The 2013 BC Soccer Futsal Cup wrapped up in Richmond with the provincial soccer body allowing for many teams new to futsal to enter free of cost at the Olympic Oval.
Richmond, BC: Laughter, learning and thrilling finishes highlighted the 2013 Provincial Futsal Championships at the Richmond Olympic Oval and hosted by the Richmond Soccer Association.
Over 450 players and thirty two boys and girls teams ranging from U14 to U16 participated in this past weekend’s annual Provincial Futsal Championships. The venue was once again the spectacular Richmond Olympic Oval. As packed stands of family, friends and futsal fanatics looked on, teams were busy learning the game, having fun and competing for the title of Provincial Futsal Champions.
Futsal’s essential elements consist of five players a side on basketball-sized courts, indoor and outdoor surfaces without the use of sidewalls, and a no-bounce ball. The sport is a great skill developer, demanding quick reflexes, fast thinking, and pinpoint passing. Director of Soccer Development for BC Soccer Michael Findlay said “BC Soccer supports the game of futsal as it has long been an established activity for development of a player’s independent technique. It is the hope the game grows to become an additional development tool for the grassroots’ player and an alternative to the typical indoor game”
The tournament was divided into two tiers, division 1 featuring BCSPL and Metro level teams and division 2, with Metro, Gold and Silver level teams. Action was fast and furious as four games began simultaneously at 9:00am Saturday and ran all day on courts side by side. The round robin was complete by Sunday lunch time and the afternoon was filled with the medal rounds as teams fought for Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Starting with division 1 action, in U14 girls Surrey United dominated their group finishing the event undefeated after a 5-2 win in the gold medal game over Royal City Barcelona, a metro level team that showed very well on their way to silver. Bronze was won by Fusion FC in a close 3-2 battle with Coastal FC. In U16 girls Surrey United again proved to be the class of the division as they cruised to a 6-1 gold medal win over Fusion FC who took silver. Coastal FC finished the tournament strong with a 6-1 win over Coquitlam Metro-Ford Benfica to take bronze.
In boys division 1 action, Fusion FC took home both gold medals as well, although in less convincing fashion than the Surrey Utd girls. The U14 boys pulled off an exciting 2-1 win over the North Van FC Selects and took gold after scoring in the final minutes of the game. NVFC Selects were forced to settle for silver, and Coastal FC took the bronze. The U16 Fusion FC boys were equally up to the challenge and were able to thrill their fans with a gold medal win, 3-2 in PK’s over the Burnaby Selects who won silver. Continuing to show their clubs Futsal prowess, the underage U15 Fusion FC boys won bronze with a high scoring 8-6 win over Coastal FC.
In division 2, playing in their home city Richmond girls showed its strength. In U14, the Richmond All-Star Selects won the gold medal 4-0 over the Richmond Force. While in the U16 division the Richmond Synergy went undefeated in round robin play before losing a heartbreaking 5-4 final game in PK’s, but still managed to take home silver medals. Repeat winners from one year ago, the CCB Elite took home U16 girls gold.
The bronze in U14 girls went to the team coming from the furthest away, the Squamish Storm; while in girls U16 the bronze went to the Langley Wolves after a thrilling 3-2 win over the Surrey FC Pegasus.
In division 2, Vancouver clubs grabbed the top two spots as Vancouver United defeated the Marpole Cheetahs 4-2 in the gold medal game. Bronze was won convincingly 5-0 by the North Van Fury over the Marlins Columbia team from Richmond. In the U16 boys category, after a tie in the round robin match up the North Van Fury took it to another level and defeated North Delta Utd 6-1 in the gold medal game, while the Surrey United Legends took bronze 3-2 over the Vancouver Athletic Clan.
Fans were delighted as Whitecaps FC Club Ambassador Carl Valentine was on hand to present the medals to all of the winners. In an effort to grow the game of Futsal, G & F Financial Group generously donated adidas Futsal balls from Soccer Express to give away to the 1st place teams in each division. Judy Lau, branch manager and dedicated soccer fan was there as a spectator and to present the balls.
Don Dancey, Youth Competitions Committee chair said “The combination of the incredible venue and the game of Futsal which is focused on skill and ball control has always been a really fun event for everyone involved. The Competitions Committee would also like to thank Stew MacPherson and the local organizing committee for their hard work and effort; without them it would be very hard to pull this type of event off.”
Local Organizing Committee chair Stew MacPherson commented “Richmond Soccer Association was very pleased to work with BC Soccer on the 2013 Futsal Provincials in the Richmond Oval. It was a very well organized event in a great facility and the large crowds both days proved how popular it was.”
The tournament kicked off on Saturday morning with a coaches session led by Pat Harkness, head official for the tournament. The session was for education on the general rules of Futsal, and to answer several questions regarding the many differences between Futsal and the outdoor game.
Pat Harkness said “As part of the Referee Development Program 16 Futsal Referees, including 3 female officials, were appointed to the 64 matches in this year’s tournament. 56 matches had one referee; while the Gold/Silver finals had 2. The referees worked with staff and volunteers to ensure the success of the event.”