Indoor soccer continues to grow in the U.S. The biggest surge of the year comes in the winter months when colder weather pushed down into the lower 48. But it is not only cold weather locations that are picking up indoor and other small sided games as the fast paced action and lower numbers make it ideal for almost any court, parking lot, sand lot, etc.
The game is not much different from the outdoor version but the gear can be and we take a look at some of what you need to consider before showing up for your first game.
The first question to ask yourself is where will you be playing?
It sounds silly but the indoor game is no longer just a makeshift hockey rink with turf laid down. This form of indoor soccer is still common but there are also other variations of indoor soccer and they are not always played on field turf. And to make matters even more complicated these ‘indoor soccer’ games are not always played indoors with some moving to most any small space in the great outdoors.
There are 3 commons surfaces that indoor soccer is played. The traditional indoor game in the U.S. is played on a turf field while there is a growing popularity (and availability) of games played on either wooden/synthetic gym floors or concrete surfaces.
Why does all this matter? Well it dictates what type of shoes, your most powerful weapon, you will be wearing.
Related: Why Buy Indoor Soccer Shoes?
Indoor Soccer Shoes
The adidas Samba is probably the first shoe that comes to mind when thinking of indoor soccer shoes. It is a classic and is still available but it is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to indoor shoes.
The options can be broken down in 2 main categories; cleats with a gum rubber textured outsole best suited for a gym or cleats with a turf outsole, one with small rubber studs on the entire sole, for short artificial turf surfaces but also work well on concrete.
But don’t get too scared or overwhelmed as fortunately the major brands do try and keep some of the silos and technology of their outdoors shoes available in indoor versions.
Indoor Kits and other Gear
The other player gear is the same with jersey, shorts, and socks. Don’t forget the shinguards. With the smaller playing area and faster pace a good pair of shinguards is a must as unofficial studies have proven that players get kicked in the shins more often in indoor soccer than when playing outdoors.
Indoor and Futsal Balls
Visions of an oversized tennis ball being used in indoor are a thing of the past. A standard size 5 soccer ball (or 4 for youth games) are used in most indoor games.
The one exception is for futsal. Futsal is the 5-a-side game played on a hard court and uses a futsal specific ball. A size 4 ball is used at the top levels and has less bounce than an outdoor soccer ball. Another difference from other forms of indoor is that futsal has delineated lines (like in soccer) but use kick-ins rather than throw-ins to restart play.
Find your indoor soccer essentials at World Soccer Shop.