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Every summer, teams from all over the world travel to Disney’s ESPN Wide World Of Sports to compete at the World Futsal Championships. This year, the arrival of a young team from Texas made history.

Last May, Dallas ISD, the 14th-largest public school district in the United States, broke ground and held the nation’s first public school Futsal Tournament. This district-wide event paved way for futsal’s integration with education.

“Futsal is a very fast-paced, engaging sport that allows young kids the opportunity to develop critical thinking in a team environment,” said Rob Andrews, president of USA Futsal. “The added benefit to the schools is that this is a low-impact, low-cost sport that players can enjoy year-round.”

This year, Onesimo Hernandez Elementary School was one of two elementary schools invited to participate in the World Futsal Championships. To make it to Orlando, the team raised over $5,000 and secured a sponsorship from Southwest Airlines.

Their participation made history as they became the first public school district in the nation to compete in the tournament.

“Partnering with USA Futsal was a wonderful opportunity for the young athletes,” said Lance Johanson, manager and special projects coordinator of the Health & Physical Education Department of Dallas ISD. “Participation in the tournament opened doors for cultural exchange, sportsmanship, and opportunities for social growth.”

One of the district goals of Dallas ISD is for every student to participate in extracurricular activities. The introduction of futsal has brought them closer to achieving this goal.

The official small sided game of FIFA, futsal is a 5 on 5 fast-paced version of soccer that can be played on any hard surface like a basketball court, tennis court or even an unused parking lot.

Players on average receive 600% more touches on the ball and score four times more goals than traditional soccer, making it the perfect development tool for organizations looking to increase players’ participation in the practices and games.

Many of the greatest soccer players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Ronaldinho and even Pelé have attributed playing futsal as children to their success as soccer players.

About USA Futsal

Formed in 2010, the mission of  USA Futsal is to support the growth of futsal in the United States and beyond through the organization of events and competitions as well as by promoting opportunities for players, coaches, referees and fans. Visit usafutsal.com to learn more about how you can get involved in the fastest growing indoor sport in the world.