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Unique sport makes its debut at Ontario Winter Games (6 photos)

Soccer-inspired sport is being contested at Orillia Secondary School; It's one of 27 sports in this year's Games in Orillia

New the Ontario Winter Games, futsal action kicked off Friday at Orillia Secondary School.

Similar, in ways, to indoor soccer, futsal sees two teams of five players face off on a hard court using a smaller, harder ball for two 20-minute periods.

During a fast-paced match Friday afternoon, North Toronto took on Unionville and established itself early as a dominating force, scoring five goals in the first period. North Toronto potted another four in the second to take the win 9-0.

“We linked up well, we listened to our coach and we got the 9-nil,” said North Toronto player Thomas Maccarone.

The 16-year-old is among more than 3,000 athletes between the ages of 12 and 18 who are in the area for the Orillia-hosted games, which run until Monday.

Maccarone’s team plays recreational outdoor futsal, but he and his teammates saw these games as an opportunity to stay sharp during the winter.

“It’s nice to get away with the team and have some good bonding,” he said.

Maccarone took in the opening ceremonies Thursday night and said it was a “fun experience,” allowing him to meet other athletes from around the province.

He hopes to take in some of what Orillia has to offer, but his main focus is on the team, which has a 2-1 record so far at the games.

“Obviously, the win is what we’re here for, but at the end of the day, it’s about chemistry for our team,” he said.

All of the games are free for the public to attend. Find out more at the Orillia 2020 Ontario Winter Games website.

About futsal

Futsal is the official FIFA and UEFA version of indoor five-a-side soccer and indeed the only internationally recognized small-sided game. There are proven benefits to playing futsal for the technical skill development of young players, with particular emphasis on the skills of passing, dribbling and close control. It is widely viewed as the ideal skill building environment for producing technically excellent football players.

Each year Ontario Soccer hosts the Ontario Futsal Cup.

Source: Ontario Soccer


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Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the desk editor for Village Media's central Ontario news desk in Simcoe County and Newmarket.
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