Do Futsal Goalkeepers Wear Gloves?

If you come from a soccer background, then there are certain initial assumptions that you might have about futsal that might not necessarily be true. In general, one of these assumptions includes the goalkeeper’s gloves.

It’s true that futsal is very similar to soccer. But even though you can think of futsal as a “soccer variant”, that doesn’t guarantee that what is viewed as “the norm” in soccer is also the norm in futsal.

One quick example is the topic of this article, and that’s whether or not the goalkeepers in futsal wear gloves.

Unlike the soccer goalkeepers, most of the professional futsal goalkeepers choose not to wear gloves during a game. Wearing gloves can limit the futsal goalkeeper’s ability to quickly put the ball back in action using a one hand throw which makes the gloves less desirable for the goalies.

It can be shocking to know that the futsal keepers don’t wear gloves like the soccer goalkeepers do, but once you know the reasons behind the decision, then it’ll all make sense to you.

But before we move on, if you are interested in learning more about why the goalkeepers in soccer wear gloves, then you can check this article over here.

Why don’t futsal goalkeepers wear gloves?

Here are 3 quick reasons why a futsal goalie usually prefers playing with bare hands instead of wearing gloves for protection.

1- To be able to throw the ball using one hand with ease.

One important note to mention here is that a futsal ball is a size 4 ball, unlike the soccer ball which is usually of size 5.

You can learn more about all the differences between the soccer ball and the futsal ball by clicking here, but for now, all you need to know is that the futsal ball is smaller than the soccer ball.

In fact, the futsal ball is small enough to be held using a single hand with ease. In other words, the goalkeeper can catch the ball with one hand, and immediately throw it forward to their teammates without having to use their other hand for assistance.

This is an extremely important advantage that a futsal goalkeeper has. It is an advantage that many goalkeepers simply won’t give up for the sake of wearing gloves.

If a futsal goalkeeper wears gloves, they will not be able to hold the ball with one hand with ease as they do when using their bare fingers.

This is because the goalkeeper holds the ball with one hand using their fingers’ strength. If they lose the grip of their fingers on the ball (by wearing the gloves), then they will have a hard time throwing the ball using a single hand.

If you come from a soccer background, you might be a little bit confused here. Don’t the gloves improve the grip of the soccer goalkeepers on the ball?

The answer is still a yes, but remember, soccer is played outside, while futsal is played inside. Dust, water, and other factors should all be considered when you discuss an outdoors game like soccer.

Another question that might come to your mind is this: 

Is it really that important for a goalie to be able to throw the ball with one hand?

For a soccer goalkeeper? Not necessarily, for a futsal goalkeeper? Definitely yes.

Unlike in soccer, the futsal goalkeepers are able to easily assist their teammates to score goals if they pass the ball to them in the right place at the right time.

The futsal field is much smaller than the soccer field. This means that while a soccer goalkeeper may not be able to always put their teammates in a great position to score goals, a futsal goalkeeper can.

Which brings us to the importance of being able to quickly throw the ball with one hand as a futsal goalkeeper.

Once the goalie gets the ball with their hand, they can instantly roll the ball towards their teammates with one hand, or throw it very quickly with a single hand.

Wearing gloves might slow this kind of action, and in sports, every second counts.

2- Futsal goalkeepers usually defend with their whole body.

Since the futsal field is small when compared to a soccer field, most of the shots on the net in futsal are made from a short distance.

Since the futsal goalie won’t have a lot of time to react to these shots, they will have to use their whole body as a shield in front of the goal instead of just relying on their hands.

In other words, it is common for the ball to hit the other body parts of the futsal goalkeeper and not just the hands.

The legs, the chest, and many other body parts have their fair share of hits when it comes to a futsal goalkeeper.

This means that the hands are not always the primary body part used to block the balls, which gives the futsal goalies an extra reason not to wear gloves.

A soccer goalkeeper on the other hand needs to rely on their hands a lot to make most of the saves that they do. The net in soccer is extremely large, and this forces the goalkeepers to make superman/superwoman jumps in order to reach the ball with their hands.

It’s worth noting that there are many occasions when a soccer goalkeeper will also have to use their whole body as a wall to block the ball (eg: 1v1 encounters in front of the net), but in most cases, the hands are primary body part used to block the ball from entering the soccer net.

3- Futsal goalkeepers don’t have to worry about wet fields

As mentioned before, a soccer goalkeeper’s gloves can give them a better grip on the ball during a rainy day.

When the soccer ball is wet, it becomes more slippery. Gloves can increase the friction with the ball in these scenarios.

Lucky for the futsal goalkeepers, the ball will not be wet during a game since futsal is an indoor game.

The same thing applies for other natural factors like dust and so on. Futsal goalkeepers have the privilege of not having to deal with all these weather conditions during a game.

With that said, wearing gloves doesn’t give any added benefits when it comes to the weather conditions during a futsal game (except maybe to keep the hands warm during the game). 

Final thoughts

It’s true that futsal goalkeepers don’t wear gloves, but that doesn’t mean that the futsal ball’s impact doesn’t hurt their hands.

The impact of the futsal ball can be serious if the ball was kicked with a lot of force, but in general, the goalkeepers in futsal priorities having more control over the ball when throwing it than wearing protective equipment that can reduce the impact of the ball on their hands.

It is worth noting that there are some futsal goalkeepers that do wear gloves. Some of them also wear fingerless gloves to maintain their good grip on the ball while having an extra layer of protection on their hands.

Some futsal goalies also use tape on their hands, and of course, there are those who just don’t use anything at all and play with their bare hands.

With that said, we have reached the end of the article, if you are interested in reading more, here are some related topics that you might find interesting: