As part of the FAI Schools development programme, futsal is used as a way of introducing youngsters to the game of football and thus increasing grassroots participation within the sport.
The programme has quickly become one of the most popular sections of the schools soccer calendar, with talented students from all over the country aspiring to replicate the talents of Lionel Messi, Zico, Juninio, Kaka and Ronaldo. These legends of the football world have inspired youngsters to get involved and in doing so have increased the profile of futsal on an International scale.
Over 16,000children will take part in this initiative inside a three month period in both our Primary and Post Primary Schools throughout Ireland.
This month will see competitions commence in the 26 counties as students take to the courts to showcase their skills.
To date, 612 primary schools have signed up to play resulting in 980 teams, culminating in a total of 11,760 children taking part. The post primary schools have 257 schools registered with 385 teams participating, amounting to a total of 4,620 students in action.
Now in its tenth year, this exciting initiative has reached phenomenal participation rates. This is largely attributed to the hard work of the FAI’s Development Officers promoting the programmes at grassroots level as well as our excellent relationship with local teachers who have participated in other schools activities over the last few years. Now a regular fixture in the schools’ calendar, this is set to be one of the biggest years yet for futsal.
PRIMARY SCHOOLS FUTSAL
The Tipperary Primary Schools Futsal programme was the first to kick off their campaign this season with 40 schools, 80 teams participating in three different venues; Peake Villa FC, Cahir Park and Ballymackey FC. The participation initiative saw 960 kids enjoy the blitz day format.
Watch out for the various primary schools competitions kicking off in your locality shortly. We wish all participating schools the very best of luck.
POST PRIMARY SCHOOLS FUTSAL
Donegal & Inishowen have completed their Post Primary Schools Futsal programme for First Year Boys & Girls as the winners now prepare for the Ulster Finals which are scheduled for the AURA Leisure Centre, Letterkenny on November 14.
Carndonagh Community School will represent the boys and girls from the Inishowen region having claimed top spot last week while St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar (Boys) and Loreto Convent, Letterkenny (Girls) ran out winners this week as Donegal contenders.
No doubt there will be some futsal fever in the schools nationwide as the various Counties gear up for their events.
POST PRIMARY SCHOOLS FUTSAL DATES
Ulster November 14 AURA Leisure Centre, Letterkenny
Connacht November 15 IT Sligo
Munster November 23 Waterford IT Sports Arena
Leinster November 21 National Indoor Arena, Abbotstown
Leinster November 22 National Indoor Arena, Abbotstown
National Final: December 5 Waterford IT Sports Arena
LAST YEARS ROLL OF HONOUR:
Post Primary Schools – Girls
WINNERS: Presentation Secondary School, Kilkenny
RUNNERS UP: Claregalway College, Galway
THIRD: Loreto Community School, Milford, Donegal
FOURTH: Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine, Kenmare, Kerry
Post Primary Schools - Boys
WINNERS: Summerhill College, Sligo
RUNNERS UP: St. Francis College, Rochestown, Cork
THIRD: Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana, Donegal
FOURTH: St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda, Louth
WHAT IS FUTSAL | Futsal is an indoor version of association football. It is played between two teams of five players, one of whom is the goalkeeper, and up to seven substitutes per team. Unlike some other forms of indoor football, the game is played on a hard court surface delimited by lines; walls or boards are not used.
Futsal is also played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regulation football. The rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.
PRIMARY SCHOOLS FUTSAL PROGRAMME | This is a participation initiative run to local level. Boys and girls in third and fourth class will participate in this fun filled one day blitz. There are separate competitions for boys and girls but girls are permitted to play in the boy’s competition.
POST PRIMARY SCHOOLS FUTSAL PROGRAMME | It caters for First Year students, boys and girls. The programme will begin at county level and the winners will progress to Provincial and National qualifiers.