|Team members||5–6 per side (including goalkeeper)|
|Mixed gender||Yes, separate competitions|
|Type||Team sport, ball sport|
|Venue||Indoor soccer field|
Indoor soccer or arena soccer(known internationally as indoor football, minifootball, fast football, floorball or showball), is a game derived from association football adapted for play in a walled indoor arena. Indoor soccer, as it is most often known in the United States and Canada, was originally developed in these two countries as a way to play soccer during the winter months, when snow would make outdoor play difficult. In those countries, gymnasiums are adapted for indoor soccer play. In other countries the game is played in either indoor or outdoor arenas surrounded by walls, and is referred to by different names (such as fast football (futbol rapido) in Mexico, showbol in South America, and indoor football (futbol indoor) in Spain).
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.
Indoor soccer has different regulations from other versions of association football designed for indoor play, such as futsal and five-a-side football. Unlike futsal, which is played on wooden or ceramic surfaces, indoor soccer is played on synthetic turf (or, in the case of the British Masters Football variety, synthetic carpet).Indoor soccer courts are delimited by walls instead of lines, and there are no player throw-ins.
Futsal is a variant of association football played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side football.
Five-a-side football is a variation of association football, in which each team fields five players. Other differences from football include a smaller pitch, smaller goals, a reduced game duration. Matches are played indoors, or outdoors on AstroTurf or artificial grass pitches that may be enclosed within a barrier or "cage" to prevent the ball from leaving the playing area and keep the game constantly flowing.
Masters Football was a six-a-side indoor football competition in the United Kingdom, where players over the age of 35 were chosen by the Masters Football Selection Committee to represent a senior club for which they played. Regional heats were held, and the winners of each progressed forward to a national rosengard competition. Events were contested over the course of a single evening, with games played in two halves of eight minutes each. The pitch was 60 m (200 ft) by 30 m (98 ft), and there was no offside rule. Matches were televised live on the UK subscription channel Sky Sports.
FIFA, the international body that oversees international association football competitions, does not sanction the synthetic turf version of indoor soccer, having developed its own code of indoor football (which they refer to as futsal).
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, and eFootball. FIFA is responsible for the organization of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which commenced in 1991.
Indoor soccer is most popular in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with several amateur, collegiate and professional leagues functioning. While internationally less popular than futsal, indoor soccer is also played at the league level in many countries outside North America. The World Minifootball Federation (WMF) is the governing body of indoor soccer at the international level, having replaced the International Fast Football Federation (FIFRA).
The World Minifootball Federation (WMF), is the highest authority of minifootball in the world. WMF exists to promote, supervise and direct minifootball in the world, as a means to contribute to the positive development of society. Its members are national minifootball associations and continental minifootball federations from each continent.
The term minifootball, which was originally coined in Europe, has been adopted by the WMF as a standard international name for the sport.
Indoor soccer is played throughout the world. Currently, the international federation dedicated to promoting the sport is the World Minifootball Federation (WMF) based in the Czech Republic. The WMF replaced the International Fast Football Federation (FIFRA), which had been based in Mexico and later, the United States. There are also regional federations who govern the sport including: African Minifootball Federation (AMF), Asian Minifootball Confederation (AMC), Confederacion Panamericana de Minifutbol (CPM), European Minifootball Federation (EMF), Oceania Minifootball Federation (OMF).
During its existence, FIFRA organized several indoor soccer tournaments for national teams, including the Indoor Soccer World Championship. The only edition of this tournament took place in Mexico in 1997.No other indoor soccer world championship was held until 2015, when the WMF organized the first WMF World Cup in the United States. The second WMF World Cup took place in Tunisia in 2017. A world cup for Under-21 players was held in Prague in 2018, with the Czech team taking the title.
The WMF World Cup is an international indoor soccer competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of World Minifootball Federation (WMF). It was announced in November 2013 that the first edition of the tournament would be held in the United States in March 2015.
Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The city has a temperate climate, with warm summers and chilly winters.
Star Sixes, an indoor six-a-side football tournament for national teams from around the world, was held in the O2 Arena in London in 2017. Held outside the auspices of the WMF (and with different rules), this tournament featured players which formerly participated in the association football national teams of their home countries. A total of twelve teams participated, with France winning the title.It is intended to make Star Sixes a recurring event. A second edition took place in 2019, with England winning the title.
Indoor soccer is a common sport in the United States and especially Canada, with both amateur and professional leagues, due to the short season for outdoor soccer in Canada and the Northern United States, and the ubiquity of arenas built for ice hockey and basketball which can easily be converted to indoor soccer (similar reasons as to why indoor lacrosse is more popular in Canada, field lacrosse in the United States). It is especially popular in Northern Canada due to the often unplayable outdoor conditions and its appearance in the Arctic Winter Games.
Indoor soccer or futbol rapido has also become a popular sport in Mexico, being included as part of the Universiada (University National Games) and the CONADEIP (Private School Tournament), in which university school teams from all over Mexico compete. In Mexico, "indoor" soccer fields are frequently built outdoors (though indoor courts are also used in some tournaments). In 2012 an eight-team indoor soccer league was launched, which consists of former professional association football players from Liga MX.
Indoor soccer is known in Brazil as showbol, with several current regional leagues. Formal national leagues have also formed in Bolivia, Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador and Peru. However, the most common variation of indoor soccer played in Brazil is Futsal.
Indoor soccer is also played in several European countries. In the United Kingdom, Masters Football is the most well-known competition. Tournaments among Masters teams (consisting of veteran former players from professional 11-a-side teams from each country) are regularly played. In Spain, some over-30 ex-professionals represent their clubs in the Liga Fertiberia which plays a five-a-side variant.
There is a European indoor soccer federation known as the European Minifootball Federation (EMF).EMF organize the European Minifootball Championship (miniEURO) every year and in recent years countries have established official national minifootball associations to help them further organize and develop it. EMF organize variations of six-a-side football and this could come in different shapes and sizes from a large custom-built facility with multiple pitches or even an 11-a-side pitch temporarily split into smaller pitches. This is not to be confused with the term used in Russia and some other former Soviet countries, where the term mini-football is used to describe futsal.
Rules vary between governing bodies, but some of the nearly universal rule deviations from association football include:
Beyond these common threads, the sport is structured according to the idiosyncrasies of individual leagues. Most of these rules are adopted from other arena sports like ice hockey. Below is a listing of some of the more common ones:
Field hockey is a team game of the hockey family. The earliest origins of the game date back to the Middle Ages in Pakistan. The game can be played on grass, water turf, artificial turf or synthetic field as well as an indoor board surface. Each team plays with eleven players, including the goalie. Players use sticks made out of wood, carbon fibre, fibre glass or a combination of carbon fibre and fibre glass in different quantities to hit a round, hard, plastic ball. The length of the stick depends on the player's individual height. Only one face of the stick is allowed to be used. Goalies often have a different kind of stick, however they can also use an ordinary field hockey stick. The specific goal-keeping sticks have another curve at the end of the stick, this is to give them more surface area to save the ball. The uniform consists of shin guards, shoes, shorts, a mouth guard and a jersey. Today, the game is played globally, mainly in parts of Western Europe, South Asia, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and parts of the United States. Known simply as "hockey" in many territories, the term "field hockey" is used primarily in Canada and the United States where ice hockey is more popular. In Sweden, the term "landhockey" is used and to some degree also in Norway where it is governed by Norway's Bandy Association.
Lacrosse is a team sport played with a lacrosse stick and a lacrosse ball. Players use the head of the lacrosse stick to carry, pass, catch, and shoot the ball into the goal.
In sports, a goal is a physical structure or area where an attacking team must send the ball or puck in order to score points. In several sports, a goal is the sole method of scoring, and thus the final score is expressed in the total number of goals scored by each team. In other sports, a goal may be one of several scoring methods, and thus may be worth a different set number of points than the others.
Gridiron football, also known as North American football or, in North America, simply football, is a football sport primarily played in the United States and Canada. American football, which uses 11-player teams, is the form played in the United States and the best known form of gridiron football worldwide, while Canadian football, featuring 12-player teams, predominates in Canada. Other derivative varieties include indoor football, football for smaller teams, and informal games such as touch and flag football. Football is played at professional, collegiate, semi-professional, and amateur levels.
The Major Indoor Soccer League was the top professional indoor soccer league in the United States. The league was a member of both the United States Soccer Federation and FIFA. The MISL had replaced the NPSL which folded in 2001. According to MISL.net, the league ceased operations as of May 31, 2008. "We are considering structural changes that will bring us greater efficiencies, while also allowing long term growth and expansion of the League", said John Hantz, former Chairman of the MISL, and Owner/Operator of the Detroit Ignition. All the teams from MISL went to the new indoor leagues: NISL, PASL and the XSL. The NISL and XSL used the same playing rules as the MISL.
Broomball is a recreational ice game originating in Canada and played in certain other countries. It is played in a hockey rink, either indoors or outdoors, depending on climate and location.
United Indoor Football (UIF) was a United States indoor football league that started in 2005. Ten owners from the National Indoor Football League, including one expansion and two from arenafootball2 (af2) took their franchises and formed their own league. The league was based in Omaha, Nebraska.
Roller in-line hockey, or inline hockey is a variant of hockey played on a hard, smooth surface, with players using inline skates to move and hockey sticks to shoot a hard, plastic puck into their opponent's goal to score points. There are five players including the goalkeeper from each team on the rink at a time, while teams normally consist of 16 players.
The Tennents' Sixes was an annual indoor football tournament contested each January by senior football clubs from Scotland between 1984 and 1993. The tournament was sponsored by Tennent Caledonian Breweries and organised by the Scottish Football Association. When Tennent Caledonian Breweries withdrew their sponsorship after the 1993 event, the Sixes was discontinued.
Beach Soccer, also known as beach football, sand football or beasal, is a variant of association football played on a beach or some form of sand.
John Ball is an American soccer player who most recently played for the PASL team Cleveland Freeze. He has an extensive career, playing both indoor and outdoor soccer. He spent one season in Major League Soccer with the Chicago Fire and was a part of the United States national futsal team which went to the second round of the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship.
The Federación Internacional de Fútbol Rápido, commonly known by the acronym FIFRA, was the international governing body of indoor soccer. From 2008–2013 FIFRA was responsible for the organization and governance of indoor soccer's major international tournaments. In North America, the MASL umbrella of leagues were official affiliates of FIFRA, including the Professional Arena Soccer League and Premier Arena Soccer League.
The 1971 NASL Professional Hoc-Soc Tournament was the first indoor variant of soccer sanctioned by the North American Soccer League. It was held in St. Louis, Missouri on the evening of March 19, 1971 and involved four of the league's eight franchises.
The United States national arena soccer team is the Indoor soccer team that represents the United States at international competitions. It is affiliated with Confederación Panamericana de Minifutbol (CPM) and the World Minifootball Federation (WMF). The first international arena match played by the U.S. National Arena Soccer Team was in July 2008 in Montreal, Canada where Mexico defeated the United States 6–4. The first international arena soccer match in the United States was held in July 2009 at NYTEX Sports Centre in North Richland Hills, Texas. The United States won the inaugural WMF World Cup in 2015 after going undefeated in group play defeating Germany and Romania in the knockout rounds en route to the final and prevailing over Mexico 5–3 in the final. Goalkeeper Danny Waltman was named tournament MVP. The team will also be participating in the 2017 WMF World Cup to be held in Tunisia.
There is a wide variety of organized sports in the continent of North America. The continent is the birthplace of several of these organized sports, such as basketball, gridiron football, ice hockey, lacrosse, racquetball, rodeo, ultimate, and volleyball. The modern versions of baseball and softball, skateboarding, snowboarding, stock car racing, and surfing also developed in North America.