Why play futsal?

Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small sided football (soccer) game that is played by thousands of adults and children across the world.

Whilst it is a sport in its own right, Futsal does not compete with football but serves to support it by developing skills that will make children better players, both on the football pitch and the futsal court.

The benefits of Futsal for young players

Futsal encourages young players become more agile, faster, stronger and have better balance. It also helps youngsters become more comfortable with the ball and give them lots of opportunities to practice passing, dribbling, turning, shooting and ball control whilst under pressure.

Compared to soccer, Futsal demands more versatile players. It’s normal for every player to play in every position on the field during the course of a game. Futsal players are not labelled as defenders, midfielders or attackers like they are in football (soccer).

Young players will also touch the ball many more times during a game of Futsal than they do even in mini soccer, they will pass more often, shoot more and score more goals. They will also practice their skills in far more 1v1 situations than they will experience in traditional football.

The nature of the game of Futsal places a large emphasis on technical skill and ability in situations of high pressure, and is subsequently an excellent breeding ground for football (soccer) competencies that can be translated into the 11-a-side format of the game.

Futsal also encourages young players to make quick decisions whilst under pressure and in tight spaces and have better spatial awareness.

10 reasons why children should play futsal (pdf)

Many of the top world class footballers played Futsal as children and credit it with supporting their footballing development; players of the calibre of Pele, Zico, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Lionel Messi to name but a few of the South American legends all played and enjoyed Futsal. But Futsal has not just helped produce South American football stars, on the European stage Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco, Xavi, Fabregas amongst many others have played Futsal to develop their skills.

“Futsal was important in helping to develop my ball control, quick thinking, passing….also for dribbling, balance, concentration…. Futsal was very, very important, no doubt.” – Pele, World Cup Winner: 1958, 1962 & 1970

Futsal rules explained on video


In addition, Futsal is primarily an indoor sport which means that young players can continue their development during the winter months when outdoor surfaces are not available due to poor weather conditions as well as during the summer during the traditional football off season.

All this combined makes Futsal a fantastic development tool for players aged 5 – 16. It is also a great opportunity for all young players to play a recognised form of five-a-side with a pathway to play in recreational, regional, national and European competitions.

How to play Futsal

Futsal is a five-a-side game, normally played on a flat indoor pitch with hockey sized goals and a size 4 ball with a reduced bounce. It is played to touchlines and all players are free to enter the penalty area and play the ball over head-height. Games are 20 minutes per half, played to a stopping clock (similar to basketball) with time-outs permitted.

Futsal rules

There are a number of differences to our traditional version of small sided football, but the dominant elements are the absence of rebound boards and amendments in the laws that encourage and foster skilful, creative play above the physical contact that tends to be a feature of English five-a-side.

The differences between 5 a side and futsal (pdf)

That’s the basics!

Futsal4kids is designed to provide you with everything you need to know about the game of Futsal.

There is loads of information for players, teachers, parents and coaches or anybody who wants to play or begin coaching Futsal. Or just wants to know more about the game.

Please check out our coaching tips,videos and articles.

If you have any questions about Futsal that this site doesn’t answer, please contact us.

Play futsal…it’s the most fun you can have with a ball!