The Hastings Futbol Club (HFC) hosted a charity futsal tournament this past Saturday, Feb. 2, that saw more than 60 kids participate and raised over 300 pounds of food for Hastings Family Service. The club also put on an equipment exchange where players could bring old or used equipment that the organization could then provide to players in need and had HFC players try on new jerseys for the upcoming season.
Futsal is an indoor variation of soccer played on a much smaller pitch and with a smaller, weighted ball so it does not fly all over the place. It is usually played with four players and a goalie on each team, though HFC's tournament featured three players and a goalie per team.
Howard Rushton, HFC's boys director of coaching and development, was the main organizer of the event. He said that it was the first time HFC has put on a coordinated futsal event like the one that took place Saturday and definitely plans on continuing to do so in the future.
Teams pre-registered for the event and the entry free for the players was a food item. Sixty-eight players from 9- to 16-years-old participated as part of 17 teams. The teams were split into three divisions-9- and 10-year-olds, ages 11-3 and then 14-16. Each team played every team in the their division once and a champion was named for each. Then the three division champions played one another to determine an overall champion. There was also a skills challenge area where kids could compete in various skills. The division and overall champions each received a small trophy and medals were given to the skills champions.
Rushton said that the main challenge in planning the event was getting the HHS gym space. It is a high-demand area and he said they did not receive confirmation that they got the space until a month ago, and from there it was full-go finishing the planning and getting the word out. Older HFC players were referees for the games and adult volunteers helped run the tournament and get the kids where they needed go.