The Futsal Game Part I

futsal field

One of the sports that has the biggest rising popularity is the futsal. This article will offer an explanation of this sport as well as provide some of the basic information about the rules and the history of the game itself. Futsal is a game of football that is played on smaller courts and mostly indoors.

Teams playing the game of futsal have five players each among which one is the goalkeeper. Futsal is played on a field with hard surface and the lines drawn on the field limit the area in which the game is being played. Unlike some other variants of this sport, futsal does not allow the use of walls or boards in the game. Once the ball has crossed the line, the action is over and it cannot be continued without proper throwing in the ball.

The ball that is used in the games of futsal is smaller than the ball in real football or in some other variants of the futsal. The reason for that is the hard surface on which the game of futsal is being played. The ball for that surface has to be smaller and with less bounce because of the dimension of the court. The most important things and the most interesting things about the futsal are the technique, improvisation and creativity of the players from each team.

Origin of the Name

(see also Futsal’s origin)

The name ‘futsal’ actually comes from the Spanish name for this sport futbol sala or futbol de salon as well as from the Portuguese term for this sport futebol de salao. The best description of these terms is that they can be translated as ‘indoor football’ or ‘football played in halls’.

The first time that the term ‘futsal’ was used was at the second world championship that was held in Madrid back in 1985. Since then, every other term that was used by that time to describe this game were dropped in favor of ‘futsal’. When we talk about the name ‘futsal’ we need to mention the controversy that appeared in that time when the term ‘futsal’ was starting to be used for this sport.

The first association that has actually registered the name ‘futsal’ was FIFUSA that registered the term back in 1985. However, since the world championship in Madrid, FIFA also started using the term ‘futsal’ without consolidation or some negotiations with FIFUSA. The effect of that controversy have decreased but it does not seem that this controversy has been resolved by the two organizations.

Rules

Due to the controversy that was mentioned in the previous part of this article, currently there are two governing bodies that are determining the rules of the futsal. Those two governing bodies are Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and Asociación Mundial de Fútbol de Salón (AMF) who together regulate the aspects of the futsal.

The basic rule of the futsal says that there are five players on the field in each team and out of those five players one is the goalkeeper. The rule that regulates the number of substitute players was changed back in 2012 by FIFA and it was reduced to nine players. However, the number of times that those players can come in or out of the game is not regulated at all so the number of substitutions that is allowed during the game is unlimited. What is regulated is when those players can come in on the court.

The substitutions are allowed to enter even the action is still ongoing. However, the player that is coming in must way for the player coming out to leave the field before he can enter the game. In case when one team is left with only three players on the field to the injuries or more often suspensions, the game is immediately abandoned and it is counted as a loss for the team that did not have enough players to continue the match. The field on which the game of futsal is being played has hard surface that must be non-abrasive. The dimensions of the field on which the game of futsal is played are 38 by 42 meters or 42 by 46 yards.

The game of futsal is played for 40 minutes exactly with two halves of 20 minutes. The duration of the first or the second half can be extended in order to allow the player to take the penalty kicks that has been given to his team before the end of first or the second half as well as to allow one team to take a direct free kick against the team that has made more than five fouls in that half.

futsal rulesThe duration of the break between two halves is set to last 15 minutes maximum. There are several competitions that do not recognize the draw result in a game of futsal. There are three situations that can resolve such situation.

The first situation that will resolve this situation is away goal that one of the teams has scored. If one game finishes in a draw then a second game will be played and if that game finishes draw then the away goal will determine the winner of that match.

The second situation that can resolve this issue is the extra time that will be played at some events after the game finishes draw. In that situation, two five minutes periods will be played in order to get the winner of the match.

If the winner is not determined in those 10 minutes we get to the thirds resolving situation and that is penalty shootout and the penalty shooting is continued all the way until some team makes unreachable advantage. One important rule that has been introduced in the futsal unlike in football is that there is no rule that determines offside.