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Futsal vs Five-a-side football – What is the difference?

We’re currently recording the interviews for the Episodes 11 – 20 of the V2 Academy which will be released at the end of the 2016/2017 season.

We’re planning to have episodes on the subject of Futsal with special guest such as Northern Ireland 1st Team Futsal Assistant Manager Garth Smith.

What the hell is FUTSAL? I hear you ask. So before the new episodes are released I thought I would quickly go through what the differences are between Futsal vs Five-a-side football.

In 4th episode of the V2 Academy, we interviewed Futsal Club Enfield & England International Grant Osborn about the fundamental of the game and here is what I learnt?

In many ways Futsal is similar to regular five-a-side football. Both games are played with five players, one of whom is the keeper.


Both can be considered to be a smaller version of our beloved football and both require technique, movement, tactical awareness and fitness from their players.


Normal5-a-side pitches will have rebound boards on the lines of the field to ensure continuous play, the ball shouldn’t leave the pitch. However in Futsal, the pitch is bordered by lines, similar to regular football. If the ball crosses the line, it will be returned to play with a ‘kick-in’.


As mentioned earlier both games use five players per team. The major difference in Futsal is the team can have up to seven rolling substitutes. This causes the game to have a very high tempo throughout the match. In 5-a-side the number of substitutes is limited, causing it to have very different tactics and game play.


The goals used in Futsal are smaller and more square compared to the hockey sized goals you will find on 5-a-side pitches.
Futsal uses a different ball than 5-a-side, which uses a normal size 5 football. The Futsal ball is slightly smaller and has 30% less bounce.

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Another thing that makes the game play between the two sports very different is that Futsal players are allowed to enter the penalty areas, where that area is limited to the keeper only in traditional 5-a-side.


The over-head height rule in 5-a-side does not apply to Futsal.


And finally, there is the limitation on fouls in Futsal. Where as in both 5-a-side and the 11-a-side game there is no limitation on fouls in Futsal you are limited to 5 fouls per match. Every foul after that results in a direct free kick from 10 meters. This really conditions the defensive tactics of teams and rewards attacking play

Here is our interview with Grant Interview with The V2 Academy #4 -

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