High School Futsal Transitions to Soccer for KISAC Premiere

Boys and Girls Fly to Jeju and Gain New Skills for the Upcoming SKAC Finals

Juan Cortez and Elizabeth Ryu

The high school futsal teams traveled to Jeju for the KISAC (Korea International Schools Activities Conference) soccer tournament during the second week of April. DIS plans to officially join KISAC in the near future, as the new sports conference provides more experience for players. Both squads upped their games and transitioned from futsal to soccer.

Futsal differs from soccer in a few major ways. Soccer covers a larger field (meaning bigger goals and balls) with 11 players per team, while futsal is played in a smaller area with 5 members on each side. For the boys, they had to transition from 5 on 5 futsal to 11 on 11 soccer, and the girls grew from 5 on 5 to 7 on 7. 

Mr. Purdy said, “It is more competitive, getting to play 11 versus 11 on a full size soccer field. It challenges students much more in terms of cardiovascular endurance, aerobic endurance, physical endurance, as well as putting many more skills to the test such as communication and leadership. All these skills are highlighted and much more valuable whenever there are more players on the field. Some players that dominate in futsal find it challenging on a real soccer field and they learn what they have to improve overall.” 

Over the two-day tournament, high schoolers juggled more than soccer balls as they hit emotional highs and lows and suffered through horrible air pollution. But they showcased their skill set to their opponents in Jeju and came back with a collection of lessons learned. 

The boys didn’t play any games during the first day due to bad air quality. The particulate matter numbers peaked in the 500s and outdoor games were canceled. Colin said, “Since we knew we wouldn’t play any games the first day, we played futsal with other teams and played basketball, which led to losing our energy. Then, when we played the next day, and we were all very tired, which had a huge effect on our team.” 

Even with sky high pollution numbers, the girls lucked out and played their games on indoor courts. But they never played soccer in a gym before. Apple said, “It was really awkward at first because the goal size was really small, so it was harder to get goals in. We were not allowed to chip the ball over their shoulders, but because we were using a bouncy soccer ball, it was hard to keep the ball on the floor. We were called multiple times because it was going over their heads.” 

Despite the struggles, the girls brought a win home, as sophomore player Grace sealed the deal with the final goal of an intense match. Grace said, “I didn’t expect it at all, but right after I scored, my body was full of delight. Although I scored the goal, it wouldn’t be possible without the team, especially Lisa, because she passed the ball right in front of me. At first, she tried to pass the ball to Sunny, but she tripped over the opposing team and the ball went straight to me. The location was perfect for me to score the goal.”

Players floundered in their attempts to grasp the game of soccer, but compensated with new formations and better sportsmanship. Colin said, “It was very different because futsal is on a small field with a small number of players, but in soccer we need more vision and more strategic movement as a big team.” The boys improved and learned important skills that will benefit them in a variety of other sports beyond soccer. 

With new doors of opportunity that KISAC opens, the Jets are amped for the SKAC championship. Mr. Purdy said, “I’m really excited for our SKAC finals. Futsal is super fun, very high scoring. Anyone could shoot and anyone could defend. I’m expecting a lot of drama and a lot of fun. Our training sessions have been focused on game practice. Students are developing a lot more and they’re enjoying themselves, which is my number one priority.” The squads hope for a trophy down in Pohang on May 13th.