Indoor Soccer consists of 6 players officially means there are a total of 6 players in indoor soccer formally in competitive leagues and tournaments.
Indoor soccer, played in hockey arenas or multi-purpose facilities, offers a fast-paced version of the beautiful game with dasher boards, unlimited substitutions, and close-quarter conditions leading to plenty of action the main difference that sets apart is reduced 6 vs. 6 format – much less than the 11 vs. 11 players in outdoor soccer.
So why do most professional and recreational indoor leagues stick to just 6 players per side?
Read more to understand the rules, positions, formations, dimensions, and gameplay benefits of the 6-a-side indoor soccer format.
6 vs. 6 Players Means 6 a Side in Indoor Soccer
The standard lineup in indoor soccer is 6 players per team – 5 field players and 1 goalkeeper. The goalkeeper uses hands and feet while the field players play offense and defense as strikers or midfielders.
The 6-a-side format differentiates indoor soccer from the more giant 11-a-side outdoor game. But 6 players make sense on the tighter indoor field, opening up space for attacking play. It also allows for more scoring chances, constant involvement for players, and exciting end-to-end action.
Indoor Soccer Rules and Layout
Indoor soccer is played on a hard court surface, usually in a converted ice hockey or basketball arena ranging from 160 to 200 feet long by 85 feet wide. The compact playing area is surrounded by 4-foot-high walls called dasher boards.
Games consist of four 12-15 minute quarters with brief breaks in between. The unlimited substitutions and non-stop clock facilitate continuous, fast-paced play. There are also no offside rules like in outdoor soccer.
Player Positions and Responsibilities
The six players on indoor soccer teams slot into flexible positions, usually based on their offensive or defensive capabilities:
|– Create goal scoring opportunities|
|– Take shots from inside the box|
|– Make attacking runs into open space|
|– Maintain possession with passing|
|– Mark/track opposing midfielders|
|– Support forwards and defenders|
|– Prevent scoring chances|
|– Tackle opponents to regain possession|
|– Clear the ball away from danger areas|
|– Stop shots to prevent goals|
|– Communicate with defenders|
|– Start attacks with distribution|
- Forward – The one or two forwards are positioned closest to the opposing goal and tasked primarily with scoring. Their speed, power, and finishing ability are assets for putting shots on target. Forwards take the bulk of a team’s shots in indoor soccer.
- Midfielder – The midfielders handle most of the ball distribution, linking the defense to forwards. Their well-rounded ability lets them play both offense and defense. Midfielders set up goals with incisive passing but can also track back to break up counterattacks.
- Defender – One or two players focus more on defense to win back possession and keep the ball away from their own indoor soccer net. Their physicality and tackling ability are key to thwarting opponents’ scoring chances. Communication is vital to organize the defense, especially on set pieces.
- Goalkeeper – As the last line of defense, the keeper uses all legal means necessary to prevent goals, including diving saves, catching shots, and deflecting balls. Their reflexes and courage are constantly tested in indoor soccer’s high-scoring games. Keepers start plays by distributing the ball back into play quickly after saves.
The Thrill of Unlimited Substitutions
A unique aspect of indoor soccer is teams can make substitutions freely throughout the match, even while the ball is in play. When a sub enters play, the player exiting simply steps off the field over the dasher boards. This style of rolling substitutions keeps fresh legs on the field for both teams.
Given the fast pace of indoor soccer and reduced roster sizes, having unlimited subs is essential. Players typically sub out every one to three minutes of play. This allows the non-stop, end-to-end action to be maintained for the full game duration. Teams employ different lines focused on offense and defense that shuffle in and out.
Benefits of the 6 vs. 6 Format
The 6-a-side indoor soccer format provides several benefits over larger-sided outdoor soccer:
|– More touches on the ball|
|– End-to-end action|
|– Increased number of shots|
|– Develop vision and awareness|
|– Improve dribbling and control|
|– Increase passing accuracy|
|– Develop shooting technique|
|– Gain tactical knowledge|
|– Exciting, competitive games|
|– Passionate team and crowd energy|
|– Social, fun environment|
|– Year-round play opportunity|
- More space – With just 5 outfield players on a still tightly confined playing surface, there is more free space for players to operate in. Dribbling lanes open up all over the field and passing options abound. This facilitates more dynamic, attacking soccer.
- Increased scoring – The extra space coupled with the walls makes it easier for players to take shots on goal from anywhere. Scoring rates are exponentially higher than outdoor soccer, routinely in double digits. This makes for an exciting fan experience.
- Constant involvement – Players must cover the entire field when their team is attacking and defending. Players get far more touches on the ball during a game than in outdoor soccer. There are no hiding places!
- Rotation opportunity – Unlimited substitutions allow teams to rotate their lineups frequently and give more players playing time versus outdoor soccer where starting spots are more fixed.
- Fast-paced action – The close quarters, fewer players, and rolling subs combine to produce extremely uptempo, fierce indoor soccer action from start to finish. Teams must have the fitness levels and skills to match the raised intensity.
Conclusion for 6 Players in Indoor Soccer
The exciting 6 vs. 6 indoor soccer format allows for a distinctly fast-paced, high-scoring version of the sport. Teams must have the technical skills and fitness levels to excel in compact 6-a-side play.
The reduced numbers lead to wide-open, attacking soccer with players constantly involved in the non-stop action.
For indoor soccer players and fans, it provides a uniquely entertaining experience!