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Soccer or futsal, rugby or football seems like sports belong to the same class or category but having some differences among all. It is just like we have many plants differing in appearance, color or season but having their origins from the same ground or kingdom.

What we are going to discuss here in thefutsalexpert.com is the difference between soccer and futsal. In general you may call them ‘game of football’ as the objective of both of the games is similar i.e. to score a goal against the opposition and the method of playing is also nearly same. Kicking the ball, passing it to each other without using hands and make it to reach the goal line of opponent team. Inspite of all these common points, there are a lot of differences between these 2 sports. These include the number of players, period of play, rules and regulations and some other things.

But there is one major difference of all and that is of the type, soccer is an outdoor game while futsal is an indoor game. From here the first line of difference stretch between them making them distinct from each other. To know the differences between soccer and futsal, we will first give you some basic knowledge of these two games and then compare them to make out the difference points.

But before starting to discuss them, let me make you one thing clear. Soccer and football are the 2 names for the same game. In some countries they call it soccer while others know it as football. Why is it so is another story and here we have no concern with it. So wherever the term soccer or football we have used in this article, is referred to the same sport.


Soccer was first played in the mid of 19th century in England, being one of the most popular game in the world. It has now been played on national as well as international level. From kids to professionals there are a significant number of supporters of soccer and it is played in more than 200 countries.

There are two opponent teams playing the soccer with eleven players in each team (including the goalkeeper). A spherical ball is used to play soccer. A large rectangular grass field having a goal at both ends is called a pitch. Players kick or pass the ball to their mates using their feet mainly, but they are allowed to use any other part for the purpose of striking except their hands or arms. It is applied when the players are moving throughout the field but one can surely make use of both of his hands for throw-in. Only the goalkeepers are allowed to use their hands for ball but within the penalty area otherwise it will be considered a foul if they touch the ball with their arms or hands kicked by their teammate deliberately. For each team, there is a half time of 45 minutes while no time-outs are there in soccer.

If we talk about the laws or rules of game, there are different things to keep in mind while playing. The game of soccer offers a very limited substitution of only 3 players. The goalkeeper is not permitted to touch the ball by using his hands if once it is kicked back. But there is no limitation of back passes in the soccer. If a player is sent off the ground due to any foul, then no substitution is allowed in his place and the team has to play with the remaining players.


Futsal, also known as ‘association football’ started from Brazil. In the initial days it was played to teach the young players that how to play soccer but now it has been recognized as a separate game.

Now if we take a look on the general characteristics of the game, we will see that being an indoor game it does not require a large space. Futsal may be played with a small field as the total number of players including the members of both teams is 10, that means 5 players in each along with the goalkeeper. The half time for both teams is of 20 minutes and 1-1 minute timeout is also given to each of them. Futsal is played on a hard court with a smaller but heavier ball. The standard clock to be used in futsal is the stop clock.

Offered substitutions are unlimited but it is essential for the substitute player to not enter the field before his teammate leave his position. In futsal, if the ball is once played then the goalkeeper may not touch them. The number of back passes allowed in futsal is only ONE. A substitute for a player who has been sent off the pitch is allowed after 2 minutes.


What we have talked about the soccer and futsal is summed up here to provide you a brief overview for the differences in soccer and futsal

  • Futsal is an indoor game but soccer is an outdoor game.
  • The players count in soccer is eleven for each team while each team comprise of 5 players in futsal.
  • Soccer gives a half time of 45 minutes but no time-outs are there. On the other hand, futsal has 20 minutes for half time and one-one minutes time-out is also given to the teams.
  • The number of substitutions allowed in soccer is just 3 while it is unlimited for futsal game.
  • When a player of any team is sent off the ground, there is no rule of substitution for this situation in soccer but for the same case in futsal substitution is permitted after time of 2 minutes.
  • The term we used in soccer is throw-in and for the same purpose the term of kick-in is used in futsal.
  • The clock of futsal is stop clock but in the game of soccer we used the running clock as the standard one.

Hope this article will help you to gain the knowledge of basic differences in soccer and futsal.

Read this article on comparison of futsal balls



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