Futsal vs Indoor Soccer – Differences and Similarities

Futsal is a type of indoor soccer that was developed in Brazil. It is played with a smaller, indoor soccer ball, similar to the size of a normal field. 

Because of the smaller size of the ball, futsal is played in smaller spaces, such as a school gym or a soccer center’s lower level. 

Indoor soccer is played all around the world and is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is a sport played on a soccer field, inside a gym or other indoor facility, with a regulation-size soccer ball. 

Indoor soccer is played year-round, with games played outdoors in the summer and indoors in the winter. If you’ve ever played either indoor or futsal soccer, you’ve probably wondered what the differences are and whether or not you should play the sport. Keep reading to learn more. See the infographic below for major details and information regarding the two variations of soccer.


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futsal vs indoor soccer

What is Futsal?

Futsal, a Portuguese word meaning “five-a-side,” is a form of indoor soccer that’s played on a smaller, indoor field with smaller soccer balls. 

Futsal was developed in Brazil, and it’s now popular in several countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. 


Futsal is played with four players per side, and there are three forwards and one goalkeeper per team. As with other forms of indoor soccer, futsal is played both professionally and competitively. Futsal can also be played as a recreational sport.

READ: The Differences and Similarities between Futsal and Soccer

Indoor Soccer

Indoor soccer is played on a conventional, outdoor soccer field, only smaller. Indoor soccer fields are purpose-built for the sport, with a smaller-than-regulation-size soccer ball. 

The smaller ball allows indoor soccer teams to play in smaller fields, usually from 10 to 25 yards wide, depending on the facility. 


Indoor soccer is played all year round, with games typically played in the winter. Like outdoor soccer, indoor soccer features a wide variety of competitive leagues, tournaments, and teams.

Laws of Futsal

Futsal is played on a smaller field, with a smaller ball, using only one goalkeeper per team. Additionally, there are no penalty areas in a futsal court, so players can be hacked, tackled, and otherwise fouled anywhere on the field.

How to Play Indoor Soccer

To get ready to play indoor soccer, parents and coaches will want to pay close attention to the size of the field and the ball. 

For example, a regulation-size soccer field is 100 yards long and 50 yards wide, while a futsal court is usually 50 yards by 20 yards. The ball used in indoor soccer is smaller, too, so make sure you buy or rent the right size. 


Differences Between Futsal and Indoor Soccer

There are many differences between futsal and indoor soccer, which we’ll explore below.

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Differences in Playing Time and Age

One difference between futsal and indoor soccer is the playing time. Futsal typically lasts for about half the time of an indoor soccer game, which makes sense since the game is generally played in a gymnasium or school hallway. 

Indoor soccer games typically last between 40 and 90 minutes and are meant for competitive leagues and tournaments, such as adult and youth leagues. Futsal games can last up to four halves of 15 minutes each, so while both are full-contact sports, indoor soccer usually has more of an emphasis on skill.


The Field

While futsal fields are smaller than conventional soccer fields, they aren’t necessarily “miniature” fields. The size of a futsal court is determined by the size of the ball. The official dimensions of a futsal field are 10 x 10 yards, although most are 12 x 12 yards.

The Ball

The ball used in futsal and indoor soccer is smaller than a soccer ball used for outdoor games. Futsal balls are intended to be made of plastic or similar material, while indoor soccer balls are usually made of rubber.

The Goalies

Goalkeepers in indoor and futsal soccer are called goalkeepers, while they’re often called keepers in indoor soccer. 

The Fields

Futsal fields are typically smaller than indoor soccer fields, which means they’re often located in a school gym, community center, or other indoor space. Indoor soccer fields, on the other hand, are more likely to be located on a conventional sports field.


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Similarities Between Futsal and Indoor Soccer

Other than the differences between futsal and indoor soccer discussed above, the two sports have few similarities. 

Both are played on a soccer field and both use a version of the sport’s rules, which include four main categories: heading the ball, handling the ball, running with the ball, and defending. 

Additionally, both futsal and indoor soccer use a variant of the same game clock used in outdoor soccer. And, like futsal, indoor soccer can be played with five-player teams.


How to Choose Between Futsal and Indoor Soccer

If you’re interested in playing either indoor or futsal soccer, it’s important to understand the differences between the two so you can make a smart choice. While both sports share similarities, there are a few key differences between the two that could determine whether or not you enjoy playing the sport.