Football 5-a-side game is a small sided football (minifootball) in whereby each team fields five players (four players and a goalkeeper).
Similar to the 11-a-side football, it can be played on astroturf, an indoor arena or an outdoor but in a smaller pitch, smaller goal post and reduced game duration.
Football 5-a-side is an interesting football game wiith it’s rules depending on the competition organizers. Although the rules guiding 5-a-side is essentially the same as 11-a-side football but with little differences.
5-a-side football can be played for different purposes and a popular way to get fit by players. But whatever reason you find yourself playing, everyone wants to win.
Football 5 -a-side Rules
Like we’ve said earlier, the rules for five-a-side football are basically the same as they are in the full sized football in terms of what is acceptable or not.
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However, the main difference is the number of players fielded as five-a-side having five players from each team.
There are some rules which are unique to five-a-side, such as the ‘head height’ rule, slide tackling and the goalkeeper’s area.
Five-a-side ‘Head-height’ rule
‘Head height‘ as the name implies is a rule in small-sided football which implies the ball should not go above a certain height usually the height of the tallest player.
A free-kick is awarded when the ball is played above the agreed height threshold.
The idea behind the ‘head-height’ rule is to encourage the playing of the ball along the ground and discourage playing long passes through the air.
Though the ‘head-height’ rule is not mostly used as it’s difficult to enforce.
No Slide tackling
Slide tackling is generally not allowed in five-a-side football and it is considered dangerous.
Even when the ball has been fairly and safely won during slide tackle, are usually considered fouls in small-sided football.
Depending on the rules of the competition you’re playing, a goalkeeper may or may not be allowed to touch the ball outside the goalkeeper area.
Also, an outfield player may be deemed not to also touch the ball inside the goalkeeper area.
Both outfield player and goalkeeper would be considered foul if they touch the ball in the prohibited area with either a free-kick or penalty awarded.
However, the above rules differs depending on the organizer or competition you’re playing.
Discipline in Football 5-a-side game
Discipline in five-a-side football is more like the normal full length football.
But here, yellow card results in player temporarily leaving the field usually for a duration of five minutes of play.
Red cards results in permanent expulsion from the field of play for the remainder of the game similar to the full-sized football law of red card.
What is the duration of a five-a-side football?
The duration spent on each halves of five-a-side football is way shorter than the 11-a-side football as it’s ideal for building or regaining fitness depending on how hard you run during the game.
Five-a-side football games involves two equal halves of 25 minutes each with a break of five-minutes after the first half.
Size of a 5-a-side Football pitch
According to FA’s small sided Football Laws, the size of a 5-a-side football pitch should be;
- Length: Min. 25 metres, max. 50 metres.
- Width: Min. 16 metres, max. 35 metres.
Positions in a 5-a-side football team
Many players especially the newbies to five-a-side football find it difficult to identify the best fit position in the game.
Though the exact positions depend on the team tactic and formation. Each tactics may have little different roles, and those roles might be known by several names.
But generally, they fall into 5 broad categories namely;
Pivot / Target / Top Man / Striker
These players are the main individual that leads the attack. They are always looking to keep the opposition defenders busy, acting as a focal point for the attacking play.
Midfielders / Utility Players / Wingers
While the pivot is the main man of the attack, and the fixo is the main man of the defense, the wingers are the engine room that strengthen the team.
If they don’t provide enough creativity to the team, then neither the pivot or the fixo get enough support to perform effectively.
Last Man / Fixo / Stopper
Some refer to this position simply as a ‘defender’ but it’s more than just a defender.
They’re main man at the back line protecting the goalkeeper and facing the threat of the opposition’s pivot.
These players are primarily in charge of making things happen in the attacking area of the field. But they might not be targets in the sense that the pivot usually plays the attacking role.
Defender is similar to a ‘last man’, but the mantle of being the defensive rock doesn’t just fall on this one individual.
Instead, the defender is part of a unit. In the ‘square’ formation there are two defenders, which requires them to work together to organise the defensive duties.
Tips in winning a 5-a-side Football game
- Get organized
- Make a strong defensive line to the team
- Get fit as you can
- Attack and defend as a team
- Master the short passing game
- Use a good and crucial 5-a-side goalkeeper
- Always try to win counter-attack battles
- Shot when opportunity arrive and make it on target
The above tips and tactics should get you a long way towards improving your game.
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