Over the course of two days, students aged 8 to 18 will be lacing up their futsal shoes in the Skyline High School gym for the 2nd Annual Dallas ISD Futsal Tournament powered by USA Futsal. This tournament brings together non-interscholastic futsal players, both boys and girls, representing 12 schools in each of the Elementary, Middle and High School age divisions, in competition on May 19-20th, 2017.

Futsal is FIFA’s official version of small-sided soccer. Many of the world’s greatest athletes, including Pelé, Ronaldinho, Messi, and even Kobe Bryant got their start playing the small-sided game.

Dallas ISD is proud to have partnered with both USA Futsal, organizers of the World Futsal Championships, and with City Futsal, the local leader in the sport. The tournament offers Dallas ISD students from all backgrounds an opportunity to interact with each other and promote health and fitness while learning and playing a sport practiced by over 30 million players worldwide.

“The event is the first of its kind in the US. It was first rolled out last spring with Dallas ISD as a way to promote the adoption of futsal into schools and was so successful that it sparked other school districts and cities to consider implementing the program as well,” said Rob Andrews, President of USA Futsal. “I couldn’t be more appreciative of Dallas ISD for making the investment of time, money and resources into futsal, nor more proud of what we accomplished together in year one.”  

New to this year’s Dallas ISD tournament is the Interactive Futsal Village, which will have spaces designed for cultural education, in addition to activities to keep the athletes engaged in learning about the sport when they aren’t playing on the court. Some attractions of the Interactive Futsal Village will include an “Around the Futsal World” exhibit, mini-games and team challenges, and guest appearances from futsal players and other local celebrities.

The event business manager of City Futsal, Federico Mariel said, “City Futsal, a Dallas based organization that specializes in futsal, is excited to be a part of an event like this where we can provide our expertise on how the sport can be effectively incorporated into a physical education curriculum where all students are able to participate and benefit, and at the same time offer a path for those who want to continue playing the sport, through our year-round futsal training and competition programs in the Dallas area.”

For the first time ever, the winners of this year’s tournament will receive a special prize – the opportunity to compete at the 2017 World Futsal Championship, which features futsal teams from countries throughout the world. The winning Dallas ISD teams in the Elementary and Middle school divisions will be granted entry into the tournament, which takes place July 31-August 3, 2017 at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Lance Johanson, in his second year representing Dallas ISD at the event, is pleased with the growth of the tournament and with this year’s special prize. “In offering these kids, many of whom have never been outside of the metroplex before, the opportunity to use futsal as a means to experience the ‘most magical place on earth,’ we hope to show them that by committing themselves to something meaningful, there is no limit to what they can achieve as students, as athletes, and as human beings.”