The Malaysian National Futsal Team – at Bandar Botanic!
-by Andrew Sum
This morning (16th August,2009) I was at the Botanic Lake and I happened to witnes the Malaysian National Futsal Team doing several laps of serious running around the Lake and thereafter did short bursts of highly energize runs at high speed under the watchful coach. I introduce myself as a Committee member of the Bandar Botanic Resident Association and ask for permission to take some photos of their training in progress. The coach (in blue shirt) was very nice and even allows me to take a group photos of his team. He said this is the first time they use Bandar Botanic as part of their training ground. This futsal team is very fantastic and wonderful. They are all very young and energetic and trained very hard indeed. It is marvalous and wonderful to see young Malaysians making use of our Botanic Lake as a training ground in a useful and healthy and positive way. It is a very good example for others to follow. BBRA welcomes them.
What is futsal?
Futsal is the international form of indoor soccer and is played under the banner of FIFA throughout the world by more than 25 millions players. The terms FUTSAL is the international term used for the game.
Because the sports is a great skill developer, demanding quick reflexes, fast thinking and pin point passing, its an exciting game for children as well as adults. Great soccer superstar such as Pele, Zico and Ronaldo grew up playing the game and credit Futsal for developing their skills.
Futsal is the best form of soccer for the inner city. It can be played in the concrete surfaces of inner city elementary school playgrounds where there aren't even basketball hoops. It can be played in the basketball gyms of rural areas. If you compare it logistically to basketball, you're correct. The staging, the sightlines, the pace, and the television potential of Futsal are the same as basketball. But, as noted, Futsal is even more adaptable to inner city conditions than basketball.
Futsal is excellent for children with physical and mental disabilities, as well. The specially-designed Futsal ball is smaller than the outdoor ball (size three compared to size four or five) and has less bounce. (Note: a size four has been used in international play.)
How to Play
All you need to play the game officially is a basketball court, two indoor goals and the correct ball. If you don't have that you can use any surface, a couple of jackets and any ball. Walls and artificial surface are not necessary. Official Futsal goals have a width of 10 feet and height of seven feet, but any indoor goals would suffice. A set of cones at either end can work well at the beginning.
Each goal is fronted by a 13-foot penalty area. You can use tape or chalk to mark it in. There is no need for further marking, since the existing side and end lines and center circle of basketball courts are used.
There is no need to push seats back to create walls. Spectators can sit, watch and cheer the same as they would in basketball. Parents and coaches who have been used to standing indoors and out would enjoy the convenience.