Indoor soccer vs outdoor soccer rules: Intensive vs Tactical

Soccer played outside is slow-paced in a tactical build-up but action-packed in the goalmouth. Indoor soccer can be intensive without any rest, but it’s fun-packed.

Indoor soccer first became popular as an alternative to play soccer in the winter periods.

Especially in certain areas of those countries where the weather conditions can be quite difficult during that time of year.

Indeed, indoor soccer has been expanding to other parts of the world such as Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

Although its growth is truly global at the moment, having its own world federation that governs it as is the WMF (World Minifootball Federation).

Indoor Soccer Court and Goal - Futsal
Indoor Soccer Court and Goal – Futsal

Indoor Soccer in the United States

Indoor soccer in the United States has the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) as a professional league (in addition to other semi-professional leagues).

Indoor soccer has contacted managers and players with international experiences in classic soccer like Landon Donovan or Jermaine Jones to grow the game.


Indoor Soccer vs Outdoor Soccer Rules

The rules for indoor and outdoor soccer are similar with fouls, handballs and goals. With differences for sliding tackles, length of play and number of players.

The type of turf is different since the indoor soccer fields are artificial turf while the soccer fields are sometimes natural turf.

With its exceptions since the use of mixed-grass is increasingly common and in a few cases, the use of artificial turf.

It’s also worth pointing out that the dimensions of the fields are very different.

The indoor soccer field half as long and wide as an outdoor soccer field, being typically about 60 m long by 25 m wide.

Indoor Soccer: Number of Players

For indoor soccer, there are 6 players per team including the goalkeeper, compared to 11 for an outdoor team.

The size of the pitch also means that there’s no offside rule.

Since there’s less space due to the dimensions of the pitch, it also needs fewer players than in indoor soccer.

Length of Game

The duration of each match is also different because an indoor soccer match lasts 60 minutes vs. 90 minutes for an outdoor soccer game.

The section of the game for indoor soccer has 4 quarters of 15 minutes, the first and third interruptions are 3 minutes, and the second, the half-time is 15 minutes.

The outdoor game is split into two halves of 45 minutes with a 15-minute break between.

Another particular characteristic of indoor soccer that separates it from outdoor soccer is the number of substitutions, which in this case is unlimited/rotating players.

Slide tackle on artificial turf - Indoor soccer vs outdoor soccer rules
Five a Side Soccer Game

Can you slide in indoor soccer?

In the regulations established by the WMF, only slide tackles are allowed as long as there’s no contact with the opponent or any danger for any player on the field,

In any other case, it will be sanctioned either with a direct or indirect free kick and disciplinary action depending on the type of foul.

Similarly, it’s rare for someone to want to do a slide tackle in indoor soccer in view of the type of grass being used.

What is a blue card in indoor soccer?

In some competitions, they use a third card that is usually blue, in addition to the typical yellow and red cards of outdoor soccer.

As an option to caution a player for an action that can be considered more serious than a yellow card but not So serious as to be sent off permanently.

So with this blue card what you do is take the player out for a defined period of time where your team will play with one less player.

Are there throw-ins allowed in indoor soccer?

As already mentioned, indoor soccer uses walls that limit the pitch and if the ball touches the walls, the game continues normally.

The walls are part of the game in the same way that occurs in hockey, for example.

This is a very important element in the development of this game and one of the main characteristics that separate it from other variations of classic soccer.

In the event that the ball overcomes any of the walls and leaves the pitch completely, the team opposite to that of the last player who touched the ball will have a free kick from the closest point in the field.

Where the ball came out. This also occurs if the ball is kicked too high and touches the ceiling of the stadium.

Outdoor soccer game corner kick - Indoor soccer vs outdoor soccer rules

Is indoor soccer harder than outdoor?

Outdoor soccer is harder to play than indoor soccer. There’s more space in outdoor soccer so players need to more tactical, faster, aware, and focused.

Although indoor soccer is faster, due to the smaller space, and more goals can be scored. The longer minutes can be tougher. The goals are twice as big outdoors also.

That said, indoor soccer does not allow for a rest. There’s constant action and fitness shows after a while.

Can you wear outdoor soccer cleats indoor?

It’s not recommended as outdoor soccer cleats have higher lugs that help maintain stability and grip on natural pitches turf.

That is why there are cleats made specifically for playing on artificial surfaces

Mini cleats that help improve traction and ball control as well as being made of a more resistant material.

Do indoor soccer players wear shin guards?

Indoor soccer players require the same protection as outdoor soccer players, with the use of shin guards. Any official match will require them for play to go ahead.

If the game is casual between friends it’s not always necessary to wear shin guards.

Indoor Soccer

Indoor soccer is a sport with a lower global impact than outdoor soccer, however, it turns out to be a very interesting option.

Not only for those who live in places with adverse weather conditions but for anyone who is an admirer of classical soccer and wants to entertain themselves.

It can also be an excellent complement to outdoor soccer training since it helps to improve the mental dexterity and speed of the players’ passes.

Indoor soccer is fast-paced and fun vs outdoor soccer which is tactical and technical.



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