Mr Juan José Bernal, President of Basque Futnet Association, presents futnet in the Basque Country
Thanks to my position as the president of the Basque Futsal Federation, the representative of the Catalan Futnet Association contacted me, introducing this sport which is completely unknown in our country (autonomic region). Our association – La asociación vasca de futtenis (Spanish name) or Futbol Teniseko Euskal Elkartea (Basque name) –, shortly AVAFUT, was set up in April 2010 with the Executive Committee composed of seven members.
Players and Competitions
Currently we have about 50 registered players in 6 teams.
We organised first futnet tournament in the Basque Country on 2 January 2011. It was a Christmas all-play-all tournament organised by our association AVAFUT with the participation of four teams – three men’s and one women’s team. They played singles, doubles and triples and used were allowed two bounces.
We have started a regular league with seven teams. The league started on 20 February and finished on 15 May, with 10 rounds in total. There were six teams: a junior’s, a women’s and a mixed team and three men’s teams. In accordance with the decision by the international futnet association UNIF, women, juniors and in this case also the mixed team used different rules than men: they were allowed two bounces in doubles and triples and one bounce in singles while men were only permitted one bounce in all disciplines.
Sometimes it was a bit complicated to officiate a match between, for example, a juniors team and a men’s team, since juniors played with two bounces and men only with one, but this way we stuck to the international rules and the competition was more balanced.
Coaches and Referees
We have courses for futsal referees every Wednesday and the last half an hour is always dedicated to futnet rules and the preparation for officiating futnet matches.
We have organised a three-day technical seminar on practice and training of futnet.
We are planning courses for players and coaches on futnet rules and technical and tactical aspects of the game.
Promotion of Futnet
Regarding our efforts to attract people to play futnet, we are following various strategies:
- Promoting futnet among the futsal players of our federation (about 1 350 persons) as well as among the football clubs of the Basque Country.
- We are in touch with the most important basketball (Caja Laboral Baskonia) and football (Deportivo Alaves) clubs to get their support and be able to reach out more effectively to the players.
- We have also managed to reach an agreement with the education authorities thanks to which as of this school year futnet is offered as a recreational sports activity in 212 schools in the province of Alava.
Subsidies and/or Sponsorship
At the moment, as futnet is not recognised as federated sport in the Basque Country, we are not eligible for state subsidies. Maybe if we have a regular league, we could get some money for the matches played.
We have the support of the basketball team Caja Laboral Baskonia which lets us use its sports hall for our league matches free of charge, but we do not have any financial sponsorship.
Our juniors and women participated at the European Championship for women and juniors that was held in our capital Vitoria on 4 and 5 June 2011. It was their international premiere in which they showed the progress that had been achieved in the Basque futnet since its inception.
It was a great honour as well as enormous responsibility for us to organise the European Championship for women and juniors in Vitoria. We did our best to make this championship an unforgettable experience for all the participants, making them feel welcome with the well-known Basque hospitality. Click here to see the official webpage of the championship and here to read a summary of the event.
Juan-José Bernal, AVAFUT President: firstname.lastname@example.org
Webpage of the association: www.futnet.es