|Team members||5–7 per side (including goalkeeper)|
|Mixed gender||No, separate competitions|
|Type||Team sport, ball sport|
|Venue||Indoor soccer field|
Indoor soccer or arena soccer (known internationally as indoor football, six-a-side football, 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, Futebol Society or showbol in South America,and "indoor football" (futbol indoor) in Spain).
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 either delimited by walls or lines, and there are no player throw-ins.
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).
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 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 Switzerland. 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), Confederación Panamericana de Minifútbol (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 world championship was played until 2015, when the first WMF World Cup was held in the United States. As of 2019 three WMF World Cups have been organized, with Mexico being the current world champion. A World Cup for Under-21 players was held in Prague in 2018, with the Czech team taking the title. A World Cup for women is planned for 2021 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
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, this tournament featured players which formerly played 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[ dubious ]). Indoor soccer is especially popular in Northern Canada due to the often unplayable outdoor conditions and its appearance in the Arctic Winter Games.
Major Arena Soccer League is the top indoor soccer league in North America.
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 been 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.
The European indoor soccer federation, known as the European Minifootball Federation (EMF),organizes the European Minifootball Championship (miniEURO) every year, and in recent years countries have established national minifootball associations. 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:
In many team sports which involve scoring goals, the goalkeeper is a designated player charged with directly preventing the opposing team from scoring by blocking or intercepting opposing shots on goal that kicks the ball from the other player.
Futsal is a football game played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It has similarities to five-a-side football.
"Power play" is a sporting term used to describe a period of play where one team has a numerical advantage in players usually due to a rule violation by the opposing team.
Arena football is a variety of eight-man gridiron football. The game is played indoors on a smaller field than American or Canadian football, designed to fit in the same surface area as a standard North American ice hockey rink, resulting in a faster and higher-scoring game that can be played on the floors of indoor arenas. The sport was invented in 1981, and patented in 1987, by Jim Foster, a former executive of the National Football League and the United States Football League. The name is trademarked by Gridiron Enterprises and had a proprietary format until its patent expired in 2007.
Box lacrosse, also known as boxla, box, or indoor lacrosse, is an indoor version of lacrosse played mostly in North America. The game originated in Canada in the 1930s, where it is more popular than field lacrosse and is the national summer sport. Box lacrosse is played between two teams of five players and one goalie each, and is traditionally played on an ice hockey rink once the ice has been removed or covered. The playing area is called a box, in contrast to the open playing field of field lacrosse. The object of the game is to use a lacrosse stick to catch, carry, and pass the ball in an effort to score by shooting a solid rubber lacrosse ball into the opponent's goal. The highest level of box lacrosse is the National Lacrosse League.
In sport, a goal may refer to either an instance of scoring, or to the physical structure or area where an attacking team must send the ball or puck in order to score points. The structure of a goal varies from sport to sport, and one is placed at or near each end of the playing field for each team to defend. For many sports, each goal structure usually consists of two vertical posts, called goal posts, supporting a horizontal crossbar. A goal line marked on the playing surface between the goal posts demarcates the goal area. Thus, the objective is to send the ball or puck between the goal posts, under or over the crossbar, and across the goal line. Other sports may have other types of structures or areas where the ball or puck must pass through, such as the basketball hoop.
Gridiron football, also known as North American football or, in North America, simply football, is a family of football team sports 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 and Arena football, football for smaller teams, and informal games such as touch and flag football. Football is played at professional, collegiate, high school, semi-professional, and amateur levels.
The Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) 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.
United Indoor Football (UIF) was an indoor football league in the United States that operated from 2005 to 2008. 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.
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, and a reduced game duration. Matches are played indoors, or outdoors on 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.
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.
Mini football may refer to:
Comparison of association football (football/soccer) and rugby union (rugby/rugger) is possible because of the games' similarities and shared origins.
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, to contribute to the positive development of society. Its members are national minifootball associations and continental minifootball federations from each continent.
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).
The European Minifootball Federation, also referred to by its abbreviation, EMF, is the administrative body for minifootball in Europe and part of Asia. It is one of six continental confederations of its governing body, the World Minifootball Federation. EMF consists of 32 national associations.
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 also participated in the 2017 WMF World Cup, held in Tunisia.