Futsal is not the same as soccer
Most futsal tournaments are run like soccer tournaments. But they shouldn’t be. Since futsal games are quick and courts are close by each other, teams can play back-to-back games (and more than 2 in a day). This allows us to create bracket formats that lead to a more exciting “win and advance” tournament environment while still guaranteeing that every team gets at least three games. And every division has a Championship Game (aka, Final), even 4- and 5-team groups that are often set up as round-robins. The software is important, so make sure you download the Tourney Machine app and help us ensure that scores are entered quickly and correctly.
Format for 4-team Divisions
At most tournaments, the format for 4-Team Divisions is to play a round-robin and then have 1 vs 2 in a rematch. Game 3s are almost always lame duck games: you either know you can’t make the Final, have already made the Final, or are playing the team you’ll play again later in the Final. Lame, lame, lame. So instead, we put every team directly into a bracket. Win twice, and you’ll be in the Final. Lose, and you can still scratch and claw your way through the Losers Bracket to make the Final. If a bracket game ends in a tie, the team that scored first advances. If it happens to end 0-0, there will be a 3-minute-max golden goal overtime and then rock-paper-scissors best of 3 to determine who advances.
Format for 5-team Divisions
At most tournaments, the format for 5-Team Divisions is to play a round-robin. Borrrrring. So instead, we have each team play two group-stage games vs two other random teams in the group. From there, every team moves on to either a play-in game (4 vs 5) or a semifinal (1 vs 3 and 2 vs the 4/5 winner) that are hopefully new matchups. Why not have the 1-seed play the 4/5 winner? Because it’s highly likely that would be a rematch. Because overtime and shootouts can really wreck a tournament schedule, we only have them for the Final. If a semifinal ends in a tie, the team that scored first advances to the Final. If it happens to end 0-0, the better seed (1 or 2) advances to the Final.
Format for 6-team Divisions
At most tournaments, the format for 6-Team Divisions includes a “crossover” game that invariably seems to determine who makes the final. We hate that. So instead, we have each team play only two group-stage games vs the other two teams in the group. From there, every team moves on to either a semifinal (A1 vs B2 and B1 vs A2) or a consolation game (A3 vs B3) that are hopefully good matchups. Because overtime and shootouts can really wreck a tournament schedule, we only have them for the Final. If a semifinal ends in a tie, the team that scored first advances to the Final. If it happens to end 0-0, the 1-seed advances to the Final.
Format for 8-team Divisions
The format for 8-Team Divisions is pretty conventional. Teams play 3 games in their group and the winners of each group advance to a Final.
Championship Games for All Divisions
In the Final, if teams are tied at the end of regulation, we have a 3-minute golden goal overtime and golden goal shootout. More info can be found here: https://cincysc.com/tourneys/futsal-tournament-rules/