Five-a-side football is a variation of association football in which each team fields five players (four outfield players and a goalkeeper), rather than the usual eleven. Other differences from football include a smaller pitch, smaller goals, and a reduced game duration. Games are often played indoors.
Additionally the ball is not allowed to go over "head height" or else the opposition is awarded an indirect free kick.
The penalty area is also significantly different from regular football: it is semi-circular in shape and only the goalkeeper is allowed within it and he or she is not allowed out. There are normally no offside rules which means just one referee. No headers are allowed. Powerleague and Goals Soccer Centres are the two big operators of 5 a side football in the UK. Five-a-side football leagues can be played on astroturfs across the United Kingdom. Another rule in five-a-side football is that metal studded boots or blades cannot be worn, as it damages the playing surface.
Five-a-side is commonly played informally, and the rules are therefore flexible and are sometimes decided immediately before play begins; this is in contrast to futsal where official laws are published by FIFA.
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