Winter Indoor Soccer/Futsal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Girls Unite is happy to offer indoor soccer (indoor games only, practices are outdoors) during the winter season known as Winter Indoor Soccer/Futsal. Please review the FAQ for Winter Indoor Soccer/Futsal below. We will provide updates where needed as soon as possible.

Important deadlines to be aware of: Online Registration required by end of Oct 2023, Financial Assistance Requests must be received by mid-Oct

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What is futsal?

Answer: Indoor soccer (games) played 5v5 on a basketball court. 


Why is futsal useful?

Answer: Futsal is a fast-paced indoor game that improves players’ technical abilities and awareness on and off the ball. Girls Unite highly recommends futsal as a way for players to get touches on the ball during the off-season. 


Where can I learn more about the indoor league?

Answer: For general indoor soccer league information visit: SFRPD Indoor Soccer 


If we are already on a Girls Unite team will we stay on the same team?

Answer: Winter futsal has different birth year requirements for age groups, so it is not guaranteed although we do prioritize keeping teammates together. Teams are also smaller, and some Girls Unite players may choose not to participate in winter futsal. Therefore, winter futsal teams may not look similar to a regular Girls Unite season.  TeamSnap will be updated with team assignments starting in late November.

What is the team size?

Answer: Eight players minimum, 12 players maximum. 

Can I be on the same team as my friend? 

We will do everything possible to keep friends together, though unless a full team (8-12 kids) signs up together, it cannot be guaranteed.

Are there gender/age requirements for futsal?

Answer: All children are welcome between Kindergarten to 9th grade.


Where is practice held?

Answer: Practices will take place outdoors this year.  We are awaiting permits for details about exact practice locations.  Practice information will be released in late November/early December through TeamSnap. Players will need to commit to a team before having final practice details.


When is practice held?

Answer (DAYS): Practices will start the first week of January and will end the second week of March. 

Answer (TIMES): Practice times will fall in between the range of 4pm – 7pm. Individual team’s specific practice information will be released late November/early December through TeamSnap.

PLEASE NOTE: SF Parks and Rec breaks winter permits into two sections. Winter I runs from the first week in January – the third week in January. Winter II runs from the fourth week in January – the third week in February. Girls Unite does our best to keep practices the same from Winter I to Winter II, but SF Parks and Rec does not always make the same fields available. This change in field availability is in addition to a first come-first serve lottery system which can mean practice details change.


Where are games played? 

Answer: Indoor rec center gyms all over the city of San Francisco. Exact locations TBD.


When are games? 

Answer: Games will take place on Sundays from January 7th through March pending age group divisions and playoffs.  Traditionally there have been no games MLK weekend or Presidents Day weekend.

Answer:  Sundays with start times between 9am-4pm. Specific teams’ game times are TBD. 


When will game schedules be posted?

Answer:  The final league game schedule will be published on Friday, 12/12.


What is the cost of futsal & how do I register? 

Answer: Fees to play futsal range from $250 for practices only to $595. Price point depends on level of participation and competition.

Click here for the Winter Indoor Soccer/Futsal Registration Link 

Deadline to register: end of Oct, 2023.



Does Girls Unite offer financial assistance for futsal?

Answer: Yes, in order to apply for financial assistance, you must complete the BOTH Part A & B below…

PART A:  Click & complete a Financial Assistance Request Form

Deadline to submit this request: mid Oct, 2023

PART B: AFTER you complete the financial assistance request, our Admin staff ( will connect you with a Financial Aid Committee approved discount code so you can register through the Winter Indoor Soccer/Futsal teamsnap link.

Financial Assistance Requests requires a QUICK response on behalf of families and must be completed by mid Oct, 2023


What is the refund policy? 

Answer: If the indoor season is canceled by the league before the season starts, Girls Unite will issue a full refund. If indoor events are canceled, Girls Unite will continue to offer outdoor practices/games/scrimmages as allowed. Please see here for the Girls Unite Refund Policy. If there is a catastrophic event outside of our control (infectious disease outbreaks, fires, natural disasters), Girls Unite will pass on any refunds in costs we receive back to players/families.

Note: Due to limited team size (max 12 players per team), spots on teams are first come first serve. If a team spot is not available (fills up without enough players for another team), the difference between team registration and practice-only registration will be refunded. 


Are uniforms included for winter futsal?

Answer: Only jerseys are included in winter futsal. Players must supply their own shorts, socks as well as other needed playing equipment (shoes, shinguards).


What COVID-19 precautions will be taken?

Answer: Girls Unite follows the SF Department of Public Health Guidelines.

SFRPD Jose Coronado Futsal Indoor Soccer League – Laws of the Game

Quick Summary: Soccer & Futsal Rules Differences

Extended: SFRPD Jose Coronado Indoor Soccer League – Laws of the Game: Updated October 2021


  1. A game is played with 5 players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. 12 players on a roster.
  2. Maximum number of substitutes is 7. Number of substitutions in a match is unlimited.
  3. A “flying” substitution is one, which is made when the ball is still in play. The substitution zone is situated in front of the teams’ benches and is where the players enter and leave the pitch for substitutions. If, while a substitution is being made, a substitute enters the pitch before the player being replaced has completely left, play is stopped, the player being replaced is instructed to leave the pitch, the substitute is cautioned, and is ordered to leave the pitch to complete the substitution.  If while a substitution is being made, a substitute enters the pitch or a player being substituted leaves the pitch from a place other than his/her own team’s substitution zone, play is stopped, the offending player is cautioned and is ordered to leave the pitch to complete the substitution.
  4. Goalkeeper substitutions: They may change places with any other player provided they are ready to come in with ready equipment or during a time-out. No time out is granted for goalie substitutions.  No game shall start with less than three players on a team. If, in the event of players being sent off, fewer than 3 playersincluding the goalkeeper are left in either of the teams, the match must be abandoned. A player who has been sent off before the kick-off may be replaced only by one of the named substitutes. A named substitute who has been sent off, either before the kick-off or after play has started, may not be re-placed. A substitute may replace a sent-off player and enter the pitch after 2 minutes of playing time have elapsed, provided that he/she has the authorization of the referees, unless a goal is scored before the 2 mins have elapsed, in which case the following conditions apply:

If there are 5 players against 4 and the team with the greater number of players scores a goal, the team with only 4 players may be completed with a 5thplayer;
b. If both teams are playing with 3 or 4 players and a goal is scored, both teams remain the same;
c. If there are 5 players against 3 or 4 against 3, and the team with the greater number of players scores, the team with 3 players may be increased by one more player only;
d. If the team scoring a goal has fewer players, the game continues without any changes.


1.All players must wear jerseys or shirts of similar color with numbers on the back. Shorts or sweats are mandatory. No jewelry of any kind is allowed.

2.All players must wear gymnastic shoes. No shoes that leave marks on the floor will be allowed on the courts. Shin guards are mandatory and have to be completely covered by the socks.

3.The goalkeeper will wear a uniform of different color.


  1. The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play are final. The referee and the second referee may only change a decision if they realize that they have made a mistake or if they deem it necessary to do so, provided that play has not restarted or the match terminated.


  1. The length of the game will equal 2 halves of 20 mins each (running time) with a rest period of no more than 5 mins. 12 and under divisions and under will use the #3 ball. 13 and under and above will use the #4 ball.
  2. A time-out (1 min in duration) may be requested by any team official at any time (one in each half), but will only be conceded when the team is in ball possession and out of play. When time-out is granted the players may remain on or off the pitch. In order to have a drink, the players must leave the pitch. Players may only be substituted at the end of a time-out. The team official(s) giving instructions may not enter the pitch.
  3. If a team does not request a time-out during the first half of play, it cannot be compensated for on the second half. The team will lose it. There are no time-outs granted in overtime. At the end of the first half, teams will immediately switch benches. The same occurs at the end of the first overtime period.


(League rule) – Visiting team will have automatic kick off in the first half of play. During the kickoff, the opposing team shall be no less than 3 meters from the ball until is kicked off (in any direction) and put in play. A goal cannot be scored directly from a kick-off for all divisions. The kicker may not touch the ball a second time (IFK). The game ends when the timekeeper signals the end with an acoustic signal.


When a match is being played on an indoor pitch and the ball hits the ceiling or the basketball hoop/board (if they are inside the pitch) the game is restarted by a kick-in, awarded to the opposing team to the one that last touched the ball. The kick-in is taken closest to where the infraction occurred. If the ball hits the ceiling while in play, the game is restarted with a kick-in taken by the opponents from the point on the side line nearest to the place on the ground above which the ball hit the ceiling.


  1. A player who intentionally commits one of the following seven offenses in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force will be awarded a DFK:
  2. Kicking or attempting to kick an opponent;
    Tripping an opponent;
    c. Jumping at an opponent;
    d. Charging an opponent; 
    e. Pushing an opponent;
    f. Striking or attempting to strike an opponent;
    g. tackling an opponentA DFK is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following three offenses:
    h. Spitting at an opponent;
    i. Holding an opponent;
    j. Handling the ball deliberately/accidentally, except for the goalkeeper in his/her penalty area;

and it is to be taken from the spot where the fault occurred and if the infringement happened in the penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball but provided that it is in play, a penalty kick shall be awarded. The above-mentioned fouls are accumulative fouls.


  1. A player committing any of the following five offenses:
    a. Playing in a dangerous manner in the presence of an opponent;
    b. Deliberately impeding the progress of an opponent when the ball is not being played;
    c. Preventing the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands;
    d. Commits against a team-mate one of the nine offenses penalized with a direct free kick if they are committed against an opponent.
    e. Committing any other offense, not previously mentioned in Law XII or any other law, for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a player,

shall be penalized by the award of an IFK, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.

An IFK is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper commits one of the following offenses, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred, unless it happened in the penalty area, in which case the IFK shall be taken from the goalie’s box line at the point closest to the spot where the infringement occurred:

  1. Following a kick-in taken by a player in his/her own team, the ball is directly passed to the goalkeeper, who touches or controls it with his hands (pass-back);
    g. Touches/controls it with his/her hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him/her by a teammate;
    h. He/she touches or controls the ball with his/her hands or feet, for more than four seconds, except when he/she touches or controls the ball on the opponent’s half of the playing court;
    i. After having released the ball, he/she receives the ball from a teammate, without it having first been played or touched by an opponent. The above-mentioned fouls are notaccumulative fouls.


  1. A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he/she commits any of the following offenses:
    a. Is guilty of unsportsmanlike behavior;
    b. Shows dissent by word or action;
    c. Persistently infringes the laws of the game;
    d. Delays the restart of play;
    e. Fails to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, kick-in, free kick;
    f. Enters or re-enters the playing court without the referees’ permission;
    g. Deliberately leaves the playing court without the referees’ permission.

For any of these offenses, an IFK is awarded to the opposing team.

A player shall be ejected from the playing court and shown the red card if in the opinion of the referee:

a. Is guilty of serious foul play;
b. Is guilty of violent conduct;
c. Uses fouled or abusive language;
d. Is guilty of persisting misconduct after cautioning;
e. Spits at an opponent or any other person;
f. Denies the opposing team a goal or obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball;
g. Denies an obvious goal scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the players’ goal by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick.  The referees have the authority to pronounce disciplinary sanctions on players from the moment they enter the pitch until they leave the pitch after the final whistle.

Team officials (Coach, Assistant Coach, Manager or trainer) guilty of misconduct or & “Inappropriate Bench Behavior” can be shown a Yellow Card/Red Card.  If an offender cannot be identified, the senior coach in the technical area receives the YC/RC.


At the take of a free kick, direct or indirect, all opposing players and the defending wall must be at least 5 meters from the ball (quick free kicks are at the discretion of the team taking the kick, otherwise free kicks will be taken after a 2ndwhistle after the ref has set up the wall ceremoniously) and the wall cannot move until the ball has been put in play. If a player of the opposing team encroaches, the free kick will be retaken. If the free kick is not taken within 4 seconds, an IFK will be given to the opposing team. When a defending team is taking a free kick from within its own penalty area, all opponents must be outside this penalty area. The ball is in play after it has been kicked or touched.

After a team commits its 5th accumulative foul, all free kicks starting with the 6th one will be direct, irrespective of the infraction. They will be taken from the double penalty spot, unless any player commits a foul on the opponents’ half of the court or on his own half outside an imaginary line parallel to the center line but going through the double penalty spot, in which case the free kick shall be taken from that spot on the court. A goal may be scored directly from this free kick and a wall will no longer be permitted as defense against the DFK. The player taking the kick must do so with the intent of scoring a goal. All players will need to remain behind an imaginary line, which is in line with the ball and parallel to the goal line, and outside the penalty area. All players must be 5 meters from the ball. The goalkeeper must remain on the goal line until the ball is kicked from the second penalty spot.

If the game goes into overtime, all accumulative fouls from the 2nd half of the game continue to count up in the overtime period. The referees may allow play to continue by applying the advantage rule if the team has not yet committed 5 accumulated fouls and the opposing team is not denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

It is an offence if a player: 
-deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, including moving the hand/arm towards the ball.
-gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then:
scores in the opponents’ goal, creates a goal-scoring opportunity, or scores in the opponents’ goal directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper.
It is usually an offence if a player:
touches the ball with their hand/arm when:
the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger
the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm)
The above offences apply even if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close.
Except for the previous offences, it is not usually an offence if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm:
directly from the player’s own head or body (including the foot)
directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close
if the hand/arm is close to the body and does not make the body unnaturally bigger
when a player falls and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body, but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body

In 12 and Under matches and younger, deliberate heading of the ball is to be whistled and an IFK shall be awarded to the opponent team at the spot of the infraction.  When the deliberate heading occurs inside the goalie’s area, the IFK will be taken on the goalie’s area line closest to where the infraction occurred.  This is a non-accumulative foul.


Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick or 2nd penalty kick to be taken at the end of each half or at the end of over time.

The players are located outside the penalty area, behind or to the side of the penalty mark and at least 5 meters from the penalty mark. During the penalty kick the goalie remains on the goal line.


  1. When the ball completely crosses over the touchline, it shall be kicked-in from the place where it crossed the touch line. The ball must be stationary on the touchline, either from the point where it left the pitch or on the ground outside it at a distance no greater than 10 inches from that point (the equivalent of the size of the futsal ball). The players of the opposing team shall be at least 3 meters from the spot where the kick-in is being taken. If an opponent interferes with or hinders a kick-in from being taken properly: The kick-in is retaken by the same team and the offending player is cautioned for unsporting behavior and shown the yellow card, unless the advantage can be applied or an offense punishable by a free kick or penalty kick is committed by the opposing team of the player taking the kick-in. Players taking the kick-in must do so within 4 seconds of being ready to do so. The ball is in play when it enters the pitch.  If the ball does not enter the pitch, the referee shall order a player from the same team to re-take the kick-in.
  2. A goal cannot be scored directly from a kick-in. if the player taking the kick-in, touches it again before it has touched an opponent, an IFK is awarded to the opposing team where the infringement occurred.
  3. The player taking the kick-in must have part of each foot either on the touchline or on the ground outside the touchline. The kick-in is retaken by a player of the opposing team if the kick-in is taken incorrectly; if it is taken from a position other than the place where the ball passes over the touch line and if is not carried out within 4 secs of the player taking it after being in possession of the ball.



  1. For 12 and Under divisions and below and when the ball completely crosses the end line, the goalkeeper, standing within his/her own penalty area, shall only throw it back into play and it must touch any player or the goalkeeper’s own half of the pitch before it crosses the halfway line of the pitch. During dynamic play (live ball) the goalie must also throw it back into play within 4 seconds and it must touch a player or the goalkeeper’s own half of the pitch before it crosses the halfway line of the pitch. In this case the goalie may also place and kick or roll and kick the ball past the half way line. No punt or drop-kick is allowed.
    For 13 and Under divisions and above, and from a goal clearance or dynamic play, the ball may pass the halfway line of the pitch without first having touched the goalkeeper’s own half of the pitch or an opponent.
  2. A goal may not be scored directly from a goal clearance.
  3. During a goal clearance, the ball is in play as soon as it is released by the goalkeeper and needs not leave the area. The opponents must wait outside the penalty area on a goal clearance.
  4. The goalkeeper is allowed to come out of his penalty area, but he/she cannot retain the ball for more than 4 seconds at a time, except while playing in the opponents’ half of the pitch. An IFK will be awarded to the opponent if the goalkeeper retains the ball for more than 4 seconds to be taken at the spot of the infraction, unless it happened inside the penalty area, where it will be taken at the penalty area line closest to where the infraction occurred.


  1. A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick, but only against the opposing team, a corner kick will be awarded to the opposing team if the corner kick is performed by the team taking the corner kick into their own goal.
  2. The ball is given to the goalkeeper of the opposing team (goal clearance), if the corner kick is not performed within 4 seconds or for an improper performed corner-kick.
  3. Players of the opposing team shall not encroach within 5 meters of the corner spot until it is in play.