Ultimate Soccer

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What’s The Difference Between 5-A-Side & Futsal?

Posted Thursday 07th July 2016

For those new to other forms of soccer, we often get asked what the difference is between futsal and 5-a-side. While the actual gameplay shares many similarities, and the same governing body (Football Federation Australia), there are a few differences in regards to the pitch, the gear you use and wear, and some game rules. To help you out, we’ll explain these key differences so that you know what boots to strap on, how many friends to round up, and of course, where to book a pitch!

How many players: How many players per side for futsal vs 5-a-side?

First and foremost, let’s discuss the number of players on the pitch. 5-a-side has, yep you guessed it, 5 players a side; 1 keeper and 4 regular players, and there are also limited substitutions. Futsal also has 5 players a side, but has rolling substitutions throughout the game.  

The Pitch: What are the pitch dimensions for futsal and 5-a-side?

5-a-side soccer pitches can vary in size from venue to venue, but are usually sized between 15m X 25m and 42m X 25m. 5-a-side pitches are also outdoor fields, normally with synthetic grass. Ultimate Soccer, for example, use FIFA certified synthetic turf that feels just like grass. Futsal on the other hand is played primarily indoors and has pitch dimensions of between 38m X 20m and 42m X 25m.

The ball size: Ball difference between 5-a-side and futsal

The ball size varies slightly between 5-a-side soccer and futsal. 5-a-side makes use of a size 5 ball with a regular bounce. Futsal uses a smaller size 4 ball with a higher bounce. Regular soccer uses a size 5 ball as well, so 5-a-side is more accurately a miniaturised version of the full game. Both 5-a-side and futsal use of a smaller pitch (and in futsal’s case, a smaller ball) ensure that it’s the control of the ball and the speed and efficiency with which you use it that hone your skills, not just your endurance and stamina like regular soccer.

Boots: Futsal vs 5-a-side

The kind of boots you wear will differ, but it’s simpler to say that you have a couple of options with 5-a-side, and just the one with futsal. In 5-a-side you can either where particular boots that are designed with softer cleats, known as “hard ground (HG)” cleats. These cleats are made of a different material than regular soccer boots and are designed to give you the same grip and stability that cleats would give you on a natural grass soccer pitch, but just optimised for the smaller, synthetic pitch. You can also use futsal boots (shoes) for 5-a-side soccer. Futsal shoes resemble a hybrid of traditional soccer boots and sneakers. They have a smooth rubber sole with no cleats, but have the contours of soccer boots.

Goal size: Difference in goal size between 5-a-side soccer and futsal

The goal size also differs between the two. In 5-a-side the goals are designed to be shorter, often in the vicinity of 4 ft (1.2m) high and 6 ft (1.8m) wide. In futsal, the goals have an official measurement of of 6 ft 6 inches (2m) high and 10 ft (3m) wide.

Now try it for yourself at Sydney’s best 5-a-side soccer facility

Now that you’re clued into the differences between the two, come give 5-a-side soccer a try and Sydney’s best facility, Ultimate Soccer. The pitches are FIFA certified, balls & bibs are provided and you can easily book-a-pitch for fun with some mates, host a corporate soccer event, or even join a team and a tournament! Get in touch today to arrange your next visit. See you on the pitch!