‘Futsal’ is an abbreviation of the Portuguese ‘futebol de salao’ or the Spanish ‘futbol sala’ meaning ,literally, football in a room or indoor football. The sport’s origins are vague but it is generally accepted that the first organised game dates back to 1930 in Montevideo in Uruguay, the year that Uruguay hosted the first FIFA World Cup. An Argentine coach, Juan Carlos Ceriani, tired of rain soaked pitches and cancelled training sessions, bought the game inside for the first time. Juan Carlos put together a set of rules which became a book in 1933. The game took off in YMCAs and parks across Montevideo. All that was needed was small basketball-sized court. Meanwhile, a similar game was being played in the streets of Sao Paolo in Brasil, It spread fast and the first local leagues developed in Brasil with a Rules book produced in 1936. Originally, there were 7 players (now 5), the goal was 4m x 2m (now 3m x 1m) and the ball which was either thrown or kicked in, weighed almost a kilo (now 390 – 430 grams). The ball is low-bounce with the bladder being filled with foam or latex., The Offside rule was abolished in 1990. There are slight variations in rules between the three Futsal associations in Australia (see below) including FAF dispensing with the kick-in and re-introducing the throw-in.The game spread throughout Latin America and the first international futsal competition kicked off in 1965 with Paraguay taking home the silverware. Brasil won the next six Championships between 1966 and 1979 and were the Pan American games Champions in 1980 and 1984. Futsal; demanded new skills; quick feet, a quick mind and the use of the toes and the bottom of the foot.
The International Federation for Futebol de Sala (FIFUSA) was founded in Brasil in 1971. The first World Championship was held in Sao Paolo in 1982. Brasil, with a team studded with stars from the outdoor game, won and again in Spain three years later but then lost their crown to Paraguay in 1988 at the Melbourne Entertainment Centre.. The first FIFA World Cup was in the Netherlands in 1989. Only two teams have held the Cup aloft, Brasil five times and Spain twice. Brasil is the current World Cup Champion having beat Spain 3-2 in 2012 (see link to the game on the home-page). This years 8th FIFA Futsal World Cup is in Columbia in September with the Futsalroos in Group D up against Brasil, Ukraine, and Mozambique.