How to Play Futsal – A Quick Guide (for Beginners)

Futsal is the fastest growing sports in the world. Also known as 5-a-side, it has grown in popularity among youths and particularly in cities (where there are less open areas)

Also known as 5-a-side, it has grown in popularity among youths and particularly in cities (where there are less open areas)

What is Futsal and How is it Played?

Futsal is a football game played between 5 players on each side.Futsal was developed in Brazil somewhere between 1930s and 1940s.

The word “futsal” is derived from the portuguese word – “futebol de salao”, which basically means room football. Since then, futsal has grown to be an international sports and even has a world cup competition of it’s own.Pretty Interesting, right?While football is played on an open ground, futsal is played on a room-like area.

The game is played on a hard court surface, with boundaries that almost resembles a basketball court. The pitch is filled with the grass-like surface, also known as futsal turf grass.📷

There are 5 players inside the pitch- with each having one of 4 roles – Goalkeeper, Pivot, Wing and Fixo (defender).GoalkeeperThe only player who may use his hand to pass and stop the ball. He cannot touch with his hands outside the D-area.Fixo (Defender)Generally one person plays as a fixo – a defender in futsal.Wing Wings, both left and right play wide and are crucial for attacks and scoring.Target / PivotPivot is like a striker – an important role to build up attack in 5-a-side.

Basic Futsal Rules

Although most of the rules like handball are similar to the 11-side soccer, there are few rules that differentiate the futsal from regular football.Here are few of those:

  • No Offside
  • Unlimited Substitutions
  • Play with a size 4 ball (which bounce less)
  • 5 players per team
  • Kick the ball in instead of throws
  • Substitute the sent off players after 2 minutes

“An introductory video to the rules of futsal”A penalty is awarded to the opponents if a player (except goalkeeper) touches the ball with his hands.Or, commit a foul.Goalkeeper has 4 seconds to play the ball and pass it to teammates after he catches with his hands.

Tips for Better Play

Although each player has his role, their position should not be fixed in futsal.As the pitch is small and gameplay is fast, players often rotate their position to build up attacks.Here are few tips and advice I have, which will help you play like a pro even if you’re a beginner:

  • Play fast. Don’t hold ball for long.
  • Widen up the play through wings to open up the pitch.
  • Pass the ball back often, when in a tight area.
  • Control the ball with a tap – this way there’s less chance you lose control.
  • Fall back often to help your teammates.

Here is a video that explains basic futsal strategy, which includes diamond formation:“Basic Futsal Strategy”Diamond formation is the most preferred formation in 5-a-side game.As the player rotate, they form a shape like a diamond, which not only opens up the field but also build-up attacks.Every one in the team has to be ready to shoot.In futsal, players shoot often and your team has to be ready to both shoot and then defend, when others shoot.Goalkeepers should always be active throughout the game.