22nd April – SJFA embarks on a Futsal League

SJFA continues to look at ways to develop both the club and the technical football ability of the boys. Over the last six months the under 9’s and under 13’s have had the opportunity to play futsal and over these fixtures the coaches have observed the benefits of this format of the game.

From the 22nd April the SJFA under 7/8’s, under 9/10’s, under 11/12’s and under 13/14’s will join a Futsal league organised by the London Wizard Football Club. The aim of the club and the league we are joining is to improve players in every way. As well as technically and physically, there is a strong emphasis on helping players to understand Futsal and Football better. Whilst the aim is looking to develop the individual, there is aim to simultaneously encourage a team ethic. The league will run throughout April/May with a break in Ramadhan and then restart in July. With over 60 boys participating in the futsal league and the commitment required by our coaches we have decided to cancel training at the Hive on the 22nd.

Match Day 1 (22nd April) schedule will be as follows:
3.30pm Under 8s London Wizards A vs Stanmore Jafferys A
4.10pm Under 8s London Wizards B vs Stanmore Jafferys B
4.50pm Under 10s Stanmore Jafferys A vs Stanmore Jafferys B
5.30pm Under 12s Stanmore Jafferys A vs Stanmore Jafferys B
6.10pm  Under 14s Stanmore Jafferys A vs London Wizards
6.50pm Under 14s Stanmore Jafferys B vs Stanmore Jafferys C

Some of you may wonder “What is Futsal?” Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small sided football game that is widely played across the world and is officially recognised by both UEFA and FIFA. This form of the game we love to play is in a five-a-side format, normally played on a flat indoor pitch with hockey sized goals and a size four 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. Futsal is a 5 a-side form of football which aims to enhance close control and quick passing.
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 as shown by players such as Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta who all grew up playing the game. The surface, ball and rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.

Although Futsal is very much a game in its own right, there are also a number of benefits for football by encouraging young people to play Futsal as part of a balanced training programme to improve their overall technical development. The game of Futsal creates an environment that allows young people to simulate and develop many skills and proficiencies that are transferrable to the 11-a-side game. The nature of Futsal with the smaller confines of the pitch that makes it harder to find space, the line markings that prevents easy escape from tight situations (such as in traditional 5-a-side where players can play the ball off the wall), and the smaller heavier ball which supports closer ball control and manipulation supports the technical development of young players in a multitude of ways. Research indicates that individual’s playing Futsal receive the ball six times more often than they would do when they are playing 11-a-side football, allowing players to perform more individual techniques such as passes, controls, fakes, feints, dribbles and runs with the ball (Liverpool John Moores University, 2001). As well as touching the ball more often, players will often receive the ball under pressure from opponents developing their confidence on the ball particularly in pressurised environments. Futsal as a game naturally brings players into regular one-on-one situations with their opponent, encouraging players into quick decision making as to how they overcome these scenarios; this could be through beating the opponent with a skill, or through clever passing to a team-mate. But one of the core attributes Futsal teaches young players is the importance of ball retention due to the threat of an immediate counter-attack. Confidence on the ball, receiving a pass under pressure, decision-making in 1v1 situations, and ball retention are all important fundamental skills that we look to develop in young football players that are practiced regularly within a game environment in Futsal.

The official Laws of Futsal are available to download from the FIFA website (www.FIFA.com), but outlined below are an abridged version to provide a simple introduction to the principles of Futsal, and to assist in differentiating the game from other versions of 5-a-side football.

The Pitch

  • Futsal is played on a marked pitch and the ball can go out of play

Head Height

  • There are no height restrictions


  • Up to 12 players can be used in one match and there is no limit on how long a player must stay on or off the pitch. Players must enter and leave the field of play from in front of the respective team’s bench.

Kick In

  • In order to restart the game after a ball has gone out of play the ball is kicked back into play from the touchline and from corners. The ball must be placed stationary on the touchline and the feet of the player taking the kick-in must not cross the line.

The Four Second Rule

  • For kick-ins, free kicks, goal clearances and corner kicks the player in possession of the ball has 4 seconds to restart play which the referee will count with their fingers in the air. If play isn’t restarted within four seconds possession is surrendered to the opposing team. The goalkeeper is not allowed to control the ball for more than 4 seconds in his/ her own half.

The Five Metre Rule

  • Players are required to keep 5m from the player in possession of the ball on free kicks, corners, goal clearances, kick-ins and penalties.


  • Goalkeepers are allowed to come out of and players are allowed to go into the penalty area.
  • A restart from the goalkeeper must be thrown out, but the goalkeeper can use their feet to distribute the ball from open play.

Back Passes

  • Once the goalkeeper has played the ball he/she cannot touch the ball again unless an opposition player has touched the ball or if the goalkeeper is passed the ball in the opponents half.

Red Cards

  • If a player is sent off then the team to which the player belongs must remain with 4 players until either two minutes have passed, or the opposition have scored a goal.

Accumulated Fouls

  • Each team will be allowed to give away 5 direct free kicks in each half of the game, then on the sixth foul a direct kick will be awarded to the opposing team and the defending team is not allowed to position any players (other than the goalkeeper) between the ball and the goal. The kick may be taken from the 10m mark or, if the foul was committed closer to the goal than the 10m mark, then the kick may be taken from the position where the foul took place.


  • Matches are played with a stopping clock (real-time) whereby the clock will be stopped whenever the ball goes out of play or when there is a stoppage in the game.
  • Futsal games consist of 2 halves of 20 minutes.


  • Each team is permitted one timeout of 60 seconds each half.

Want to see how the game is played click here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unFlcSwdDFc) . For more information on the futsal laws of the game click here (https://youtu.be/OSfZHw3_eGI)
If you have any questions on the league, please contact your tier manager or send your questions to fa@jafferys.org

Mohammed Valjy