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Halifax Regional Municipality






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Rules Of Play For Futsal


  1. The game is played with 3 to 4 field players plus a goalie depending on the court size (i.e. there should be reasonable amount of space between players on the court)
  2. Teams consist of a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 players
  3. Game is played with running time 2 periods of 15 min (or 20 min for competitive level play).  Times can be adjusted to fit within a specific gym rental time

  4. One time out, consisting of one minute in length, is permitted each half per team and teams cannot carry over timeouts if not used in the first half

  5. Players must wear appropriate footwear consisting of futsal flats (no turf shoes or cleats).  Players shin pads and goalie knee and elbow pads are optional

  6. Teams must have the same type and colour jersey and goalies must have a different colour jersey

  7. Games are usually played with only one referee (or two referees for competitive level play).  Referees must have a watch, whistle and both YELLOW and RED cards every game

  8. Near the end of a period or match, when the ball is being played towards one of the goals before the buzzer sounds, the referee must wait for the kick to end before announcing the end of the period or match with the whistle.  In this case the period of match ends:

    • the ball goes directly into the goal and a goal is scored
    • the ball leaves the pitch
    • the ball touches the goalkeeper or another player on the defending team
    • the ball hits the goalpost, crossbar or ground and then crosses the goal line and a ball is scored
    • the defending goalkeeper or another player in the defending team touches the ball and it rebounds off the crossbar or goalpost and does not cross the goal line
    • the ball touches any player of the team that played the ball, except if an indirect free kick was taken and the ball was heading towards the opponent’s goal after being touched by the second player on the same team
  9. At the start of the game or after each goal the ball must start at the centre line.  Each start, the ball must go slightly forward.  If the ball goes directly backwards on the start, the ball must be replaced at the start and a new start performed again, this time on the referee’s whistle

  10. Restarts are: kicks offs, kick-ins, corner kicks, goal clearance, free kicks.  Referee must VISIBLY perform the count, except on indirect free kicks, where the count is not visible

  11. Players have four (4) seconds to move the ball on a restart, once the ball has been placed and is still on the floor.  Goalkeepers have four (4) seconds to kick or throw the ball after a save/ retrieve of the ball

  12. The ball is out of play when the ENTIRE ball has cross over the lines.  The ball is STILL in play of the ball is ON the line

  13. To score a goal the ball must fully cross the line and between the two goal posts and under the cross bar

  14. There are NO off sides

  15. Fouls are penalized with a DIRECT free kick for:

    • Tripping
    • Pushing
    • Shoving
    • Holding
    • Charging
    • Striking an opponent
    • Handling the ball deliberately (except for goalies within their own penalty areas)
    • NOTE:  DIRECT fouls are considered ACCUMULATED fouls

  16. Fouls penalized with an INDIRECT free kick for:

    • Goalkeeper handing the ball on their own half for longer than 4 seconds
    • Goalkeeper receiving a pass back in their own half after having just played the ball, UNLESS the opponents have touched the ball first or the goalkeeper is in the opponent’s half
    • Goalkeeper touches the ball with their hands in the penalty area after passed to them by a teammate, including kick ins
    • Dangerous play or obstruction
    • Illegal substitutions
  17. INDIRECT free kicks are taken from the place where the infraction occurred unless it takes place within the penalty area, then it is taken at the edge of the penalty area.  Penalized team must give 5m space all around the ball area until such time as the ball moves

  18. Once a team reaches five (5) ACCUMULATED fouls in a half, the sixth and al subsequent fouls in the same half are penalized with a free DIRECT kick without a wall, taken from the second penalty mark

  19. Accumulated fouls from the first half DO NOT carry over into the second half

  20. Substitutions are UNLIMITED and can be ON THE FLY.  All substitutions must happen in between the substitution zones (marks on each end of the players bench).  Permission is not required from the referee for substitutions

  21. On substitutions the playing leaving the court MUST be completely off the court, in between substitution marks, BEFORE the substitute player can come on.  If the substitute player comes onto the court before the player is completely off the court, the substitute player will receive a warning and YELLOW card from the referee for coming on too early.  The opposing team then will be awarded an indirect free kick

  22. Penalty kicks are awarded to a team that has a DIRECT foul within the penalty area.  The ball is placed at the top of the penalty area circle (1st penalty mark).  The goalkeeper must stand on the goal line when the kick is taken.  If the penalty kick hits the goalie and returns the player CANNOT take a rebound shot, however, if the ball deflects off the goal posts or crossbar the player can take a rebound kick

  23. If the ball goes out of the playing area on the sidelines, the other team gets possession and continues the play by placing the ball behind the line from where the ball went out (i.e. Free Kick)

  24. Kick-ins are taken from the sidelines (instead of a throw in like in soccer).  The ball must be still and BEHIND the line and players foot cannot be on the court.  Player CANNOT SCORE from a kick-in from the sidelines

  25. Corner kicks result when the defending team shoots the ball out of the end bound line.  Corner kicks are similar to kick-ins but CAN count as a goal

  26. If the ball goes out of play behind the goal as a result of the attackers kick and returns to the playing area, the ball is still considered in play

  27. When a goalkeeper chooses to throw the ball, they must do so from inside their penalty area.  The ball can be thrown down the court when the goalkeeper makes a save resulting from a shot.  If the goalie is retrieving the ball, and decides to throw it, the ball must first bounce on their end half before going into the opponent’s half

  28. No form of pushing, checking or physically tackling the body is allowed.  Contact with opponents is permitted provided, at the referee’s discretion, there is moderate shoulder to shoulder contact when playing the ball

  29. The ball must not be played with the hands

  30. The ball may be played from the air provided contact with the ball is below waist level of players


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