How Many Players are on a Soccer Team?

Know the required number of players in every football game.

The 11 starters of Spain during the 2010 World Cup

How many players do play in a football game? The answer is 11: one player plays goalkeeper while the other ten play as forwards, midfielders, or defenders.

The the number of players for a regulation football game is determined by FIFA rules (A). There are different number of players for kids’ and youth soccer (B), indoor soccer (C), futsal (D), beach soccer (E), and paralympic football (F).

A. FIFA Laws

In international and FIFA-regulated games such as the UEFA, the official number of players on a football field is eleven. However, a team may start with fewer players if it is impossible to come up with 11.

The minimum number of players that FIFA allows is seven. A match is halted when more than four players of the same team are booked with a red card. FIFA rules are adopted by major soccer tournaments and most outdoor football leagues.

B. Youth and kids’ football

Kids start playing the regular 11-a-side football at the age of 12. Young footballers aged 10 years old and below have different numbers of players per team.

U10 footballers play with 8 players on each side while U8 soccer players play four on four. Kids six years and under play three on three.

C. Indoor soccer

There are six players in an indoor football game. Hence, this variant of soccer is also called six-a-side. Of the six, one plays goalkeeper while the others play either as defenders or attackers.

D. Futsal

In futsal, five players play at a time. One of them plays goalkeeper, just like in outdoor soccer. A team may have up to seven substitute players. The number of substitutes allowed to come in during a game of futsal is unlimited.

Futebol de salão, a variant of soccer which is very similar to futsal, also has five players per side.

E. Beach soccer

Five players play in a regulation beach football or beasal game. One player plays as goalkeeper. Substitutes are allowed for an unlimited number of times.

F. Paralympic football

The number of players who can play in paralympic football is either five or seven.

Players who have visual impairments usually play five-a-side football while those with neurological disorders play seven-a-side.