Kick-started firstly by the visit of the first international futsal team to English shores, when Tranmere Victoria hosted the Iranian National Futsal Team in October 2002 and then by the interest generated from a pilot futsal tournament hosted by Sheffield Hallamshire FA in the November of the same year, the Football Association began to put in place plans to take the game forward at a grass roots level in 2003 through the establishment of a National Championships and the participation of Tranmere Victoria in the 2003 – 2004 UEFA Futsal cup.
The first National Championships were played in July 2003, drawing teams from regional qualifying competitions in London, Cheltenham, Wirral, Sheffield and Grimsby, with Sheffield Hallam Futsal Club being crowned champions.
Just before the national Championships the first ever England Futsal team gathered, under Head Coach Graeme Dell, to take part in a major International Futsal Tournament taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The KL5’s saw 11 other teams, including Brazil, Argentina and Japan join England to compete for a $100,000 prize.
Since Kuala Lumpur the national futsal team programme has continued to move on, with the England team participating in the preliminary rounds for the 2005 UEFA Futsal Championship in January 2004.
This was a landmark event in the history of English Futsal, being the first time that an England National Team had competed in an official UEFA competition. Again under the guidance of Graeme Dell, and drawn against two other nations relatively new to the sport - Cyprus and Albania - England travelled to Albania keen to build on some encouraging performances in the KL5’s but narrowly lost out in both matches
The official rules for Futsal – ‘The FIFA Futsal Laws of the Game’ are published by FIFA and cover all aspects of the rules that the game should be played to and the disciplinary actions that players face when they infringe on those rules.
There are 18 laws in all, ranging in focus from the technical requirements of the ball and pitch through to the exact workings of the accumulated foul rule.
Here we guide you through the laws, highlighting the basic principals of the game that make it different from any other versions of five-a-side that you might have played before:
Futsal is played on a marked pitch and the ball can go out of play (see illustration for dimensions and layout of pitch).
Is a fundamental factor in making the game and is by virtue of the laws of the game required to be a smaller, heavier, ‘low bounce’ version of 11 a-side ball
There are no restrictions (apart form the ceiling of the sports hall!) as to how high the ball can be kicked in Futsal.
Up to 12 players can be used in one match and there is no limit on how long a player must stay on or off the pitch. Players must enter and leave the field of play via the ‘substitution zone’ that is marked on the pitch in front of the team’s benches.
In order to restart the game after a ball has gone out of play the ball is kicked back into play from the touchline and from corners. The ball must be placed stationary on the touchline and the feet of the player taking the kick-in must not cross the line.
The 4 second rule
For kick-ins, free kicks, goal clearances and corner kicks the player in possession of the ball has 4 seconds to restart play which the referee will count with their fingers in the air. If play isn’t restarted within four seconds an indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team. The goalkeeper is not allowed to control the ball for more than 4 seconds in his own half.
The 5m rule
Players are required to keep 5m from the player in possession of the ball on free kicks, corners, goal clearances, kick-ins and penalties.
Goalkeepers are allowed to come out of and players are allowed to go into the penalty area. A goal clearance must be thrown out and the goalkeeper cannot touch the ball again until it has crossed into the opponents half or a member of the opposition has touched the ball.
Each team will be allowed to give away 5 direct free kicks in each half, then on the sixth foul a direct kick is awarded to the opposing team and the defending team is not allowed to position any players (other than the goal keeper) between the ball and the goal. The kick may be take from the 10m mark or, if the foul was committed closer to the goal than the 10m mark, then the kick may be taken from the position where the foul took place.
A Futsal match consists of two twenty minute halfs that are played real-time which means the clock stops whenever the ball goes out of play.
Each team is allowed a one-minute time out in each half lasting 60 seconds.
Sliding tackles are not allowed in Futsal but players ARE allowed to slide on the pitch, for example to stop the ball from going out of play. For a player sliding to be considered an offence, the tackler’s opponent must have possession of the ball. Referees will not give a foul for a slide if the opponent does not have possession of the ball.
If a player is sent off then the team to which the player belongs must remain with 4 players until either two minutes have passed, or the opposition have scored a goal.
In an International Futsal match there are three referees and one timekeeper, here's what they should be responsible for:
The first referee is responsible for controlling the match and has full authority to enforce the laws of the game. They will keep a record of the match and provide the appropriate authorities with a match report if required and will act as a timekeeper if one isn’t present.
The second referee is also permitted to use his whistle to stop the game for any infringement of the laws and will ensure that the substitutions are carried out correctly.
The third referee assists the timekeeper and the other referees by recording details of the game on the match report sheet such as times of goals, stoppages and the number of accumulated fouls. The third referee should also try to control the bench area for the two teams, only allowing the coach to stand a give instruction to the players.
Futsal Level 1
It’s fun, it’s fast, it’s Futsal – and now you can learn how this super-quick game of football is played.
The FA is committed to developing the FIFA and UEFA approved format of Small Sided Football – Futsal.
On completion of the course the candidate should be able to:
Understand and appreciate the fundamentals of Futsal
Organise and coach the basic skills and techniques of Futsal
Understand the basic principles of attack and defence of Futsal
Appreciate the ‘Laws of the Game’ of Futsal
Have an appreciation of the fitness demands of Futsal
Course of Training - 6 hours
4 hours practical
2 hours theory
The course is an open access course. However in order to be certificated candidates must hold one of the existing FA Coaching Awards. Candidates seeking certification for the course should therefore hold or have attended the following;
An existing FA Coaching Qualification
FA Child Protection module
FA Emergency First Aid
Successful completion of the Course Assessment Examination Paper (multiple choice)
A course fee of £30.00 is payable in advance of the course taking place.
The Course fee includes the cost of the course resources - Futsal DVD, Course Tutor notes (key skills and drills), Laws of the Game Booklet.
To register your interest for this course, please contact Phil Robinson on 0191 2701166,