Two Leavenworth High School girls will represent the United States in international futsal matches.
Brooke Collins and Sadie Dipman will travel to Argentina for matches July 24 to Aug. 1.
Futsal has similarities to soccer, but it features a smaller playing area and ball. It is played on a flat, hard court like a tennis or handball court. Along with the smaller court and ball, it is two teams of five players instead of 11 like traditional soccer and the matches are two, 20-minute halves instead of 45-minute halves.
The rules lead to faster games and higher scores compared to soccer. The 2016 FIFA Men’s Futsal World Cup averaged 6.77 goals per match compared to 2.64 per match in the men’s World Cup last year in Russia and 2.81 in the recently completed Women’s World Cup.
Dipman said that the faster speeds mean players have to be on the ball at all times and consistently moving.
Collins said she prefers futsal more but doesn’t like when the two sports are compared as she considers them different.
“Even though futsal is like soccer in many ways, it still is just a whole different game when you look at the technical parts of it,” Collins said. “There are four people on the court – plus the goalkeeper. And the four people aren’t staying in one position. You could be the defender and then halfway through the game, move to the striker. In soccer, you usually just stay in your set positions the whole game.”
The two said they were excited when they qualified at their trial event to make the trip.
“For me, I was super happy,” Dipman said. “For the whole trials, I was super stressed out. So when I found out (I qualified), I started crying.”
Since Collins has been playing futsal for a while, she said she half expected to make the team.
“I was half expecting it,” Collins said. “But also knew it was a tryout so I wasn’t 100% confident I was going to make it. So when I did make it, I was relaxed and a lot more confident. I’m content and happy with it.”
This will not be the first time that Collins and Dipman will travel internationally for sports. Collins said Argentina will be her fifth trip. Dipman is making her second trip after going to Colombia last summer with Collins and three other girls from Leavenworth County.
Collins said exposing herself to more of the world as a young person has helped her grow with these trips. Dipman said playing the tryouts has helped her remain calm and just to play her game.
“It helps me just be closer to the girls,” Dipman said.
The two are looking forward to meeting new friends and strengthening their past connections in the new country. The two are also excited to see a part of the culture in South America that the two have not seen before.
“And I’m excited to play futsal,” Collins said. “The game I love the most. And we are representing the USA.”
Along with playing futsal, the two are also members of the Leavenworth Pioneers soccer team in the spring. For Dipman, futsal has helped her confidence with soccer.
“It really builds my confidence,” Dipman said. “It makes me better on the soccer field by playing futsal.”
Collins said the sport also helps with footwork for soccer.
“Playing futsal always helps with the outdoor game,” Collins said. “When you are in the corner, in a 1v1, doing foot skills, that is futsal on an outdoor field. So futsal always just helps in the outdoor game.”
For more information about futsal, including rules and a brief history, go to the United States Futsal Federation website at www.futsal.com