Futsal is the only indoor game sanctioned by FIFA. If skills development is important, Futsal is recognized as clearly the best form of indoor soccer.
Why play Futsal??
- Better Skills Development - Futsal promotes quality touches
- Safer - Futsal eliminates the injuries associated with wall collisions and turf toe
- Less Expensive - Futsal makes quality soccer more affordable
- More fun – High scoring, constant excitement
So, there are many reasons to consider futsal. If you want a better indoor game which is safer and less expensive then read on.
FIFA says futsal is better! And the Brazilians are among the many nations that swear by it. Think Ronaldinho! Think Marta! Two of the greatest players in recent years attribute their development and success to their formative years spent playing futsal!
Former greats like Pele, Ronaldo and Bebeto all credit futsal for much of their skill and technique development. All the major heads of US Soccer and FIFA declared that this is the way to go. Once you experience futsal, you will see the reasons:
- more touches on the ball
- better foot skills
- more movement without the ball
- quick decisions
- technical speed of play
- high-scoring games
- constant excitement
Reducing the number of players to 5 per team allows for all of the components that are present in the 11 v. 11 game: the ball, teammates and opponents, realistic pressure, appropriate space, guidelines (rules), direction of play (attacking and defending), and the combination of length and width in the game (team shape), and shooting on goal. But players are so much more involved ... witness the following.
Futsal is FIFA's official indoor soccer game which is, essentially, a scaled down version of outdoor soccer played indoors. It is a small sided game (5v5) played on a smaller field (roughly basketball court sized) with a smaller (size 3-4) ball. Futsal is played with touchline boundaries.
There are no walls in play. This is the game that outdoor soccer players around the globe play when they are indoors to refine and maintain their control skills and touch. It is superior to walled soccer in terms of developing better skills and technique. In traditional American walled soccer, players regularly whack the ball (and sometimes their bodies) against the boards which promotes improper technique and too often rewards errant play. In futsal, players are constantly reminded to play the same quality control game that is required for success in the outdoor game.
Futsal is the only "Official form of Indoor Soccer" as approved by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). It is played on all the continents of the world by more than 100 countries with 12 million registered players and growing. Futsal is normally played on sport court or a gymnasium floor.
Rules of the Game
(These Rules are from the Mass Futsal Association)
Each regular season match consists of two equal halves of 24 minutes.
A two-minute half-time period will occur between halves.
Teams may call one one-minute timeout per half (when in possession of ball, ball out of play).
There is no overtime, injury time or stoppage time.
Teams are comprised of four outfield players and one goalkeeper.
A team must have three players to begin a match. No team may have fewer than three players on the pitch at any time.
The goalkeeper must wear a different color jersey than the outfield players.
All players must wear the following: shirt, shorts, shinguards, socks, non-marking sneakers -- no exceptions.
Each team must wear a distinctively colored shirt with a number on the shirt.
No casts or splints are allowed.
Players may not wear eyeglasses. Sport-specific eyewear worn with a strap are okay.
Jewelry, watches, earrings, metal barettes and other dangerous items are not permitted.
There is no sliding in futsal (see goalkeeping exception below).
There is no offsides in futsal.
Although some contact is unavoidable, futsal is largely a non-contact sport. In addition such legal contact shall not be careless, reckless or excessive.
All substitutions are on the fly, this includes goalkeeping substitutions. Referees will not stop play for goalkeeping substitutions. Coaches are requested to change goalkeepers during halftime, during timeouts and after the opposing team scores.
A substitute may not enter the match until the player leaving the match is at the touchline in the substitution zone. Coaches are asked to have players slap hands at the touchline to ensure that no more than five players are on the court at once.
Any substitute who enters the field of play before the player being replaced has completely left the field of play will be shown a yellow card.
All substitutions must take place in front of the team bench -- not at the half-way line.
Kickoffs: are indirect. The ball must be played forward first. Tapped balls are not in play – the ball must move forward.
Kickins: are indirect. The ball must be placed on or no more than 10 inches behind the line and the kick must be taken within 4 seconds. The kicker's plant foot must be out of bounds or on the line. (A kickin that goes directly in the opposing goal is a goal clearance for the opposing team. A kickin that goes directly in the defensive goal is a corner kick of the opposing team.)
Goal Clearances: are taken when the ball wholly crosses the goal line after being touched last by the attacking team. The goalkeeper must use his hands to roll, bounce or throw the ball from anywhere inside the penalty area to outside the penalty area. U14 Central and younger: The ball may not cross the half-way line without first being touched by the ground or another player. U14 North and older: Goalkeepers may throw the ball directly across the half-way line. In these leagues, goal clearances are indirect. A ball thrown directly into the opposing goal results in a goal clearance for the opposing team. U10 and younger: All opposing players must be in their own half when the ball is released by the goalkeeper.
Corner Kicks: are direct. The ball must be placed directly on the corner spot and the kick must be taken within 4 seconds.
Free Kicks: may be indirect or direct. The ball must be stopped completely before the kick may be taken.
Penalty Kicks: are taken from the penalty spot and must be shot at goal by a clearly identified kicker. Defenders may not be nearer to the ball than 16 feet and must be behind an imaginary line running from touchline to touchline even with the penalty spot.
Distance: For all of the above, except goal clearances, opponents may not be closer to the ball than 16 feet.
Ceiling: If the ball hits the ceiling or other object, the team that did not touch the ball last restarts play with a kickin from the nearest point on the touchline.
Fouls and Misconduct
Indirect Free Kicks: When a player plays in a dangerous manner, impedes an opponent (without playing the ball), slides, prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball with her hands or commits any offence for which play is stopped to caution or eject a player.
Direct Free Kicks: When a player kicks or attempts to kick an opponent, slidetackles an opponent or slides with an opponent near (automatic yellow card/caution), jumps at an opponent, charges at an opponent, strikes or attempts to strike an opponent, pushes an opponent, holds an opponent, spits at an opponent or handles the ball deliberately.
Yellow Card / Caution: The offending player is shown a yellow card. Coaches are encouraged to remove the offending player from the match at this time. If a player earns two yellow cards in a match, he is shown a red card. If a player earns three single yellow cards during any league session (including friendlies), he is suspended for one game.
Red Card / Ejection: The offending player must leave match and facility. The offending team plays down for two minutes unless scored upon before the two-minute penalty expires. The offending player serves a minimum one-match suspension. Any player that earns two red cards during a league session will be suspended for the remainder of the session, including playoffs.
Accumulated Fouls / AFPK: All penal fouls are recorded on the scoresheet and on the scoreboard. If red fouls blue a sixth time in one half, for that sixth penal foul and all subsequent penal fouls in that half, blue is awarded an accumulated fouls penalty kick. If the foul occurs farther from the attacking goal than the second penalty spot, the AFPK is taken from the second penalty spot. If the foul occurs nearer to the attacking goal than the second penalty spot (but outside the penalty area, of course), the attacking team may choose whether to take the AFPK from the second penalty spot or from the spot of the foul. All AFPK's must be shot at goal by a clearly identified kicker. The defending team may not make a wall and may not be nearer to the ball than 16 feet and must be behind an imaginary line running from touchline to touchline even with the spot of the kick. The goalkeeper may be off her line, but may not be nearer than 16 feet from the ball. Accumulated fouls are reset to zero at the beginning of the second half.
Second Penalty Spot: 30 feet from the center of the goal
Penalty Spot: 20 feet from the center of the goal
Advantage: Advantage will be applied in futsal, with penal fouls still counting as accumulated fouls. If the referee shouts, "play on" and gestures with both arms, the foul was a penal foul and will be counted accordingly. If the gesture is with one arm, the free kick would have been indirect and thus does not count toward the total.
Must wear a different color shirt. He/She may wear long pants and/or other padding as deemed safe by the match referee.
May slide in his own penalty area but only when playing the ball.
May receive a kickin directly.
May kick the ball directly over the half-way line.
May score directly with his feet during the run of play.
May not punt or drop-kick the ball. (Ball must settle to the ground or be touched first, no "air" under the ball when kicked.)
May not possess the ball for more than four seconds in her own half.
At U14 North and older, goalkeepers may throw the ball directly across the half-way line. In these leagues, goal clearances and other distributions are indirect. A ball thrown directly into the opposing goal results in a goal clearance for the opposing team.
At U14 North and older, goalkeepers may only touch/receive the ball once per team possession unless the ball crosses the half-way line or is touched by a player from the opposing team, after which time the goalkeeper may touch/receive the ball again.
Additional Information for Coaches
(see procedures and policies page for more information)
Only futsal balls may be used inside the facilities.
Balls may only be used inside the gymnasium. Players may stretch and loosen in the hallway but may not use balls.
Soccer balls, w'heelies and soccer cleats are not permitted inside facilities.
All players must change their footwear in the facility lobby before entering the gymnasium. Coaches with wet or dirty feet must change their footwear as well.
U12 and younger leagues will use size 3 ball; U13 and older leagues will use a size 4 ball. In most cases match balls will be provided by the league; however, in the event a match ball is not provided, the home team is required to provide a match quality ball.
Teams are expected to arrive a minimum of 5-10 minutes before kickoff.
Teams are responsible for providing their own medical supplies, including ice.
In the event two teams are wearing the same color, the home team must change colors and must do this before kickoff. If your team doesn't have a change strip, please be sure you have pinnies.
Head coaches are responsible for controling the conduct of their assistants, managers, players and spectators.