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For the development of the sport, USYF should stop with the full court throw by the keepers. Especially on smaller courts it turns the game into a farce. At this weekend’s Northern California Regional it was a constant aerial battle as keepers heaved the ball into the opposing team’s penalty area. For a sport that is supposed to played with the feet, the hands took center stage. I have no qualms with James Kavanagh, the tournament director. He’s a first rate guy and was simply going with USYF’s rule book.

If USYF is serious about development, then the full court throw must be abolished at the youth level. It simply becomes the equivalent of the dreaded soccer punt that eliminates any development that comes from working the ball from the back. The punt creates a 50/50 jungle battle every time where the most athletic team often wins instead of the most technical and tactical. This “winning” style of soccer can be sustained at the youngest of age groups, but eventually the clubs that focus on building from the back dominate at the higher levels of the sport. USYF should rid itself of futsal’s version of the punt.

It is likely a safety issue as well as defenders often defend the full court Hail Mary with headers. It’s never a good idea for 10-year-olds to head a weighted ball. So for player development and safety, USYF should follow USFF’s lead and not allow the keepers to throw the ball past half court. It’s time to leave the 30 yard throws to the NFL and bring back the “foot” in futsal.