The Northeast Futsal Festival is committed to using FIFA Rules for ALL AGES and skill levels across all their programs (with a few exceptions).


What are the basic functions of what that means in relation to other organizations' "house rules"?


Mainly, it starts with the Goalkeepers' role in the flow of play:

  • Goalkeeper Arc will be marked across the middle of the basketball three-point arc

  • Goalkeepers can throw the ball ANYWHERE on the court (NO unnecessary bounces in their own "half-court")

  • Goalkeepers can only touch the ball (hands or feet) once per possession in their own "half-court"​


Futsal is played with an optimised ball that does not bounce as much as a traditional football. The aim is to score in the opposition's goal, which measures three metres across and two metres high. Two referees officiate the game and are situated on each touchline. As there are no side hoardings, the ball can go out of play. If this happens, play resumes via a kick-in, rather than a throw-in or by rolling the ball. There is no offside in futsal.



U12 and below will use Junior Match Balls (Size 3), while all older divisions - U13 and above will play with Senior Match Balls (Size 4). The specifications of the balls will be determined by our Sponsor/provider.


Game Duration

All age groups consist of two 22 minute halves (slightly shorter games may be required if the time is limited due to the field permits). Halftime is one-to-three minutes as stipulated with the discretion of the referee.  These will be running clock except for extreme injuries/extreme situations when the clock will stop. Every team has the right to ask for one timeout per half time. The timeout will last 1 minute.

Teams are entitled to a one-minute time-out in each half. A team that does not request a time-out in the first half of the match is only entitled to one time-out during the second half. There are no time-outs in extra time.


Unlimited substitutions

A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than five players (a goalkeeper and four outfield players) and nine substitutes. There is no restriction on the number of substitutions that may be made during a match. Substitutions may be made at any time, whether the ball is in play or not, but only in the specially demarcated substitution zones.


Replacement of sent-off players
A substitute player may replace a sent-off player and enter the pitch two full minutes after the sending-off. They may, however, enter the pitch before the two minutes have elapsed should their team concede a goal while a player down.


The goalkeepers
Goalkeepers have only four seconds in which to play the ball, with either their hands or feet, and may not touch it again if it has been deliberately played to them by a team-mate without an opponent playing or touching it. Goalkeepers are also now free to play anywhere on the pitch and throw the ball beyond the halfway line, which was not previously permitted. Goalkeepers may touch the ball with their hands inside the penalty area, a semi-circle with a six-metre radius. They can move anywhere on the pitch and are allowed to throw the ball out into the opposition half. If the goalkeeper has the ball he must play it to a team-mate within four seconds, regardless of whether the ball is in his hands or at his feet. The goalkeeper may not take part in his team's ensuing attack, unless the other side touches the ball first or the goalkeeper is in the opposition's half.

If a player commits a foul the referee can decide to award either a direct or indirect free-kick, or a penalty if the foul took place inside the penalty area. Just like in football played on a grass pitch, yellow and red cards can be issued in futsal. If a player is shown a red card he can be replaced on the pitch by a substitute after a mandatory two-minute time penalty that always follows a red card. If the team concedes a goal during this time, a substitute may enter the pitch before the two-minute penalty has been completed. 


Team fouls
All fouls committed by a team that result in a direct free-kick or a penalty in one half of the game are counted together; these are so-called accumulated fouls. Once a sixth accumulated foul has been committed, teams are awarded a free-kick without a wall on the second penalty mark, which is ten metres from goal and four metres behind the first penalty spot. If the foul was made between the byline and the second penalty mark, the free-kick may be taken closer to the goal. If a match goes to extra time the accumulated fouls from the second half remain valid and any further fouls are added to the tally.


For U11 and under, heading is banned from play. In the event of a heading violation, the referee will enforce the rule with the indirect free kick from the spot of the violation. If the violation occurs inside the penalty area, the indirect free kick will be spotted to the nearest point of violation at the goal clearance line.


Slide Tackling

It is allowed but must be 100% clean. If not - it will be an automatic yellow card at the minimum at the referee's discretion. 


Unlike 11-a-side football, goals may NOT be scored directly from the kick-off in futsal.



Jersey Change

AWAY team changes

Team withdrawals

If a team is fully responsible for the termination of a game due in part to poor sportsmanship towards a referee, opposing team/fans will result in a forfeit. The team responsible for the forfeit will incur a 0-3 loss.

No shows/forfeits: If a team does not show with the minimum number of players or fails to show – this will result in a forfeit of a 0-3 loss that will be recorded. A minimum of 3 players to start a game.

If you play with more than the maximum number on a roster without written confirmation from the tournament committee – the game will become a forfeit. 


Advancement to Championship Play (if applicable)

Section winners are determined by the total points earned within their bracket (Win = 3 points, Tie = 1 point, Loss = 0 points). In the event of teams being equal in points within their group after the qualifying games, advancement to championship play will be determined according to the following:


1. Head to Head

2. Goal Differential 

3. Goals For 

4. Goals Against 

In the case of a two-way tie the above rules will be applied until one team is eliminated. However, in a Three-way tie, the Head to Head criteria becomes moot and advancement rules will start at criteria 2. 

If a winner cannot be determined the following procedure will be used:

Knock out competition under the supervision of an official Referees through a FIFA “Penalty Shootout”

Upon agreement of both coaches, the Referees’ Committee and the Tournament Committee, a coin toss may be substituted for the “Penalty Shootout” competition if so desired or where tied teams are not at the same location/field.

Playoffs & Championship Games


Playoff Game Play and Championship: In the event of a tie at the end of regulation, matches will immediately proceed to penalty kicks and will be settled in best-of-three series followed by golden goal. Coaches can use ANY player on their roster that was eligible for the match in their initial three-shooter selection (i.e. players do not need to be playing at the exact moment t hat regulation ends). The higher seeded team will have the choice in a coin toss. The winner of the coin toss can choose which team shoots first. Coaches must provide their entire shooting lineup prior to the start of penalty kicks. This lineup must include all players eligible on their match day roster and players must shoot in this order on continuous rotation until a winner is decided.

If one of the two teams qualifying for the championship game declines to appear, at the discretion of the Tournament Committee, the next highest ranked team in that division, based upon tournament record may be substituted for the team declining to appear.


Player Safety

The following shall be permitted for player safety: 

  • A soft splint or cast shall be allowed per the referee has determined that the cast is not a danger to themselves or other players. 

  • A brace, joint, or prosthetic is allowed per the referee has determined that is not a danger to themselves or other players. 

  • Sport Spectacles/plastic prescription frames sports are allowed, however eyewear with glass, metal, or sharp edges are barred. 

  • Soft foam headgear is allowed per the referee has determined it is not a danger to themselves or other players. 


If a referee has determined a player is wearing articles that are not allowed – the referee shall order the said player to remove them. If the player fails to remove the article – they will not be allowed to return to the match. 

Player Deportment

Shirt must be tucked inside shorts. Shin guards must be firmly in place and covered by socks.

Nonstandard attire, accouterments, and apparel must be cleared prior to the Tournament with written U.S.S.F. approval: otherwise, Rule 4 of the FIFA rules applies. The Referees’ Committee will continue to be the sole arbiter as to what is legal and what is not legal.

The issuance of all red and yellow cards and other matters involving the conduct of a team, its players, coaches or supporters will be recorded and reported immediately to the tournament directors. 


Every staff member should be rostered in order to be allowed on the bench. No exceptions. Each team is limited to three staff members.


In case the head coach is expelled from the game and court area, only the assistant coach can take his/her place, stand and conduct the team.  

Coach Presence

The team must have a coach or administrator from within the same club at all scheduled matches in which their teams participate. The coach/administrator must have a valid coaching pass. There must be a coach present throughout the entire match or match will be forfeited by the team without a coach present to a score of 3 – 0. A maximum of 3 coaches are allowed on the team’s sideline.  If a coach is sent off – the team must replace the coach with another coach/administrator with a valid passcard from the same club within a 5-minute period. If the coach gets ejected and the game time comes to completion before the 5-minute grace period – the result will stand. 



All player substitutes MUST be seated during the match and MUST wear bibs. They are ONLY allowed to be standing at the warm up area - area between their bench and their nearest corner of the court.



Cautions and Ejections: Any red card shown requires immediate suspension from the remainder of the match. If the red card was not the result of two yellow cards, but instead a “straight red”, then the offending player shall have an automatic additional suspension of the game immediately following the game in which the card was issued. The referee can recommend additional game suspension depending on the severity of the circumstances involved. The Tournament Directors shall consider the testimony of the referee and the affected parties and determine the course of action during the process. The offending team plays with a player down for two minutes unless scored upon. The issuance of all red and yellow cards and other matters involving the conduct of a team, its players, coaches or supporters will be recorded by our organization and this information will be reported immediately to the home club/league of the player, coach, team, or supporters involved, except that all matters involving a referee assault will be referred immediately to the Tournament Committee. The home club/league of the player, coach, team, or supported involved will, should the circumstances warrant, have responsibility for imposing additional sanctions.

Assault or abuse by players, coaches, or supporters will result in immediate suspension for the balance of the tournament and notification will be sent to team’s home state or USCS for further action.

Field Marshals/AT’s

Field Marshals will be present at all fields. All participants should be aware that the Marshals have the authority and right to remove any unruly or uncivil spectators or coaches from the game field perimeter and/or the field complex area. Anyone found consuming alcohol at any location will be asked to either dispose of the alcohol or to leave the premises. 


Tournament Committee

In the event of conditions beyond the Tournament Committee’s control, final decisions with respect to game cancellations, shortenings or terminations shall lie solely with the Tournament Committee and director. The Tournament Committee/Director, in conjunction with the Referees’ Committee/Coordinator, reserves the right to change field assignments. In addition, the Tournament Committee/Director reserves the right to change sectional and divisional assignments in the interest of fair and balanced competition.


No protests will be considered.


If the entire tournament is cancelled due to weather prior to your first scheduled match, the Northeast Futsal Festival will either partially or fully refund your team once all tournament expenses have been fully covered. If weather curtails the tournament thereafter, every reasonable attempt will be made to assure teams play at least two games but no refunds will be given. 

If you must pull out your team – refunds are as follows:

Before Brackets are released: Full Refund

After Brackets are released: 50% refund or charged 50%

After Schedule is released: no refund or charged full amount 

For Questions Contact us at


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