Futsal tournament in Japan
Futsal tournament in Japan
Player scoring in a football game
Player scoring in a football game

Futsal began in the 1930s in South America as a version of association football, taking elements of its parent game into an indoor format so players could still play during inclement weather. Over the years, both sports have developed, creating a situation where the two sports share common traits while also hosting various differences.

The Laws of the Game for each sport both have 17 laws, all of which cover the same topics, although with some variations in certain areas.

Similarities

Area of play

Starts and stoppages

Fouls

Miscellaneous

Differences

Scope, speed and field surface

A futsal pitch
A futsal pitch
Association football pitch
Association football pitch

Referees

The diagonal system of control in association football.
The diagonal system of control in association football.

"Official" assistant referees exist in higher level futsal matches, serving as replacement referees and either third referees (generally overseeing substitutions and time-outs) or as timekeepers (keeping a record of the time and goals scored at the discretion of the referee.)

An assistant referee in association football
An assistant referee in association football

Match duration

The duration of the match can vary depending on league variations. However, at the highest levels of play, both sports are separated into two standardized halves of equal time, allowing for extra time to be played at the referee's discretion to make up for any time wasted.

In futsal, that standardized time for each half is 20 minutes and in association football, the standardized time for each half is 45 minutes.

Also in futsal, teams are allowed to stop the clock once per half, something not allowed in association football.

Accumulated fouls

Unlike in association football, futsal keeps track of fouls that award a direct free kick, also known as "accumulated foul."

Upon the sixth accumulated foul in a half and every accumulated foul after the sixth, the free kick is generally taken from what is known as the "second penalty mark,"

After the sixth accumulated foul, the advantage rule generally no longer applies, with referees granting an immediate free kick outside of very clear goal scoring opportunities.

If the infringement takes place in the attacking half of the pitch, the fouled player may take the free kick from the spot of the infringement or from the second penalty mark, which on a regulation futsal pitch is 10 metres from the goal (the penalty mark is six metres from the goal.)

Unlike a penalty kick, the goalkeeper is required only to stay 5 metres from the spot of the free kick and does not have to stay on the goal line until the ball is kicked. The player kicking the ball must also shoot at the goal and all other players must stay behind the ball until the ball is kicked.

Offside

In association football, a player is an offside position if they are beyond the half-line, beyond the second to last defender and beyond the ball at the moment when their teammate touches the ball, excluding when the teammate is engaged in a goal kick, throw-in, or corner kick.

They are committing an infringement if they are in an offside position and are interfering with an opponent, interfering with play or gaining an advantage from being in an offside position.

In futsal, there is no comparable offside rule, although a portion of the Laws of the Game is dedicated to indicating that there is no offside rule.

Restarts

During play in futsal, if the attacking team sends the ball over the goal line, the goalkeeper restarts the ball through a goal clearance, where they throw the ball to another player outside of the penalty area. When either team sends the ball over the touch line in futsal, the other team kicks rather than throws the ball back into play in what is known as a kick-in.
Goalkeepers must release the ball within six seconds in association football, but this rule is often ignored as long as the goalkeeper is seen to be making "a sincere attempt to release" the ball.

Substitutions

Although in both sports, the referee has discretion over which players can or cannot come into the pitch, but in futsal substitutions can happen during play provided that players come on and off the pitch simultaneously and through a designated area.

In association football, players must wait until a stoppage in play to enter the pitch, and then only after the referee has been advised of the substitution. Although there are many variations, at the highest levels of competition, generally three substitutions are allowed per side during a match.

Penalty kick

In football, the penalty kick is taken at a spot inside the centre of the Penalty Area 12 yards from the goal, called the penalty mark.

In futsal, the first penalty mark is analogous to the penalty mark in football and is 6 metres from the midpoint of the goalposts.

References

  1. ^ "Law 1 - The Field of Play". Laws of the Game 2015/2016. Zurich, Switzerland: FIFA/IFAB. p. 6.
  2. ^ "Law 1 - The Pitch". Futsal Laws of the Game 2012/2013. Zurich, Switzerland: FIFA/IFAB. p. 6.
  3. ^ "Law 1 - The Field of Play". Laws of the Game 2015/2016. Zurich, Switzerland: FIFA/IFAB. p. 8.
  4. ^ "Law 1 - The Pitch". Futsal Laws of the Game 2012/2013. Zurich, Switzerland: FIFA/IFAB. p. 8.
  5. ^ "Law 1 - The Pitch". Futsal Laws of the Game 2012/2013. Zurich, Switzerland: FIFA/IFAB. p. 7.
  6. ^ "Law 1 - The Field of Play". Laws of the Game 2015/2016. Zurich, Switzerland: FIFA/IFAB. p. 8.
  7. ^ "Law 1 - The Pitch". Futsal Laws of the Game 2012/2013. Zurich, Switzerland: FIFA/IFAB. p. 8.
  8. ^ "Law 1 - The Field of Play". Laws of the Game 2015/2016. Zurich, Switzerland: FIFA/IFAB. p. 9.