With a smaller field and fewer players on a team, the quick-paced indoor soccer game helps players keep in shape and sharpen skills during the cold winter months. The popular futsal and five-a-side games also fall under the indoor soccer umbrella, with similar gear but different rules and courts.
Here’s a quick break down of the ins and outs of the indoor game.
Slightly bigger than a basketball court, indoor courts are often walled. Indoor fields can be hardwood or artificial turf and are often repurposed basketball or hockey courts. Indoor soccer is usually played on a walled/boarded court, while futsal is usually played on hardwood in non-walled courts. There is also a hybrid form of indoor soccer played on artificial turf in a non-walled court.
Goals may be set in the wall and usually smaller than standard soccer goals.
6 v 6 (including goalkeepers), but can vary.
RULES AND REGULATION:
The rules of indoor soccer vary from outdoor soccer. In indoor soccer, there is no sliding, no throw-ins, no offside rule and substitutions can happen at any time.
The walls in indoor soccer can and should be used to your advantage. Use them for rebounding shots, passing and tricks that are unique to indoor soccer. If the ball goes over the walls or hits the ceiling, play is stopped. The team who didn’t send the ball flying is awarded a free kick (the free kick is from where the ball was kicked, not where it hit the netting/wall/etc.).
The gear for indoor soccer is the same as the gear for outdoor soccer except for the ball and footwear. Some indoor goalkeepers also choose to wear gloves that are designed to stand up to play on the hard surface. Goalkeeper gloves designed for futsal, often don’t have fingertips. This is for better ball control during the fast paced game.
INDOOR SHOES FOR HARDWOOD
Soccer shoes designed for play on hardwood usually have gum rubber outsoles that won’t leave marks on the floor. Gum rubber is durable and offers traction on the sometimes slick hardwood.
INDOOR SHOES FOR ARTIFICIAL TURF
On artificial turf, players often wear shoes with a little more traction. These soccer shoes often have durable, multi-density rubber outsoles (sometimes artificial turf indoor shoes even have low profile studs for quick rotation, traction and underfoot ball control).
Futsal shoes are designed to keeper feet close to the floor for optimal balance and quick cutting. In futsal, the foot’s sole is often used to control the ball. So the less material that’s between the foot and the ball, the better control the player has. Unlike outdoor soccer players, futsal players will often use the toe to strike or maneuver the ball. To protect the toes and keep the shoes durable, many futsal shoes have some extra reinforcement built in.
SOCCER BALLS FOR INDOOR PLAY
Designed for quick passing and excellent touch during short-sided games, these balls are made to stand-up to the intense pace of indoor play. For hardwood play, the ball will sometimes have a suede or fuzzy cover, similar to that of a tennis ball, for touch, limited roll and reduced risk of injury.
Futsal balls have low bounce bladders for better control on hard surfaces. They are heavier and smaller than traditional soccer balls.
Size 4 indoor balls are for players U12 and under, and size 5 are for players older than U12.
Check out SOCCER.COM’s full selection of indoor soccer gear here.