Futsal Rules & Match Day Operations

TIME: 20 minute halves. 2 minute half time

  • Teams switch benches at halftime so subs occur in defensive half of court in both halves
  • Each coach may call (1) one-minute time out per game (use or lose) when in possession of the ball
  • There are no time outs in overtime
  • Time out requests are made to the referee


SUB ON THE FLY within bench marks, and after outgoing player leaves 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-INS replace throw-ins (Goals cannot be scored from kick-ins)

5 YARDS (15 feet) given on all restarts

4 SECONDS to put ball into play, including goal throws. The referee will give a visual count with his hand. Infraction results in opponent’s ball on arc

GOAL CLEARANCE (replaces goal kicks). GK has 4 seconds after retrieving ball to throw (or bowl) to teammate. Throw must leave penalty area

GK DROP GK may drop ball and play with feet after making a save from run of play, but not from goal clearance (goal kick)

GK PUNTING Not allowed whatsoever

SPECIAL GK RULE GK can only play the ball (by feet or hands) for 4 seconds in their own half one time per possession. Once a GK plays the ball, they cannot touch the ball a second time in their own half unless it has been touched by an opponent or goes out of bounds. GK’s playing in opponent’s half have no special playing restrictions.  

SLIDING TACKLING Field Players – no sliding.  GK’s – allowed to slide to make a save, provided that in referees’ judgment the slide is an attempt to make contact with the ball, not the opponent. Referees need to exercise good judgement as there will be natural incidental contact between players in these situations, including the attacking player appearing to be tripped by GK. If GK slide is at least careless (a foot in air, a hook, rolling tackle) it is a foul and possibly a cardable offense

6 FOUL RULE Upon a team’s 6th accumulated foul in each half and all other accumulated fouls within the half, the other team is awarded a penalty kick taken from the 10 meter penalty mark or where the infraction occurred (if it is in a more favourable spot). The defending team cannot build a wall to block the kick. The player taking the kick must be clearly identified and the player taking the kick must make an attempt at the goal

SENDING OFF FOULS (RED CARD) A player is sent off (may not re-enter) and his/her team plays a man down for 2 minutes. Substitution may occur after 2 minutes. Some examples of Sending Off Fouls include:

  • Handling the ball deliberately (field player)
  • Denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity by handling the ball
  • Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by fouling an opponent moving toward the goal.

Players receiving red cards WILL NOT have a mandatory 2 game suspension, as is customary, but we hope coaches self-police their players and “do the right thing”

USE OF CARDS GUIDE (regarding physical challenges)

“CARELESS” action: VERBAL Chat – Player appears to have made a clumsy tackle without intent to injury

“RECKLESS” action: YELLOW Caution – Player has acted with complete disregard to the safety of his/her opponent

“EXCESSIVE FORCE” action: RED Send Off – Player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of seriously injuring his/her opponent

House Rules

Caution Sending Off: if a player receives a yellow caution, that player must leave the game for 2 minutes (approximately) and is replaced (team does not play short).

Slaughter Rule: If a team is losing by 10 goals mid-way through the second half, the losing coach will be asked if they want to continue the game or not. If they don’t then the game is over.

Add-a-player: Up to U14, a team down by 5 goals will have the option of adding a player (i.e. to play 6v5) until the goal difference gets back to 3. High School (U15+) teams will not have that option as the field would get too congested with the bigger players.

Max goal difference: We will not report a goal difference of more than 10 goals so for example if a team wins 20-2, the score will get recorded as 12-2.

Match Day Operations

Footwear: gym shoes or equivalent as appropriate for playing on a basketball floor.

Uniforms: all players on a team must wear the same color shirts, no numbers required, and all teams must have a light and a dark colored set of shirts at each game in case of a color clash (coin toss decides who changes). Wearing pennies is fine.

Warm Ups: If warm up space is available, we encourage your team to do pre game activities of your choice, but in a controlled manner, respecting the turf area as a shared space. For the safety of all, SHOOTING OF ANY KIND IS PROHIBITED, either at the wall or the end nets.

Roster: Every team must hand in their completed roster form before their first game.

Payment: Payment is expected in full before we start scheduling the event.

Proof of age: all coaches must have proof of age with them for every player at every game. Examples of acceptable documents would be player pass, birth certificate, state id, and passport.

Age challenge: If you want to challenge the age of a player on the opposing team, the head coach (and only the head coach, not a parent or team manager of anyone else) must tell the ref before the start of the game. If the challenged coach cannot produce proof of the challenged player’s age then that player must not play the game. Please do not do this frivolously as it creates a negative environment and in 99% of cases you’re just plain wrong and the challenged player IS age-appropriate, no matter what you might think otherwise, and also be sure that YOU have all of your documentation with you before you challenge another coach as (s)he will almost certainly immediately challenge the age of your players in return.

Sharing Players: Unless “flexible rostering”* is stated as allowed for this specific event, by default for all leagues a player is only allowed to be rostered on one team across the whole league while for tournaments a player is only allowed to be rostered on one team per division.

Max Roster: Unless “flexible rostering”* is stated as allowed for this specific event, the max roster size is 10.

Guest Players: You can add a player to a team mid-season as long as they are not currently rostered on another team and you have less than 12 players on your team’s roster and the new player signs the roster/waiver form before they play their first game. Otherwise you cannot add a guest player for a game unless “flexible rostering”* is stated as allowed for this specific event.

Playoff Overtime: If the event format supports playoffs (semi-finals/finals), their overtime shall consist of a 3-minute “golden goal” overtime period with a coin toss to decide kick-off/direction. The first team to score in overtime is the winner. If no team has scored in the 3-minute overtime, the winner shall be decided in a penalty shootout with a coin toss to decide team kicking order.

Penalty Shootout (playoffs only): The 5 players from each team remaining on the field at the end of the overtime period will be the only players to kick for their team. The remaining 5 field players after overtime regulation will rotate, alternating teams with each kick. The first round of shootouts will consist of each player kicking once (round of 5 players shooting per team). The team with the most goals after the first round will be considered the winner. If the score remains tied after the first round of penalty kicks, the same 5 players will alternate in the same order in a sudden death penalty kick format until one team scores unanswered. If one team has received a red card during the game and finishes with less than 5 players on the field, a remaining roster player (other than the red carded player) must be chosen to kick in the rotation of penalty kicks. If the red-carded player is the last remaining roster player, the remaining field players must rotate to take all kicks.

Championship Bracket Seeding (Playoffs Only): Championship Bracket seeding will be determined by points and tie-breakers as detailed below. A forfeited game is scored as a 6-0 win for the team that is present. Referees will provide the winning coach a scorecard, which must be turned into the Registration Desk immediately following the game! For games where the score-card is not turned in to the Registration Desk, a verbally communicated score will be accepted until the score-card can be produced.

Points: 3 for a win, 1 for a tie, 0 for a loss. No additional points for shutouts or goals scored.

Tie-Breakers: During pool play for competitions that lead to play-offs, to determine play-off seeding ties will be broken by:

  • head to head results between the tied teams
  • ONLY if all teams have same number of head to head games: goal difference in head to head games
  • ONLY if all teams have same number of head to head games: goals against in head to head games
  • goal difference in pool play games
  • goals against in pool play games
  • coin toss