General Rules 

Each regular season match consists of two equal halves of 20 minutes.

A two-minute half-time period will occur between halves.

Teams may call one one-minute timeout per half (when in possession of ball, ball out of play).

There is no overtime, injury time or stoppage time.

Teams are comprised of four outfield players and one goalkeeper.

In adult coed divisions, a minimum of two non-males must be on the court at all times. 

A team must have three players to begin a match. No team may have fewer than three players on the pitch at any time.

The goalkeeper must wear a different color jersey than the outfield players.

All players must wear the following: shirt, shorts, shinguards, socks, non-marking sneakers -- no exceptions.

Each team must wear a distinctively colored shirt with a number on the shirt.

No hard/plaster/fiberglass casts or splints are allowed.

Players may not wear eyeglasses. Sport-specific eyewear worn with a strap are okay.

Jewelry, watches, earrings, metal barettes and other dangerous items are not permitted.

There is no offsides in futsal.

Sliding and slide-tackling, although discouraged indoors, are applied in the same manner as outdoors. Body contact during a sliding tackle is not permitted.

Although some contact is unavoidable, futsal is largely a non-contact sport. In addition such legal contact shall not be careless, reckless or excessive.

House rules noted in green below pertain to the division, regardless of the age or name of the team in the division.


All substitutions are on the fly, this includes goalkeeping substitutions. Referees will not stop play for goalkeeping substitutions. Coaches are requested to change goalkeepers during halftime, during timeouts and after the opposing team scores.

A substitute may not enter the match until the player leaving the match is at the touchline in the substitution zone. Coaches are asked to have players slap hands at the touchline to ensure that no more than five players are on the court at once.

Any substitute who enters the field of play before the player being replaced has completely left the field of play will be shown a yellow card.

All substitutions must take place in front of the team bench -- not at the half-way line.

At U11 and younger,teams will not switch benches (and ends) at the beginning of halftime,but will remain at the same bench unless the match official deems a significant advantage defending one half of the pitch. At U12 and older all teams will switch benches at halftime.


Intentional heading or attempting to head the futsal ball is not permitted at U11 and younger. The restart is an indirect free kick.


Kickoffs: are direct. The ball may be played backward. 

Kickins:are indirect. The ball must be placed on the line and the kick must be taken within 4 seconds. The kicker's plant foot may be anywhere. (A kickin that goes directly in the opposing goal is a goal clearance for the opposing team. A kickin that goes directly in the defensive goal is a corner kick of the opposing team.)

Goal Clearances: are taken when the ball wholly crosses the goal line after being touched last by the attacking team. The goalkeeper must use his hands to roll, bounce or throw the ball from anywhere inside the penalty area.

  • On goal clearances at U11 and younger, all defending players must be in their own half when the ball is released by the goalkeeper. This applies only on goal clearances and not during the run of play. If the goalkeeper releases the ball quickly to intentionally take advantage of a defensive team that does not retreat behind the halfway line, the referee may allow play to continue. However, if possession is lost in the team’s own half the goal clearance shall be retaken.
  • Goal clearances are indirect. A ball thrown directly into the opposing goal results in a goal clearance for the opposing team.

Corner Kicks: are direct. The ball must be placed directly on the corner spot and the kick must be taken within 4 seconds.

Free Kicks: may be indirect or direct. The ball must be stopped completely before the kick may be taken.

Penalty Kicks: are taken from the penalty spot and must be shot at goal by a clearly identified kicker. Defenders may not be nearer to the ball than 16 feet and must be behind an imaginary line running from touchline to touchline even with the penalty spot.

Distance: For all of the above, except goal clearances and kickoffs, opponents may not be closer to the ball than 16 feet.

Ceiling: If the ball hits the ceiling or other object, the team that did not touch the ball last restarts play with a kickin from the nearest point on the touchline.

Fouls and Misconduct

Indirect Free Kicks: When a player plays in a dangerous manner, impedes an opponent (without playing the ball), prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball with their hands or commits any offence for which play is stopped to caution or eject a player. 

Direct Free Kicks: When a player kicks or attempts to kick an opponent, jumps at an opponent, charges at an opponent, strikes or attempts to strike an opponent, pushes an opponent, holds an opponent, spits at an opponent or handles the ball deliberately.

Yellow Card / Caution: The offending player is shown a yellow card. Coaches are encouraged to remove the offending player from the match at this time. If a player earns two yellow cards in a match, they are shown a red card. If a player earns three single yellow cards during any league session (including friendlies), they are suspended for one game.

Red Card / Ejection: The offending player must leave match and facility. The offending team plays down for two minutes unless scored upon before the two-minute penalty expires. The offending player serves a minimum one-match suspension. Any player that earns two red cards during a league session will be suspended for the remainder of the season, including playoffs.

Accumulated Fouls / AFPK: Watch the explanation on video at right. All penal fouls are recorded on the scoresheet and on the scoreboard. If red fouls blue a sixth time in one half, for that sixth penal foul and all subsequent penal fouls in that half, blue is awarded an accumulated fouls penalty kick. If the foul occurs farther from the attacking goal than the second penalty spot, the AFPK is taken from the second penalty spot. If the foul occurs nearer to the attacking goal than the second penalty spot (but outside the penalty area, of course), the attacking team may choose whether to take the AFPK from the second penalty spot or from the spot of the foul. All AFPK's must be shot at goal by a clearly identified kicker. The defending team may not make a wall and may not be nearer to the ball than 16 feet and must be behind an imaginary line running from touchline to touchline even with the spot of the kick. The goalkeeper may be off their line, but may not be nearer than 16 feet from the ball. Accumulated fouls are reset to zero at the beginning of the second half.

Second Penalty Spot: 30 feet from the center of the goal

Penalty Spot: 20 feet from the center of the goal

Advantage: Advantage will be applied in futsal, with penal fouls still counting as accumulated fouls. If the referee shouts, "play on" and gestures with both arms, the foul was a penal foul and will be counted accordingly. If the gesture is with one arm, the free kick would have been indirect and thus does not count toward the total.

The Goalkeeper

Must wear a different color shirt. She may wear long pants and/or other padding as deemed safe by the match referee.

May slide in his own penalty area but only when playing the ball.

May receive a kick-in directly.

May kick the ball directly over the half-way line.

May score directly with his feet during the run of play.

May not possess the ball for more than four seconds in her own half.

May punt or drop kick the ball.

In U11 and younger divisions, goalkeepers may touch/receive the ball more than once per team possession.

Additional Information for Coaches

(see policies page for more information)

No player is eligible unless formally on the team's roster, which must be presented electronically or in printed form to a match official prior to kickoff. 

Sibling teams may borrow a maximum of three players from their sibling roster per game, but must provide the roster on which the sibling players exist.

Players may not be on more than one roster in the same division. If found to be on more than one team, the player's guardian will be asked to choose the priority team.

Only futsal balls may be used inside the facilities. Soccer balls, w'heelies, turf shoes and soccer cleats are not permitted.

All players must change their footwear before entering the gymnasium/court area. Coaches with wet or dirty feet must change their footwear as well.

U12  and younger leagues will use size 3 ball; U13 and older leagues will use a size 4 ball. The home team is required to provide a match quality futsal ball. If the home team does not have a ball, and the visiting team does not have a ball then the home team shall forfeit the match. Balls will be provided by the league for all league finals.

Teams are expected to arrive minimum 10 minutes before kickoff to check-in together as a team.

Teams are responsible for providing their own medical supplies, including ice. Additional medical supplies and assistance may be available at some facilities.

In the event two teams are wearing the same color, the home team must change colors and must do this before kickoff. If your team doesn't have a change, please be sure you have pinnies.

Head coaches are responsible for controlling the conduct of their assistants, managers and players.

Head coaches are responsible for controlling the conduct of their team's spectators. A match may be halted and/or abandoned by the match official or site administrator due to spectator conduct.

Rules of Play

View or download the FIFA Laws of the Game

House Rules in green, changes in red, key rule in blue

Massachusetts Futsal Association