Futsal vs. Indoor Football

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When we consider the comparison between futsal and indoor football we can see that although at first they might seem very similar they are much more different than anyone would imagine. We do not have to dig deep in order to find those differences because the look at the basic rules of the games reveals those differences. While indoor football decided to keep many rules from the outdoor football, futsal actually replaced those rules or it adapted those rules to better fit the game.

One of the basic rules, when we consider any team sport is the number of players that participate in the game. In Futsal, the number of players that participate in the game is limited to 5. On the other hand, the number of players in the indoor football is the same as it is for the outdoor football and that is 11. In regards to the number of players, in futsal, there are 12 players in total. While 5 players are on the court, the remaining 7 players are on the bench and the number of substitutions in one game is not limited to any number. On the other hand, in indoor football, the number of substitutions in one game is limited to only 3.

While the game of futsal is organized in two halves of 20 minutes, the game of indoor football is also organized in two halves with difference in the duration of those halves. In indoor football, the duration of each half is 45 minutes and the clock is not stopped when the action is interrupted while the clock in the futsal game is stopped immediately as the ball is not in the action any more. Another difference is that futsal’s rules provide an opportunity for one time-out per half. On the other hand, the rules of the indoor football do not provide an opportunity for time-out during the length of the entire game.


While indoor football allows some contact between players during the game, the game of futsal does not allow any shoulder fouls. Besides that, futsal also does not allow any sliding tackles and every attempt to do either of these two options will result in a foul being called on that team. Besides that, many rules that were transferred from outdoor football to the indoor football. One such rule is the rule that says that there are not time limitations on restarting the game. On the other hand, the rules of futsal says that the given team has only 4 second to restart the game, otherwise, the ball will be taken away from them and given to the opposite team.

One of the biggest similarities between these two sports is the fact that these two sports do not allow the goalkeeper to touch the ball with hands after the player from his own team has passed back. With that being said, one of the biggest differences between these two sports is the fact that in football, after being sent off, there is no possibility for a substitution of that player and the team is left with 10 players throughout the remaining part of the game. On the other hand, after a player is sent off in a game of futsal, that player can be substituted after the 2 minutes of penalty have passed by. Additionally, futsal does not recognize the notion of offside while indoor football also transferred that rule from the outdoor football.

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One of the most important differences between indoor football and futsal is in regards to the safety of game. During the last several years, many injuries occurred during the game of indoor football because the rules of indoor football enable players to use the wall as a part of their actions. That wall actually serves as borders of the indoor football field. Many times players had concussions and broken arms and legs because they were not able to stop themselves before hitting the wall. On the other hand, the game of futsal does not all allow the use of the wall and the borders of the field are marked with white lines and in a moment when the ball goes beyond those line the action is interrupted. Due to the fact that the field used for futsal is smaller than the field for indoor football, the number of injuries that players get when colliding with other players in fight for the ball. With smaller field the speed and the space that players have for running is reduced and because of that the risk of some serious injuries is also reduced to minimum.