Futsal? Did You Mean Futbal?
The first time I saw the word futsal, I thought someone had made a spelling error and maybe meant to write futbal instead. For those of you who were confused like me, let’s take a closer look at the differences between futsal and futbal.
Futsal, although similar to soccer, is more like indoor soccer with a few special changes for indoor play. The field is much smaller, about the size of a basketball court (25mx15m), and, unlike indoor soccer, futsal uses touch boundaries instead of dasherboards. This means that there are no walls to bank the ball off of if you get into a tight squeeze. The 5v5 match consists of two 20 minute halves using a stopped watch system instead of the running watch we are used to in regulation soccer. A #4 ball (instead of #5) is used because of its low bounce properties. Clearly, because of the touch boundaries and special ball, futsal focuses more on ball control and creative plays in a tight area.
Here’s a quicker run-down of the differences between Futsal and Soccer:
|#5 ball||#4 ball – 30% less bounce|
|11 players||5 players per side (including goal keeper)|
|3 substitutions||Unlimited, “flying” substitutions|
|Running clock||Stopped clock|
|45 minute halves||20 minute halves|
|No time-outs||1 time-out per half|
|Goal kicks||Goal Clearance (throw)|
|Some contact||No shoulder charges or sliding tackles|
|No absolute time limit to restart game||4-second rule on restarts|
|Offside rule||No offside rule|
|Goalkeeper steps||No restrictions, but limited to 4 seconds|
|Goalkeeper cannot touch by hand a ball kicked back||Goalkeeper cannot touch by hand a ball played back|
|Unlimited back passes to Goalkeeper||One back pass to Goalkeeper|
|No sub for player sent off||Player sent off can be substituted for after 2 minutes or other has scored|
|Corner kick placed in arch||Corner kick placed on corner|
For those curious, here’s a highlights reel from the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup where Brazil played Spain.
And, to preview the big UEFA and NCAA matches coming up, UEFA.com has put up a training video with some futsal play tips. Check back next week for a re-cap of the UEFA and NCAA finals!