Tri-County Futsal Abbreviated Rules (Modified)
Updated November 26, 2012

LAW 1 - The Playing Court/Pitch

  • All locations will do their best to provide as close to USFF guidelines as possible.
  • Penalty Spot is 6 meters (20 feet)
  • Second Penalty spot is 10 meters (30 feet)
  • Substitution Zone is directly in front of the team bench
LAW II - The Ball
  • Size 4 futsal low bounce
  • Leather or other suitable material
NOTE: U6/U8 recreational teams may use size 3 ball at discretion of facility coordinator.
LAW III - Number of Players
  • Minimum number of players to start and finish the match: 3 (including GK)
  • Maximum number of players including goal keeper:  5
  • One player must be identified as the goal keeper.
  • Substitution Rules
    • Maximum number of substitutes: 5
    • Substitution Limit: None
    • Substitution Method: "Flying substitution" (all players but the goalkeeper enter and leave as they please; goalkeeper substitutions can only be made when the ball is out of play and with a referee’s consent)
    • Players must enter and leave play from the Substitution Zone.
    • Players must be COMPLETELY OFF the court before substitutes may come into the field of play. A verbal warning will be given. If, in the opinion of the referee, the team is making no effort to abide by this rule, the player(s) coming on the field will be cautioned. Additional offenses will result in a second yellow card which will result in a RED CARD.
  • ROSTER SIZE
    • Maximum roster size is 10 players.
    • Minimum roster size is 7 players.
    • Players may appear on multiple rosters.
LAW IV - Players’ Equipment
  • Usual Equipment: Numbered shirts are preferred, but not required; shorts, socks, protective shin-guards, non-marking footwear
  • A player must not use equipment or wear anything which is dangerous to himself or another player, including any kind of jewelry.
  • All earrings MUST be removed. No taping over newly installed earrings will be permitted.
LAW V - Main Referee
  • Duties: Enforce the laws, apply the advantage rule (advantage is rare and only used in the attacking half where there is an opportunity to score), keep a record of all incidents before, during and after game, stop game when deemed necessary, caution or expel players guilty of misconduct, violent conduct or other ungentlemanly behavior, allow no others to enter the pitch, stop game to have injured players removed, signal for game to be restarted after every stoppage, decide that the ball meets with the stipulated requirements.
  • Position: The side opposite to the player benches
LAW VI - Second Referee
  • Duties: Same as Main Referee, with the addition of keeping a check on the 2-minute punishment period after a player has been sent off, ensuring that substitutions are carried out properly, and keeping a check on the 1-minute time-out.
  • Position: The same side as the player benches
NOTE: All games U16 and above will utilize 2-referee system. All younger games will utilize a 1-man referee system.
LAW VII - Timekeeper
  • Duties: Start game clock after kick-off, stop it at the end of each half or the referee indicates clock stoppage at a serious injury; keep a check on 2-minute punishment for sending off; indicate end of first half and match with some sort of sound; record time-outs and fouls (and indicate when a team has exceeded the 5-foul limit); record game stoppages, scorers, players cautioned and sent off, and other information relevant to the game.
  • Position: Outside halfway line on the same side as the substitution zone (i.e., the players’ bench side)
NOTE: Timekeeper will be a volunteer if available. If not available, the referee may have to assume the duties or ask one of the coaches to track scores/fouls/etc.
LAW VIII Duration of the Game
  • All matches shall consist of two equal 25 minute periods with a 5 minute halftime (All games must end on the hour.   Facility/club officials will determine if games must be shortened in order to maintain game schedule for facility.
  • The teams are entitled to a one-minute time-out in each half. The following conditions apply to a time-out:
    • One, one-minute time-out may be requested per team, per half, and may be taken at any time, excluding the last 2 minutes of the game, so long as the team requesting the time-out is in possession of the ball and the ball is out of play.
    • When a time-out is granted, the substitutes shall stay off the court
    • The game clock continues to run
LAW IX - The Start of Play
  • Home team shall kick off in the first half, visiting team in the second half.
  • The ball must go forward. The opposing team must be at least 5 yards from the center spot. If the ball does not go forward or if a player is encroaching, there will be a re-kick.
  • The Four Second Rule applies after the whistle is sounded (see Law X).
  • The kick-off is an indirect free kick, so no goal may be scored on a kick-off.
LAW X - Ball in and out of Play
  • The ball shall be deemed out of play when:
    • It completely crosses the goal line or touch line, whether along the ground or through the air
    • Play has been stopped by the referees
    • It hits the ceiling or overhead obstruction
      • the ball is moved to the nearest touch line and played in as a kick-in by the other team.
  • LINES: Touch lines (sidelines) and goal lines are considered inside the playing area.
  • Four Seconds Rule
    • Players have four seconds to restart the ball from a stoppage. The four seconds starts from the time the person gets the ball back into the "confines of play,” and the ball touches the sideline. This also applies to kickoffs after a team scores a goal. A player must make a concerted effort to get the ball. Walking to the ball lazily to allow the team to make subs will not be permitted. Should an infringement occur, possession is given to the other team.
LAW XI -- Method of Scoring
  • A goal is scored when the whole of the ball has passed over the goal line, between the goal posts, and under the crossbar (except by illegal means).
  • A player may only score after touching the ball on their offensive side of the court. A player may not score from their defensive half of the field.
  • A goal may not be scored directly on a kick-off. Should this happen, possession will be given to the other team, at the center mark.
LAW XII - Fouls and Misconduct
  • Direct free kicks
    • All opponents shall be situated at least five yards from the ball until it is in play; the ball shall be deemed in play after it has been touched or played
    • A direct free kick (DFK) shall be awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following six infringements in a manner considered by the referees to be careless, reckless or excessively forceful:
      • Kicking or attempting to kick an opponent
      • Tripping or attempting to trip an opponent
      • Jumping on an opponent
      • Charging an opponent
      • Striking or attempting to strike an opponent
      • Pushing an opponent
      • Sliding
        • Slide tackling is NOT PERMITTED.
        • However, if a player, including the goalkeeper slides to keep the ball in play, block a ball going into the goal, to score, etc., IN A MANNER DEEMED NOT TO BE DANGEROUS BY THE REFEREE, such will be permitted. Otherwise, these are considered fouls and are direct kicks; violation inside the penalty arc will result in a penalty kick, and a foul counted towards the Accumulated Foul Total.
    • Position of a free kick
      • The players of the opposing team may form a wall to defend a free kick
      • All opponents shall be situated at least five yards from the ball
      • A goal may be scored directly in the opponents’ goal from this free kick
    • If a direct free kick directly enters the opponents’ goal, a goal shall be awarded.
  • Indirect free kicks (IFK) awarded when any of the following offenses is committed (kick taken from the 6-meter line when infringement takes place in penalty area):
    • dangerous play (e.g. attempting to kick ball held by goalkeeper)
    • obstruction
    • Note: this is a DFK under Law XII
    • When the goalkeeper throws ball directly over the halfway-line (without it first touching his own side of the pitch or any player)
    • goalkeeper picks up or touches with his hands a back pass
    • goalkeeper picks up or touches with his hands a kick-in from a teammate
    • goalkeeper controls the ball with any part of his body for more than 4 seconds in own half
    • goalkeeper touches with any part of his body a back pass that has been played back to him before the ball has (1) crossed the halfway-line or (2) been touched by an opponent
    • NOTE: ALL actions by the keeper after controlling the ball with the hands shall not have the ball go over the halfway line in the air. This includes a goal clearance throw, control after a shot, or a drop kick. If the keeper receives the ball with the feet, the keeper can kick the ball over the halfway line. If the keeper controls the ball with the hands, drops the ball to the feet, dribbles once or twice and then kicks the ball over the halfway line, that is considered circumventing the intent and is not allowed. Remember, the keeper has 4 seconds to posses the ball once they enter the field of play.
  • Players shall be cautioned (i.e., shown yellow card) when:
    • a substituting player enters the pitch from an incorrect position or before the player he is substituting has entirely left the pitch -- Restart IFK
    • a player persistently infringes the Laws of the Game -- Restart IFK of DFK depending on infraction.
    • a player shows dissent with any decision of the referee -- Restart IFK
    • a player is guilty of unsporting behavior -- Restart IFK or DFK depending on infraction.
    • Delay of game
    • Failure to respect distance at Free kick or Kick in
    • Players shall be sent off (i.e., shown the red card) for:
      • serious foul play
      • violent conduct
      • foul, abusive, or offensive language
      • second instance of cautioned offense (i.e., second yellow card)
      • denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity by any foul (e.g. through a "professional foul")
      • denying an obvious goal opportunity by handling the ball
      • Rules of Expulsion:
        • The player sent off (shown a red card) is expelled for the rest of the game and is not even permitted to sit on the reserves’ bench. The player may not play the next game.
        • The team of the player sent off may substitute for that player only after 2 minutes of playing time or after the opposing team scores -- which ever comes first.
        • The 2-minute punishment shall be checked by the timekeeper (or by the assistant referee, if there is no timekeeper).
        • The substitute may  not enter the court until the ball is out of play and has a referee’s consent.
LAW XIII - Free Kick
  • Types: Direct free kicks and indirect free kicks
  • Wall: At least 10 feet on small court and 5 yards on large court until the ball is in play
  • Ball in Play: After it has been kicked and moves
  • Time Limit: Kick must be taken within 4 seconds
  • Restriction: Kicker may not touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player
  • Referee Whistle: All free kicks must have a referee whistle to restart play.  Kick must be taken within 4 seconds.
LAW XIV - Accumulated Fouls
  • Direct Free Kick Fouls accumulate each half (those whistled during the course of dynamic play; these are not substitution fouls, kick-in violations, etc),.
  • On the fifth DFK foul issued to a team, the team will be advised by the referee that the next foul will result in a penalty kick.
    • Penalty kick for accumulating 6 or more DFK fouls is taken from the second penalty spot
  •  infringements committed within 12 meters of the goal line shall be punished with a direct free taken from the point of infringement or from the second penalty spot (kicker’s choice) 
  • Time continues to run
  •  On the 6th foul:
    • ball placed on the second penalty spot
    •  no defensive wall allowed
    • Kick is direct (no indirect free kicks)
  • Procedure:
    • Until the ball is kicked into play, all players other than the goalkeeper and kicker shall remain behind an imaginary line that is in line with the ball andthat is parallel to the goal line and the players of the opposing team must also be at least 5 yards from the second penalty spot
    • The goalkeeper shall remain in his penalty area at least 5 m away from the ball.  Note: This is different that having the GK stand on the goal line
    • The kicker must take a shot at the goal, with the intention of scoring.
    • No other player may touch the ball until it has been touched by the goalkeeper, the court, rebounded from the goal post or crossbar, or has left the court.
LAW XV - Penalty Kick
  • A penalty kick is awarded against a team that commits any of the infringements for which a direct free kick is awarded inside its own penalty area and while the ball is in play
  • To be taken from the penalty mark on the mid-point of the 6-m-line.
  • The kicker must take a shot at the goal, with the intention of scoring.
  • All players must be out of the penalty area, be behind an imaginarly line even with the penalty spot and parallel to the goal line and the players of the opposing team must also be at least 5 yards from the penalty spot.
  • The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player.
LAW XVI - Kick-In
  • All balls played out of bounds from the touch lines are kick-ins (and considered to be indirect kicks)
  • Four second rule applies (see Law X)
  • The ball must be settled and on the line. The ball must be placed on the line with the hand. If the ball rolls slightly due to the unevenness of the floor, the referee will not whistle this as a foul.
  • The restart for a violation is akick-in at the same location for the other team.
  • A player may not have one or more feet completely in the field of play when taking a kick-in, or kick-in will be given to the other team.
  • The kicker may not play the ball a second time until it has been played by another player. Infringement of this rule entails an indirect free kick to the opposing team from the point of infringement.
  • Players on the defending team must allow a minimum of 10ft (5 yards) from the placement of the ball as to not impede the restart of play.
LAW XVII - Goal Clearances
  • If the ball goes out the end line, the Keeper must distribute the ball by throwing it in. It may not be touched before it clears the keeper penalty area. Balls played from the field, (from an opponent to the keeper), may be picked up then thrown, rolled, or kicked. Note: All outdoor rules apply regarding pass backs to the keeper.
    • The ball shall be thrown from any point inside the penalty area by the goalkeeper of the defending team
    • The goalkeeper cannot drop kick the ball from the goal area.
    • Opponents shall remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play
    • The goalkeeper may not play the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player
      • If the keeper plays the ball in any manner, the result will be an indirect kick for the opposing team from the point of the infraction.
    • The ball shall be deemed in play when it leaves the penalty area
  • Infringements/Sanctions
    • If the ball is not thrown directly out of the penalty area:
      • The goal clearance shall be retaken
    • If, once the ball is in play, the goalkeeper touches the ball a second time before it has been touched by another player
      • An indirect free kick shall be awarded to the opposing team from the place where the infringement occurred
    • If the goal clearance is not taken within four seconds of the goalkeeper taking possession of the ball:
      • An indirect free kick shall be awarded to the opposing team on the penalty area line from the place nearest to where the infringement occurred
  • NOTE: ALL actions by the keeper after controlling the ball with the hands shall not have the ball go over the halfway line in the air. This includes a goal clearance throw, control after a shot, or a drop kick. If the keeper receives the ball with the feet, the keeper can kick the ball over the halfway line. If the keeper controls the ball with the hands, drops the ball to the feet, dribbles once or twice and then kicks the ball over the halfway line, that is considered circumventing the intent and is not allowed. Remember, the keeper has 4 seconds to posses the ball once they enter the field of play.
LAW XVIII - Corner Kick
  • A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick, but only against the opposing team
  • Four second rule applies (See Law X)
  • A corner kick shall be awarded when:
    • The whole of the ball, having last touched a player of the defending team, crosses the goal line either along the ground or through the air, and a goal is not scored
    • The ball shall be placed on the nearest corner
    • The opponents shall remain at least 10 feet away on small courts and five yards away on large courts from the corner until the ball is in play
    • The ball shall be kicked by a member of the attacking team
    • The ball shall be deemed in play from the moment it is kicked and moves
    • The kicker may not play the ball a second time until it has touched another player