Small Sided Football & Futsal

Small Sided Football is the most popular and fastest growing area of adult football.

What is Small Sided Football?

With over 1.5m adults playing Small Sided Football every week and with 30,000 teams playing in organised and competitive small sided leagues, this format of football has increasingly become an integral part of the football family.

The Leicestershire & Rutland County FA recognises the important role that Small Sided Football plays in encouraging people to continue playing football and enjoying all aspects of the 'Beautiful Game'.

Small Sided football is an all encompassing term that covers the following formats:

  • 4v4
  • 5v5
  • 6v6
  • 7v7
  • Beach Soccer
  • Futsal

Where can I play Small Sided Football?

Wherever you are, the chances are that there is an opportunity to play Small Sided Football on your doorstep.

This could come in all shapes and sizes from a large custom built Small Sided Football Facility with multiple pitches, to an indoor sports hall configured for Futsal, or even an 11-a-side pitch temporarily split into smaller pitches.

There are also a whole host of operators and providers that provide Small Sided Football opportunities, just do make sure that when you play in organised Small Sided Leagues that they are properly affiliated to The FA. A list of small sided football providers can be found here

For more information on Small Sided Football in Leicestershire & Rutland please contact:

Idafe Perez-Jimenez
Interim Football Development Manager (Adult)
T: 0116 284 4955


What is Futsal?

The nature of the game places a large emphasis on technical skill and ability in situations of high pressure, and is subsequently an excellent breeding ground for football competencies that can be translated into the 11-a-side format of the game.

Futsal is a five-a-side game, normally played on a flat indoor pitch with hockey sized goals and a size 4 ball with a reduced bounce. It is played to touchlines and all players are free to enter the penalty area and play the ball over head height. Games are 20 minutes per half, played to a stopping clock (similar to basketball) with time-outs permitted.

There are a number of differences to our traditional version of small sided football, but the dominant elementsare the absence of rebound boards and amendments in the laws that encourage and foster skilful, creative play above the physical contact that tends to be a feature of English five-a-side.

The surface, ball and rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.

Great Footballers who are great Futsal players

Many of the top world class footballers played Futsal in their youth and credit it with supporting their football development; players of the calibre of Pele, Zico, Roaldinho, Kaka, Lionel Messi to name but a few of the South American legends all played and enjoyed Futsal. The BBC recently produced an article on the 2014 Brazil World Cup team and their roots within the game of Futsal, read it and see the video here.

But Futsal has not just helped produce South American Football Stars, on the European stage Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco, Xavi, Fabregas amongst many others have played Futsal to develop their skills.

"Futsal was important in helping to develop my ball control, quick thinking, passing...also for dribbling, balance, concentration...Futsal was very, very important, no doubt."- Pele, World Cup Winner: 1958, 1962 & 1970.

"Perhaps in regular football you cannot appreciate the talent. Everything is more physical. But in Futsal you have small details of quality, class and tactical aspects." - Xavi, FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League Winner.

" makes you more composed on the ball and makes you want the ball more, so you can do something with it." - Micah Richards, England International

"Futsal is an extremely important way for kids to develop their skills and understanding of the game. My touch and my dribbling have come from playing Futsal". - Ronaldinho, FIFA World Footballer of the Year 2004 & 2005

The Leicestershire & Rutland County FA - FA Futsal Fives League

The Leicestershire & Rutland FA Futsal Fives League is the 3rd Largest in the Country and takes place on Tuesday evenings at Brockington College, Blaby Road, Enderby, Leicestershire, LE19 4AQ.

To express and interest in entering a team into the Leicestershire FA Futsal Fives please click here.

If you are a player looking for a futsal team to play for please click here

Idafe Perez-Jimenez
Interim Football Development Manager (Adult)
T: 0116 284 4955
Futsal Laws of the Game

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