How Does Indoor Soccer Differ From Outdoor Soccer?

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Outdoor soccer balls are boomed on a field of 100 yards in length. That's a lot of distance to cover and a lot of room to roam. Not surprisingly, scores stay low. But if you condense the playing field and eliminate out-of-bounds, you get a fast-paced, high-scoring affair with less stoppages.

Offensive Onslaught

  • Walls crown the indoor soccer field to the advantage of the offense. Players can pass to themselves or others, or even shoot off the wall. Defenders cannot end a play by kicking the ball out of bounds and there's no rest for the weary. With less stoppages, the offensive onslaught can play out for long periods of time. But if a ball manages to get out of play over the walls, the throw-in is replaced with a free kick at the departing point. And players can shoot at the goal. Indoor soccer keeps scores high by eliminating the outdoor game's offsides rule, allowing offensive players to cherry-pick near the opposing goal.

Timeout Box

  • Some indoor soccer games use a timeout box much like hockey uses a penalty box. Instead of receiving a yellow or red card for a penalty, the player is put into the timeout box for a period of time, usually two minutes. The penalized team must now play with one less player until penalty time expires or the opposing team scores a goal, releasing the player from the box back into the game. And since indoor soccer is played on a hard surface, slide tackles are illegal; resulting in an immediate trip to the timeout box.

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  • Photo Credit Erwin Purnomosidi/Hemera/Getty Images
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