FIFA claim that futsal is the fastest growing indoor sport on the planet – and the Somerset FA is offering local players a great opportunity to find out why, writes Simon Parkinson.

The county association is setting about building on the small-sided game’s burgeoning world-wide reputation by inviting teams throughout the county to sign up to a series of FA Futsal Fives leagues kicking off at the end of this month.

Somerset FA is also keen to hear from anyone wishing to take on the role of co-ordinator for its leagues based in Bath and Bridgwater, a voluntary position which offers an ‘incentive package’.

Among other duties the successful candidate will be responsible for arranging weekly fixtures, administering team and player registration forms and updating the league website and social media platforms.

The Football Association has introduced an array of indoor adult futsal leagues across the country in an attempt to encourage more players to partake in this exciting version of the five-a-side game.

Somerset FA has launched four of its own leagues, at Hayesfield School, Bath, on Tuesdays; Bridgwater College on Wednesdays, and Merchants Academy, South Bristol, on Fridays.

A women’s-only league, to be staged too at the same Withywood-based Merchants Academy, is poised to start soon.

Futsal has developed to such an extent over recent years that it has become FIFA’s and UEFA’s recognised five-a-side football format, one that has also been embraced by the Football Association.

Football development officer at Somerset FA, Brendan Dix, said: “Futsal has proved immensely popular outside of the UK and it is really taking off in this country too.

“This enthralling version of the game has played an important role in the technical development of some of the world’s leading football players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Kaka, Xavi and Ronaldinho to name just a few, all of whom played futsal as they grew up.”

Futsal is a format of five-a-side football that is played indoors with a smaller, heavier ball.

The game is played to pitch lines and hockey-sized goals, which help to encourage improved decision making and technical skill from young players.

For more information about how to register a team for one of the new Somerset leagues, or about the duties of a league co-ordinator, call Brendan Dix on 01458 832359 or email