Futsal – Laws of the Game

Can you believe it, Futsal was finally part of the Olympics?

Not to mention the awesome coverage that it received! Futsal was finally been included in the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics 2018, the birth place of futsal. There were 6 (Men's and Women's) medals up for grabs in this historic moment, as futsal makes it debut!

Gaining momentum

Futsal is gaining some serious momentum in the world of sports, and even though there is already a large global fan base, it's really coming on leaps and bounds.

So for anyone new or needing to update their knowledge in the rules of this rapidly growing sport, FIFA.com rounds up its most important rules. Thank you FIFA!

Duration of matches

  • Two halves lasting 20 minutes each, with a 15-minute break for half-time.
  • The clock stops whenever the ball goes out of play or there is a break in play.
  • The clock only starts again when play resumes.


  • Each team may request a one-minute time-out per half.
  • Teams may only call a time-out after notifying the timekeeper and when they are in possession of the ball.
  • If a team decides not to use their time-out in the first half, they cannot carry it over to the second.
  • There are no time-outs if a match goes to extra time.

Timeouts can be used very tactically, for example to discuss a set play or maybe break up the oppositions dominance.

Rolling substitutions

  • Each team starts with one goalkeeper and four outfield players on the pitch.
  • Coaches can make as many substitutions as they wish.
  • Substitutions can be made without stopping the game.
  • Infringements and sanctions

As in football, fouls are penalised with either a direct or indirect free-kick, or a penalty if the foul is committed inside the penalty area.
Fouls can be sanctioned with red and yellow cards.
If a player is shown a red card, they can only be replaced on the pitch by a substitute after a mandatory two-minute time penalty. If the team concedes a goal during this time, the substitute may come on before the time penalty has elapsed.


  • Goalkeepers are free to move anywhere on the pitch but can only handle the ball inside their own penalty area.
  • They are allowed to throw the ball from their area into the opposition half.
  • When the ball is in their possession, either in their hands or at their feet, they have four seconds in which to play it to a team-mate.
  • They may only touch the ball again after an opposition player has touched it or if they advance to the opposition half.

Team fouls

  • A count is kept of fouls penalised with a direct free-kick or penalty kick in each time period. These offences are called “accumulated fouls”.
  • When a team commits a sixth accumulated foul, the opposing team is awarded a direct free-kick without a wall on the second penalty mark, which is situated ten metres from goal and four metres behind the first penalty mark.
  • If, however, the sixth accumulated foul is committed between the opposition goal line and an imaginary line parallel to the halfway line and passing through the second penalty mark, the free-kick may be taken closer to the goal, in the position where the infringement was committed.
  • If a match goes to extra time, the accumulated fouls from the second period continue to accumulate during extra time.


  • Futsal is played with a ball that bounces less than a conventional football.
  • Goals measure three metres wide and two metres high.
  • Matches are officiated by two referees, one on each touchline.
  • When the ball goes out of play, play resumes with a kick-in.
  • There are no offsides.

For more details on Futsal's rules and regulations, read the latest Laws of the Game document over at FIFA.com

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