Futsal and Indoor soccer may seem similar
Comparing Futsal & Indoor Soccer Rulesets
The rules of futsal are very clear since every competition uses the official FIFA rules.
Indoor soccer on the other hand is slightly inconsistent. Each competition tends to have a slightly different rule book. We're using IndoorSports Victoria Rules in this article.
Players in each team:
Futsal - 5-A-Side (+9 Substitutes).
Indoor Soccer - 5-A-Side (+3 Subsitutes).
Futsal - 40 Minutes (2x20 minute halves).
Indoor Soccer - 40 Minutes (2x20 minute halves).
Futsal - The clock stops when ball goes out of play.
Indoor Soccer - Some competitions may have added time. Clock only stops in last 30 seconds of each half.
Futsal - 1x 1 Minute timeout per half.
Indoor Soccer - 0 timeouts.
Futsal - Rolling subs
Indoor Soccer - Subs can only be made when a goalkeeper has the ball
Game Restarts (Out of play):
Futsal - Kick-Ins
Indoor Soccer - Depends on the competition, some will do drop ball, others will do a goal kick.
Futsal - From goalies hands
Indoor Soccer - There's very rarely any goalkeeper stars in indoor soccer.
Backpasses to goalkeeper:
Futsal - One backpass allowed in own half.
Indoor Soccer - Unlimited but goalkeeper is only allowed the ball for 5 seconds.
Futsal - Maximum of 5 per half. Every foul after that is a direct free kick for the opponent.
Indoor Soccer - This follows the same rules as normal soccer. No extra set pieces for fouls. Booking system is the same as 11-a-side soccer too.
Red Card Suspensions
Futsal - Futsal has an interesting ruling on red cards. Sent off players can be subbed and are able to return to the pitch after 2 minutes or after the opponents score.
Indoor Soccer - Again, Indoor soccer follows the same principles as normal soccer. The player cannot return to the pitch and will suspended for at least 1 match.
Restart Time Limits:
Futsal - 4 Seconds
Indoor Soccer - While indoor soccer doesn't have any restart time limits. It does have some incredibly wacky timed rules.
Futsal - 2 On-field Officials and 1 Off-field official which is the equivalent to a 4th official in soccer. Pretty much a timekeeper.
Indoor Soccer - 1 On-field referee which controls the game from on the pitch.
If you're playing indoor soccer, it's best you ask the tournament organiser for the rule book so you can read through.
Most if not all Futsal leagues will run FIFA's official rule set. You can read the full rule book here.
Futsal uses a different ball
Recommended Futsal Ball
Select Futsal Mimas Senior Soccer Ball
The need for a futsal ball may be some what rare. Most times that you'll play futsal will be part of a tournament where balls are supplied.
That being said, you may head to your local futsal courts and play with friends or take your own ball to training.
Select have made this ball with futsal in mind. It's a size 4 ball with a butyl bladder made to bounce less. It's a very high quality ball although it does come at a cost.
The Select Futsal Mimas design isn't for everyone. It's a bright yellow/green combination with stars all over the ball. I like how it looks but I know many people don't.
You can read more about the Select Futsal Mimas Ball on Soccer.com
A Futsal pitch is almost 9 time smaller than a full 11-a-side one.
There's 2 major differences between a futsal pitch and a normal pitch. First of all, you have the size. The dimensions of a futsal pitch should be between 38-42 metres long and 20-25 metres wide.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out the other difference is the surface. Normal soccer games are played on normal grass or even 3G artificial grass. Futsal is played on a hard surface often made up of wood and vinyl.
Having such a small pitch and a hard playing surface allows futsal to play incredibly fast with only 5 players on each team.
This is why futsal is held highly in regards to developing technique and close control.
Indoor Soccer pitches are somewhat similar to Futsal pitches.
The recommended dimensions for the indoor soccer pitches are 60 metres long and 25 metres wide. Indoor soccer is played on artificial grass which allows for carry over to real soccer matches.
One thing that doesn't carry over to normal soccer is the ability to bounce balls off of the side walls/fences while trying to beat your opponent. Overall indoor soccer should transfer better to your actual soccer ability.
Which is safer? Futsal or Indoor Soccer?
What is better? Futsal or Indoor Soccer?
Playing more soccer can only be good.
But if you do start feeling fatigued and are under-performing while playing normal soccer (if that's your focus), take a break.
Both of these sports are great fun, you'll improve at soccer and you'll increase your stamina too. You may even pick up a new sport that you want to focus on over normal soccer.
What's your thoughts on Futsal & Indoor soccer? Let me know in the comments below.
The best training balls to improve your game.