Hints For Referees

UEFA Referees Development Programme 2003
1st Course for European Futsal Referees
18 – 20 November 2003

UEFA Headquarters – House of European Football, Nyon


Attention is drawn to a number of agreements made at the 1st UEFA course for European Futsal Referees, for the benefit of futsal in Europe, adopting a standard approach in terms of interpretation and application of the Futsal Laws of the Game.

It was felt that the conclusions and recommendations made by the participants after following the theme of the course (“Uniformity in interpreting and applying the Laws throughout Europe”) should be shared with futsal referees throughout national associations in Europe.


Letting play flow
A basic principle in futsal is to allow play to flow as freely as possible. The nature of futsal is a fast game.

Consistency in applying the Laws
It was agreed that referees must maintain a consistent level of punishment both before and after the fifth accumulated foul.

Sliding tackles
Referees were reminded that for a sliding tackle to be considered an offence, the tackler’s opponent must have possession of the ball. Referees must not give a foul for a sliding tackle if the opponent does not have possession of the ball.
Blocking an opponent
Referees were reminded that if a player impedes the progress of an opponent with his body, and in doing so commits an offence usually punished by a direct free kick in Law 12, they should award a direct free kick. Conversely, if the action of impeding does not cause an offence usually punished by a direct free kick in Law 12, an indirect free kick should be awarded.

It was confirmed that playing advantage should benefit the team it is given to. Consequently, it was agreed that after the fifth accumulated foul, if a foul is committed, the best advantage for a team is to be awarded a free-kick. Having possession of the ball should not always be considered as an advantage in futsal, unless it is clearly an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. 

It is also considered reasonable practice for a referee to delay giving a foul by one or two seconds in order to see if a possible advantage actually develops. If after this time has lapsed the referee considers there to be no advantage, play can be brought back to where the infringement occurred and a free kick given.

Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity
Referees were reminded that a player who denies his opponents a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling a ball or by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick must be sent off. 

In deciding if an offence committed denies a player an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, referees were made aware that the following criteria should be consider when taking the decision:

Possibility to control the ball
Position of the attacker
his direction
his distance to the goal line
Position of the defenders
Position of the goalkeeper

Referees agreed that all simulating acts which are intended to deceive the referee should be penalised by a caution regardless of the position of the offence. A player’s action in trying to deceive the referee may take the following forms:

   where no contact has been made at all,
   from an attacker deliberately using a slight  
     contact with an opponent
   following a player initiating a contact with an
   by a player anticipating a possible contact from an
   overreacting and pretending the manner of the
     offence deserves higher level of punishment.

Showing of red and yellow cards
Referees received confirmation that only players can be shown the red or yellow card (regardless of whether they are on the field of play or the bench). Cards should not be shown to any other team officials. 

It was also confirmed that if any player is sent-off during the half-time interval, regardless of whether he was on the field of play or the bench at the time the half-time whistle was blown, his team will resume the second half with five players. The player who received the red card may not, of course, take any further part in the match.

Control of benches
Referees reported difficulties in deciding who should control the bench and agreed that this should be the responsibility of the third referee. Only the coaches of both teams should be allowed to stand and give instruction to the players. This should be in a responsible manner and directly in front of his own bench.

Treatment of injured players
It was agreed that the procedure for treating injured outfield players should be that the injured player should leave the field of play for treatment (if possible). Even if the treatment takes place on the field of play, the player must leave the field of play once the treatment has finished and not re-enter the pitch until play has been re-started and until signalled to do so by the third referee. For injuries to the goalkeeper it is not expected that he leaves the field of play and play should not be re-started until he has been successfully treated.

Participants were reminded that it is not allowed to make substitutions during time-outs. 


Attention was drawn to the 10 referee signals illustrated in the Futsal Laws of the Game and referees were reminded that only these signals can be used. In addition, it was recommended that signals should be made only when the referee is stationary, as signalling whilst moving may be confusing and, in some cases, physically dangerous to players.

Indirect free kick
It was confirmed that when an indirect free kick is given, it should be signalled by both referees.

The four-second count
Referees were reminded that this is mandatory in the following situations:
   Corner kick
   Goal clearance
In addition, it was recommended that referees should clearly and visibly count the four seconds with their

Subsequent responsibilities of referee who whistles for a foul.
It was recommended that the same referee who whistles for a foul should be the one who enters the pitch to administer cautions, sendings off and to ensure the 5 metre distance if required. In the latter case he should clearly pace out the five metres by walking backwards from the ball. He should also make it clear to the team taking the free kick that they must wait for him to whistle before taking the free kick. To communicate this it is recommended that the referee show his whistle to the players preparing to take the free kick before he begins to measure the five metre distance.

Confirmation of goal scored
The course participants agreed that referees should confirm that a goal is valid by giving one or two medium length blasts on their whistle (no more). 


Basic principle
The basic principle of positioning should be that the two main referees maintain a position that keeps the ball between them at all times.

Control of play
During play one referee should control the action area and the other the influence area, with the aim of not having both referees looking at the ball at the same time.
Control of the goal line
It was noted that it is important to have a good control of the goal line. Consequently, at least one referee should always be paying attention to this 

Physical condition
Having a good physical condition will help referees stay in control for the entire duration of a match and be in the best possible position for making correct decisions. 


21.  The referees concluded that they should warm up on the field of play forty minutes before kick-off.
One minute before kick-off the first and second referees should check the goals, whilst the third
referee checks the number of people on the benches which according to the UEFA Futsal Regulations should
be no more than six officials and seven substitutes.
The first and second referees should also check the goals before commencing the second half of the match.

After receiving technical instruction, studying incidents on video and taking part in group and
fieldwork, it was agreed that the aims of the course had been achieved and that colleagues would benefit
from the circulation of these notes by UEFA. 

UEFA / Referees Committee / November 2003

Playing Time For Each Division

Men and Women
2 x 25 minutes game time.

Youth Intermediate and Senior
30 minutes practice time and 2 x 25 minutes game time.

Youth Junior
30 minutes practice time and 2 x 15 minutes game time.