House rules

Yellow and Red Card Policy

  • Players should strive to avoid yellow and red cards.
  • The first red card in a season will result in a one-game suspension. This suspension may be waived if no violence or profanity was involved in the incident, and the player left the court immediately upon receiving the card. Players requesting waivers must contact us at at least 48 hours prior to the next game. A review committee will consider each request.
  • A second red card in a season will result in a three-game suspension.
  • A third red card in a season will result in a suspension for the remainder of the season or for five games continuing into the following season, whichever is longer.

Personal Conduct

  • I agree to treat all fellow players with courtesy and respect.
  • I agree to respect the authority, dignity, and professionalism of the referees.
  • I will be respectful of the organizations that host our games, and their staff.
  • I will behave in a way that reflects well on the entire community of Durham Atlético players.
  • I understand that failure to abide by these guidelines may result in disciplinary action.

General info

What is futsal?

It's five-a-side soccer, played in a space that can be as small as a basketball court and as large as four tennis courts side by side. It is played with a special low-bounce ball that is denser and smaller than a normal soccer ball.

Is it like indoor soccer? 

Not really. American indoor soccer usually has six to a team, but the biggest difference is that in futsal, the ball is not kicked off walls. Instead, it's like regular soccer with normal sidelines and endlines. Futsal is more possession-oriented and less physical than North American indoor soccer.


What happens when the ball goes out of bounds?

Instead of a throw-in, you place the ball on the line and kick it in. You have four seconds to kick it in. Otherwise, you lose possession. Similarly, when balls go over the endline for corner kicks, the player taking the corner has four seconds to do it.


Is there offside in futsal?



Is there a penalty area?

Yes, but when we play on basketball courts, we have to approximate it. Before games played on basketball courts, the referee will inform the goalkeepers of the boundaries of the penalty area.


What are the rules governing backpasses to the goalkeeper?

  • First and foremost, goalkeepers are not permitted to pick up back passes. 
  • Goalkeepers may not keep the ball at their feet or in their hands for more than four seconds in their own half of the court.
  • Violations of these rules will result in the awarding of an indirect free kick to the opposing team.

How may goalkeepers distribute the ball? 

When restarting play after the ball has gone over the end line (otherwise known as a goal kick), the goalkeeper rolls the ball with an underarm motion. The ball needs to hit the floor in his or her own half.

The goalkeeper may make saves with his or her hands. After saving the ball, the goalkeeper may throw overhand to any place on the court..


How do we make substitutions?

Substitutions are done on the fly, as in hockey. But please wait for the departing player to leave the pitch before replacing that player.


Can we call timeouts?

Yes. In regulation futsal, teams are permitted one timeout per half. Because the time in our gyms is very limited, we permit only one timeout per team per game.


Where's the penalty spot?

There are two penalty spots in futsal and both are rarely used. The first penalty spot is six meters from the goal, and functions like penalty spots in normal soccer (when we are in a basketball gym, the penalty spot is the center of the free-throw line). The second penalty spot is located 10 meters from the goal, and it is used when one team has committed its sixth foul in a half. It is a direct kick and all players except for the defending keeper must be behind the kicker or level with the kicker.


How long are games?

In regulation futsal, games are 40 minutes long, with a clock -that stops for fouls and goals. Our games range from 40 minutes to 46 minutes, depending on the circumstances of our gym rental. The referee will be informed of the appropriate length and should be able to tell the teams in advance how long the halves will be. The clock runs continuously as in conventional outdoor soccer.


Do you have red cards and yellow cards in futsal?

Yes. In futsal, however, players sent off can be replaced after two minutes. In our leagues, referees may also, at their discretion, tell players to "take a timeout" if they are getting overly aggressive or chippy.


Do you have rules about guest players and forfeits?

Yes. In order for a game result to be valid, a team must have four rostered players at kickoff. No more than two guests are permitted (four rostered players plus two guests). If five rostered players are present, one guest is permitted. If six or more rostered players are present, no guests are permitted.

If a game is forfeited because one team does not have enough rostered players, we strongly encourage the players present to proceed with a refereed scrimmage. The score of a forfeited game will be recorded as 3-0, but goals scored by rostered players on both teams will count toward the individual goal standings.


Where does the word "futsal" come from?

Futsal was invented in South America in the 1930s. The word "futsal" is an abbreviation of the Spanish and Portuguese words for "room soccer": fútbol sala and futebol salão, respectively.

You can read the official FIFA futsal rules here