TEAM REGISTRATION Teams must register and pay the registration fee to participate in the tournament. Teams should register into a division based upon player gender, age, and competitiveness level. The tournament directors attempt to form divisions with the best and most even competition possible.
TEAM CHECK-IN & ROSTER: There is no team check in. The recommended roster size is 5-8 players, but there is no limit. Players may only play on one team per division, but can play in multiple divisions. Tournament officials have the right to request proof of age for any player.
NOTABLE VARIATIONS FROM FIFA: In general, we want our futsal tourneys to follow FIFA and US Futsal Laws of the Game. Here are a few notable exceptions, which are elaborated on below:
- There’s no restriction about passing back to the GK’s feet or how long the GK can have the ball at their feet. (To encourage passing to the GK.)
- All restarts are indirect, except PKs (Faster restarts and fewer defensive walls.)
- We do not track accumulated fouls or award DFKSAFs. (Burden on the referee and rarely relevant).
- A penalty kick should be awarded for a foul that denies a clear goal scoring opportunity, regardless of where the foul occurred. (Punishment fits the crime.)
- There are no timeouts.
POINTS OF EMPHASIS
- The player must stop the ball before initiating a restart (it’s ok if it rolls a bit after it’s been stopped).
- The ball should be placed on the touchline for kick-ins, not behind it. (1st offense = redo. Subsequent = turnover).
- On substitutions, the player coming off should leave the court before the sub comes on (1st violation – inform/remind both teams; 2nd violation – warn coach; 3rd violation – yellow card to coach).
RULE 1: Number of Players — A team may have up to 5 players and must have at least of 3 players on the court to start a game. One player must be clearly distinguishable as the goalie. Each team defends the goal nearest their bench area.
RULE 2: Game Duration & Timekeeping — The game shall consist of one twenty-four (24) minute period with time and score kept on the scoreboard. There are no team timeouts and the game clock does not stop for official timeouts.
RULE 3: Kick Off – The referee determines which team kicks off with a coin toss or other method. The kick off is considered an indirect kick and may be taken in any direction.
RULE 4: Restarts – All restarts are indirect, except penalty kicks. The ball must be stopped at least momentarily with a hand or sole, at which point the team in possession has 4 seconds to put the ball back in play or the ball is turned over. If a free kick is awarded within the opposing penalty area, the ball will be moved back to the penalty area line.
RULE 5: Kick Ins – For balls crossing the touchline, the ball shall be placed on the line and kicked back into play. Failure to stop the ball on the line or put it into play results in a turnover.
RULE 6: Goal Clearance replaces what would be a Goal Kick in soccer. Play restarts with the goalkeeper with the ball in their hands, and it must be thrown or rolled from within the penalty area to another player. It cannot be punted, drop-kicked, or put down and passed or dribbled.
RULE 7: Penalty Kicks – PKs shall be awarded if a clear scoring opportunity is nullified by a foul, anywhere on the court. Similarly, a minor infraction inside the penalty area should not result in an Indirect Kick rather than a PK. PKs are direct kicks taken from the free throw line with only the kicker and the goalkeeper allowed inside the penalty area.
RULE 8: Goal Scoring – A goal can be scored from anywhere, but all restarts are indirect.
RULE 9: Three Yard Rule – Defending players must be at least 3 yards away from the ball on restarts.
RULE 10: Substitutions — Players must exit the court near the team’s bench area and the replacement may only enter once the player has crossed the touchline. There is no sub limit. (1st violation – inform/remind both teams; 2nd violation – warn coach; 3rd violation – yellow card to coach).
RULE 11: Goalkeepers — The GK may use their hands only inside the penalty area. On a goal clearance, the GK must distribute by throwing or rolling the ball to another player. After a save, the goalkeeper may put the ball down and play with their feet, but they can’t punt or drop kick. There is no restriction on how far the goalie can throw, but a goalie throw is indirect. The goalkeeper can use their feet on any pass back (just like in outdoor soccer).
RULE 12: Offside – There is no offside in futsal.
RULE 13: Slide Tackling – Slide tackling is permitted, but if a player slides and makes contact with an opponent, a free kick shall be awarded. A player may also slide to save a ball from going out-of-bounds or to block a shot.
RULE 14: Handling – Deliberate handling of the ball that denies a team of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (at the discretion of the referee) will result in a penalty-kick and may include a yellow or red card given to the player committing the hand ball.
RULE 15: Protests of Rules – Protests will not be accepted. You are welcome to complain in your car on the way home as much as you like.
RULE 16: Game Balls – The tournament will provide futsal balls for each game.
RULE 17: Field Dimensions – The playing field shall be approximately 84 feet long by 50 feet wide. The goals are 2 meters high and 3 meters wide.
RULE 18: Penalty Area – The penalty area is the basketball 3 point arc and represents the area where the goalkeeper can use their hands. An indirect kick awarded inside the penalty area would be placed on the penalty area line directly back from where the offense occurred.
RULE 19: Delay of Game – A player may be cautioned with a yellow card if it is deemed by the referee that the player is intentionally wasting time, such as by delaying an opponent’s restart or taking more than 4 seconds to restart.
RULE 20: Forfeits – Be ready for kick off at the scheduled start time +5 min. or risk a forfeit.
RULE 21: Sportsmanship – Coaches will be held responsible for the good behavior of their players and supporters.
RULE 22: Yellow Cards – Yellow cards may be shown to a player for a single offense or for persistent infringement. Any player accumulating three yellow cards during a tournament will automatically be suspended for their next game.
RULE 23: Red Cards – Refs have the right to eject a player or coach from the game for continual disobedience or as a result of an incident that warrants sending off. If the player receiving the red card was on the field of play, the team must complete the remainder of the game a player short. The player receiving the red card will automatically be suspended for their next game. Players or coaches that are red carded must leave the immediate playing area, including the fan and team areas. If the player delays or refuses to leave, the game will be forfeited in favor of opposing team (regardless of the score at the time of the incident). **If player(s) is (are) issued red card(s) for fighting, player(s) will be ejected from the tournament and are subject to removal from the facility for the duration of the event.
RULE 24: Accumulated Fouls – We do not use the FIFA “Direct Free Kick after Six Accumulated Fouls” in our tournaments. It rarely comes up, and it’s a burden for the referee in a one-referee system. Rather, the referee is encouraged to use a verbal caution, followed by a Yellow, or by a Red if a player or team is persistent in their fouling.
RULE 25: Contact with Basketball Hoop or Ceiling if a ball hits the basketball hoop, it should be treated as if it crossed the end line, resulting in a Goal Clearance or a Corner Kick. If a ball hits the ceiling, it should result in a Kick In from the touchline nearest where it hit.
RULE 26: Coach/Parent Ejection – Refs have the right to eject a coach or parent from any game for continual disobedience or as a result of an incident that warrants ejection. Coaches or parents who are ejected by the referee or tournament official must leave the field and area around the field before play will continue. If a coach or parent refuses to leave, the game will be forfeited in favor of the opposing team.
RULE 27: Weather-Related Issues – In the event of severe weather restricting travel, the Tournament Directors reserve the right to modify, reschedule, or cancel the tournament. Team entry fees are non-refundable.
RULE 28: Standings and Tiebreakers in Qualifying (Pool) Play – Games will be scored according to the following: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss. Ties in standings between two or more teams will be broken by: 1) Head to head results between tied teams; 2) Goal differential (max of 5 per game); 3) Fewest goals conceded; 4) Most goals scored (max 5 per game); 5) Tournament Director decision.
RULE 29: Tiebreakers in Bracket Play – Bracket games cannot end in a tie and there is not time in the schedule for overtime. Therefore in the event of a tie, the team scoring first will be declared the winner (exception: a Final, see next rule). If the teams tie 0-0, the team with the higher seed will be declared the winner (e.g., the 1 seed wins if it’s 0-0). An un-seeded 0-0 tie should use Rock-Paper-Scissors, best of 3.
RULE 30: Tiebreakers in Finals – Final games that end regulation in a tie proceed to a 3-minute Golden Goal Overtime Period (the first team to score in overtime wins). If the game remains tied, it proceeds to a Golden Goal Shootout: Players from opposing teams will alternate in a sudden death penalty kick format until one team scores unanswered.
RULE 31: Heading – Current heading restrictions that apply in US Youth Soccer (such as no heading at age U11 and under) also apply in futsal. The heading rule for a division shall apply for all teams and players in that division (if heading is allowed, it’s allowed for all teams and players in the division, and vice versa).
RULE 32: Uniforms – All players must wear matching colored shirts. In the event of a conflict, the team that changes will be based on a) mutual agreement by coaches; b) rock, paper, scissors; or c) coin toss. Pinnies can be worn to resolve a uniform conflict. Numbers are encouraged but not required.
RULE 33: Shin Guards – All players must wear shin guards.
RULE 34: Shoes – Players may wear futsal shoes, indoor soccer flats, or gym shoes. No cleats.
RULE 35: Protective Casts – Players wearing protective casts must receive approval from the Tournament Directors and will be required to check in prior to each game with the referee to be permitted to play. If the referee on the field of play deems a player’s protective cast is unsafe in any way, the player will not be allowed to play until the Tournament Directors and athletic trainer re-approves the wearing of the protective cast.
***The Tournament Directors will have final say on all disputes and interpretations of Tournament Rules.***