An Overview of Indoor Soccer Positions and Formations

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An indoor soccer position is the same as the position of a soccer player on the field. The only difference is that indoor soccer has no offside rules, and players can move freely around the court.

Soccer Positioning Basics

There are two types of indoor soccer positions: offensive and defensive.

  • Offensive players are responsible for scoring goals and creating opportunities for teammates.
  • Defensive players are responsible for preventing the other team from scoring goals and making the other team’s offensive players work hard to get a shot on the goal.

Indoor soccer positions can also be categorized into forward, midfield, or back.

  • The forward position is the most attacking position on the field and usually has the best ball skills.
  • The midfielder position is usually between both sides of the field and has more responsibility than a defender or forward.
  • The back position is typically a sweeper or goalkeeper who protects their side of the field from any shots on goal by defending their net with all means necessary.
Top view of an green field with players in position

Defensive Positions

Here are a few roles every defender should perform:

  • Slow down the offense so your team can come back and help you
  • Make sure there isn’t an opposing player between you and the goal
  • If you get beat, don’t give up on the play.
  • Stay connected with the play – push up when you’re on the attack

Offensive Positions

Here are a few roles every defender should perform:

  • Always keep moving to get open for a ball
  • You are the first line of defense, so pressure the opposing team’s defense
  • You can always play the ball back

Unlike outdoor soccer, indoor soccer is a much more fluid game, with players constantly rotating in and out of positions. While you might start as an attacker, there will undoubtedly be a lot of situations where you will also need to defend and vice versa.

It’s important to emphasize that it is just as important for a defender to know how to score as an attacker should know how to save the ball.

As a coach, try to focus on teaching tactics rather than teaching particular positions. Instead of making the team predictable through every position, let them decide their movements. Just make sure that this approach is in line with the overall tactics.

A photo of an indoor soccer field with players and teams ready in their places
Source: libertysportsvillecomplex.com

Indoor Soccer Positions and Formations

Teaching indoor soccer positioning is much easier than outdoor soccer because fewer players are involved. Formations are a great way to put tactics into play. Here are some famous indoor soccer formations.

Note that indoor soccer can be played with 5, 6, 7, and even 8 players. While we’ve outlined formations for 5 person indoor soccer teams, you can add as needed for your specific number.

Finally, goalies are typically left out of formation references, which is what we have done. You’ll see 4 players mentioned, with the goalie being the fifth.

Box Formation (2 defenders, 2 attackers)

This formation needles soccer down to the most basic of responsibilities. Two players are stationed in the back on defense, and two are placed up top as attackers.

While you have multiple defensive-minded players and multiple offensive-minded players on the field simultaneously, this formation succeeds most when every player can interchange to some degree.

Attackers will sometimes have to come back to help on defense, which will temporarily change the formation shape to something more similar to a Pyramid formation (described below). This is fine in spurts, as you look to absorb a counterattack or pressure from consistent possession by the opposing team.

Box position diagram of futsal or indoor soccer
Source: 5-a-side.com

Likewise, when your team is on a counterattack, you’ll want one of your defenders pushing forward to join and support. Having a defender temporarily move up into the midfield gives the attackers a drop-off option. This allows your team to retain possession if the offensive stalls while your attackers reform for another attack.

That’s why it’s essential to teach the formation to all players, not just those in that position. If a defender goes up on the attack, an attacker must cover for them in the backline.

The Pyramid Formation (2 defenders, 1 midfielder, 1 attacker)

If you are playing against a team that is a bit stronger than yours, you might want to play more defensively. This formation has two players that generally should stay at the back. The midfielder added can also help out defensively, as well.

This formation also appoints one player as an all-time forward. They don’t have to worry much about anything other than being the striker and point target, even if it means scoring the goal with your head.

Pyramid diagram of futsal indoor soccer
Source: 5-a-side.com

This works well if you have a true forward on your team, someone who excels at working with their back to the goal and is good at finding space to receive through balls.

Being the only attacker means your team will rely more on the quick counterattack for goals. While this isn’t necessarily bad, you need to tactically plan around it.

The Diamond Formation (1 defender, 2 midfielders, 1 attacker)

For a well-balanced formation, the diamond has an appointed striker and a permanent defender who will ensure that your team always has someone at the back.

The two midfielders are free to go into the attack or defend.

This is the formation that probably requires the best definition of specific positions in indoor soccer. More than any other formation, each player needs to recognize where they are at on the field as it relates to their specific position.

Your defender must be the classic sweeper, able to defend from sideline to sideline. They must be tactically sharp, not allowing anyone to get past them. There is no other defender to cover for them.

Diamond position diagram of futsal or indoor soccer
Source: 5-a-side.com

Likewise, your forward must be able to operate independently, creating their chances and scoring with precision.

This formation lends itself well to holding possession for long periods, as you should be able to control the midfield with two in that position. When executed well, your team will have long spells of possession as the midfielders work the ball around, looking for space to feed the forward.

The Y Formation (1 defender, 1 midfielder, 2 attackers)

If you already know that you will be playing against a weaker team or it’s the last few minutes in the game, and you need a goal, the Y formation is a great attacking formation. Perfect for a game that doesn’t require too much defending, this formation is an excellent goal-scoring set-up.

Y formation diagram of futsal, or indoor soccer
Source: 5-a-side.com

Ensure your single defender takes more of a sweeper role, and you’ll do better if he or she is more athletic. They will have to run side to side to cover the back half of the field.

Your attackers will be able to feed off each other in this formation. Fast, speedy, quick ball strikers do very well in this formation. They can work around the outside edges and pass the ball to their other attacking teammate.

Pros and Cons of an Offensive Formation

ProsCons
More goal chancesExposed for counterattacks
Better ball distributionRisk of losing possession
Increased ball possessionRisk of committing too many faults

More Indoor Soccer Position Tips

There are a lot of positions in indoor soccer, and it can be confusing to figure out which one is best for you. Knowing your position on the field and understanding how to play it to be successful is essential.

Be Lenient with Positions

The best part about indoor soccer is the freedom that isn’t often associated with big-field games. Indoor soccer is a fast-paced game that can change in an instant. A forward might find themselves tracking back into a central defender position.

Since it is so unpredictable, being looser with restrictions for certain positions is a must. Your players must also be comfortable with playing anywhere at any given moment.

Pick a Formation for Your Team

Although you might already have an ideal formation before you meet your team for the season, you might have to get a bit flexible. The formation your team plays on the field should reflect what players you have on your team.

For example, you might choose the pyramid formation if you have more defenders than attackers. Occurrences like these should be made while preparing for the soccer game.

If you have a player that doesn’t track back no matter what, you might have to adjust the entire system rather than having to adjust them as a player. Depending on the age group you are coaching, you might have to work with what you have.

Soccer game in a fully packed stadium

Don’t Be Afraid to Think Outside the Box

You might have to work with your creativity when it comes to picking out the perfect formation. You might figuratively and think outside of the box (formation).

Specific teams can be highly successful playing a particular formation but fall apart at the slightest adjustment. Finding the formation that works with your team’s style and the individual players is extremely important to making a successful team. Making sure your players all are sporting the appropriate turf shoes for indoor soccer is vital too.

Playing the Perfect Indoor Soccer Positions

If you are a coach or captain of the team, we encourage you to experiment with different tactics and formations to help your indoor soccer team find its niche.

Certain players who play a specific position in outdoor soccer might not like that position at all in indoor soccer. Not every player should stick with their original outdoor soccer position. Playing indoor soccer requires every player and coach to be highly flexible.

Players can learn to play each position through proper training and soccer drills that will serve as their foundation for whichever position they will need to play in the game.

Man running next to a soccer ball

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about soccer positions and formations.

Is It Possible for a Forward Player to Be Offside in Indoor Soccer?

No, there is no offside rule in indoor soccer. This rule is exclusive to outdoor soccer since this one is played on a much larger pitch. Therefore, forwards can legally stay ahead of their opponents in indoor soccer.

Are There Wingers in Indoor Soccer?

No, there is no position called winger in indoor soccer. Although forwards could play similarly to outside soccer wingers, this position doesn’t exist in this type of soccer.

This is due to its limited space that doesn’t allow players to

How Many Players Do You Need to Start Indoor Soccer?

You need a minimum of four players on each side of the pitch to start a game of indoor soccer. However, as we mentioned before, there could be a maximum of seven or even eight players on each side.

Conclusion

There are a lot of positions that you can play in indoor soccer, and it can be challenging to decide which ones suit your abilities. We hope this article has helped you find the perfect indoor soccer position on the field as a coach or as a player.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.