Stephen Beck has coached youth club soccer teams and camps in El Dorado County for many years.
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But for the last five years, the county resident has been involved in futsal, a modified form of soccer played with five players on each team, indoors. The emphasis of futsal is controlling the smaller ball on the ground.
“It’s a modified soccer ball that is slightly smaller than a full-size,” Beck said. “This teaches the physical discipline, controlling the ball.”
On Wednesday, Beck had 14 kids, ages 6 to 13, started learning to play futsal, and playing futsal inside El Dorado High’s small gym. The kids were placed on two teams to play a game. The course, titled Coed Futsal Soccer Training and presented in conjunction with the City of Placerville Parks and Recreation, is being taught every Wednesday at the gym through July 16 from 9-11 a.m.
“I am very satisfied,” said Beck on the number of kids who showed up Wednesday morning.
Most of the kids competing in futsal were between the ages of 9 and 12 but there were younger kids who held their own during games inside the gym.
“I am very confident with this group,” Beck said. “I can offer this program right here, and bring this resource to develop our soccer players. Futsal is a soccer-related game.”
According to futsal.com, the difference between this sport and soccer is futsal uses a No. 4 ball, which is 30 percent less bounce.
“It’s weighed, so it doesn’t bounce,” Beck said.
Differences between futsal and soccer is there is unlimited substitutions. Instead of throwing the ball inbounds, futsal is kicked into play. The clock stops when the ball goes out-of-bounds, where in soccer the clock continues to run throughout the game.
Placerville resident Finley Wetmore, 9, has played soccer since he was 5 year-old. Taking part in the camp, he caught onto futsal fast in lessons and during games.
“I really like it,” Wetmore said. “I like that it’s more speed and more control. It’s really fast, and you get better.”
Futsal started in Brazil, which has played the sport since the start of the 21st century, Beck said. The sport has been around the United States for the last 10 years but has picked up excitement this year.
“Everything starts in the south,” Beck said. “They (Brazil) are always on the cutting edge of development to teach the sport.”
Another benefit for parents who were watching their children taking part in futsal, Beck points out, is that they can enjoy watching it in a controlled, weather environment.
Beck plans to continue teaching futsal in Cameron Park after the sessions at the El Dorado High campus are complete.
Parents whose children play soccer and could be interested in playing futsal can still sign-up for the course. The fee is $60.
For more information, contact Beck at 530-333-5842, or contact Monique at Placerville Recreation and Parks at 530-642-5232.
Note: The Cameron Park Community Services District will also offer Coed Futsal Soccer Training for ages 7-11 on Mondays from July 7-28 at the Community Center Gym. Fee is $74/$69 with Cameron Park resident discount. For information call 530-677-2231 or visit cameronpark.org.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.