By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 6, 2013-Here we grow again! Having kicked off in 2010 with 24 teams, New York Futsal has blossomed to over 100 youth teams of both boys and girls teams playing under the umbrella of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) this winter. The fun kicks off this weekend, December 7 and 8, and goes until March 8 and 9 at George Washington High School, LaGuardia High School, William T. Sherman School and the Tito Puente Educational Complex, all in Manhattan, plus the Roosevelt Island School.
"Futsal is not a physical but a technical game giving the kids the time and space that they need to develop skills," commented New York Futsal Director Jaime Arias.
Futsal promotes quality touches and ball control in tight spaces and players utilize those skills when they play soccer outdoors. Many of Brazil’s best players ever such as Pelé, Zico, Socrates, Bebeto, Ronaldinho and Marta all played a version of futsal as children.
The origins of futsal can be traced to Uruguay in 1930, where, amid the euphoria that greeted that country's victory at the inaugural World Cup on home soil, there was a soccer ball seemingly being kicked on every street corner in the capital of Montevideo. Juan Carlos Ceriani, an Argentinian physical education instructor living there at the time, observed many youngsters practicing soccer on basketball courts because of the shortage of soccer fields. It was there and then that the idea for a five-a-side variation of soccer came about and futsal was born. Futsal is the only version of indoor soccer approved by FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.
"This year is very special. We have coaches coming from Real Madrid and the Spanish Federation for coaching and our premier teams have been invited to Valencia for an Academy tournament," said New York Futsal Marketing Director Leslie Hamer. "Our junior development league starts at age 5 and our competitive league starts at age 7 and goes to Under-19. We will be working with Westchester teams in Dobbs Ferry and Purchase. We are proud to have an elementary school league starting in the spring as well."
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.