The PFL’s LaunchPad Contest is Giving Amateurs a Shot at the Big Leagues

The Premier Futsal League (PFL) is currently running its LaunchPad contest, a scouting campaign in India where local amateurs can try out for a spot on the league and a chance to play with some of the world’s greatest.

In collaboration with the Indian government, the talent identification initiative is meant to discover and develop local talent, giving non-professionals the opportunity to showcase their skills and be selected for their city’s team.

At the program’s launch, PFL co-founder and legendary Portuguese footballer Luis Figo said, “We were able to unearth some very promising, young players who rose to the occasion when needed and contributed to the quality of futsal played on court, a first-of-its-kind in the world. With season two, we seek to be bigger and reach out to a wider audience potentially changing lives via LaunchPad, which is going to act as a great awareness campaign for the sport and promote community building through youth engagement.”

To register, applicants must pay a fee and be able to make it to one of five cities where the trials are taking place—Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Cochin. After the initial try out, shortlisted players are advanced to a five-day evaluation where they are trained vigorously and judged on their physical ability, mental aptitude, and skills. Nearly 2,000 players are anticipated at each city, where eventually only one player will be chosen to be their city’s representative.

Although a spot on the official PFL roster is not guaranteed, the program does provide mentorship and training opportunities, wherein chosen players are coached and mentored by elite professionals.

The PFL was launched in 2016 as a 3-week tournament in India, featuring six teams of high-level futsalers and retired professionals from across the globe. Icons of the sport such as Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Falcão, and Ryan Giggs played in Goa and Tamil Nadul to a rapt Indian audience and growing international base. The league is now amongst the biggest private sporting events in the world, and is set to launch its second international edition in 2018.

Find out more about the PFL and LaunchPad here