When playing small sided soccer is indoor or outdoor best? We looked at both sides and came up with it comes down to preference. I know shocking! So what are the key differences between an indoor and an outdoor pitch?

Let’s look at Indoor Soccer First

With indoor soccer the natural elements are not in play, pun intended. Wind, rain, snow, ice, mud, and grass stains (for you soccer moms out there) are not an issue. Play any time of the year in a temperature controlled environment. Most indoor centers use artificial turf, while this can have some drawbacks it also has some positives! Artifical turf will be a level and balanced playing field. We all know how difficult it is to keep a beautiful clean yard of our own but having ten to twenty teams practicing and playing with cleats on is even more difficult. No holes or the ever so random patch of grass to trip over by accident.

Indoor Small Sided Soccer

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Is all Futsal Small Sided Soccer?

Not all Small Sided Soccer is Fustal but all Futsal is Small Sided Soccer. Small Sided Soccer is just a micro version of soccer. There are many variations of the sport, with Futsal being one of the most popular versions. While similar there are differences between the two.

Futsal:Futsal Court
  • The only form of small sided soccer recognized by FIFA and other FA organizations.
  • Only consists of 5v5 games.
  • It is played on a hard surface, usually indoors, on acrylic or other types of hard plastic.
  • The play ball is filled with foam to ensure added weight and no bounce.
  • Rules



Small Sided Soccer:
  • Small sided soccer only recently was recognized by the FA in America with official rules for U12 matches.
  • Where small sided soccer consists of 3v3, 5v5, and 7v7 matches between teams.
  • Small Sided Soccer is typically played on grass or artificial grass surfaces.



You can find all types of Small Sided Soccer in our database.



Small Sided Soccer is better for development of skills.

Small sided soccer has a proven track record for developing skills, confidence, and love for the sport. All professional teams practice 3v3 to 7v7 matches; they do this to train players in multiple aspects of the game. In 3v3 games, a player must learn to simultaneously push forward and defend their goal. With fewer players on the field each player gets more touches on the ball thus building their confidence and comfortability on the pitch.


Smaller Pitch Sizes for Small Sided Soccer.

Smaller pitches for smaller players. A small sided soccer pitch can be 1/10th the size of an average 11v11 field.

Small Sided Soccer Pitches
8 Small Sided Soccer Games in 1 11v11 pitch

“If you think changes like these are absurd, then think about how absurd it is for adults to demand players as young as nine or 10 to play in an 11 v. 11 environment on a regulation pitch. While soccer for adults is played in an 11 v. 11 environment, the same setting is not the best for younger soccer players. That is why small-sided soccer is being used more frequently at the younger ages, and continues to play a vital role in soccer training for all ages.” Sepp Blatter via Indoor Soccer

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Gerrard and Coutinho played alongside each other for two and a half years in the Red’s jersey. The former captain expressed his frustration with playing Small Sided Soccer in training with Brazilian Midfielder.

From The Liverpool Echo:

“I mean when I used to train against him, I’d hate it if I was on the opposite five-a-side team. I wouldn’t go near him. And sometimes I’d say to him: ‘Keep away from me!”

He continued to say,

“He can embarrass you [as a defender]. He can stand you up, he can both ways, he’s got such a low center of gravity. He’s sharp, he’s quick and he’s two or three steps ahead of defenders. He’s so, so clever.”
We are sure Steven Gerrard is happy to not be on the receiving end of Philippe Coutinho’s skills anymore.