American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2014, 2(3), 117-122DOI:
Abstract: In England, there is a growing interest in futsal, driven by people who enjoy participating in the sport and others who see futsal as a development tool for those looking to succeed in football - dubbed the countries national sport. Nationally, the development of the sport has been overseen by futsal's governing body, The Football Association (FA), to improve the fortunes of the national futsal team and to provide a structure for the sport to grow at both grassroots and elite level. A lack of research into futsal exists, particularly around participation in the sport, and therefore there is insufficient knowledge to supply the elevated interest in the sport. The study establishes baseline measures to gain a greater understanding of futsal participation in England, to provide an indication of how many people participate in the sport; who participates, where, why and how? The study methodology was two-fold, firstly, analysis of primary and secondary data was undertaken to identify the number of teams and participants playing competitively between 7th January and 4th March 2013 - to provide a snapshot of futsal participation in England. The results, although indicative, show that during the course of this research there were 1975 teams playing organised competitive futsal and approximately 12,449 participants playing the sport during this period. Secondly, the research provides insight into participation trends of futsal from online survey responses of 108 futsal participants and 30 County FA coordinators, responsible for the development of the game nationwide. The evidence from respondents indicates that futsal is more popular than other variants of small sided football, with many respondents substituting or displacing their participation in other formats, to play futsal, while many also wish to increase their participation in the sport. Barriers to participation are also prevalent, particularly with regards to the availability and quality of facilities.