By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
November 4, 2018-The Long Island Futsal League (LIFL) kicked off play in December 1996 at the World Gym in East Setauket. It has grown by leaps and bounds since and had partnered with the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) in the LIFL's early days.
The LIJSL and its parent organization, the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), are very pleased to welcome back the LIFL, officially being designated as a recreational club of the LIJSL. Every winter, nearly 200 youth teams--both boys and girls--play futsal at gymnasiums in central Suffolk County as it’s a great answer to the New York winter when our fields are too frozen to play on.
Started in Uruguay in 1930, futsal is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlike other forms of indoor soccer, the game is played with a smaller, low-bounce ball on a hard court surface without walls or boards. The surface, ball and rules together favor ball control and passing in small spaces. US Soccer has been utilizing futsal in its Development Academy as futsal is increasingly cited in the discussion about how to improve player development.
The LIFL has certainly helped Long Island soccer players develop to their potential for over two decades. As just one example, Sanada Mujanovic (Bailey) scored seven goals for the Sachem Palominos in a futsal game a generation ago and she was the captain and scorer of the game-winning goal in overtime when Oneonta State won the 2003 NCAA national championship, the school’s only national title in a team sport. She was inducted into the Oneonta State Athletics Hall of Fame two months ago.
LIFL President John Branca stated, “We greatly appreciate the opportunity afforded to the Long Island Futsal League by the LIJSL and look forward to a long and productive relationship that will help encourage more players to try the sport of futsal.“
The 2019 LIFL season will actually kick off in 2018 on the weekend of December 29 and 30 and continue until the end of February next year. Registration concludes on December 1. For more info (including on registration) regarding Long Island Futsal, log on to http://lifutsal.website.siplay.com or contact John Branca at 631-790-7481 or firstname.lastname@example.org
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and 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 nine 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 Children With Special Needs. 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 onto http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.