Essex Referee Discovers Futsal at World Championships
South Ockendon referee Alex Haynes has urged fellow match officials to sign-up for a forthcoming FA Futsal Referee Course having just returned from officiating at an “unforgettable” international Futsal tournament in Orlando, Florida.
The Essex County FA are running the introductory course on Saturday 19th October from 9:00am to 5:00pm at the University of Essex campus in Colchester. Haynes, who joined peers from the USA, Australia, Ecuador and Peru at the World Futsal Championships in July, believes the indoor small-sided football format has a lot to offer referees and players alike.
“What stood out is the youth set-up and how fluent and natural these younger Futsal age groups were,” he recalled. “They have an advantage from playing in countries where Futsal is on the same level as football when they're young, and it reflected through their positioning, movement and professionalism. I rarely had to penalise them for a technical or penalty foul.”
As well as the USA, Australia, Ecuador and Peru, the participating teams came from Haiti, Columbia and New Zealand. He continued: “The men's and women's open-age and Under 20s categories showed some really good Futsal too, and it was great to referee them. The standard was of the same high quality as in the top levels in England, which is a positive thing.”
“In England, it's great to see more and more young people starting their adventure in Futsal. The FA are supporting this with their ‘Fast Forward with Futsal’ Plan focusing on the Foundation Phase and getting our next young superstars coming through. You can see we’re excited and see the potential in Futsal. It can take us places if we carry on the great work everyone has been doing!"
The FA Futsal Referee Course will provide training for anyone planning to officiate Futsal. The aims and objectives are to provide learners with an introduction to refereeing, identifying the skills required to effectively cover games of Futsal. The ethos of Futsal will be studied as will misconduct procedures, time-keeping, free kicks, penalty kicks and practical experience.
Contact the Essex County FA Referees Department to find out more about the FA Futsal Referees Course.