Soccer and futsal are – like many other sports – two most liked and yet confused sports in the world of sports. People who do not play either of these or are a seasoned fan of one often tend to question the differences between soccer and futsal.
The confusion mainly lies in the fact that even though these two sports are very similar to each other, they differ from each other in a lot of ways. So, today we will be differentiating both these games for you to get clarity on what they are.
Let us dive in, shall we?
What is Soccer?
Soccer is also known as Association Football or simply football. Soccer is a sport that involves two teams of 11 players who use various parts of their body to hit the ball into the goal – but only using their feet, head or chest – to score points.
A soccer match can be played on artificial turf ground or natural grass field depending on the availability and the preference of both the teams. Today, soccer is one most popular sports in terms of viewership and participation across the globe.
Some Of The Major Leagues In Soccer include Premier League, Major League Soccer, Bundesliga and more.
What is Futsal?
Futsal is a variant of soccer where the players use a much smaller field as compared to what they would be playing on in the traditional version of the game. The small-sized court has walls surrounding each side and there are five players in each team.
A futsal match is played between two teams of five players, where each team gets a total opportunity to play with the ball for 40 minutes at least – otherwise known as playing ‘periods’. Futsal was originally developed in Uruguay back in 1930’s and since then it has made its roots all around the world.
The sport is also known as ‘indoor soccer’ as it can be played within a closed indoor arena. In fact, FIFA has chosen the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro as its host for the upcoming 2014 FIFA Futsal World Cup to take place from September 10th to 19th.
So, now that we have come to know about both the sports, let us compare playing Soccer with playing Futsal.
Soccer Vs Futsal: Detailed Comparison
Below, we shall be analyzing soccer and futsal based on different aspects that are different for each game. It is going to be a fun read so, keep reading:
1. The Nature of Teams
Teams in soccer and futsal differ a bit in number. While soccer teams have 11 players in each side, futsal teams consist of 5 players only. Also, the way both the games are played is quite different as well.
Soccer is a traditional game that involves more physical contact between various players on the field which demands better fitness levels from every team member to perform well for an entire match whereas futsal is a quick-paced game that requires players to think and act quickly during the entire match.
2. Nature of The Ball
The ball used in soccer and futsal also differs from each other not just in size but also in weight. A regular soccer ball measures between 27 to 28 inches of circumference whereas a futsal ball has a circumference between 24 to 25 inches. The futsal ball is also lighter by about 2 ounces as compared to the standard soccer game ball. It helps in quick passing and makes accurate shooting easier that gives an edge over other players.
3. Duration of a Match
A soccer match usually lasts for 90 minutes whereas a futsal match can last for 40 minutes at least – otherwise it will be declared as a tie if both the teams are level on points after playing their equal halves of 20 minutes each.
Futsal, being an indoor sport, has fixed time slots because of which there are no extra-time periods or penalty shootouts implemented during this game. Due to this reason, the number of goals scored also mark a higher difference between two teams, unlike soccer.
4. The Ground (Indoor Vs Outdoor Game)
Due to the nature of both the sports – soccer and futsal – they are played on vastly different types of playing grounds. Soccer is predominantly an outdoor game that can be played on natural grass or artificial turf, whereas futsal game is mostly an indoor game that requires a professional futsal court that is an indoor court usually made up using hardwood or concrete floors.
5. Scoring System
While scoring goals in soccer essentially decides the winner of a match, in case of futsal there are other ways through which players can contribute towards their team’s victory other than scoring goals.
Goals can be scored in basketball-like fashion where one can shoot from various angles to get past the keeper. However, points are awarded only when goals are scored with the ball kicked using feet or head inside the futsal court.
6. Rules & Regulations For Playing Soccer And Futsal
Futsal has fewer rules with far less time wasting during a match as compared to Soccer which requires strict adherence to minute details related to safety measures, encouragement towards players for playing better etc. Such things don’t matter as much in futsal as there is no such thing as offsides or fouls throughout the game since every player is always active on the court trying to score goals for their team.
7. Fitness Levels Required
To play both Soccer and Futsal, one must have some amount of health and fitness for better performance on the ground. However, these things vary depending upon how someone plays their games. A futsal player is expected to run and move more as compared to someone playing soccer.
8. Strength of a Teamplay
The strength of a teamplay also differs from both games as it depends upon every individual’s ability to work as a group for taking down an opponent by forming better strategies on the ground.
Soccer has been widely known as one of those sports where victory has always relied heavily on teamwork which is why it demands working in sync with each other during an entire game play whereas futsal does not require much team effort because success depends solely on the player’s ability to display good individual performance.
9. Popularity of The Game
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world by far. Being an outdoor game, it has earned a lot of fame and is regarded as a major sport in every corner of the world for ages now.
On the other hand, futsal does not have that much fan following because it’s an indoor game – played mostly in halls – which holds less credit compared to soccer in terms of recognition and appreciation around the globe even though there are several moving legends associated with this game.