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Futsal, may be sounds like football is actually an indoor version of football. People with no interest in deep knowledge of sports might mix these two terms, but they are not exactly alike. To understand the game of futsal, here are few important things or facts that one must have to know about it.

The phrase of ‘association football’ has been used for a long time instead of Futsal. There were different names associated with futsal because of the origin of those names from various languages. But afterwards FIFUSA and FIFA coined an official and international name ‘Futsal’ to the game.

Let’s move on the basics of game. Futsal is played with a total of 10 players, 5 on each side. 4 are the outfielders and 1 is a goalkeeper. The ball given to the players to handle is smaller and harder, offering low bounce while kicking. It is played comparatively on a hard court with no wall or boards for boundaries. Only lines are there on the surface of court for delimitation.


Futsal is specifically an indoor game, as it is shown by its name derived from different languages. In Spanish it is named as ‘futbol sala’ or futbol de salon’ and in Portuguese it is called ‘futebol de salao’. All these names have a literal meaning of ‘hall/lounge football’ but in general they can be translated as ‘indoor football’. In Italian the name is based on the number of players participated, as ‘calcio a 5’ meaning 5-a-side football.


For the very first time where the game of futsal was recognized and played on national level is Brazil. They were of the opinion that this ‘indoor soccer’ can develop better skills for playing soccer with more excellence and in a well-organized way. So they started to make the focus of their kids (young soccer players) on ‘Futsal’ as it would polish their skills of playing and help them to learn the techniques which could be applied smartly in the game of soccer.

At that time of emergence of Futsal, some experts of soccer thought that it is illogical to make the young players learn soccer via indoor futsal. But the initiators of futsal proved it with their efforts. They showed them that a futsal player is able to develop soccer skills with more perfection than those who start with the outdoor game.

Simon Clifford, keenly observed that the Brazilian soccer players had some extraordinary skills of playing soccer than players from rest of the countries. He started to study the Brazilians to find the reason of their supernatural skills. And what he told the world was an amazing fact for others but not for those who start with the idea of futsal as soccer training. As their claims has now got the acceptance of big name soccer players too. He said that the skills of Brazilian players in playing soccer is not because of practicing it on beach but it is because they start to learn it from playing futsal.


Rules and laws are set to run the system in an organized way. They must be followed by everyone who is the part of that system. Certainly in futsal, different rules are there to be followed by the referee, coach, players and all other management to keep the game going on in a systematic way. And if someone does not follow them or break any law, then he will be charged for it according to the rules of game. Some general rules that are followed in futsal, described here.


Two periods of 20 minutes are there in futsal. When the ball goes out of the field, the clock is stopped from ticking and restart when it comes again into the field. The timeout for both teams per half is 1-1 minute (it may given when the ball is out of play, or in possession of ball).

No extra time or overtime is given to any team for injury or stoppage.

Offsides are not the part of futsal.


Substitutions in futsal are unlimited and on the fly. The game will not stop for the substitute to take their position. A yellow card may be shown to the substitute if he enters the substitution zone before the departure of the player who is being replaced from the pitch.


Kick-off goals are not counted in futsal. The players are not allowed to score a goal with a kick-off directly. First they must forward or pass the ball to each other as the kick-off goals are not included in score.


It is actually a way to restart the game. It is given when a player kicks a ball and it passes over the goal line and no goal is scored. Then the goalkeeper will throw or bounce the ball using his hands to put it out of the penalty area.


It is another method to restart the play. It occurs when the ball crosses the goal line and goes out of the pitch without scoring a goal from a player of defensive team. The ball is placed on the corner of arc and 4 seconds are given to kick it inside the field. If the player does not kick it within 4 seconds then it is declared as a goal clearance for opponents.


Free kicks are either direct or indirect. If any foul is made by the players like scoring a goal with kick-off then free kicks are taken. Here it is necessary to make sure before taking a kick that the ball is stationary.


There are few of those convincing facts that the Brazilians showed the world about the benefits of Futsal.

  • The court is harder, the ball is heavier which helps the players to increase their power of hitting.
  • The lesser number of members make the players to be clever about holding and switching their position in the field.
  • The small field allows them to be smart in getting the ball out of their opponent’s range.
  • The small area also provides more chances to touch the ball, pass it and score a goal.
  • It requires quick decision making due to short distance among the players hence enhance the skills of making any decision.

Read this article on comparison of futsal balls



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