[16 Key Differences] Futsal vs Soccer/Football Discussed

Futsal Vs Soccer

Futsal and soccer share the same basic aim of scoring goals with the feet. However, they play with distinct equipment and rules that lead to considerable differences in gameplay.

Futsal utilizes a size 4 ball that is smaller and heavier than the size 5 soccer ball. This gives players enhanced ball control on the tight futsal court. The game unfolds rapidly on the smooth hard court surface compared to soccer’s expansive grass or turf fields.

Futsal is played 5 vs 5 while soccer involves 11 vs 11, allowing for faster transitions and more frequent scoring opportunities in futsal’s reduced space. Unlimited running substitutions in futsal permit constant rotation of fresh legs onto the court, unlike soccer’s three substitutions.

The lack of an offside rule and restrictions like 4-second restarts keep futsal matches intense. Positions vary, with futsal relying on proficient defenders instead of physical tacklers. The futsal goalkeeper sweeps outside their penalty area, unlike soccer keepers who stay on the line.

Futsal Vs Soccer Infographic
Futsal Vs Soccer Details

While the sports share common DNA, their differing equipment, court size, number of players, substitution rules, and positional play lead to an altogether different experience for competitors and spectators.

Comparing Futsal vs Soccer

Futsal is played indoors on a hard court, while soccer is played outdoors on grass or turf. Futsal uses a smaller, heavier ball that bounces less than a soccer ball. This allows for better ball control in tight spaces.

Teams are 5 vs 5 in futsal and 11 vs 11 in soccer. Futsal also has unlimited “flying” substitutions, while soccer only allows 3 subs. The lack of an offside rule, 4-second restart limit, and kick-ins make futsal faster-paced with more constant attacking.

Soccer Futsal (Five-a-Side Soccer)
#5 Ball #4 Ball – 30% less bounce
11 players 5 players
3 substitutions Unlimited “flying” substitutions (12 Players on a Team)
Throw-in Kick-in
Running Clock Stopped Clock
45 minute halves 20 minute halves
No time-outs 1 time-out per half
Goal kicks Goal Clearance (throw)
Some contact No shoulder charges or sliding tackles
No absolute time limit to restart game 4-second rule on restarts
Offside Rule No Offside Rule
Goalkeeper steps No restrictions, but limited to 4 seconds
Goalkeeper cannot touch by hand a ball kicked back Goalkeeper cannot touch by hand a ball played back
Unlimited back passes to Goalkeeper One back pass to Goalkeeper
No sub for player sent off Player sent off can be substituted for after 2 minutes or other has scored
Corner kick placed in arch Corner kick placed on the corner

Futsal goalkeepers have a more dynamic role, distributing the ball with their feet and supporting play. Soccer goalkeepers focus on shot-stopping.

The smaller court and ball in futsal emphasize technical skills like close control and passing in tight spaces. Soccer highlights athleticism and endurance across a larger pitch.

Positions Difference in Futsal vs Soccer

The 5 vs 5 format of futsal leads to more fluid positioning compared to the fixed roles like in 11-a-side soccer. In futsal, there are no dedicated defenders or midfielders – all outfield players must be competent at both attacking and defending.

The smaller court means players are constantly rotating to support teammates in attack and tracking back to defend. Specialist positions are rare since close proximity requires all players to multitask. Futsal formations are also different from soccer formations because of the number of players and space available on the pitch in both games is different.

Futsal introduces unique roles like the pivot, a central target man who receives passes with his back to goal to link up play. Soccer has no equivalent to this creative attacker.

Futsal Positions Soccer Positions
Commands the penalty area, initiates attacks with distribution, and makes reflex saves. Sweeps outside the box.
Protects the net and area in front of the goal. Less involved in buildup play. Stays on goal line more.
Main defender that coordinates back line. Delays opposition attack until support arrives. Intercepts passes.
Center Back
Anchors defense with physical presence, tackling, and aerial ability. Covers more ground.
Agile wingers that dominate the sidelines with speed and flair. Balance attacking and defending duties.
Stay wide to cross balls into the box. Specialize in beating defenders 1v1.
Central attacker that initiates attacks and looks to finish. Distributes passes and turns to shoot quickly.
Center Forward
Main striker that focuses on scoring goals. More direct.

Wide players in futsal called alas operate in tighter spaces and focus on 1v1 play, while soccer wingers stretch the field running up and down the flanks.

The futsal goalkeeper acts as a sweeper, distributing the ball with their feet and supporting the attack, as opposed to soccer keepers are focused on shot-stopping from the goal line within in D area.

The flexibility demanded by the 5v5 futsal game develops well-rounded players competent in all areas. In futsal, positions change rapidly to support teammates on a small court. Improving futsal positions your team will improve and it will also improve world futsal rankings.

In contrast, 11-a-side soccer permits dedicated roles like pure strikers, defenders, and creative midfielders to flourish in specific zones.

Difference Between Futsal and Soccer Ball

The main differences between a futsal ball and a soccer ball relate to size, weight, materials, diameter, and bounce. Typically futsal ball size is 4 ball weighing 400-440g while a soccer ball is size 5 weighing between 410-450g.

Futsal Ball Soccer Ball
Size Size 4, smaller Size 5, larger
Weight Heavier to stay low Lightweight
Materials Controls bounce on hard court Withstands grass
Diameter 62-64 cm 68-72 cm
Bounce Lower bounce Higher bounce

The smaller and heavier futsal ball allows for better ball control and passing on a hard indoor court. Futsal balls have a compressed cork interior and durable synthetic leather exterior to control bounce while soccer balls have a rubber exterior to withstand outdoor grass pitches.

In terms of diameter, a regulation futsal ball measures between 62-64cm compared to a soccer ball which is 68-72cm. The weight of a futsal ball also leads to a much lower bounce – when dropped from 1 meter high, a futsal ball will have 50-65% rebound while a soccer ball can rebound 90-100%. Lower bounce allows for more accurate passes and shots in futsal.

Number of Players and Substitutions

Futsal has five players per team with unlimited flying substitutions. Soccer has eleven players with a limit of three substitutions. In futsal, squads contain up to twelve players who can sub on and off without stopping play. This constant rotation keeps fresh legs on the court.

Soccer originally allowed one substitution per team introduced in 1958. This increased to two subs in 1988 then three in 1995. Up to five substitutions were permitted from 2020. Subs in soccer can only be made at a break in play with the referee’s permission.

Futsal Soccer
5 players per team
Unlimited flying substitutions
11 players per team
Limit of 3 substitutions
Up to 12 players per squad
Constant rotation of fresh legs
Subs only at break in play
With referee’s permission
Encourages free-flowing games
With sustained intensity
Managers must strategize subs
Players conserve energy

The unlimited futsal subs encourage free-flowing games with sustained intensity. Players can go all out knowing they’ll be replaced. Limited soccer subs require managers to strategize when to make changes. Players conserve energy for the full 90 minutes.

Extra subs are allowed in soccer-friendly games and youth matches in the futsal league. The normal limit prevents over-coaching during competitive games. So in tournament futsal emphasizes continuous action with unlimited changes while soccer values set roles with restricted subs.

Rules Differences

Soccer is played between two teams of 11 players each. To start the game, a coin toss determines which team kicks off first. The player taking the kickoff cannot touch the ball again until another player touches it.

The aim of soccer is to score more goals than the opposing team by getting the ball into the opponent’s net. Players can score from anywhere on the field as long as the whole ball crosses over the goal line between the goal posts and under the crossbar.

Soccer players must use their feet, head, or chest to control the ball – hands are not allowed except for the goalkeeper within their own penalty area. Slide tackling, tripping, pushing, and excessive force are prohibited. Fouls result in a direct or indirect free kick for the other team. Players committing serious fouls may receive a caution (yellow card) or ejection (red card).

Futsal Rules Soccer Rules
5 players per team (4 outfield players, 1 goalkeeper)
Unlimited substitutions allowed
11 players per team (10 outfield players, 1 goalkeeper)
Limited substitutions (3-5 per match depending on league)
No offsides rule
Kick-ins instead of throw-ins
Offsides rule prohibits goal hanging
Throw-ins to restart play after ball exits sidelines
Accumulated fouls rule – direct free kicks after 6 team fouls
4 second limit for goalkeeper controlling ball
Direct and indirect free kicks for fouls/misconduct
Goalkeeper hand control allowed only in penalty area
Boundaries are touchlines and goal lines only Boundary lines on sidelines and goal lines

When the ball goes out of bounds over the sideline, the play restarts with a throw-in. When it crosses the end line, play restarts with a goal kick (if last touched by the attacking team) or corner kick (if last touched by the defending team).

The offside rule aims to prevent goal-hanging and goal-poaching. An attacking player cannot receive the ball if they are closer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second last defender when the ball is played.

A regulation soccer field is 100-130 yards long by 50-100 yards wide. Lines, penalty areas, goal areas, corner arcs, and a center circle designate specific areas of the field. Games last two 45-minute halves with a halftime break. Injury time may be added at the referee’s discretion.

Uniforms, shin guards, cleats, and other equipment must abide by strict regulations. Substitutions are limited and must occur at stoppages approved by the referee. Overall, the rules aim to ensure fair play, protect player safety, and encourage skillful play.

Playing Surface

Futsal is played indoors on a hard court surface like wood or artificial material, whereas soccer is played outdoors on grass or artificial turf. The indoor setting leads to a faster pace as the ball moves quicker across the smooth, flat surface.

The hard court surface affects how the game is played – there is more emphasis on controlled passing and ball manipulation in futsal rather than long balls and aerial play. Ground play dominates on the true bounce of the indoor court.

In summary, while the basic objective is the same, futsal differs from soccer in major ways when it comes to team shape, the ball, pace of play, rules, substitutions, and playing surface. The smaller and faster version of futsal brings its own unique skills and strategies. Both sports offer fun challenges for players looking to master ball control and team play.

Conclusion of Futsal vs Soccer

Futsal and soccer offer differentiated training experiences that together cultivate complete players. Futsal’s compact court hones close control and passing in tight spaces – skills demanding precise footwork and quality futsal shoes.

The low-bounce ball forces futsal players to constantly maneuver it with agile foot movements, where traction and ball feel are essential. The best futsal shoes like the Adidas Menace provide the touch and grip to manipulate the ball in tight areas.

Soccer then allows the application of these technical qualities in larger tactical contexts across expansive pitches. The sports complement each other, with futsal developing the fundamental individual ball skills and soccer teaching how to connect skills together in an 11 v 11 team framework.

Well-fitted futsal shoes build foundational ball control, while versatile soccer cleats get players to apply skills in match situations. Combining futsal’s tight spaces and soccer’s wide stages accelerates development for players looking to reach the highest levels.

FAQs of Futsal vs Soccer

futsal has no offsides rule, restricts the goalkeeper from punting the ball, does not allow slide tackles, and uses kick-ins instead of throw-ins to restart play when the ball goes out of bounds. Futsal also limits each team to 5 futsal players on the court at once for action-packed small-sided play.

The foundational techniques in futsal are dribbling with tight ball control, accurate passing between teammates, receiving ground and aerial balls cleanly, heading for scoring chances, and placing precise shots on target.

Futsal does not permit slide tackling or any slides aimed at dispossessing opponents, though players can slide to keep the ball in play. Matches are 40 minutes straight with no timeouts or halves.

After a team commits 6 fouls, the opposing team is awarded a direct free kick without a wall where the kicker must shoot for a goal without passing. This penalty kick must be taken by an identified player aiming to score.

Futsal is played indoors on a small court with 5 players per team and a small ball to enable tight control. Soccer is played outdoors on a large field with 11 players per side using a large ball suited for power and speed.

A futsal ball is lighter than a football. FIFA rules state a size 4 futsal ball should weigh between 400-440g, while a size 5 football weighs between 410-450g. So a futsal ball is around 10 grams lighter than a standard outdoor football.

Futsal made its Olympic debut as a full medal sport on the program at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. Prior to this, futsal had never been contested at any Olympic Games. So futsal is now an Olympic sport, but only at the Youth Olympic level so far.

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