Five-a-side soccer got its start in the UK among normal people, in neighborhoods and streets. What started as pickup games got formalized and has become incredibly popular in the United Kingdom, and it’s spreading in the U.S. now as well. Basically, it’s a smaller, more accessible version of the game with only 5 people per team. The pitch is smaller than a regulation soccer pitch, only about a quarter of the size, with smaller goals too. It can be played indoors or outdoors, with a barrier to keep it in the area. The team is made of 4 outfield players and 1 goalkeeper. It’s easy to see why a smaller team and smaller playing area makes for a fast, exciting game—the players get more time with the ball, higher scoring, and a lot of fun for beginners and pros alike!
The rules of 5 a side soccer are very similar to regular soccer. Games are generally a lot shorter with each half ranging from 8 to 15 minutes depending on the game. Other subtle changes are that the players are allowed in the goal area which is only marked out where the goal keeper can handle the ball. Teams are made up of rosters of 7 players with only 5 players on the field at one time, teams are able to make as many substitutes as they want ( rolling substitutes ). Teams are also able to substitute their goal keeper for a outfield player forming 5 outfield players as an attacking option.
So why is 5-a-side soccer a great idea? Well, we can see why it got started, for one thing. A smaller space and smaller teams makes it easier to get a team together. And it gives the players more time with the ball, learning technique to attack and defend in a quick-paced game. It’s a great way to get started in the sport. It’s a lot of fun, gets you to enjoy the competitive spirit, and it’s a great form of exercise! And the skills you learn in 5-a-side soccer can help in the full-sized game—just look at Wayne Rooney, England national team captain! He’s regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, and he got his start in small games in the street.
Five-a-side soccer is a lot of fun! We highly recommend getting involved. And then maybe we’ll see you at the World Soccer Fives tournament!