Indoor Soccer vs. Outdoor Soccer

By: Jake Hyet

While indoor and outdoor soccer are alike in many ways, they also have their differences. The main difference, which is so simplistic it's almost laughable to point out, is that indoor soccer is played in an enclosed indoor arena, and outdoor soccer is played outside on an open field. There many other essential differences too, even if we're not talking Galaxy Soccer here. Such as the fact that indoor soccer is usually more fast-paced than outdoor soccer because there are less players and the field is smaller. All in all though, both forms of the game are challenging and fun, and they aren't complex, so they are easy to understand and to learn. So the following are some differences between indoor soccer and outdoor soccer:

Players and Field

Indoor soccer teams are only composed of five to six players, while outdoor soccer teams normally have 11 players, although you should keep in mind that the number of players can vary depending on the soccer league. The playing field for indoor soccer is also a lot smaller than outdoor soccer, which ramps up the pace of the game. The U.S. Soccer Federation advises that indoor soccer fields should be 200 feet long and 85 feet wide. The size of outdoor soccer fields differs depending on the age group of the players, so one that would be used for kids' soccer training would be a different size from one used for Galaxy Soccer. However, the U.S. Soccer Federation rules do not allow fields to be larger than 120 meters long and 90 meters wide.

Goals and Boundaries

Yet another important difference between indoor and outdoor soccer pertains to the goals and boundaries. Outdoor soccer goals are freestanding, and indoor soccer goals are built into the arena wall. It is for this reason that many experts feel that playing indoor soccer improves shooting accuracy, which is good for kids' soccer training. Furthermore, outdoor soccer fields are distinctly marked with boundaries and a ball is "out of bounds" when it goes past those boundaries. Interestingly enough, in indoor soccer, players can kick the ball off the walls, which brings something new to the game that outdoor soccer doesn't have. It makes it more challenging in terms of coordination and versatility.

To some things up, both indoor and outdoor soccer have their advantages and disadvantages, and there is really nothing to lift one form of the sport high above the other. They are both wonderful forms of exercise and recreation and have thousands of fans the world over. But there are certain differences beyond the usual rules and regulations. One is that indoor soccer is an excellent way for soccer players to improve their shooting accuracy and speed. Plus, due to its increased speed, it can just be a fun and different approach to soccer. Another is that outdoor soccer is played on a larger field. Either way you look at it, soccer can be a fun filled and exciting game that is gaining new fans every day.

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Jake Hyet is considered an expert on kids' soccer training and Galaxy Soccer, having coached children's soccer for a number of years and covered various forms of professional soccer for newspapers. He has written extensively on both topics.

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