As Football. It is a variant of the British football, (which you might call soccer), and so no padding or helmets are required. The rules are similar to regular football, as written up by DMan with some differences, which I will list here.

  • There are 5 rather than 11 players per side. The name kind of gives this away.
  • Unlike regular football, five-a-side football is normally played indoors, in a sports hall with an appropriately sized walled room. This is normally about 1/3 of the size of a regular football pitch, but will change between venues. Playing indoors increases the pace. In proper football, play stops when the ball leaves the pitch, until a throw-in is taken. In five a side football, when the ball never leaves the playing area; it hits the wall and bounce right back! If it is played outdoors, a kick rather than a throw is normally used to resume play. Thus is five-a-side football a fast-paced game.
  • The game lasts under half as long as a the 90 minute game of football. Usually 10 to 20 minutes per half, with no change of ends.
  • The goal keeper is the only player allowed in the penalty area
  • When a goal is scored, the ball is not taken to the centre spot, but rather the goal keeper retrieves it from the back of his/her net, and plays on.

As a result of the smaller, indoor pitch, and resulting faster pace, more goals tend to be scored in five-a-side football, despite the shorter playing time. A score of 8 - 10, for example, would be almost unheard of in a 90 minute regular football match, but quite reasonable in a half-hour game of five-a-side.

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