Free Courts for One of the Fastest-Growing Sports Opening Up On Grand Rapids’ West Side
Las Canchas (Spanish for The Courts) are set to open at on Grand Rapids West Side this October.
What sport can you play on the new courts? Futsal!
What is Futsal?
According to United States Youth Futsal, the sport dates back to 1930, when Juan Carlos Ceriani, a teacher in Uruguay, created a version of indoor football for recreation in YMCAs.
He took the principles of football (the possibility to touch the ball with every part of the body except for the hands), and rules from other sports too.
- From basketball - number of team players (five) game duration (40 minutes)
- From water polo - rules about the goalkeeper
- From handball - field and goal sizes.
(Side note: I have to keep reminding myself that what we call soccer here in North America is called "football" elsewhere.)
The YMCA helped to spread futsal through South America.
In recent years, futsal has been growing in popularity across the world and in the U.S.
Find out more about the basics of futsal here.
Las Canchas Opening in Grand Rapids Oct.8, 2022
The new futsal courts, Las Canchas, are officially opening at 250 Seward Avenue NW (Parking lot Area 9) Oct. 8, 2022.
Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. estimates there are already 65 teams actively organized with about 1,100 players in the Grand Rapids area.
The biggest hurdle to the sport’s popularity here is access. Three new courts will be open every day and free to use, which will remove cost as a barrier to play and expose more local folks to the game.
They shared an update on the progress on Las Canchas in mid-September.
According to Wood TV 8, in July DGRI approved up to $337,000 in budget funds to transform the parking lot into three outdoor futsal courts. There is a 12-foot fence around the play area and 5-foot fences around each court to separate the games.
The courts are open to the public and free to use.
Where to Play Futsal in Grand Rapids
Did you know there are more places to place futsal in Grand Rapids?
There are futsal courts at multiple parks across the City:
- Garfield Park (2111 Madison Ave SE)
- Lincoln Park (1120 Bridge St NW)
- Plaster Creek Family Park (2401 Buchanan Ave SW)
- Campau Park (50 Antoine St SW)