What Is Futsal? Learn the Rules, History & How to Play

Futsal is a form of indoor football or soccer originally developed in South America. It is a fast-paced, high-energy game played on a hard-surfaced court with a smaller ball than a regular soccer ball. 

It is also known as five-a-side or indoor soccer and is FIFA’s official form of indoor soccer. Around one hundred nations and twelve million people participate in futsal, making it one of the most played sports in the world.

History Of Futsal  

Futsal history dates back to the 1930s when an Uruguayan coach, Juan Carlos Ceriani, created the game to help players improve their ball control skills and allow them to play a game similar to soccer indoors. 

The YMCA soon spread the game throughout South America. In the 1980s, the game began to gain popularity in Europe. Habib Maphuz, a Brazilian teacher, modified the rules, and the game quickly spread worldwide. 

As a result of its growing popularity, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) adopted futsal as its official form of indoor soccer in 1989. This allowed the game to be played with official rules, a size 4 ball, and the number of players per team that is standard in international futsal.

The adoption of the official rules allowed the game to be played in all the continents of the world. 

Futsal Rules

The game is played between two teams of five players each on a court similar to a basketball court with a smaller, low-bounce ball, which may not touch the walls or boards surrounding the court. 

man wearing black polo shirt holding LED signage

Each team can have up to seven players on the field at once, and they are free to make unlimited substitutions as they choose throughout the game. Only the goalkeeper can touch the ball.

The game is starts with a kickoff and is played in two 20-minute halves. The team with the most goals at the end of the game is declared the winner. 

Equipment Needed For Futsal Play

Futsal is played with five players per team and requires a basketball-sized court, a smaller, low-bounce ball, and two goals. Futsal is also played on a hard court surface, so appropriate shoes and protective gear, such as shin guards and goalkeeper gloves, are recommended. 

How To Play Futsal? 

Futsal, a fast-paced variant of soccer, is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Possessing excellent ball control and the ability to make split-second decisions are essential skills for players. 


All players, but the goalie, must use their feet, and each soccer player is allowed only three touches on the ball before passing. The winning team is determined by the number of goals scored by its players by the time the game ends following a kickoff.

How To Set Up A Court?

Setting up a futsal court requires marking a court approximately the size of a basketball court. The court should be made of a hard surface, such as concrete, asphalt, or rubber, and surrounded by walls or boards. 

The goals should be placed at either end of the court and securely anchored in the ground. It is also necessary to ensure that the ball, goals, and other equipment are set up properly. 

Additionally, the court should be well-lit, have lines painted to mark the boundaries of the court, and have nets to catch any balls that may go out of bounds. Finally, the court should be properly maintained and cleaned regularly to ensure a safe playing environment.

How To Score?

Scoring in futsal is the same as in regular soccer. The team with the most goals at the end of the game is declared the winner. One can score from anywhere on the court. They can use any body part other than their hands and arms.

Futsal Positions Explained

Five players are on the field at a time in futsal, with one designated goalkeeper. The other four players are known as defenders, midfielders, and forwards. 

Defenders are responsible for defending their goal and preventing the opposing team from scoring. Midfielders are responsible for controlling the ball and passing it to the forwards. 

Forwards are responsible for attacking the opposing team’s goal and scoring goals. All five players must work together to move the ball up and down the court to create scoring chances. 

men playing soccer Futsal during daytime

It is important for players to understand their roles on the court and to be able to transition between offense and defense quickly.

Futsal is a unique variation of soccer, often played indoors, that is gaining popularity around the world. It combines soccer, basketball, and handball elements and is played on a smaller, hard court with a slightly smaller, heavier ball.

The rules of Futsal encourage players to move the ball quickly, develop their ball control, and make quick decisions while defending against opponents.

With its fast pace and exciting gameplay, it has become a popular choice for competitive players looking to improve their skills and for recreational players looking for an exciting and challenging game.

Futsal is also a great way to socialize and have fun with friends. With over 12 million players in over 100 countries, It is a global sport that is growing in popularity daily.

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