both boys and girls U12 and U14, with 20 teams competing from Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray and other Alberta areas.
Futsal can be described as a slower version of indoor soccer, according to Nicholas Goddard, ASA competitions coordinator.
Goddard says it’s the first time the ASA has tried the sport.
“We were really excited about this opportunity to try this and we really hope it catches on,” Goddard says.
“It is a pilot program but we will review how it went and go from there. But it’s definitely an exciting opportunity to try something new and we were pleasantly surprised by the number of teams we have.”
There are some key differences between futsal and regular indoor soccer – mainly, with futsal there are no walls or barriers like you’d typically see in an indoor game.
Futsal is also played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regular soccer ball.
The emphasis on passing, dribbling and close control makes it ideal for developing technical skills of young players, according to Futsal Canada.
“You can play futsal in a gymnasium area where the traditional indoor soccer is more of a smaller, arena style setting. Futsal is much more controlled and there are no walls to bounce the ball off of,” Goddard explains. “It’s basically just another way to play soccer.”
This weekend’s tournament may be the first of its kind in Alberta, but it’s still a competitive tournament with teams vying for the top prize.
Goddard says he is excited to see what the future holds for futsal.