Sunday, December 16

My Futsal Mania

picture taken from andybatt.com

Life back in my hometown is sweet...
Free food... Free board... Free transport...
Met up with old friends...
Visited the good old favourite food spots...
As well as some new ones...
But best of all... I played lots and I mean LOTS of futsal!
Almost 2-3 times a week!

It truly is a wonderful adaptation of the beautiful game...
Scaling it down has made it more accessible to non-football players as well as more challenging for those who frequent the eleven a side game.
I'm having a lovely time playing with different opponents as well as having different teammates in every game...
Some times we work well together & have chemistry...
Some times the team breaks down & we fail...

Here is what a typical futsal game in Kuching, Malaysia is like:
There are usually 3 teams. 5-6 players a side.
2 teams enter the court or pitch first and compete to stay in the court. The third team rests.
In the court, the team that manages to score 2 goals gets to stay while the opposition is kicked out & the resting team enters to compete with the winning team.
This repeats itself until the time runs out.
There are not winning teams in this type of game.
Every one's a winner...
We're just here to have a good time & pitch our individual skill against each other!

The game truly is perfect...
However, as humans, WE are far from perfect...
Last week, I joined some friends for a game of futsal.
Everyone was a complete stranger to me... even some of my teammates.
But we played well together as a team.
There were 3 teams & we played the typical game.
Most of the players were new to the game so they were quite hard on the tackling but it was acceptable & we did have some good moments.

However, towards the end of our booked time at the court, a fight broke out.
My team was resting so we watched as the 2 teams inside the court yell at each other, push each other & eventually, punch each other.
It was quite amusing as some of them were topless and they were unseasoned fighters swinging wildly inside a netted court which made them look like caged up savages.
Soon the two teams were forced apart by the resting team & some of their more reasonable teammates.
Later on, they left the court in a ceasefire.

I have played many varieties of football for many years with people of different personalities & different abilities...
This was the first time I saw a fight over a legal tackle which brought a player down.
A legal tackle is a tackle where the defender goes for the ball & not the player. It is understood that incidentally, the attacker might be brought down in the process.
Most teams will professionally shake it off if it was a legal tackle.
This team of amateur chinese players didnt...
What a shame...
Hope they reflect on this & in the future, choose to ellicit respect by how well they play the game rather than how intimidating they can be.

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