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Futsal Rules

Futsal Rules and Code of Conduct

FutsalNH League Rules

At the end of this document is a summary of the most important futsal rules. House rules have been implemented where necessary. 

General Rules

  • There are 4 field players and a Goal Keeper (GK)
  • No offside
  • GK can only handle the ball (by feet or hands) for 4 seconds in their own half.  If they are in opponents half, they have no time-handling restrictions.
  • 24 minute halves for tournament and for league play.
  • 1 minute for half time
  • One 30 second time out per half per team.
  • If half time or the game ends during a direct kick foul or penalty kick, then the restart will be allowed to continue (meaning a shot or penalty kick will be allowed to be taken).


  • Free substitutions are made “on the fly”
  • Player can only enter or leave the game in the substitution areas marked by their respective benches, and a player may only enter a game after the player they are replacing has left the field. Failure to do so results in a caution and an indirect free kick is taken from where the ball was situated when the game was stopped to caution the player.

Kick off

  • Opposing players must be 3 yards away (there are typically lines on the court to indicate).
  • Kick off does not have to go forward first.
  • Cannot score a goal off the kickoff

Ball Out of Play


  • A ball kicked out over the touch line (side line) by one team becomes the other team’s ball.
  • The team kicking in has 4 seconds to get the ball back in play or it becomes opponent’s kick in. Defense must give 3 yards distance.
  • The referee will give a visual count with his hand.
  • Goals cannot be scored from kick-ins.
  • If the ball hits the ceiling, a kick in is taken at the closest point on the nearest touchline, running parallel to the goal line.

Goal Clearance

  • When the offensive team puts the ball over the end line, the other team gets the ball for a goal clearance.
  • The goalie must throw the ball within 4 seconds of retrieving it and put it back into play by throwing it. This is up to the referees discretion as to when the count starts.
  • Opposing team must stay out of penalty area during a goal clearance.
  • If opposing players touches ball before it leaves penalty area, GK retakes the throw.
  • The GK cannot touch ball again until another player touches it.
  • The ball cannot be thrown in the air beyond the top of the other team’s penalty arc (draw a line across the top of the arc).

Corner Kick

  • There is no arc
  • Kick is taken at the point where goal line and touch line meet (at corner).
  • Defense must give 3 yards distance

Fouls and Misconduct

Indirect Kick Fouls:

An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team for the following offenses:

  • The GK touches or controls the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a teammate.
  • The GK touches or controls the ball  with his hands after he has received it directly from a kick-in taken by a teammate.
  • The GK touches or controls the ball with his hands or feet, on any part of the playing court, for more than four seconds, except when he touches or controls the ball on the opponent’s half of the playing court.
  • Playing in a dangerous manner.
  • A player deliberately impedes the progress of an opponent when the ball is not being played.
  • A player prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands.
  • A player commits any other offense, not previously mentioned above for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a player.

The indirect free kick is taken from the place where the infringement occurred, unless this was in the penalty area, in which case the indirect free kick is taken from the penalty area line at the place closest to where the infringement occurred. 3 yards of distance from kicker to set up wall, and ball is in play after it has been touched.  If the kicking team takes more time than 4 seconds to take the kick, it becomes the opposition’s indirect kick.

Direct Kick Fouls:

  • Kicking or attempting to kick an opponent
  • Tripping or attempting to trip an opponent
  • Jumping at an opponent
  • Charges an opponent
  • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • Pushing an opponent
  • Holding an opponent
  • Spits at an opponent
  • Slide tackles with exceptions above
  • Handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper in his own penalty area)

6th Accumulated Foul:

  • Accumulated fouls are those sanctioned by a direct free kick.
  • Upon a team’s 6th accumulated foul in each half, the defending team cannot build a wall to block the kick.
  • The 6th accumulated foul will result in a penalty kick from the second mark which is 7 yards away (top of the 3 point line)
  • The player taking the kick must be clearly identified and the player taking the kick must make an attempt at the goal.

Slide Tackling:

  • Slide tackling is a major foul in Futsal
  • There is no sliding allowed unless accidental and with no other players in the area.


  • The GK is allowed to slide with hands first in an attempt to clear or save the ball, if in referees’ judgment, his slide is an attempt only to make contact with the ball and not the opponent
  • If GK slide is reckless (a foot in air, a hook, rolling tackle) it is a foul and possibly a  cardable offense.

Cautionable Offenses:

A player is cautioned and shown a yellow card if the commits any of the following offenses:

  • is guilty of unsporting conduct
  • shows dissent by word or action
  • persistently infringes the Laws of the Game
  • delays the restart of play
  • fails to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick or free kick (including kick-ins and direct/indirect restarts. As the outdoor game has an unwritten rule to stand close to the ball the prevent a restart. This will not be allowed as futsal is designed for speed of play. This is an automatic yellow card).
  • enters or re-enters the playing court without the referee’s permission
  • deliberately leaves the playing court without the referee’s permission

For any of these offenses, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred. If the offense was committed within the penalty area the indirect free kick is taken from the penalty area line at the place nearest to where the infringement occurred. A caution is also given provided that no graver infringement of the Laws has been committed.
Sending-off Offenses:

A player is sent off and shown the red card if he commits any of the following offenses:

  • is guilty of serious foul play
  • is guilty of violent conduct
  • spits an opponent or any other person
  • denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball
  • denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
  • A player is sent off and shown the red card if he commits any of the following offenses
  • uses offensive, insulting or abusive language
  • receives a second caution in the same game

Upon receiving the red card the team that the player was on will play shorthanded for 5 minutes. The player is not allowed to re-enter the game. After 5 minutes another player is allowed as a substitute or if the other team scores during that time period.

Penalty Kick

  • A penalty kick is awarded against a team which commits any of the offenses for which a direct free kick is awarded inside its own penalty area and while the ball is in play.
  • There are two penalty marks. 6 yards (free throw line) and 8 yards (top of penalty area which is the 3 point line).
  • The penalty kick is taken at the 6 yard mark for any foul occurring in the penalty area.
  • Penalty kicks are taken from the 8 yard mark for accumulated fouls starting with the 6th when they occur in the defensive half.
  • Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken at the end of each half or at the end of each period of extra time.
  • For penalty kicks from the second mark the goalkeeper is allowed to be 2 yards off his line and can move backwards or side to side.

Most Important FIFA and House Futsal Rules To Know

Here is a list of the easiest way to summarize the rules of Futsal with additional house rules:

  1. There is a 4 second limit on every restart.
  2. No shoulder charging.
  3. No slide tackling.
  4. Kick-in instead of throw in.
  5. Goals cannot be scored from kick-ins.  Kick offs do not have to go forward first.
  6. No goal kick but goal clearance (goal keeper rolls/throws the ball with hands).
  7. Goalkeeper cannot drop kick or punt the ball.
  8. The futsal pass back rule to the goalkeeper is in effect.  After any goalkeeper distribution (hands or feet) the ball must be touched by the opponent before playing back to the goalkeeper.  The exception to the rule is if the goalkeeper is in the offensive half of the field, then they are allowed to touch the ball at any point.
  9. Goalkeeper cannot throw the ball in the air past the top of the opponent’s penalty arc.
  10. Substitutions are made “on the fly”(player has to leave field before the other comes in)
  11. Upon a team’s 6th accumulated foul in each half, the defending team cannot build a wall to block the kick and this results in a penalty kick from the first mark or second mark.
  12. No offside rule.
  13. Games are 2 equal periods of 24 minutes with 1 minute for half time.
  14. One 30 second time out per team per half.
  15. Switching of benches between halves.
  16. For free kicks and corner kicks – opponents have to be at least 3 yards away from the ball. For kick-ins opponents have to be at least 3 yards award. Not adhering to the required distance is an automatic yellow card in futsal.
  17. In a goal clearance players should be on the pitch and outside the penalty area of the team taking the goal clearance until the ball is in play.
  18. In a penalty kick all player other than the player taking the kick must be 4 yards behind the ball.
  19. Flat indoor shoes only, no cleats or turf shoes of any kind.
  20. Please arrive for games 15 minutes early.
  21. Referee’s decisions are final, please respect their decision.
  22. Fighting is not tolerated in result in the player’s immediate removal from the league and the Director of FUTSALNH will make a decision regarding the team.

Codes of Conduct

The Code of Conduct must be followed by all players, coaches, officials, and parents.  Failure to follow the code of conduct may result in the dismissal of the individual from the league and premises without refund.

Officials’ Code of Conduct 
1.  Apply the Laws of the Game and competition rules fairly and consistently.
2.  Be honest and completely impartial at all times.
3.  Never tolerate offensive, insulting or abusive language or behavior from players and officials.
4.  Set a positive personal example by promoting good behavior and showing respect to everyone involved in the game.
5.  Manage the game in a positive, calm and confident manner.
6.  Deal with all instances of violence, aggression, unsporting behavior, foul play and other misconduct.

Player’s Code of Conduct 
1.  Always play fair and to the best of your ability.
2.  Play by the rules.
3.  Listen and follow the commands as directed by the referee.
4.  Shake hands with the other team and referee at the end of the game.
5.  Respect your teammates, the other team, referees, coaches, and parents.
6.  Wear the appropriate required equipment.

Coach’s Code of Conduct
1.  Promote Fair Play and high standards of behavior.
2.  Adhere to the laws and spirit of the game and always respect the officials’ decisions.
3.  Respect officials, opposition players, coaches and parents.
4.  Never enter the field of play without the referee’s permission.
5.  Never engage in public criticism of the match officials.
6.  Never engage in, or tolerate from your players, offensive, insulting or abusive language or behavior.
7.  Safety for player, coaches, parents are officials are a top priority.


Parent’s Code of Conduct

  1. Respect member, players, parents, referees and coaches.
    2.  Always respect the match official’s decision.
    3.  Remember that children play for fun.
    4.  Let the coach do their job and not confuse the players by coaching from the sideline.
    5.  Encourage the players to respect the opposition, referee, and match officials.