BARNSTEAD’S Cory Halvorsen was recently named Vice President of Indoor and Futsal Competition for the New Hampshire Soccer Association. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
November 18, 2012BARNSTEAD — Cory Halvorsen is hoping to be on the cutting edge of soccer.
And there's no other place he'd like to be.
Four years ago, upon moving to Barnstead, Halvorsen started Revolution United and fielded an indoor soccer team at Fieldhouse Sports in Bow. The next year there were three teams. Now, there are 12.
"One kid played and he'd go tell his friends," Halvorsen said. "It really fits those kids that might not have the opportunities in outdoor soccer."
And while the advent of indoor soccer isn't a new thing, the continued introduction of futsal to American soccer players is a new thing and through his role with the New Hampshire Soccer Association, Halvorsen is on the forefront of this introduction.
Halvorsen was recently named the Vice President of Indoor and Futsal Competition for the NHSA and will be helping to oversee the more than 23,000 recreational, competitive, premier, indoor and adult members across the state as well as the many coaches, referees and volunteers.
The NHSA is in charge of overseeing all soccer programs in the state and Halvorsen, who also served as the assistant coach for the Prospect Mountain boys' soccer team this fall, will get a front row seat as futsal begins to expand.
"Futsal is exploding here in New Hampshire," Halvorsen said, before going into an explanation of just what this unique activity is.
Futsal is another form of indoor soccer, but unlike traditional American indoor soccer, which is played on turf fields with walls (much like a hockey rink), futsal is played on hard surfaces, such as gymnasium floors, uses a low-bounce ball and features no boards.
"It's a mix of indoor and regular soccer," Halvorsen said.
The good thing about the sport and one of the reasons Halvorsen is excited about its move into New Hampshire is the simple fact that it can be played pretty much anywhere.
"You don't need to have big fields with grass and boards," he said. "You can do it at Alton Central or Barnstead Elementary. It can be played anywhere."
The game is played with five players to a side and the key to the game is footwork. Halvorsen said that players who spend time playing futsal develop great footwork that transfers well to the outdoor game.
While futsal is something relatively new to the United States, it is not new to players who have played soccer abroad. In fact, Prospect Mountain exchange student Marc Fernandez found the indoor game he has been playing through the Revolution United to be much different than the game he was used to back home.
In fact, Halvorsen points out that the indoor game that is played abroad is much like futsal.
"Indoor soccer here is much different," Halvorsen said.
Futsal has begun to get a grip in New Hampshire, with a team in Concord making the nationals and Halvorsen said he is starting up a league for players 30 and older in January.
"We're just trying to do something a little bit different," Halvorsen said. "It's definitely taking off for sure."
As for the Revolution United, Halvorsen said that part of his goal when he started the club was to bring the kids of Alton and Barnstead together at a young age, which in turn could help the high school programs down the road.
"The whole goal was to bring Barnstead and Alton together sooner," he said. "Bringing those two teams together, that's going to better the high school teams."
Halvorsen, who played soccer at Pembroke Academy and Florida State and went on to play for the US Academy time.
After coaching at Pembroke for a bit, Halvorsen decided to make the leap and start up his own club.
"I wanted to see something a little different," he said.
Halvorsen is convinced that futsal and indoor will continue to grow and he expects many soccer players to get out and enjoy it.
"We find that those who didn't play a lot outdoors, really like indoor," he said. "There's more time on the field and it's lots of running.
"We've seen a huge increase in those just playing indoor," Halvorsen continued. "And I think it's going to continue to explode."
He noted that his position in the NHSA can only help local soccer players, as it continues to let people know that soccer in the Granite State isn't just limited to Concord and Manchester and points south.
And Halvorsen was excited to share some good news with Prospect Mountain senior Jake Troy, who will be heading to Haiti on a mission trip in December and will be focusing on a soccer academy on the island while he's there.
The NHSA is donating almost $5,000 worth of equipment and apparel to Troy's mission.
More information on the New Hampshire Soccer Association can be found at www.soccernh.com.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126