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ECYFL Futsal Rules of Competition and LOTG Summary





  • Futsal is played 5 v 5, with 4 field players and a goalkeeper per team.
  • Teams may roster up to 15 players.
  • Matches will consist of 2-24 minute halves with a 2 minute half time.
  • One 60 second time out per half per team.
  • If a penalty kick or Accumated Foul Direct Free Kick is awarded and time for the half expires before it is taken, the  kick will be allowed to be taken, with the half ending upon completion of the PK or AFDFK.
  • There is no offside in futsal.
  • The goalkeeper can only handle the ball (by feet or hands) for 4 seconds when in their own half, and only once during a team possession. 




  • Players and coaches must be registered and affiliated with Mass Youth Soccer through their home town program, or as individuals to be rostered and participate in an ECYFL activity.
  • Coaches must have a valid, current Massachusetts Youth Soccer adult registration.
  • Players and coaches must be registered through the ECYFL website.
  • Head coaches must be over 18 years of age
  • A team consists of a minimum of 5 players and one head coach; a maximum of 15 players may be rostered; there is no limit to the number of assistant coaches but no more than  2 coaches, including the head coach, may be on the sideline for any match.
  • Coaches are responsible for printing the current Mass Youth roster from the ECYFL website and presenting it to the referees prior to each match. No hand-written changes may be made to the roster except for adding player numbers.
  • Teams should arrive 10 minutes prior to scheduled kick-off.
  • Coaches and players must have clean, dry foot wear in order to enter the court area. It is strongly recommended that team members change to sneakers/indoor shoes being used for the match after entering the facility.
  • No balls should be brought into the facility. Only ECYFL provided Futsal balls shall be allowed in the building.


Law 1- The Pitch


  • ECYFL matches will take place on standard basketball courts
  • The marked sidelines shall be the touchlines; the marked end line shall be the goal line
  • Goals shall be regulation 2m x 3m placed on the center of the goal lines
  • The penalty area shall be within the 3-point arc
  • The penalty spot shall be 6 yards from the goal line on the center of the free throw line.
  • The second penalty spot (used for Accumulate Foul Penalty Kicks) shall be 8 yards from the goal line at the top of the 3-point arc.
  • Teams will occupy the same touchline. The team bench areas will start 3 yards from either side of the midcourt line and extend an additional 5 yards along the touchline. The area directly in front of the bench area will be the substitution area for that team.


Law 2- The Ball


  • Only Futsal balls shall be allowed on the court.
  • ECYFL will provide 2 Futsal balls per court for warm-ups and matches.
  • Grade 6/12U and younger age groups will use a “junior” Futsal ball, approximately the diameter of a size 3 soccer ball. Grade 7/13U and older will use a senior Futsal ball, approximately the diameter of a size 4 soccer ball.
  • The Referee or Second Referee may stop the match to replace and damaged or defective ball. The restart in this case is a drop ball. Replacement/exchange during a normal stoppage does not change the restart.


Law 3- The Number of Players


  • A team on the court shall consist of 5 players, one of which must be a goalkeeper (GK).
  • A match may not start with a team having less 3 players; the match shall be abandoned if the number of players drops below 3 on a single team.



  • Free substitutions are made "on the fly"
  • Player can only enter or leave the game in the substitution areas in front of their respective benches, and a player may only enter a game after the player they are replacing has left the field. Failure to do so results in a caution and an indirect free kick is taken from where the ball was situated when the game was stopped to caution the player.
  • A substitute may replace the GK on the fly without referee permission; a field player may replace a GK only during a stoppage and only with referee permission


Law 4- The Players’ Equipment


  • Players must have numbered jerseys of the same primary color, corresponding to the numbers on the roster.
  • Shorts and socks should be the same primary color for all team members except the GK.
  • Shinguards must be worn, and be fully covered by socks.
  • Footwear must be safe, flat rubber or similar soles of non-marking material. No black soles are permitted on the court. NO CLEATS OR TURF SHOES PERMITTED.
  • No jewelry is permitted except medical alert or religious bracelets and necklaces, which must be taped securely to the body. EARRINGS MAY NOT BE WORN EVEN IF TAPED/BANDAGED
  • NO CASTS OR HARD SPLINTS are allowed. Hinged knee braces are permitted only if fully covered by a sleeve or flexible bandage/wrap.
  • No hats, hard plastic or metal barrettes or hair adornments are permitted on the court.
  • Prescription eyeglasses may be worn but sports goggles are highly recommended for player safety.


Law 5- The Referees


  • There will be one or two referees per match (the Referee and the Second Referee)
  • Both referees are empowered to enforce the Laws of the Game and their decisions with regard to the facts of the match are final. In the event of disagreement between the referees, the decision of the Referee shall prevail over that of the Second Referee.
  • The Referee shall have primary responsibility for timekeeping, including managing time-outs; the Second Referee shall be primarily responsible for tracking Accumulated Fouls.
  • Both Referees shall monitor substitutions and 4-second counts equally and as per the LOTG and Advice to Futsal Referees.


Law 6- The Assistant Referees


  • ECYFL matches will not utilize Third Referees or Timekeepers.


Law 7- The Duration of the Match


  • ECYFL matches will consist of 2 halves of 24 minute running time
  • Halftime shall be 2 minutes.
  • The match shall be extended after time expires to allow the result of a shot, to allow an awarded direct free kick to be completed, an awarded penalty kick to be taken or retaken, or an awarded AFDK to be taken or retaken.
  • Each team is allowed one 60-second time out per half with clock stopped. Unused first half time outs do not carry over into the second half.


Law 8- The Start and Restart of Play



  • The Home team per the schedule will choose the bench area, the Visiting team will receive the first half kick-off. Teams will switch possession at half time.
  • Opposing players must be outside the center arc until ball is in play.
  • Kick-offs are direct; a goal may be scored directly from a kick-off.


Dropped Ball

  • A dropped ball shall be used whenever the LOTG do not specify a restart or in the case of an inadvertent whistle.
  • The ball is in play when it touches the playing surface. A player may not touch the ball until it contacts the playing surface.
  • All dropped balls shall be uncontested.
  • A dropped ball in the penalty area shall be awarded to the defending goalkeeper regardless of possession at the time of the stoppage.
  • A goal may not be scored directly from a dropped ball. If the ball enters the opponent’s goal, a goal clearance is awarded. If it enters the player’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded.


Law 9- Ball In and Out of Play


  • The ball is out of play when a referee whistles the play dead; when the ball wholly crosses the touchline or goal line; when the ball hits the ceiling or other overhead structure.


Law 10- The Method of Scoring


  • A goal is scored when the ball completely crosses the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar.
  • Goals will be disallowed if the result of an infraction by the attacking team, if the ball is thrown by the attacking GK without being touched, as a result of an untouched Indirect Free Kick, from a dropped ball, from a kick-off or from a kick-in.


Law 11- Offside


  • There is no offside in Futsal.



Law 12- Fouls and Misconduct


Indirect Kick Fouls:

An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team for the following offenses:


  • The GK touches or controls the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a teammate.
  • The GK touches or controls the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a kick-in taken by a teammate.
  • The GK touches or controls the ball with his hands or feet, on any part of the playing court, for more than four seconds, except when he touches or controls the ball on the opponent’s half of the playing court.
  • The GK touches or controls the ball for a second possession in their own half after a goal clearance, throw, or receiving and playing the ball to teammate. A ball touched by an opponent or out of bounds creates a new possession.
  • Playing in a dangerous manner, including but limited to playing or attempting to play while on the floor, high kicks with or without contacting the ball.
  • A player deliberately impedes the progress of an opponent when the ball is not being played.
  • A player prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands.
  • A player commits any other offense, not previously mentioned above for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a player.


The indirect free kick is taken from the place where the infringement occurred, unless this was in the penalty area, in which case the indirect free kick is taken from the penalty area line at the place closest to where the infringement occurred. 3 yards of distance from kicker to set up wall, and ball is in play after it has been touched.  If the kicking team takes more time than 4 seconds to take the kick, it becomes the opposition’s indirect kick.


Direct Kick Fouls:

  • Kicking or attempting to kick an opponent
  • Tripping or attempting to trip an opponent
  • Jumping at an opponent
  • Charges an opponent, including shoulder charges
  • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • Pushing an opponent
  • Holding an opponent
  • Spits at an opponent
  • Slide tackles as noted and excepted below
  • Handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper in his own penalty area)


6th Accumulated Foul:

  • Accumulated fouls are those sanctioned by a direct free kick.
  • Upon a team’s 6th accumulated foul in each half, the defending team cannot build a wall to block the kick.
  • The 6th accumulated foul will result in a penalty kick from the second mark which is 8 yards away (top of the 3 point line)
  • The player taking the kick must be clearly identified and the player taking the kick must make an attempt at the goal.


Slide Tackling:

  • Slide tackling with contact is a major foul in Futsal
  • It is not allowed in any situation where there is contact between players or where referees believe that contact could have resulted.



  • The GK is allowed to slide with hands first in an attempt to clear or save the ball, if in referees’ judgment, his slide is an attempt only to make contact with the ball and not the opponent
  • If GK slide is reckless (a foot in air, a hook, rolling tackle) it is a foul and possibly a cardable offense.


Cautionable Offenses:

A player is cautioned and shown a yellow card if the commits any of the following offenses:

  • is guilty of unsporting conduct
  • shows dissent by word or action
  • persistently infringes the Laws of the Game
  • delays the restart of play
  • fails to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick or free kick (including kick-ins and direct/indirect restarts. This is an automatic yellow in Futsal, the required distance does not have to be asked for by the opponent or referee.
  • enters or re-enters the playing court without the referee’s permission
  • deliberately leaves the playing court without the referee’s permission


For any of these offenses, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred. If the offense was committed within the penalty area the indirect free kick is taken from the penalty area line at the place nearest to where the infringement occurred. A caution is also given provided that no graver infringement of the Laws has been committed.

Sending-off Offenses:

A player is sent off and shown the red card if he commits any of the following offenses:

  • is guilty of serious foul play
  • is guilty of violent conduct
  • spits an opponent or any other person
  • denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball
  • denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
  • uses offensive, insulting or abusive language
  • receives a second caution in the same game

Upon receiving the red card the team that the player was on will play shorthanded for 2 minutes. The player is not allowed to re-enter the game. After 2 minutes another player is allowed as a substitute.


Law 13- Free Kicks


  • The minimum required distance for all free kicks, kick-offs and kick-ins is 3 yards, except for AFPK’s, which require the GK to allow 6 yards.
  • Direct Free Kicks will be awarded per the Futsal Laws of the Game, and will be indicated by the Referee(s) pointing to the spot on the court with one arm while indicating direction with the other.
  • Indirect Free Kicks will be awarded per the Futsal Laws of the Game, and will be indicated by the Referee(s) raising their arm straight in the air, and holding the signal until the ball is touched by another player or goes out of play.
  • Indirect Free Kicks awarded for infractions inside the attacking penalty area shall be taken from the spot on the penalty arc nearest to the spot of the infraction.


Law 14- The Penalty Kick


  • If a Direct Free Kick infraction is committed by the defending team in its penalty area, a Penalty Kick shall be awarded.
  • The Penalty Kick shall be taken from the 6 yard mark.
  • All players other than the kicker and GK must be behind the spot, outside of the penalty area and at least 3 yards away.
  • The kick must be taken in the direction of the goal.


Law 15- The Kick-in


  • A Kick-in is awarded to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball before it completely crosses the touchline in the air or court or strikes the ceiling or other overhead structure.
  • A goal may not be scored directly from a kick-in.
  • Opponents must allow at least 3 yards required distance.
  • The ball must be placed on the touchline and must be stationary.
  • The kick-in must be taken within 4 seconds of the ball being available the kicker, as determined by the Refeee(s).


Law 16- The Goal Clearance


  • When the offensive team puts the ball over the goal line without a goal being scored, the other team gets the ball for a goal clearance.
  • The goalie must throw the ball within 4 seconds of retrieving it and put it back into play by throwing it. This is up to the referees discretion as to when the count starts.
  • The ball is in play once released and moved.
  • Opposing team must retreat to the mid-court line during a goal clearance.
  • If opposing players touches ball before it leaves penalty area, GK retakes the throw.
  • The GK cannot touch ball again until another player touches it.
  • The ball cannot be thrown in the air into the other team’s penalty arc without touching a player or the court. Violation results in an Indirect Free Kick being awarded to the opponent at the mid-court stripe where the ball crossed over. 


Law 17- The Corner Kick


  • There is no arc
  • Kick is taken at the point where goal line and touch line meet (at corner).
  • Defense must give 3 yards distance
  • Corner kicks are Direct; a goal may be scored directly without the ball being touched again.




Click here for the full FIFA Futsal Laws of the Game