Futsal is the official version of indoor soccer. Wall soccer will soon lose popularity and is already losing participation in the Midwest and East coast. There are so many advantages than wall soccer and F.I.F.A. agrees as it is the only sanctioned form of indoor soccer.

An outdoor soccer field is 5-6 courts. In any one of those courts there is a 3-5 attacking and defensive players. Playing this 5 aside form of soccer puts you in any one of those sectors increasing exposure to small space, passing, moving without the ball, quick thinking, and shooting with intention versus opportunity. This form of soccer is actually more of a workout because you are constantly moving moving from defensive to offensive situations in a blink of an eye. There is no time to walk and take a breather. With only four field players you are truly engaged the whole time 100%.

Rules of Play

The rules are quite simple. you play with 4 field players and one goalie. There are no throw-ins. The player places the ball on sideline and has 4 seconds to kick ball in too a teammate (it is an indirect kick so no trying to make a goal from sideline).

  • There is no offsides.
  • The ball is a size 4 low bounce ball.
  • The goalie can not punt ball he has to start the ball with his hands and has 4 seconds to put it in play by dropping it or throwing/rolling to a teammate.
  • There is no slide tackling.
  • There is unlimited flying changes substitutions (except goalie change it must be on referees signal).
  • There are two penalty spots on a court. One at top of goalie area (regular penalty spot if a foul occurs in penalty/goalie area).
  • The second is further back and is used when a team commits 6 fouls in the same half.

Even though you may not have a court or low bounce ball to play true futsal replicate the rules on natural grass. you will still get the benefits reducing field size and mimicking the rules. This form of play will greatly enhance awareness and speedy decision making.

Mark Hyman's Until It Hurts is a hair-raising look at everything that is wrong with youth sports today. More than just a splendid job of reporting and writing, it is a work of true public service. Every parent and every coach who has ever been involved in youth sports and cares about kids has an obligation to read it.

Buzz Bissinger,
author of Friday Night Lights and Three Nights in August