Soccer vs Futsal: Difference and Comparison

The sports world is filled with many interesting ball games, soccer and futsal being some of them. Despite the same basic principle, soccer and futsal possess many differences that make them two distinct sports, both being approved by FIFA ( Fédération Internationale de Football Association).

This article focuses on the detailed differences between both fast-paced and strategic sports. Soccer, football, futsal, and kickball might sound similar, but they have quite a lot of differences. However, they might contain few common rules and maybe the same objective too!

Key Takeaways

  1. Futsal features a smaller, heavier ball with less bounce than traditional soccer.
  2. Soccer teams have 11 players per side, whereas futsal teams have five players each.
  3. Futsal games occur indoors on a hard court, while soccer matches occur outdoors on a larger grass or artificial turf field.

Soccer vs Futsal

The difference between soccer and futsal is that soccer is an outdoor game and has 11 on-field players, whereas futsal is an indoor game with a smaller stadium and has 5 on-field players. Both are chafing the same main objective of “scoring the most goals” wins the game. Futsal being a newly recognized game, is gaining lots of attention because of its tactical gameplay and interesting rules.

Soccer vs Futsal

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Soccer is a field game played amongst 22 players with a basic objective of scoring ‘goals’. One goalkeeper (also called a goalie) and ten outfield players make up the squad of one soccer team.

Outfielders specialize in either attacking or defence, or both. A team is divided into defenders, midfielders, strikers, and wingers, however, players can move about freely on the field.

Soccer is the name given to the sport in North America, whereas football is the name given to it in the rest of the globe.

Futsal is a FIFA-approved new indoor football game. The word ‘futsal’ is an abbreviation of ‘futbol sala’ in the Spanish language.

It is played between two teams, each having five on-field players at any given time, with ‘flying’ replacements and a smaller, tougher, and less elastic ball than a standard soccer ball.

This game is considered a developmental and experience-based tool for standard 11-sided soccer. The inaugural UEFA competition was held in 1996, with hosts Spain winning, and a complete UEFA European Futsal Tournament was held in 1999, with Russia winning.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSoccerFutsal
DefinitionSport, focused on a ball which needs to be scored into the goal of the other team. It is an outdoor game.Sport, based on a ball which is used for scoring goals. It is played by two teams and is an indoor game.
Field SizeA professional futsal court is 20m by 40m in size. That’s a lot less than an 11-a-side match.The length is 105 metres and the breadth is 68 metres. Clubs are urged to mark their fields in line with these guidelines whenever feasible.
Game-TimeThe game will go 90 minutes, with a change of ends after 45 minutes and a 15-minute intermission after that.20 minute halves, the time between the two halves must not be more than 15 minutes.
Substitutes and No. of Players3 substitutions (Not on-field)Unlimited “flying” substitutions (12 Players on a Team)
Ball DimensionsA soccer ball must have a circumference of 68–70 cm (27–28 in) and a weight of 410–450 g to be considered legal.A futsal ball is smaller than a standard size 4 ball but larger than a size 3 ball, with a diameter of 24.61″ to 25.0″.

What is Soccer?

Soccer is a team sport in which two 11-player teams compete on a standardized field with two ‘D areas’ and four goalposts (2 posts make one goal). The team must be well-balanced, with an appropriate number of midfielders, defenders, attackers, wingers, and goalies.

This sport is governed by FIFA and UEFA, and it attracts participation from all over the world. Based on participation, soccer games are either played internationally or nationally amongst various clubs.

Soccer is the most competitive league in the world, with over 250 million people participating in over 200 nations. It is most popular in Europe, America (North and South) as well as a large part of the Asian subcontinent.

Many countries have been actively participating in the FIFA world cups and UEFA as well as Euro League cups.

In contrast to the major sports in the United States and Canada, most domestic soccer leagues do not feature a post-season play-off phase.

After each team has played each other at home and away, the team that finishes first in the standings at the end of the season is declared champion.

The majority of league tournaments provide three points to the winning team. A tie, known as a draw, awards both teams one point.


What is Futsal?

Originally intended to be played on a basketball court, futsal was created in Uruguay in the 1930s by a teacher called Juan Carlos Ceriani.

The laws were based on basketball’s five-a-side team sizes and 40-minute competition time on a handball pitch field. And then, it was popularised under the commonly known name Futsal.

The arrangement and configuration of futsal teams can be a bit tricky to understand. Because of the ephemeral nature of futsal, players on the pitch frequently cover the whole pitch yet have primary responsibilities.

Not every configuration makes use of every slot. ‘Universal’ players can tag into any favourable position. As well as interchange their positions among the 5.

Teams can use a ‘flying goalie,’ who is a player on the pitch who wears a customized shirt having keeper colors. Coaches can use the power play strategy to influence games and particularly pursue goals when they’re down.

There are four game officials: a referee on the touchline opposite the benches and a second referee on the opposing touchline, a third official near the place on the midway to keep track of substitutions and fouls and a linesman.

Goalkeepers can reach nearly any region of the futsal goals, fewer shots in futsal end up netting.


Main Differences Between Soccer and Futsal

  1. Soccer is an outdoor game, whereas futsal is an indoor sport.
  2. In soccer, each team consists of 11 on-field players, but in the case of futsal, each team consists of 5 on-field players.
  3. Soccer consists of 2 halves of 45 minutes each, whereas futsal has 20 minutes of 2 halves.
  4. Ball outs in soccer result in corner kicks but in futsal, the player has to throw in the ball.
  5. In a soccer match, three replacements are permitted, but in a Futsal match, unlimited substitutes are permitted.
Difference Between Soccer and Futsal

Last Updated : 11 August, 2023

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