What is Futsal?


Futsal is the official format of small-sided soccer that is recognized and supported by FIFA, UEFA and others.  Futsal began in the South American countries of Uruguay and Brazil. In Brazil, the large crowded cities and a shortage of playing pitches forced a football population to play small sided football. A version began to develop on the streets of Sao Paulo, leading to the publishing of the first rules of the game in 1936.

Skills and techniques honed in Futsal quickly became apparent in the performance of Brazil’s National Team - Pele, Rivelino, and Zico all played the game at some time in their development. More recently the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Xavi and Inesta have also attrributed their success in eleven-a-side soccer to to the skills they picked up in Futsal.

Here are the key differences between Futsal and traditional 11-a-side soccer:
  • The field is much smaller (27 to 46 yards long  X  16 to 27 yards wide)
  • 5 vs 5 (one of which is a Goal Keeper)
  • Substitutions may occur on-the-fly (like indoor soccer)
  • There are two, 20 minute halfs
  • The ball is small, heavier, and less bouncy (players find they are more successful with their footwork)
  • The ball is "kicked-in" instead of a throw-in.  The GK throws the ball instead of of taking a goal kick.
  • No slide tackling or shoulder tackles.
Futsal is known to help players improve their foot skill.  Also, with the 5v5 format, players get much more time with the ball.  It promotes much better habits than "indoor" soccer since the rules are much closer to traditional soccer and there is no "wall" to rely on.

Futsal Action Video

Basic Futsal Rules