Winter Futsal Classic offers students a night of indoor excitement

While the winter season may not provide a suitable climate for playing outdoor soccer, it didn’t prevent the UBC community from realizing their passion for it. Participants and staff had a night filled with enthusiasm, action and excitement at the 2015 Winter Futsal Classic.

The tournament took place in the Student Recreation Centre (SRC) on Friday from 6 to 11 p.m. A total of 18 co-ed teams belonging to two separate divisions -- the Campus Wide Division (CWD) and Divisional (DIV) -- competed throughout the night.

The tournament began with a round-robin where teams competed with two other opponents in their respective divisions, followed by an elimination round where the top four teams for each division competed for the title of division championship.

“It’s good to have fun and just to get some exercise,” said Robert Duckworth, a player for the team All Day I Dream About Futsal. “It’s just a way for us to engage in the community through sport.”

In addition to the participants, game officials also showed a keen interest in the tournament this year. While refereeing for Winter Futsal Classic games was a volunteer position in past years, this year is the first time in which referees received payment for their positions.

“I volunteered three times before, but this time I figured that we [actually] get paid for it and there were not many people doing it, so I guess I’d step in,” said Nod Klaimanee, one of the game’s officials.

Even the SRC staff members responsible for organizing the Classic were thoroughly impressed with the amount of participation they received for the event.

“This year we were really expecting ten teams, but we ended up with eighteen teams, which was great, especially for this small event,” said Caoimhe O'Donovan, one of the event’s assistant directors.

After an adrenaline-pumping night of competition, the two champions of this year’s Winter Futsal Classic were Dent United of Divisional and Hardly Athletic of the Campus Wide Division.

“I know we have a phenomenal team, we’ve all played futsal and we have great chemistry, but just to win this means the world to us because we persevered. Every path, we ran with full heart and so it was well worth the win,” said Sarah Najafabadi, a player for Hardly Athletic. Najafabadi’s team scored a goal in the final seconds of the championship game to force a tie. Her team scored again during overtime to take the victory against their opponent, the Rebels.

In addition to team championships, the staff in charge of the event also provided prizes for the top goal scorers from each division. This year, the recipients of these awards were Omar Wilsam of Dent United and The Ubyssey’s own Ciaran Dougherty of All Day I Dream About Futsal. Wilsam scored a grand total of 12 goals and Dougherty scored 11. Both players will be receiving a lanyard with two tickets to a varsity men’s basketball game.