There's not much soccer happening outdoors around here right now, but indoor soccer is getting underway. There are a number of variations on the indoor game. The "official" world indoor game, sanctioned by FIFA
, is futsal
, played on a basketball court. In the United States and Canada, many facilities offer a brand of indoor soccer
played in a hockey rink that has had turf carpet laid down, and the ball can be played off the boards and glass.
Futsal goals are 3m wide by 2m high, and arenas with walls typically have goals of about the same dimensions. For goalkeepers, the smaller space, closer proximity to attackers and smaller goals means some adjustments in the way you play. Here are a few pointers on being successful in the indoor game
- Low and Lower. With a goal only six feet high, only the youngest and smallest goalkeepers need to worry about getting beat over the top. Many shots are from close in and along the ground -- the goalkeeper needs to cover as much of that area as possible. Keep the knees bent, hands down and wide, and the head up. This is the same position you take up once you close down an attacker on a breakaway.
- Be Patient on Breakaways. The penalty area, where the keeper is allowed to use their hands, is much smaller indoors than out. If you leave the line too soon, you'll run out of space and quickly become stranded. Time your run to meet the attacker a yard or so inside the top of the area.
- Use Your Feet. The small penalty area also means that the keeper needs to leave that area more often to sweep up stray balls. Don't sit on the line! Use the opportunity to get involved and work on those footskills -- clear long balls, be available for backpasses, and be part of the game.
- Coordinate with Your Defense. Due to the lack of an offside rule, you will face many more breakaways and 2v1 situations. Make sure you and your defense are on the same page -- if there are two attackers and only one defender, should the defender take the ball carrier or play the pass? Personally, I prefer to have the defender cover the pass, since I feel indoors I can cover the entire net and stop the shot. This is the opposite of what I ask my defenders to do outdoors. Which way you go is personal preference, but make sure you talk about it first.