Indoor Soccer Vs. Outdoor Soccer – Core Differences

John Lochert


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Soccer or outdoor soccer is no wonder the undisputed king of global sports, and it is played in countries all over the world. But the surge of popularity of indoor football has led people to wonder how similar or different it is from its more famous form, outdoor soccer. There are indeed some differences between indoor and outdoor soccer, whether it is rules, balls, or the cleats. So if you are an outdoor soccer player who is looking to have some fun indoors, here is all you need to know about the most important differences between indoor and outdoor soccer.

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Soccer: Rules


One of the most significant differences between indoor and outdoor soccer is the space and area. In indoor soccer, the players don’t get enough space as they get it outdoors. In the outdoor game, the players play on a vast field, but in the indoor, the players play indoor soccer in a hall surrounded by the wall and on the wooden floor.

No. of players 

In the outdoor soccer games, there are a total of eleven players in the field, but only five to eight players are enough to build up the team in the indoor game. There is also quite a bit of difference in the formation of the team based on the location. 


When it comes to the offside, indoor soccer does not include any kind of offside rule, while outdoor soccer has a strict offside rule,


There is not much difference between Indoor and Outdoor Soccer when it comes to the cards shown for misconduct or fouls. The outdoor soccer players will get a red card or yellow card if they do anything disturbing, commits foul, or anything that’s out of the rules. On the other hand, if a foul happens in indoor soccer, the player will get a red or yellow card. But in some games, they can have a blue card as well. A blue card is given as a warning, which is considered to be not as serious as a red card but still quite serious like the yellow one.


Another major Between Indoor and Outdoor Soccer is the way tacklings are handled. As the hard floor and the probability of being injured, tackling is not allowed in indoor soccer. On the other hand, tackling is permitted in outdoor soccer.

Ball Possession

In indoor soccer, players cannot move the ball for more than five seconds with their legs. On the contrary, outdoor soccer players can as much as they want to as there is no time limit for ball possession, unlike indoor soccer. They can move or dribble with the ball for quite a long time.

Game Duration 

There’s a significant difference in time as well; the indoor game lasts for minutes and divides into four quarters with two times three minutes break. At the same time, the outdoor soccer games last for 90 minutes in total with a break for 15 minutes only. 


There is no limitation of substitute players in indoor soccer, but outdoor soccer only provides limitations of 3 substitute players. 


Indoor soccer doesn’t allow throw-ins or throwing the ball. So, there is no restarting of the game like outdoor soccer. But it is permitted in outdoor soccer. 

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Soccer: Balls


Indoor soccer balls are made with softer materials; these materials are also used in making tennis balls as well. Indoor soccer balls are also a bit smaller than regular-sized outdoor soccer, which are more firm.


The soccer ball used in indoor soccer should be It has less elastic as in indoor soccer as the ball has to bounce less. But when it comes to outdoor soccer, which is played on the field, the ball is needed to be less bulky and more responsive or expected to have a better bounce. So the outdoor soccer balls tend to be lighter than the ball used in indoor soccer. 


Indoor soccer balls are a bit easier to control than outdoor soccer balls. So you will have a hard time controlling the outdoor soccer balls compared to the indoor soccer ball.

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Soccer: Cleats

Outdoor Soccer Cleats Can not be Used on Indoor Soccer

You can’t use outdoor soccer cleats on the indoor soccer games because the cleats used for the outdoor soccer field and the cleats for the hard indoors are vastly different due to the nature of the surface. Outdoor soccer cleats are not suitable to be used in indoor soccer and vice versa.

Outdoor Soccer Cleats are Stronger 

Outdoor soccer cleats are designed to play specifically only outdoor soccer as It needs to work very well on the natural grass and surfaces. The design of the outdoor soccer cleats helps them to keep the feet protected and not to slip. This is why they tend to have better and stronger grips.

On the other hand, indoor soccer cleats tend to be lighter and typically have a flat outsole. They do not provide as much grip as the outdoor soccer cleats offer. This is not necessarily a bad thing as indoor soccer surfaces are not like grass surfaces.

Indoor Soccer Does Not Have Any Studs

Outdoor Soccer cleats come equipped with metal studs or studs made from plastic or rubber. Due to these studs, the outdoor soccer cleats tend to have a far firmer grip than the indoor soccer cleats and are relatively heavier as well. But Indoor soccer shoes do not come with any studs. 

Final Words 

As you can now see, Indoor soccer and outdoor soccer have quite a lot of differences. Although not much, some significant differences are worth mentioning. Indoor soccer is more complicated than outdoor soccer because of having less space and different surfaces. But the most important fact is that although having a slight difference between these two sports, any player of these can play both. Even many players start their soccer journey from indoor soccer and end up in outdoor soccer. Indoor soccer is also incorporated in many sports institutions as an essential alternative to letting the players practice in challenging weather.