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The Difference Between Futsal And Football

One of the things many budding sports enthusiasts ask is if football is the same thing as futsal. This is pretty understandable since these two games look quite the same to the naked eye. However, there really are unique technicalities and quite a difference between football and futsal, and we will clear them up here.

But first…

What is futsal?

Futsal is a type of association football and is most similar to a five-a-side football. It’s played indoors on a hard court with lines and using a smaller and harder ball than what is used for soccer.

The word Futsal is taken from the Spanish term fútbol sala or fútbol de salón and from the Portuguese futebol de salão. Both translate to hall or lounge football. It is a relatively new sport, having only been adopted in 1930 by Juan Carlos Ceriano, an Uruguayan teacher who thought of creating an indoor version of football for YMCA. 

Futsal involves two competing teams with five players each. There is one goalkeeper for each team. Unlimited substitution is allowed (12 per team). 

A substitute is allowed for a player who is set off the ground in futsal after two minutes. 

A goalkeeper cannot touch a ball by hand once played back. He is only be allowed one back pass.

The surface and ball used for futsal are geared toward playing in a small, controlled space. It focuses primarily on technique and improvisation. The term for restarting play is kick-in. There’s a 20-minute half time in and one time out per half-time. Matches run at 20-minute halves. A stop clock is used for games.

A corner kick is literally placed in the corner. 

What is football?

Football is played outdoors, usually on a field that is much larger than one used for football.

Historic evidence shows that football has been around since the 2nd and 3rd century BC, and everyone, from people of the Han Dynasty to those in the Japanese Imperial Palace, to the ancient Greeks and Romans have played the sport.

Each team consists of eleven players.  Substitutions are limited to three. Substitution is not allowed for a player who is sent off the ground. 

The term used for restarting a play is thrown in.  Matches run at 45-minute halves (half-time). There are no time-outs. A running clock is used during games.

In football, a goalkeeper cannot touch a ball by hand once it’s kicked back. He is allowed unlimited back passes.

A corner kick is placed in an arch.

There is really more than one difference between futsal and football. Here’s a summary:

  • Football is played outdoors. Futsal is played indoors.
  • Football teams consist of 11 players each, while futsal teams have 5 players each.
  • Only three substitutions are permitted in football while unlimited substitutions are permitted in futsal.
  • A football match runs in two halves, with each half spanning 45 minutes each. A futsal game runs in two halves, with each half spanning 20 minutes each.
  • In football, no substitution is allowed for a player sent off the ground. In futsal, a player sent off the ground can be substituted after two minutes.
  • Football uses a running clock. Futsal uses a stop clock.

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