Rules (Futsal)



  • The maximum goal differential that will be recorded is 10.
  • Age groups may be combined for a competitive balance. 
  • We will follow the most current health guidelines and recommendations.
  • Games are played on Saturdays and Sundays.


Montgomery County, MD


US Youth Soccer and MDSL rosters are being used this season. If your team currently has a USYS roster, then please email upload it in the Registration section of your GotSport account.

On match days, coaches or managers should have either a player card from any entity or access to a player’s birth certificate in the event there is a roster check.

Any team found using a player not on their approved USYS or MDSL roster, will be banned from the league without a refund.

Any injured player that is not on an approved USYS or MDSL roster will NOT be covered by the league or the facilities insurance. Any illegal player releases & indemnifies the Maryland Developmental Soccer League, Montgomery County Public Schools, and its assigns, officers and agents from any and all liability as a result of physical injury, illness and/or loss of income.

Upload your USYS or MDSL rosters in GotSport by the Thursday before your team’s first game. If you currently don’t have a USYS or MDSL roster, email us to and we will provide details on how to obtain it.


Your referee fees are included in your registration.


Boys and Girls U-8 – U-17

The MDSL reserves the right to drop or combine divisions or age groups for competitive balance.


All coaches are required to complete the SAFE SPORT ABUSE PREVENTION COURSE prior to league play to fulfill the Federal Mandate. If you have already completed the course, email us a copy of the certificate to

If you did not complete the course, then you can contact your state association. If your club is not affiliated with a state association, then you will be able to take the course through the MDSL’s state association MSYSA. Once completed, please email the certificate to


Teams will be scheduled to play 7-8 games during the season.


There is no coaching license needed to coach a team. Any adult who is registered with the team as a coach or manager can sit on the bench.


The MDSL will attempt to accommodate coaches with multiple teams by scheduling them with back-to-back games, if possible.  If you coach multiple teams, then you must enter this information in the registration system when you register.


Official futsal FIFA Rules and Regulations as stated under the Laws of The Game will be enforced. Exceptions are noted below under League Rules. 


  1. Goalkeeper cannot throw the ball over mid-court for U12 and under. U13 and older can throw the ball over mid-court. The ball must touch the floor before going into the goal for U13 and older.
  2. Goalkeepers must use their hands to place the ball back into play after a goal kick is awarded. The keeper must roll the ball to a teammate, and can not throw it in the air. The roll must leave the penalty area. If the player loses the ball and the keeper catches it, then he or she can throw the ball.
  3. Unlimited substitutions – A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than five players (a goalkeeper and four outfield players). 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.
  4. Kick-offs and kick-ins are indirect.
  5. Kick-offs – Opposing players must give 5 yards until ball is in play.
  6. Kick-ins – A ball kicked out over the touch line (side line) by one team becomes the other teams ball. The team kicking in has 4 seconds to get the ball back in play or it becomes opponent’s kick in. Defense must give 5 yards distance. The referee will give a visual count with his hand. Players taking kick in can not step into the field while kicking ball back into play. Goals cannot be scored from kick-ins. If the ball hits the ceiling, a kick in is taken at the closest point on the nearest touchline, running parallel to the goal line.
  7. Goal Clearance – Futsal for goal kick. When the offensive team puts the ball over the end line, the other team gets the ball. The goalie must throw the ball within 4 seconds of retrieving it and put it back into play by throwing it. The throw must leave the penalty area. Opposing team must stay out of penalty area during a goal clearance. If a player touches the ball before it leaves the penalty area, then the GK retakes the throw. The GK cannot touch the ball again until an opponent touches it.
  8. Replacement of sent off player – 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.
  9. Goalkeeper cannot drop kick or punt the ball.
  10. Game length is two 20 minute halves.
  11. One 60 second time out per half is permitted
  13. No heading will be permitted for the U11 and younger brackets.
  14. We will enforce the 6th+ Foul Accumulation Rule. From the 6th foul on involving player contact, an unopposed free kick from the Free Throw Line U12 and under and for U13 and older, the top of the 3 Point Arch is used. The penalty kick is awarded for the 6th and each subsequent foul.
  15. The pass back rule will be enforced for all age groups. A player can pass the ball to the goalkeeper if the ball was received from an outfield player, but the player cannot pass back to the goalkeeper in the ball came from the goalkeeper.
  16. Combined age group divisions will be played by the older age group rules unless otherwise agreed to prior to the game by both coaches and the referee.
  17. Teams WILL switch benches at half. Team benches should be in the teams’ defending half.
  18. Players will have 4 seconds to restart the ball in play. Failure to play the ball in within 4 seconds will lead to an indirect kick for the opposing team.

Accumulated Fouls resulting in Direct Kick

  • Kicking or attempting to kick an opponent
  • Tripping or attempting to trip an opponent
  • Jumping at an opponent
  • Charges an opponent
  • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • Pushes an opponent
  • Tackling Holding an opponent
  • Spits at an opponent
  • Handling the ball (except the GK in their own Penalty area)


League fees INCLUDE Referees’ Fees

Costs range between $450-$500 for a 7-8 game season. All fees include 1 referee.

$25 discount per team for clubs who register 4 or more teams.


Outdoor Player Cards are acceptable as ID and may be checked against the teams’ MDSL Futsal roster at any time by a league administrator. 


Players may be double – rostered on teams that are in different divisions and/or on a team in the same club.


The League will provide Match Balls. Teams should bring their own futsal balls for warm up.


U12 and younger – size 3.

U13 and older – size 4.

*In the event that the U12 and U13 age groups are combined, games will be played with a mutually agreed ball by both coaches and the referee..

Do not bring outdoor balls into the facilities. They are not allowed for warm-up. Only futsal balls are allowed.


The wearing of shin guards will be mandatory for all players. Indoor, flat soled soccer shoes also must be worn. Futsal specific shoes are recommended but not mandatory.


Time outs are limited to one per half for 60 seconds. 


The Home team is the team that is listed first on the schedule.  In the case of a jersey conflict, home team must change jerseys.  Visiting teams kick off first.


If a team fails to show for a scheduled match, the referee shall allow a 5-minute grace period. After the 5 minutes, if the team has not yet arrived or does not have enough players to field a team (4), the game clock will begin.  If ten minutes have passed since the scheduled game time and 4 players are not present, the game will be forfeited. The game will be tallied as a 3 to 0 loss for the forfeiting team and a 3 to 0 win for their opponent. 

If the referee terminates a match for reasons other than an act of God or court conditions, the MDSL Directors will decide the result of the match after hearing the official reason from the referee, and both coaches. 

** Forfeit Fee:  There will be a $35 fee due for any game your team forfeits.  This fee will be deposited into an account for the forfeiting team’s opponent and will be used as a credit for their future registration fees. 


The determination within the group standings is as follows:

3 points for a win
1 point for a tie
0 points for a loss


  1. Goal Differential
  2. Goals Against
  3. Head to Head
  4. Most wins
  5. Bonus points (shut outs and adjusted Goal Differential)
  6. Penalty Shoot out 

Scores & standings will be kept across all ages.


If a player is ejected from a match, the player’s pass together with a referee’s report of the incident shall be turned over to the MDSL administrator by the referee. 

The minimum penalty for an ejection is that the player shall not be permitted to play in the immediate next match. 

The maximum penalty, after review by the MDSL Futsal Directors, may result in the individual players or teams’ expulsion from the competition. 

If a player is ejected from a match the referee will hold onto the player pass, document red card on the back of the score sheet and present it to the League administrator. The player will have his/her pass returned after a one game suspension. 


If a coach is ejected from any match, a referee’s report of the incident shall be turned over to the League administrator by the referee. 

The minimum penalty for an ejection is that the coach shall not be permitted to coach or remain on the player’s bench in the immediate next match.  

Coaches, Players and Spectators may be expelled from the league for excessive and abusive behavior towards spectators, players, referees, coaches and league staff.

The maximum penalty, after review by MDSL Directors, may result in the individual coach or team’s expulsion from the League.


If an opponent cancels a game or does not show for the game, the other team may use the game time.  If your team must cancel, call the League office at 301-613-9065 as soon as possible so we can notify the referees and give the other team a chance to plan accordingly. Cancelling a game not only short-changes your team, but your scheduled opponent. Game reschedules can not be guaranteed.


At time of registration, each team is allowed one guaranteed conflict if entered into registration system before the registration deadline.  You may enter a second date at the time of registration only if you are willing to play double headers. Reschedules are not guaranteed. 


We reserve the right to postpone or cancel games at any time for any reason such as bad weather or facility problems. If we do need to cancel games, we will do out best to re-schedule but refunds will not be provided.


If you have an interest in joining the MDSL referee pool, please email us at

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How many players should I have on my roster?

A:  We recommend 8-10 players.  The minimum you may have is 5; max is 14.

Q:  What size ball does my team need?

A:  U12 and younger – size 3

     U13 and older – size 4

Do not bring outdoor balls into the facilities. The facility does not allow them and they are not allowed for warm-up. Only futsal balls are allowed. 

Q:  How long are the games?

A:  Two 20 minute halves (plus a short halftime break)

Q: How do substitutions work?

A:  Substitutions are unlimited and are done “on the fly” from designated areas.

Q: Are numbered jerseys required for league play?

A:  No, the only requirement is that all players wear the same color.

Q:  Does my team need a coach? And does the coach need to be licensed for futsal?

A:  Coaches are highly recommended but a parent is fine.  No licenses are required.

The above are basic Futsal rules. For extensive information on the Futsal Laws of the game click here.