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What is the Difference Between Futsal and Indoor Soccer in DC?

Players playing indoor soccer in DC, working on their skills

As the temperatures drop and winter approaches, soccer enthusiasts shift gears to indoor play. In indoor soccer, two names often come up—soccer and futsal. While these two sports share a common ancestry, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Let's get into the differences between soccer and futsal, particularly in the context of indoor play in Washington, DC.

Key Differences Between Futsal and Indoor Soccer in DC?

While it might appear that futsal and indoor soccer in DC share similarities, a closer look shows the differences that distinguish the two, including the following:


Futsal offers versatility in its playing venues since it can be played indoors and outdoors. True to its name, indoor soccer is played exclusively indoors. Beyond the playing location, the fields' dimensions contribute to each sport's distinctiveness. Futsal is played on a small court that is more confined and dynamic. Meanwhile, indoor soccer sees action on a larger field, providing players with a bit more space to maneuver. A standard indoor soccer field is approximately 200 ft x 85 ft, while futsal has a minimum field size of 82 ft x 49 ft and a maximum of 138 ft x 82 ft.


Futsal is played on hard courts, amplifying the ball's responsiveness and emphasizing technical skills. On the other hand, indoor soccer can be played on various surfaces, including turf, providing a different dynamic and texture to the game.


The choice of ball size is another factor that distinguishes futsal from indoor soccer. Futsal employs a smaller, heavier ball that bounces less, encouraging precise ball control and quick passes. In contrast, indoor soccer adopts a standard soccer ball, allowing for a more familiar feel in terms of size and weight.

Time and Players

Futsal and indoor soccer also differ in terms of game duration and the number of players on the field.

Futsal games are shorter (2 halves of 20 minutes each) than indoor soccer (2 halves of 25-30 minutes each). As for the players, futsal teams consist of five players each, encouraging a more intimate and strategic playing experience. Indoor soccer is played 6-a-side, although there’s a 5-v-5 version too.


With its smaller court and fewer players, futsal demands a higher level of intensity, focusing on quick, precise movements. In contrast, indoor soccer may provide a slightly less intense but equally strategic experience with its larger field and additional players.

FIFA Regulations

Regarding regulatory oversight, FIFA plays a central role in shaping futsal. The global governing body crafts and enforces rules that apply to the sport internationally. Unlike futsal, indoor soccer doesn't fall under the direct purview of FIFA regulations.

Choosing Between Soccer and Futsal

The decision between soccer and futsal often involves personal preference and playing style. Soccer offers the traditional, expansive experience, allowing players to showcase their abilities on a larger stage. On the other hand, futsal provides a more intimate setting, demanding a higher level of technical proficiency and agility.

Winter Soccer in DC

As winter settles in, indoor soccer and futsal become the go-to choices for players in Washington, DC. Whether you opt for the classic appeal of soccer or the fast-paced finesse of futsal, the indoor facilities in DC cater to both preferences.

Ready to kick off your indoor soccer or futsal journey in the nation’s capital? Explore DC soccer leagues, refine your technique, and make this winter a season to remember. Choose your game, own the field, and let the ball roll!

Frequently-Asked Questions

What are indoor soccer rules?

Indoor soccer in DC provides the perfect avenue for players unwilling to let the winter weather put a damper on their love for the game. It follows standard soccer rules with slight modifications, such as playing on a smaller field, shorter game durations, and restrictions on wall usage. The number of players on each team may also vary.

How many sessions are there in an indoor soccer game?

An indoor soccer game usually consists of two sessions, commonly referred to as halves. The duration of each half can vary but is typically shorter than outdoor soccer, often ranging from 20 to 30 minutes per half.

What makes futsal more exciting than indoor soccer?

Futsal is played on a smaller, hard court. The reduced space intensifies the pace of the game, demanding quick thinking and technical prowess. Futsal winter leagues in DC are ideal for those seeking a more fast-paced and skill-centric experience during the colder months.


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