Futsal is played on an indoor court with no walls and a low-bouncing ball, smaller than a soccer ball. The area’s first true futsal league, Great Plains Futsal, began in November 2017 and is the largest futsal league in the area with 110 teams.

League Director Erick French stressed that while there are other leagues in the area that claim to play the sport, their league is the only one that “plays on a hard-court surface with futsal rules and futsal balls.”

One of the appeals of futsal making it so popular? The sport better develops the skills of young soccer players.

“Futsal has been widely backed by governing bodies, U.S. Soccer and F.I.F.A., as the top indoor game to help develop young players,” French said. “It’s a different sport to the outdoor game and its focus on ball control alone helps players develop.”

The sport is also a great way for players to keep their skills strong when they have limited access to outdoor play during the winter months.

Great Plains Futsal’s youth leagues serve kids from the age of six to the age of 19. While registration has closed for their Winter League, youth programs are ongoing throughout the year and new registration dates will be announced on the league’s website and Facebook page.

A youth special, however, is available that offers new teams the chance to register for four games taking place in January and February. This is a great way to get insight into the game of futsal before signing up for a full season. Registration ends on Sunday, December 23.

Adults can also take advantage of the convenience of the indoor sport by using futsal as a means of exercise and fun when winter weather makes venturing outdoors unappealing.

Adult leagues began registration on December 16. There will be a women’s, co-ed, men’s premier, and men’s DII divisions to sign up for. Teams consist of five to the recommended maximum of 11 players.

Visit councilbluffs-omahafutsal.com for more information about becoming involved with the up and coming sport.

This post was originally published on December 20, 2018 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.