Castlegar Minor Soccer has started a new Futsal program making Castlegar one of the first communities in B.C. to have the sport.
Futsal is a version of indoor soccer played all around the world. Most players under the age of 13 in Europe learn to play soccer in the form of futsal.
The ball used is similar to a soccer ball, but with 30 per cent less bounce than a regular ball. The fast paced game is played with teams of five.
Substitutions are made on the fly and goalies only have four seconds to kick the ball in after it is in their possession. There are no sideline tosses, only kicks, again within four seconds.
Castlegar Minor Soccer President Dave Grantham explained, “A lot of the world’s best players get their footwork from futsal because you have to think quicker on your feet and you have to react quicker. It develops players far more than just playing outside.”
Andrew Haines, Grassroots Development Officer for BC Soccer came out to train coaches and help get the program up and running. Grantham was very pleased with the visit, “BC Soccer actually flew him out here on their dime; we did not have to pay a thing. It was really beneficial.”
Castlegar Minor Soccer is now working on bringing Haines out again for a futsal festival to be held in early spring. They have applied for a grant from BC Soccer to help with the festival expenses.
Each session involves training and game play and takes place on Sundays at Selkirk College.
The program is open for kids ages three to 15. The only equipment needed is shin pads and clean, non-marking running shoes.
The first session has just come to an end, but registration for the next session beginning in January will be open soon. Information can be found at www.castlegarsoccer.com.