What Is Futsal? A Complete Guide For Beginners

If you’re a football fanatic and follow the sport closely, you must have heard many top names in professional soccer today once used to play Futsal. Many of them used it as a way to improve their skill set, and the sport played a pivotal role in their professional growth. But do you know what is Futsal? Just another sport? Probably, it is more than that, especially for aspiring soccer players and those looking for an alternative to soccer.

Want to know more about it? Let’s explore Futsal Soccer in detail and find out how it can help you with your game as a soccer player.

futsal player playing game on the court

What Is Futsal?

Futsal is a popular indoor game that resembles closely to soccer. It is played on a rigid turf (shorter than the football pitch), with a smaller ball, and generally indoors.

Due to its close resemblance with football, FIFA has officially recognized Futsal as indoor soccer. Two teams of 5 players each compete in a Futsal game. Due to the smaller pitch, the pace of the game is faster than what we normally see in traditional soccer games played on a full pitch between teams of 11 players each.

The game promotes quick decision-making and better ball control. In a Futsal game, the players also get more touches compared to a traditional soccer game, giving them a chance to improve their skill with the ball.

What Makes Futsal Different From Football?

While Futsal and Football have many similarities, they have their differences too. The prime difference between the two sports is that Futsal is played indoors on a relatively smaller basketball-type court while Football is an outdoor sport played on much bigger open grounds.

Here is a quick Futsal vs Soccer comparison to highlight the differences between the two sports.

1. Duration of the Game

In football, the game time is 90 minutes, with the teams competing to score goals in two halves of 45 minutes each. On the contrary, the duration of a Futsal game is 40 minutes, divided into two periods of 20 minutes each.

2. Number of Players

The number of players is also different in both sports. In Football, there are eleven players in each team whereas Futsal is a 5-a-side sport.

3. Rules are Different

While both sports are similar, they have many differences in the rules. Some rule differences are as follows:

  • The teams are allowed to make countless substitutions in Futsal while in Football each team cannot make more than 3 substitutions.
  • There is an offside rule in Football, but there is no such rule in the indoor version of the sport
  • The clock is stopped when the ball goes out of play in Futsal, but it keeps ticking in Football, and stoppage time is added at the end of the game
  • In Futsal, kick-ins are used to bring the ball back into play whereas we have throw-ins in the case of Football.

4. The Ball Is Different

Futsal uses a smaller (size 4) ball that offers 30% less bounce as compared to the one used in Football. 

Top Footballers Who Played Futsal

Futsal may be known for its resemblance with Soccer, and some would think of it as Indoor Soccer, but you might be surprised to know that some big names in international football have also tried their luck with this indoor sport. Some of the top players in world Football, like Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Christian Pulisic all used to play the fast-paced alternative of the sport in the early days of their careers. While some might have played the game just for fun, others believe that it improved their game and skills and also helped them earn a name for themselves and their countries

5 Things That Make Futsal A Must-Try For Athletes

Futsal is an interesting game that helps players in many ways besides being fun to play. Here are five characteristics that make it a sport worth trying for all athletes.

1. Game Speed

Futsal players play faster and make quick decisions as the game is played on a relatively smaller court. As you play the game, you have to make instant calls on whether you want to pass the ball, continue to dribble, or take a shot. Otherwise, you may lose possession.

2. Creativity

The indoor sport is played on smaller courts and makes the creative side of the players shine as they are always on their toes and need to be innovative with their approach to get the better of the opposition. As they are playing on a smaller court and get to touch the ball more frequently, they must try unique moves and strategies that we don’t often see on a soccer field.

3. Enhanced Athletic Intelligence

Futsal is a fast-paced sport that runs continuously, making it more challenging for the players. As the players get acquainted with the game, their spatial intelligence is improved, and they get better at reading the game at any given point. With enhanced game awareness, they always have a competitive edge.

4. Adaptability

You can play Futsal anywhere, both indoors and outdoors. A ball, shoes, and a hard surface are all you need to play the sport. It complements soccer perfectly as well. You can apply almost all the soccer tactics while playing on the Futsal court. Futsal is the best way for beginners to practice the ball game before they make it to the big stage.

5. Ball Control and Skills

Experts say that Futsal players touch the ball 600% times more than soccer players. It inherently helps them develop better skills with the ball and improve their ball control. As they grow in confidence, they are better prepared to take on those 1-on-1 battles, dribbling skillfully and dodging the opposition players to score for their team.

Futsal is a wonderful sport that gives athletes a fun and challenging experience on a relatively smaller court than a football field. The fast-paced nature of the game can be helpful in building stamina, improving ball control, and garnering an overall skill set that improves your game as you take on a bigger challenge. If you want to start playing this fast-paced sport, learn the basic futsal rules and get some tips on how to play Futsal for beginners before you hit the court. You’ll have an enjoyable run for sure!