How To Play Indoor Soccer

Tips on the Basic Rules and Strategies of Indoor Soccer

Photo of indoor soccer

Indoor soccer is a fast-paced game that incorporates many parts of outdoor soccer, yet introduces a few new twists as well. Traditional soccer provides people with an excellent opportunity to exercise, and indoor soccer only increases the exercise potential. 

Learn the basic rules now so that you don't miss a chance play in this quick and highly enjoyable version of soccer!

  1. Bring the right footwear. Most indoor soccer fields have very short turf that requires flat bottom soccer shoes in order to play. These shoes are conveniently known as indoor soccer shoes! However, some indoor fields have a longer turf that favors the traditional outdoor soccer cleat. So until you know what kind of turf you will be playing on, it is a good idea to bring both indoor and outdoor soccer shoes.
  2. Understand the positions. Indoor soccer plays with the same positions as outdoor soccer (goalie, defense, midfield, and striker), but the number of players on the field at one time is reduced. The most common number of players on the field is six per side, including the goalie. However, the number of players often changes with every indoor facility because indoor fields are not all the same size.

    Players in each position must always know what they are going to do when they get the ball, and must know where the opposing team is at all times.

  3. Recognize rule changes. Indoor soccer has a few major rules that are different or not present in outdoor soccer.
    • In indoor soccer, there is no offside rule.
    • When the ball hits the netting above the wall or on the ceiling, a free kick is awarded to the opposite team from the place where the ball was kicked, not where it hit the netting.
    • Corner kicks are awarded when a ball hits the netting above the goals.
    • Corner kicks are taken from the white circle in the appropriate rounded corner of the field.
    • Penalty Kicks are often replaced by a shootout between a goalie and an opposing player.
  4. Learn the three-line rule. In addition to the half field line, there is a line on each side of the field for a total of three lines on the field. The rule is... a player behind the line on their defensive half cannot kick the ball in the air across the line on their offensive half. In other words, the ball is not allowed to pass in the air over three lines (defensive line, midline, offensive line) without touching something or someone.
  5. Use the walls. In indoor soccer, the walls around the field should not be barriers to your success but should help to improve your game. Defensively, the walls can be used as an extra teammate. You can force opposing players to dribble to the walls instead of to the middle of the field. Offensively, the walls can be used as an extra teammate to whom you can pass. If your defender is too close to you, you can pass the ball off the wall and run around your defender to meet the ball on the other side. Don't be afraid of the walls, use them to your advantage!
  6. Be prepared to substitute. Indoor soccer uses a substitute method known as "on-the-fly". Unlike outdoor soccer, substitutions can be made at anytime of the game and those substitutions do not require play to be stopped in order to take place. The only rule is that the substitute cannot enter the playing field until the person they are replacing has crossed a dotted line that runs in front of the bench area. Substitutions are made very quickly and require you to pay attention at all times, so be prepared.
  7. Stay out of trouble. In indoor soccer, a red card has the same meaning as in outdoor soccer: expulsion from the game. However, in indoor soccer, the yellow card commonly used in outdoor soccer is often replaced by a blue card. The blue card is used for minor violations and results in the offending player being sent off the field for a few minutes.
  8. Work on Control. Indoor soccer forces quick decisions in crowded areas so you must be able to control the ball quickly and effectively. Work on making swift, accurate passes and controlling the ball when it is at your feet.
  9. Get in shape! Indoor soccer requires a high level of fitness. Whether you are looking to get in shape or looking to maintain your stamina, indoor soccer is the perfect activity. Because the pace of the indoor game is so fast, players are rarely given moments where they can walk or rest at all. Substitutions often occur at short intervals to rest players, but a high level or stamina is necessary to be successful in the indoor game.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Indoor soccer is an incredibly entertaining sport, but you will never know the benefits it offers until you get out there and play yourself! Understand these tips and you will be well on your way to becoming a successful indoor soccer player.


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