What is futsal? We need to examine that before we can know what the difference is between a futsal ball vs a soccer ball.
Soccer originates from sports first played under organized conditions in the 19th century. Those early games spawned several variations. The sport Americans call 'football', and which the rest of the world calls 'American Football', is one of them. Australian Rules football is another example. Soccer itself is called 'Association Football'.
There is another form of the sport which is played all over the world and it is called 'Futsal'. Many aspects of the game are identical to those in soccer. Yet, there are also many rules and features which are different. This includes some of the equipment, including the futsal ball. We are going to take a look at some futsal basics and weigh up some of those differences between futsal and soccer.
The name 'futsal' has its origins in both the Spanish and the Portuguese languages. Fútbol de Salón in Spanish, and Futebol de Sãlo both translate literally into English as football salon, or more practically as indoor football. However, since 1985, it has generally been accepted that the name for this form of soccer is simply futsal.
Futsal matches occur indoors, and this usually takes the form of a hard floor soccer court. The dimensions of a futsal court are as follows. The length is a minimum 25 meters (82 feet) and maximum of 42 meters (138 feet). The width has a minimum of 16 meters (52 feet) and a maximum of 25 meters (82 feet). This is clearly different to a classic soccer pitch.
The other major variation is in the number of players. Each team only has 5 players compared to 11 in a normal soccer team. There is one similarity in that one of the players must be a goalkeeper.
Timing is also very different when comparing the two. When there is a stoppage in a futsal match the clock is actually stopped until play resumes. This eliminates any incentive for players to time waste and run down the clock if their team is winning.
The length of time of a futsal match also varies with each half lasting for 20 minute. There is a 15-minute interval. The last difference in relation to time is that each team can claim a one minute time out in each half.
Other Major Differences
For major games, there are three referees, one on each sideline, and the main referee that is on the field.
Substitutions occur on a rolling one on, one off basis. You can have unlimited substitutions. However, you can only have a maximum of nine substitutes listed. There are no throw-ins as you would have in a soccer match. If the ball goes out of play, a kick-in restarts the game
The next major difference is in relation to fouls. In soccer, only individuals are responsible for their actions. In futsal, there is an extra aspect where the team is punished collectively. Players still get yellow or red cards, but if a team commits more than 5 fouls in either half of the match their opponents receive a penalty.
Differences in Equipment
As futsal is played on hard indoor courts, players will not be wearing soccer cleats on their feet. They wear indoor soccer shoes, These are lightweight, very flexible, and have a rubber sole with a patterned grip. These indoor soccer shoes are designed for keeping their footing on futsal courts.
Besides this, there isn't much difference between the uniforms. Socks, shorts and soccer shirt are in both, and shin guards are also permitted in futsal. One slight difference for goalkeepers is that they can wear elbow pads to protect their elbows because the surface is hard.
Futsal Ball vs Soccer Ball
For futsal matches, the ball is smaller than used in soccer matches. Here they are size 4, which has the following specifications. The circumference is between 62 and 64 centimeters (24 to 25 inches).
The other major difference is what happens when either of them hits the ground (soccer) or floor (futsal). A soccer ball will bounce, and this is why control and touches of the ball with a player's chest or head are part and parcel of the game.
However, a futsal ball will not to bounce, since futsal has a large focus on control and speed. This is why you will find that the futsal ball has a harder outer material than a soccer ball.