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Futsal Rules

Futsal is a 5-a-side indoor football game played at club level on a basketball sized court. Whilst it may appear similar to football (soccer) there are distinct differences.

Players must wear non marking soled shoes, shin pads covered by long socks and 'sport' shirt and shorts (referees can prevent players entering the court if not dressed correctly).

No jewellery including wrist straps or bobby pins etc may be worn.

Each team has 5 players on the court - one of whom MUST be the goalkeeper.

Team squads can be up to a maximum of 12 players (usually 6 to 8 suffice).

Flying substitutions are allowed throughout the game without notifying the referee. Player leaving court must do so before substitute enters the court (G/K's should only be substituted during a stoppage in play and only after referee consent).

A goal CANNOT be scored directly from a sideline kick in or an indirect free kick BUT CAN BE SCORED DIRECT FROM A KICK OFF
Other than above, a goal may be scored from anywhere on the court (within the necessary rules of the game).

The whole of the ball must CROSS the whole of the line for the referee to award a corner, goal, goal clearance etc.

There are NO offside's!

Slide tackles are NOT allowed in a game of futsal by any players except goalkeepers.

Goalkeepers can only slide (side on) within the confines of their own penalty area. Sliding feet first toward an opponent is illegal (dangerous play).

Shoulder charging is NOT allowed.

Careless reckless or excessive force and or aggressive dangerous play is NOT allowed.

There is a 4 second time limit placed on all set plays (corners, free kicks, etc), however referees may allow some tolerance.

5 accumulated team fouls resulting in DIRECT FREEKICKS are allowed each half (per team).Each subsequent foul is rewarded by a 10 metre penalty shot to the opposition team.

To restart the game from the sideline a KICK IN replaces the throw in. Ball placed on sideline, player must have both feet on or outside the sideline. All opponents must be at least 5 metres away.

To restart the game by a GOAL (kick) CLEARANCE, the g/k must THROW the ball into play.

A goalkeeper IS permitted to throw or dropkick/punt the ball over the half way line on the 'full'.

The following Law will be enforced by Referees.

Once distributed by the g/k (in his/her own half) the ball may NOT be touched again by him/her until the ball has either touched an opponent or has crossed the halfway line. ( 2 Touch).

A g/k may NOT handle the ball from a back pass or kick in and is restricted to 4 seconds on the ball in his/her own half of the field of play. (some tolerance of the 4 second rule may be permitted by Referee).

Goalkeepers may only handle the ball within their own penalty areas (“D”s).

Players must retreat 5 metres from the ball at all 'set' plays. Except Kick offs where they must be at least 3 metres away.

Players CANNOT play the ball whilst (“lying”) on the ground if an opponent is within playing distance of the ball.

Referees ALWAYS have the final say in ALL match decisions, please accept those decisions and respect our officials and the sometimes difficult work they do! (No refs, No games ?).

Referees control games (if necessary) with YELLOW (caution) and RED (expulsion) cards.

Sports Centre Futsal Judiciary panel is responsible for deciding penalties (match suspensions) for those players found guilty of persistent rule breaking, foul play, dissent etc.

Expanded Futsal Rules

The Ball

Size # 4

Number of Players

Minimum Number of Players to Start Match: 3 one of whom shall be a goalkeeper Minimum Number of Players to Finish Match: 3 Substitution Limit: None Substitution Method: "Flying substitution" (Except for Goal Keepers all players may interchange with a teammate at anytime; goalkeeper substitutions can only be made when the ball is out of play and with referee's consent

Players' Equipment

Usual Equipment: Numbered shirts, shorts, socks which must cover protective shin-guards and footwear with rubber soles Jewellery including wrist straps & bobby pins etc are not permitted


Duties: Enforce the laws, apply the advantage rule, keep a record of all incidents before, during and after game, stop game when deemed necessary, caution or expel players guilty of misconduct, violent conduct or other ungentlemanly behaviour, stop game to have injured players removed.

Duration of the Game

Two equal periods of 20 minutes; Time can be prolonged only to take a penalty kick.
Time-outs: 1 per team per half

Junior Futsal duration: 2 x 15 Minute periods with 3 min half time and no timeouts allowed

The Start of Play


Coin toss followed by kickoff; opposing team waits in their own half at least 3 metres outside centre circle; ball must be kicked forward & deemed in play once it has been touched; the kicker shall not touch ball again before someone else touches it; ensuing kick-offs are taken after goals scored and at start of second half.

Ball in and out of Play

Ball out of play

When it has wholly crossed the goal line or touchline; when the game has been stopped by a referee; when the ball hits the ceiling (restart: kick-in by opponents of last player to touch the ball at the place closest to where the ball touched the ceiling).


Touchlines and goal lines are considered inside the playing area.

Method of Scoring

When the whole of the ball has passed over the goal line, between the goal posts and under the crossbar (except by illegal means).

Competition setup

EPL style ladder with no finals - team with highest points tally at season end crowned champions

3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and zero for a loss.

Seniors Comp will be split into 2 divisions (Div1 & 2) after 6 rounds at the discretion of the Sports Coordinator with the final 4 rounds left to find winner of each Division based off the final point tallies.

In the event of teams tied on points at top of divisions, winners will be decided by head to head match results between those teams, if still unable to find a winner result will come down to total goals scored for season.

Seniors Forfeits will also incur loss of 2 competition points along with the Forfeit Bond

Prize money awarded to winners of each division for seniors

Gift voucher supplied for winners and runners up in juniors

Fouls and Misconduct

Direct free kick awarded when a player intentionally commits any of the following 11 offenses (penalty kick awarded when infringement is by a defender in own penalty area):

  • kicking or attempting to kick an opponent
  • tripping an opponent
  • jumping at an opponent
  • charging an opponent in a violent or dangerous manner
  • charging an opponent from behind
  • striking, attempting to strike, or spitting at an opponent
  • holding an opponent
  • pushing an opponent
  • charging an opponent with shoulder (i.e., shoulder charge)
  • sliding at an opponent (i.e., sliding tackle)
  • handling the ball (except goalkeeper)

Indirect free kick awarded when any of the following offenses is committed (kick taken from the 6-metre line when infringement takes place in penalty area):

  • dangerous play (e.g. attempting to kick ball held by goalkeeper)
  • obstruction
  • charging the goalkeeper in the penalty area (i.e., goalkeeper charge)
  • goalkeeper picks up or touches with his hands a back pass
  • goalkeeper picks up or touches with his hands a kick-in from a teammate
  • goalkeeper controls the ball with any part of his body for more than 4 seconds (some tolerance may be shown by Referee
  • Referees may not enforce following law; goalkeeper touches with any part of his body a back pass that has been played back to him before the ball has
    • crossed the halfway-line or
    • been touched by an opponent

Players shall be cautioned (i.e., shown yellow card) when:

  • he persistently infringes the laws of the game
  • he shows dissent with any decision of the referee
  • he is guilty of ungentlemanly conduct

These yellow-card offenses are punishable by an indirect free kick taken from the point of infringement (or from the 6-meter line when the infringement takes place in penalty area).

Players shall be sent off (i.e., shown the red card) for:

  • serious foul play
  • violent conduct
  • foul or abusive language
  • second instance of cautionable offense (i.e., second yellow card)
  • intentionally impeding a clear goal opportunity (e.g. through a "professional foul")
  • intentionally impeding a clear goal opportunity in the penalty area by handling the ball

Direct free kicks (or penalty kicks) accompany the expulsion for (a), (b), (e) and (f); indirect free kicks, for (c) and (d) (from the 6-meter line when the infringement takes place in the penalty area).

Rules of Expulsion

The player sent off (shown a red card) is out for the rest of the game.

The team of the player sent off can substitute for that player after 2 minutes of playing time or after the opposing team scores -- which ever comes first.

The substitute cannot come on until the ball is out of play and he has a referee's consent.

Free Kick


Direct free kicks and indirect free kicks


At least 5 meters away until the ball is in play

Time Limit

Kick must be taken within 4 seconds at Referees discretion


Kicker cannot touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player

Accumulated Fouls

Accumulated fouls refer only to all the fouls mentioned in Law XII (a through k(1 to 11).

Once a team has accumulated 5 fouls during a half (those accumulated in the second half continue to accumulate into extra time), from the 6th foul.

  • That team shall not be allowed a defensive wall
  • All free kicks shall be direct (no indirect free kicks)
  • Infringements committed within 12 meters of the goal line shall be punished with a direct free taken from the point of infringement or from the second penalty spot.
  • Infringements committed from 12 meters or further from the goal line shall be punished with a direct free kick from the second penalty spot.
    • until the ball is kicked into play, all players other than the goalkeeper and kicker shall remain behind an imaginary line that is in line with the ball and parallel to the goal line.
    • the goalkeeper shall remain in his penalty area at least 5 m away from the ball.
    • the kicker must aim at the goal, with the intention of scoring.
    • no other player may touch the ball until it has been touched by the defending goalkeeper rebounded from the goal post or crossbar, or has left the pitch.
    • if the infringement took place in penalty area (and does not merit a penalty kick), the free kick is to be taken from the 6-m-line on the spot nearest to where the infringement occurred.

Penalty Kick

To be taken from the penalty mark on the mid-point of the 6-m-line.

The kicker is to aim at goal, with the intention of scoring.

All players must be out of the penalty area, and the players of the opposing team must also be at least 5 m from the penalty spot.

The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player.


To be taken in place of the throw-in.

The ball is placed on the touch line before kicking.

The kick-in must be taken within 4 seconds at Referees discretion; if it is not, the kick-in is given to the opposing team.

The kicker cannot play the ball a second time until it has been played by another player; infringement of this rule entail an indirect free kick to the opposing from the point of infringement.

Players on opposing team must be at least 5 m away from point of kick-in.

Cannot score directly from a kick-in.

Goal Clearance

To be taken in place of goal kick.

From inside the penalty area, the goalkeeper throws the ball into play.

The ball is not in play until it has passed outside of the penalty area. If the goal clearance is received inside of the penalty area, the goal clearance shall be taken over.

All opponents must be outside Penalty area.

A Goal cannot be scored direct from a Goal Clearance

Corner Kick

Ball placed on the corner (no corner-kick arc). If ball is misplaced, the corner kick is taken over.

Must be taken within 4 seconds (Referees discretion); failure to do so entails indirect free kick to the opposing team from the corner mark.

The kicker cannot play the ball a second time until it has been played by another player; infringement of this rule entail an indirect free kick to the opposing from the point of infringement.

Players on opposing team must be at least 5 m away from point of the corner kick.

Can score goal directly from a corner kick.

Annex 1 - Penalty Kick Shoot-out

Main referee decides goal to be used.

Coin tossed to decide order.

Five kicks to be taken by 5 different players selected from the 12 suited players. Captain of each team announces these 5 to the main referee before the kicks are taken.

If two teams are still tied after 5 kicks, the additional kicks will be taken on a sudden-death basis by the rest of the players who have not kicked yet.

Players sent off during the match are not eligible to take these kicks.

Any eligible player may change places with his goalkeeper.

While the penalty shoot-out is in progress, players will remain on the opposite half of the pitch. The assistant referee shall control this are.