Significant changes to the Laws of Futsal

The Futsal Laws of the Game have recently been revised leading to major changes in the way the game will be played from now on.

The three important changes affect Law 7 – the duration of the match, Law 12 – fouls and misconduct and Law 16 – the goal clearance.

The first of these amendments, to Law 7, sees a period of play ending only when a goalbound shot has reached its destination or following the outcome of a penalty kick, a second penalty mark kick or a direct free kick. This is signified by the referee’s whistle,  as is the case in Beach Soccer.

The changes to Laws 12 and 16 respectively affect goalkeepers. An indirect free-kick will now be awarded if, after playing the ball, a goalkeeper touches the ball again in his own half of the pitch after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate without an opponent playing or touching it. The position of the free-kick will be determined from where the infringement took place.

Previously, a goalkeeper could play in a ‘flying’ position and could touch the ball again if the ball had crossed the halfway line. This is no longer possible; keepers can only play the ball once in their own half, for less than four seconds, and can only touch it again if it has been touched by an opponent.

This is key to avoiding defensive tactics where the 'fifth' player – i.e. the goalkeeper  was constantly touching the ball in their own half. Now, if a team wishes to play with a flying goalkeeper in order to avoid losing a game, the goalkeeper has to cross the halfway line.

The revised Futsal Laws of the Game are available in PDF format, by clicking the link to the right.