Parents constantly inquire about the rules of Futsal so here is a healthy dose of what you need to know.
Though the laws of Futsal differ from those of soccer they are very easy to understand and directly help participants become better players. Futsal features 5 players per squad; 4 out players and a keeper. The types of pitches used along with their dimensions vary but typically the game is played on either hardwood (school gyms) or sport tile surfaces.
A game lasts 40 minutes (2 x 20 minute halves). Each team also has one timeout per half.
There are boundary lines in Futsal, not hockey boards. This makes the game much safer and also forces players to think and react quicker, use both feet, and to utilize skill to get out of tight situations instead of using an imaginary teammate (boards) like arena soccer does. When the ball goes out of play in Futsal, players have 4 seconds to place it on the sideline and kick it back in as Futsal does not use throw-ins.
Officiating a Futsal game involves the tracking of fouls as the game uses a system of accumulated fouls, like basketball. A team is allowed a maximum of 5 fouls per half. Any fouls after that result in an unopposed direct free kick against the opponent’s goalkeeper from a spot 10 metres out. This is one of Futsal’s most brilliant rules as it directly rewards fair play while promoting finesse. In Futsal, skill and intelligence are far more valuable attributes than size or strength.
The skills gained from Futsal largely come from the ball that is used.
A Futsal ball is really a thing of genius. It’s slightly smaller than a regular soccer ball, typically a size 3 for the kids and size 4 for teenagers and adults. The key lays in its bounce, or rather lack thereof. The ball is filled with foam which significantly reduces its bounce by around 30% and although it definitely feels heavier than a soccer ball it actually weighs around the same. The reduced bounce keeps the ball at the feet of players and seemingly sticks to the foot.
The pitch and nets are also smaller with the dimensions ranging between 25-42 m long and 15-25 m wide. The smaller pitch forces players to always move around and get open. Having less space to work with while constantly dealing with pressure creates more skillful and creative players.