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Don’t know how futsal rules work? Do you want to learn them to follow the games of the Brazilian National Team and the National League? Then you can celebrate, because this complete and up-to-date guide will help you!

We’ve put together everything you need to know about the sport, such as the number of players, court dimensions, equipment allowed, fouls, expulsions, substitutions, cards and much more.

By reading this content to the end, you’ll know all the rules of futsal and be able to watch any match without getting confused.

Check it out 👇

Futsal rules

  • Basic fundamentals
  • Court dimensions
  • Ball characteristics
  • Permitted equipment
  • Playing time
  • Time requests
  • Number of players
  • Player positions
  • Fouls and infractions in futsal
  • Cards and expulsions
  • Foul limits
  • Free kicks, corner kicks and retakes

Basic fundamentals

Before we delve into each of the rules of futsal, let’s explain the basic fundamentals of the sport.

Futsal, like soccer, is played with the feet. The only exception is the goalkeeper, who stands between the posts and can defend with his hands.

Matches are played between two teams of five, i.e. four players and a goalkeeper for each team.

During the game, the players carry the ball, move around, pass and shoot to try and score as many goals as possible.

After 40 minutes timed on the clock, the quintet with the most goals scored, i.e. ahead on the scoreboard, is declared the winner.

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Court dimensions

quadra de futsal

A futsal court is basically a rectangle. It can vary in size from 38 to 42 meters long and 20 to 25 meters wide.

The floor can be made of wood, cement or any solid synthetic material, as long as it is properly leveled and complies with the rules of futsal.

There are five markings on the court:

  • Center line – divides the court into two parts;
  • Center circle – where the game is played;
  • Side lines – mark the length of the court;
  • End lines – mark the width of the court;
  • Penalty area – half-moon where the goalkeeper can use his hands;
  • Substitution area – place where substitutions are made;
  • Penalty shot – mark where penalties are taken;
  • 10-meter throw – mark where 10-meter throws are taken;
  • Corner kick – marking where corners are taken.

The futsal goal consists of two posts three meters wide, two meters high and eight centimeters thick. The nets, which are installed in the goals, can be made of synthetic material, rope or nylon.

Ball characteristics

According to futsal rules, the ball for professional matches must have a circumference of between 62 and 64 centimetres, weigh between 400 and 440 grams and have a pressure equal to 0.6-0.9 atmospheres (600-900g/cm) at sea level.

Permitted equipment

Professional futsal players must enter the court wearing the following equipment: numbered short- or long-sleeved shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards and boots with flat soles, i.e. without studs. Goalkeepers can wear pants instead of shorts if they prefer.

Playing time

todas as regras do futsal

A futsal match lasts 40 timed minutes. They are divided into two periods of 20 minutes each. Before the sides change, there is a 15-minute break so that the teams can rest, hydrate and review tactics.

When a period is over, a buzzer goes off on the court to make it official. The players must then leave the area.

The rules of futsal, however, provide for an exception that must be taken into account. If time runs out on a team’s possession in full attack, the referee must wait for the play to be completed.

The conclusion of the play can be a shot on goal or wide, the interception of a pass, a throw-in or other similar scenarios.

If a match ends in a draw, there may be an extra time divided into two five-minute periods. However, this will depend on the regulations of the championship in question.

If extra time still ends in a draw, a penalty shootout is held, with each team taking three penalties.

In the event of a draw on the first three penalties, alternating kicks are taken until one team misses and the other gets it right.

Time requests

Each team can make one time-out request each period, lasting 60 seconds. This request can only be signaled to the referee when the requesting team has possession but the ball is out of play. Examples: corners, free kicks, goal kicks and throw-ins.

Time-outs are essential for adjusting tactics, correcting mistakes, improving positioning on the court, fighting back or simply containing a moment of opposing pressure.

Number of players

A starting futsal team is made up of five members. They are divided into four line players and a goalkeeper. The bench, on the other hand, can be made up of up to nine players.

Substitutions are unlimited and can be made both when the ball is still and when it is rolling. It’s up to the team to choose the best moment.

It’s worth noting that the rules of futsal prohibit the match from continuing if a team has fewer than three players on the court.

If necessary, line players can replace goalkeepers without the need for prior notice. This can happen if all the goalkeepers in the squad are injured or sent off.

Player positions

posições do futsal

There are four positions in futsal: goalkeeper, set-piece, wing and pivot. The starting quintets are usually made up of a goalkeeper, a set-piece, two wingers and a pivot.

The goalkeeper is responsible for defending the opposition’s shots, either with his hands or his feet. They need to be tall, agile and have good reflexes.

The center back is the most defensive player in the team. He stays behind, closer to the goalkeeper, to clear the ball and start the build-up play.

The wingers work at the ends of the court, constantly moving to receive passes, break through, dribble and finish.

Finally, the pivot is the most offensive player in futsal. One of his main characteristics is to receive the ball from the back and feed the wingers.

There is also a special position called the goalkeeper line. This is used at specific moments in the match, usually when the team is down a player or in urgent need of goals.

The line keeper is a line player who takes over the goalkeeper’s position to play in the attacking half, exchanging passes and providing numerical superiority.

Fouls and infractions in futsal

In futsal rules, there are basically two types of fouls: those that result in direct free kicks and indirect free kicks.

In direct free kicks, the ball is positioned where the infringement occurred and the player can shoot straight at the goal if they wish. In the case of indirect free kicks, a teammate must touch the ball before someone can shoot.

If a direct free kick infringement is committed inside the penalty area, the team that was fouled is entitled to take a penalty kick.

The direct free-kick offenses are:

  • Shove your opponent;
  • Jumping on the opponent;
  • Throw yourself at your opponent;
  • Kick the opponent;
  • Locking the opponent from behind;
  • Hitting the opponent;
  • Assaulting the opponent;
  • Pushing the opponent;
  • Spitting at the opponent;
  • Giving a trolley and hitting the opponent;
  • Intentionally using their hand/arm on the ball;
  • The goalkeeper goes out of his area with the ball in his hands.

The fouls for indirect free kicks are:

  • Preventing the opponent’s advance;
  • Misleading the opponent with verbal expressions;
  • Assaulting a teammate;
  • Obstructing an opponent’s progress;
  • Preventing the goalkeeper from returning the ball with their hands;
  • Touching the ball without wearing futsal equipment;
  • Standing in front of the goalkeeper and obstructing his vision;
  • The goalkeeper has the ball for more than four seconds;
  • The goalkeeper grasps with his hands a deliberate retreat made by a linesman with his feet in normal play, from the sidelines, free kicks or corners;
  • The goalkeeper may only touch the ball in the backfield once during a move. In order for him to be able to receive a rebound again, the ball must hit the opponent or the goalkeeper must be in the offensive field. If this rule is not followed, an indirect free kick is awarded;
  • If the goalkeeper receives a pass in the attacking field and returns to the defending field with the ball, an indirect free kick is awarded.

Cards and expulsions

faltas no futsal
Regras do futsal – cartões

Just like in soccer, there are yellow and red cards in futsal. They are used to penalize players who don’t comply with the rules.

A yellow card is given when an athlete breaks a rule, but in a minor way, such as preventing a counter-attack, coming too hard in a tackle or deliberately putting his hand on the ball.

If a player receives a second yellow, the referee gives them a red card and they are sent off. In other words, they cannot return to the game.

The referee can also send off a player with a straight red in more serious cases, such as aggression or extremely rough fouls.

When a player is sent off, his team is down a player for two timed minutes or until they concede a goal. After that, the player who received the red can be replaced by another player from the bench.

Foul limits

In futsal rules, there is a limit of five collective fouls per period. After the sixth, the team that was fouled takes a 10-meter free kick.

It’s worth noting, however, that if the sixth (and subsequent) fouls occur closer to the goal than the 10-meter line, the kick is taken exactly where the infraction was committed.

Free kicks, corner kicks and retakes

lateral futsal
Regras do futsal – Cobrança de lateral

When a period begins or a goal is scored, the match resumes in the middle of the center circle of the court, with the players passing the ball out.

When the ball goes out from one of the side edges, the throw-in is taken. To do this, the player places the ball on the line and uses his feet to touch it.

The ball must be completely stationary. In addition, the player may not put his entire foot into the court; at most on top of the line. Otherwise, the throw-in will be reversed and the opposing team will take the kick.

If the team is attacking and the ball goes out over the end line with the last touch being from the opposing team, the attacking team will take the corner. The mechanics are the same as for a corner kick.

If the touch comes from someone on the attacking team, the defending team will return the ball from the penalty area via the goalkeeper. Unlike field soccer, in futsal the goalkeeper does this with his hands.

That’s it! Now you know all the rules of futsal and you can watch futsal matches! Keep an eye on the calendar to follow the matches of the National League and the Brazilian National Team 👊

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