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Rules Overview / Field of Play

COACHES AND PLAYERS - WELCOME!

Coaches and Players - Welcome!

You’ll find most of what you need to know about futsal in this overview. 

You will see that futsal is a fast-paced game that is fun to play and will help players to improve their skills. USYF’s goal is to help the players develop, while they are having fun competing.

We host 3 different types of event:

  1. Competitive Leagues (typically Winter sessions)
  2. Developmental Leagues (typically Spring/Summer/Fall sessions)
  3. Tournaments

So below you will find rules that apply consistently to all 3 and then additional rules that apply to each type of event separately.



FUTSAL RULES & MATCH DAY OPERATIONS

BASIC FUTSAL RULES

PLAYERS- 4 field players + goal keeper 

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

NO OFFSIDE

KICK-INS replace throw-ins (Goals cannot be scored direct 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 GK can punt or drop kick after making a save from run of play, but not from goal clearance (goal kick)

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.

TIMEOUTS 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 the last 3 minutes of the game.
  • There are no time outs in overtime.
  • Time out requests are made to the referee.

SLIDING TACKLING Field Players - no sliding except to make a play that is not a “tackle”. 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, 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 favorable 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.

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

FOOTWARE: gym/turf shows or equivalent as appropriate for playing on a firm surface (no cleats).

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.

BOLINGBROOK ONLY: Courtside bags: Only one bag per team, usually the coach’s, allowed courtside. Courtside water bottles: Water bottles must be contained in a water bottle tray or coaches bag. No loose water bottles. A coach’s chair may be permitted by request for coaches coaching multiple games in a row.

PALATINE ONLY: Because we have the room, we will allow one coaches chair in each bench area (we feel sorry for coaches who coach the marathon days!). 

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, or 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.

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

  1. head to head results between the tied teams
  2. ONLY if all teams have same number of head to head games: goal difference in head to head games
  3. ONLY if all teams have same number of head to head games: goals against in head to head games
  4. goal difference in pool play games
  5. goals against in pool play games
  6. coin toss

Protests: Protests are strongly discouraged as this is a friendly environment. Referee judgment calls are not grounds for a protest. A team wishing to protest must do so to the Event Director before the end of the game in question. The formal protest must be made from the head coach of the team protesting. Videotape is not acceptable as a form of protest or decision review. Protests are not accepted after the game in questions is completed. The decision of the Event Director is FINAL.

LEAGUE/TOURNAMENT-SPECIFIC RULES

COMPETITIVE LEAGUE RULES ADDENDUM

TIME 20 minute halves. 2 minute half time

  • Teams switch benches at halftime so subs occur in defensive half of court in both halves

SHARING PLAYERS: A player is only allowed to be rostered on one team across the whole league.

MAX ROSTER: The max roster size is 12.

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.

ADD-A-PLAYER: Up to U14, a team winning by 5 goals will have the option of inviting the losing team to add a player (i.e. to play 6v5) until the goal difference gets back to 3. The losing team is welcome to request this of the winning team but cannot just do it of their own accord. U15 and older teams will not have that option as the field would get too congested with the bigger players. (NOTE: The winning team makes the decision).

DEVELOPMENTAL LEAGUE RULES ADDENDUM

TIME 20 minute halves. 2 minute half time

  • Teams switch benches at halftime so subs occur in defensive half of court in both halves

SHARING PLAYERS: It’s fine to share players between teams’ players as long as they are age/gender/ability appropriate and sign a waiver form before they play.

MAX ROSTER: There is no max, it’s at your discretion.

GUEST PLAYERS: It’s fine to bring guest players as long as they are age/gender/ability appropriate and sign a waiver form before they play.

ADD-A-PLAYER: Up to U14, a team losing by 5 goals will have the option of adding a player (i.e. to play 6v5) until the goal difference gets back to 3. The losing team does not need the winning teams permission to do this. U15 and older teams will not have that option as the field would get too congested with the bigger players. (NOTE: the losing team makes the decision)

TOURNAMENT RULES ADDENDUM

TIME One 37 minute period, running clock.

  • Each timeout taken is part of the game time, not added on to it.

SHARING PLAYERS: A player is only allowed to be rostered on one team per division.

MAX ROSTER: The max roster size is 12.

GUEST PLAYERS: You can add a player to a team mid-tournament 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.

ADD-A-PLAYER: Up to U14, a team winning by 5 goals will have the option of inviting the losing team to add a player (i.e. to play 6v5) until the goal difference gets back to 3. The losing team is welcome to request this of the winning team but cannot just do it of their own accord. U15 and older teams will not have that option as the field would get too congested with the bigger players. (NOTE: The winning team makes the decision)


Field of Play

The field shall be rectangular. The length of the touch line shall be greater than the length of the goal line.

Length:
Minimum 25m (82 feet)
Maximum 42m (137.8 feet)

Width:
Minimum 15m (49.2 feet)
Maximum 25m (82 feet)

INTERNATIONAL MATCHES

Length:
Minimum 38m (124.6 feet)
Maximum 42m (137.8 feet)

Width:
Minimum 18m (59 feet)
Maximum 25m (82 feet

The pitch shall be marked with lines. These lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries. The two longer boundary lines are called touch lines. The two shorter lines are called goal lines.

All lines shall be 8 cm wide. The pitch shall be divided into two halves by the halfway line. The centre mark shall be indicated at the midpoint of the halfway line. A circle with a radius of 3m (9.8 feet) shall be marked around it.

The penalty area shall be marked out at each end of the pitch as follows:

Quarter circles, with a 6m (18 feet) radius, shall be drawn centred on the outside of each goal post. The quarter circles shall be drawn from the goal line to meet two imaginary lines 6m (19.6 feet) in length drawn at right angles to the goal line from the outside of the goalpost. The upper part of each quarter circle shall be joined by a 3.16-m (10.3 feet) line running parallel to the goal line between the goalposts. The curved line marking the outer limit of the penalty area is known as the penalty area line.

The Penalty Mark

A mark shall be drawn 6m (19.6 feet) from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant from them.

The Second Penalty Mark

A second mark shall be drawn on the pitch 10m (32.8 feet) from the midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant from them.

The substitution zones are the areas on the touch line in front of the team benches that the players shall use to enter and leave the pitch.
The substitution zones are situated in front of the team benches and are 5m (16.4 feet) in length. They shall be marked at each end with a line 8 cm wide and 80 cm in length, 40 cm of which is drawn on the pitch and 40 cm off the pitch. The area in front of the timekeeper’s table 5m (16.4 feet) to either side of the halfway line shall be kept clear.

The goals shall be placed in the middle of each goal line. They shall consist of two upright posts equidistant from each corner and joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar.

The distance (inside measurement) between the posts shall be 3m (9.8 feet) and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground shall be 2m (6.5 feet).

The goalposts and the crossbar shall have the same width and depth,   8 cm. The goal lines shall be the same width as the goalposts and the crossbar. Nets, made of hemp, jute or nylon, shall be attached to the back of the goalposts and crossbar. The lower part of the nets shall be attached to curved tubing or another suitable means of support.

The depth of the goal, i.e. the distance between the inside edge of the goalposts and the back of the net, shall be at least 80 cm at the top and 100 cm at ground level.