As the fastest growing indoor sport in the world, futsal still remains an unfamiliar game within the UK. First developed in Brazil during the 1930s and 40s, the game quickly spread throughout Latin America, helping create some of the world’s best footballing talent. Genuine footballing superstars such as Lionel Messi, Pele and Ronaldinho all started out playing futsal – more often than they played football – as children.
History aside, and on a more technical note, the sport is played with five team members per side; the pitch size and goals being identical to those used in handball. In addition, a futsal ball is a size four, which means it is slightly smaller and has roughly 30% less bounce than the regular size five ball used in football. All these differences mean that the game is played at a much faster pace than football, with players constantly under pressure from the opposition team. As a result, an individual’s spatial awareness, quick thinking, balance and confidence with the ball are all rigorously tested during both training and competitive matches.
The Futsal Club was primarily started to offer a new and exciting sport to students at the University. Currently, the Club is in the process of affiliation and in the past few weeks, has already attracted plenty of interest from other students at the University. The club is open to all levels of ability and welcomes those who want to play recreationally with friends, but also encourages those who want to take on this amazing sport at a more competitive level. For these more competitive members, BUCS has a Futsal programme that is one of the newest and fastest growing league programmes on offer. The Club would compete in regional competitions, and hopefully progress towards national qualifiers and potentially national finals (if we put in enough practice). In contrast, the futsal the Club plays doesn’t always have to be competitive. To this end, for those wanting to play recreationally; the Club will also take part in numerous friendly matches against other Scottish universities.
As is standard for teams wishing to compete in BUCS, the Club has a fully-fledged committee, with the roles of President (Charlie Manchester), Club Captain (Mark Tighe), Vice Captain (Robert Nairn), Secretary (Jack Hughes), Treasurer (Thomas McFadden), Health, Safety and Equipment Officer (Matthew Whitham) and, of course, Social Rep (Duncan Whitfield). If you are interested in joining the Futsal Club for next academic year or simply want to know more about it, you can drop a message on the Club’s Facebook page, ‘St Andrews Futsal Club 2015/2016’, or you can contact any one of its Committee members. Given the current level of outside interest and the enthusiasm of those already involved, there is every reason to think the Futsal Club will only go from strength-to-strength come next year.