Courtesy: The Hillsboro Argus - OregonLive.comFutsal brings international flairTuesday, August 04, 2009
By Nick Christensen
Celebrate Hillsboro isn't just an all-American town fair. The Hillsboro Street Soccer Cup lends the event an international flavor.
Street soccer, officially called futsal, is a South American sport, and Hillsboro's tournament brings dozens of teams from the region for a hard court version of la joga bonito.
Futsal is to soccer what kickball is to baseball and American football, a more accessible version of a popular sport that doesn't require a giant pitch or large teams.
Instead, the court, which is about the size of a basketball court, features five players from each team. And games last a mere 25 minutes, instead of the 90 minutes of regulation soccer.
Of course, players may find themselves worn out a little more quickly, too. The futsal ball is heavier and smaller than its grass field counterpart. And with space limited on the court and no sidewalls to keep balls in bounds, fancy footwork is essential for a successful futsal player.
Famous Brazilian soccer players like Ronaldo and Pelè have attributed their grass field skills to playing futsal when they were growing up.
According to the U.S. Futsal Federation, the sport's founders were jubilant Uruguayans, thrilled after that South American nation won the inaugural World Cup in 1930. The name is a portmanteau of the Spanish words futbal, or soccer, and salon, or indoors.
It took 35 years for an international competition to take place, with Paraguay winning the first South American Cup in futsal. In 1982, Brazil won the first Futsal World Championship, a tournament that it hosted. Since then, Brazil has won three more titles, with Spain winning another two.
In the United States, a national championship has been held since 1985.
The Hillsboro Street Soccer Cup is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday, Aug. 8, and Sunday, Aug. 9, near the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue. Boys and girls teams with players aged 9 to 14 will have one competition, with the city hosting - for the first time - an adult competition this year as well.
Winning teams will receive a medal, and trophies will be awarded to both winning teams and runners-up.
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari