5 Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Soccer

5 Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Soccer

 indoor soccer - ohio fitness garage

5 Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Soccer

Growing up in Florida, I didn’t have to resort to heading inside to play soccer because snow was, well, scarce. However, being Brazilian, I was introduced to futsal—Portuguese for indoor soccer—and later played a lot of after moving to Switzerland where the snow definitely was not scarce.


Transitioning or choosing between outdoor or indoor soccer, by experience, you'll quickly recognize the differences and that there are quite a few to keep track of. Even though they both are soccer—there are quite a few things that make one stand out from the other. Not to mention, interestingly enough, there are players that are so much better at one than the other.


If playing indoor seems to suit you, here are a few rules that you should be aware of before lacing up your indoor shoes—by the way, those are different than outdoor soccer cleats.


  1. No sliding. If slide tackling is your passion and how you get your kicks (pun intended), I’ve got bad news for you. In indoor soccer, there’s no sliding or slide tackling. However, that rule is in place for a good reason—the flooring isn't very forgiving.


  1. No throw-ins. In my opinion, a more fun part of the game, there are no throw-ins. Having had shoulder surgery a few years back and never really getting my throws to go back to where they were before—it’s really a benefit for me. It also makes the game much more fast-paced and in some cases, there are no out-of-bounds restrictions at all—except when the ball hits the net or goes over the goal. Depending on where you play, you should check with the league about those rules.


  1. The wall is your best teammate. Forget your friends, there’s no option more predictable and a better passer than the wall. You can really take advantage of that strategy if the rules allow you to use them when passing or shooting. A pass that may seem impossible in a regular game can easily be achieved in an indoor field.


  1. No offsides. Since there are usually only a handful of players allowed on the field at one time, there’s really no need for offsides. This also means that you'll probably encounter your fair share of cherry pickers.


  1. Different shoes. As I mentioned before, prepare to drop a pretty penny for some new soccer shoes. Playing with cleats indoors is a really bad idea which can lead to severe injuries—so, don't even try it. Indoor shoes have an added grip to the sole of the shoe that creates enough traction when you play but is less restricting than a soccer cleat.


Even though some rules are different and you have to invest in some new equipment, playing indoor—or futsal—is just as much, if not, more fun than playing outdoor. So, if you've never given it a try, grab your new indoor shoes (or sneakers for the first day) and try it out!


Written By: Adriana Rodrigues is a professional soccer player and a coach. She has over twenty years of experience in soccer after having played in a Division 1 University and has represented two national teams, both Brazil and Portugal.

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