The sport of futsal (a FIFA sanctioned form of football) has been suggested to aid the development of a variety of skills and proficiencies of 11-a-side football, though to date there is very little scientific evidence to support this. It has been identified in the literature that the concept of transfer in general is under-represented and still not fully understood. The aim of the present study was to scrutinise these claims and investigate whether there is evidence of transfer between football and futsal. 36 university students (mean age 20.69 ± 1.12 years) took part in the study. Participants underwent a pre- and post-intervention ball control test prior to being randomly assigned to a futsal training group, a football training group or a control group. The interventions involved 6 weeks of 1-hour sessions in futsal or football training sessions, with sessions taken directly from FA learning resources. Trained participants exhibited significantly superior performance on the post-test to the control group, with the futsal group showing the most transfer effects (p<0.01). Findings provide empirical support for the evidence of transfer between futsal and football, thus supporting claims that futsal skills can be positively transferred to football. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
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