Futsal vs. Indoor Soccer

December 27, 2018
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Futsal and soccer may superficially look like similar sports, but there are some critical differences. One of the most significant differences is in the style of ball that players use. In futsal, balls tend to be “low-bounce” whereas, in indoor soccer, players use a regular style soccer ball.

The other significant difference between the two sports is that in indoor football, walls surround the court, preventing errant passes from leaving the field of play. The ball bounces back onto the court, and the game resumes. In futsal, on the other hand, balls can leave the field of play.

In futsal, you can make as many substitutions as you like. Each team is allowed to have up to 12 players on the substitution bench. Indoor soccer, like futsal, has five players on each team playing at any given time, but you can only make a maximum of three substitutions, as in regular soccer.

Pros of Futsal

Better Ball Control

The low-bouncing ball means that players have to get used to dribbling without the compensating effect of ball-bounce. According to many coaches, this helps to develop skills and prevent players from creating bad habits.

No Wall Bouncing

The fact the ball can go out of play in futsal means that players must avoid making errant passes. When the ball goes out of play, the other team gets the ball.


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Cons of Futsal

Less Time in Play

Because the ball can go out of play, players often spend less time in play in futsal compared to regular football. The ball going out of play can reduce the amount of time they have to develop their technique.

Negative Coaching Tactics

Kicking the ball out of play helps to waste time. Some coaches may encourage these tactics as a way of stalling or delaying the game.

Pros of Indoor Soccer

Better Technique from Wall Bouncing

Kicking the ball against the wall to get around a defending player is a sophisticated technique and fun to watch. The ability to use walls adds a new dimension to the game. Walls can be used to make passes, dribble around opposing players, and even score goals.

Easier for Goalies

The turf on many indoor soccer courts makes it easier for goalies just learning how to play the game. The soft turf provides a cushion for when they need to dive to save the ball.

Cons of Indoor Soccer

Players Do Not Develop Feigning Skills

Walls make it easier to get around opposing players. Unlike in futsal, players can bounce the ball off the wall, and many will take the easier option, rather than developing feigning skills. Using foot trickery is a fun part of the game, and one of the reasons why the world’s best attacking players, like Cristiano Ronaldo, are so celebrated.

Odd Shot-Blocking Angles

In futsal, shots come from predictable angles in front of the goal. But in indoor soccer, shots can come from many more angles because of the walls. Goalies in indoor soccer can often develop a range of habits and skills that are not appropriate for the outdoor game.

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