A Guide to Understanding the Differences Between 5-a-side & Indoor Football

A small boy and a trainer playing futsal on a futsal turf in Chennai.
Have you seen five-player teams on smaller fields enjoying exercise and competition while sprinting? It is called 5-a-side football. Although they may be similar to soccer, minor variances leave you wondering about the differences. There are fewer than eleven players on each team, and the playing field is smaller. In this blog, let us see more about playing indoor football on a futsal turf in Chennai and how it varies from a 5-a-side game.

5-a-side football is practiced and enjoyed by people of all ages around the world, just like the classic 11v11 game. Whether you're a beginner trying to develop your skills or an experienced player, 5-a-side will help you stay active at all times as it is fast-paced. Although both soccer styles emphasize quick reaction rates and proficient footwork, Indoor football demands a strong defense due to its larger goal and pitch.

A Gist on 5-a-side Football

A view of indoor futsal turf in Chennai.
The 5-a-side football, also known as futsal, is played on a smaller, enclosed field with less players, resulting in a faster-paced and more intense game that emphasizes ball control and quick decision making. A seasoned player can tell you the skills needed to win. 5-a-side distinguishes itself from the classic game with its smaller field and quicker pace. The field is considerably smaller than 11v11, at approximately 40 by 30 yards. It is also practiced on a low, walled-in, artificial grass pitch with a net overhead to contain the ball. The players may utilize the field's perimeter walls, but the ball should not contact the net over the wall. The goalie is not permitted to leave his area, nor are field players permitted to enter it.

Learn What to Expect While Playing Indoor Football in a Futsal Turf

Despite being recognized as an official form of football by FIFA, indoor football is rarely played. Indoor football involves only five players per team, a compact indoor arena, and a football. Futsal, unlike 5-a-side, employs drawn lines to contain players and the ball, as opposed to a short net and wall. Indoor football is enjoyable, fast-paced, and packed with quick decisions and numerous goals. Professionally playing this kind of football involves a high degree of fitness and talent, but it remains a fantastic option for beginners seeking a fun way to start into football.

Differences Between Playing 5-a-side in a Pitch & Indoor Football in a Futsal Turf

Despite the similarities between 5-a-side and futsal, there are some significant distinctions between the two forms of football. The variations alter the game's flow and flavor.


Both sport variants are characterized by two halves, although 5-a-side consists of two 30-minute halves, while indoor football halves are only 20 minutes long. Moreover, in 5-a-side, the timer works continuously ("running clock"), and a halt or injury break is added at the game's finish if necessary. Indoor football adheres to the conventional, more precise approach of pausing the clock during breaks and restarting it when play resumes.


Indoor football demands a bigger football of size 4 with a minimal bounce as an indoor activity. The weight ensures that the ball does not bounce farther than the players' heads or more frequently throughout the game. This is distinct from the 5-a-side ball, which uses a size 5 ball.


A view of indoor futsal turf in Chennai.
The indoor football goal measures 3 meters by 2 meters to increase the difficulty. In comparison, the dimensions of a 5-a-side goal are approximately 16 feet by 4 feet. Even though both indoor football and 5-a-side have the same quantity of individuals on the field, 5-a-side has a larger pitch, requiring defenders to broaden their defensive coverage against attackers. On the contrary hand, futsal pitch dimensions are 40 meters by 20 meters, creating a more extended, narrower playing area. This makes it substantially more difficult to attack with the ball, placing a premium on delicate footwork and quick decisions.

Playing Surface

The playing surface is another significant distinction. 5 -a-side is played on indoor artificial fields, shorter than outside fields. Indoor football is practiced on parquet flooring made of wood.


With regards to fouls, tackling is prohibited in both 5-a-side and Futsal, although in 5-a-side, the ball is returned to the goalie rather than being awarded a free kick.

Also Read: Outdoor vs Indoor Cricket: A Comparison


Different footwear is required for both games. It is advised that no cleats be worn in an indoor football. The indoor shoes have a rubber sole for superior traction. In 5-a-side, you may wear turf cleats, which are mini-cleats more suited for changing directions and other movements on this artificial surface.

The Takeaway

Futsal and 5-a-side are extremely physically demanding games. There are numerous reasons why people participate in them. To develop their footwork talents, players who want to improve their skill set frequently go towards 5-a-side and football. You choose the option that best suits you. Reach out to the Dugout trampoline and sports arena, the best indoor sports arena in Chennai, if you wish to learn indoor football or 5-a-side under the guidance of the best tutors.

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