For football players of all ages, the 5-a-side version of the game has something to offer. The versatility of 5-a-side-football means anyone can enjoy it at any age and skill level.
This article describes why 5-a-side is perfect for any group and how it has benefits for every age.
How 5-a-side football differs from the traditional game
First, and for the uninitiated, we will look at how the two common versions of football differ.
The obvious difference is the number of players in each team, but there are other differences. It is important to understand these, as it is these differences in the rules and regulations that make 5-a-side so versatile as a game for all ages.
Here are the main differences between the two disciplines:
- Pitch Size – Five-a-side pitches are far smaller than the 11-a-side game. Standard sized pitches for the “big game” are around 100 x 130 yards. For the 5-a-side game, pitches are normally about 30 x 40 yards.
- Goal Size – Smaller goals are another difference, 5-a-side goals are normally 12ft x 4ft, whereas, in the senior game, the regulation goal size is 24ft x 8ft.
- Game length – The standard game lasts 90-minutes split into two 45-minute halves. The length of the match is more flexible in the 5-a-side format, with most games lasting anywhere from 20-minutes to an hour, 5-a-side matches are also split into two halves.
- Rules of the Game – There are many common laws across both formats, including fouling and handball (other than the goalkeeper). However, there are many differences including, the ball remaining below head height, no offside rule, no straying into the goalkeeping area, and in some tournaments, the goalkeeper can’t touch the ball outside their area.
These differences may seem fairly minor, but these give the 5-a-side game some distinct advantages when it comes to offering a game of footie for all ages.
5-a-side for kids
The 5-a-side pitch size and goal size are perfect for youngsters just beginning in the game and wanting to hone their skills.
Full-sized pitches are great once you grow to fit them! But place a six- or seven-year-old on one, and the scale is all wrong. Kids can be overwhelmed by bigger pitches, and this can take all the enjoyment from the sport, and this, in turn, can destroy a youngster’s enthusiasm.
Keeping fit is essential at all ages, and 5-a-side can let kids have fun, express themselves on a perfectly sized pitch, and this can instill an enthusiasm for sports and keeping fit that will stay with them their whole life.
It is also a less physical version of the sport that lets them hone all the skills necessary to make the transition to the bigger version of the game.
At Astro Park, we are all about encouraging fitness at all ages, and our ever-popular football birthday parties are a fantastic way of celebrating your youngsters birthday, and it also has the benefits of helping your child’s emotional and physical development.
5-a-side for young teens and upwards
When we think of the beautiful game, it is usually the 11-a-side version that springs to mind. For aspiring footballers, this is the stage we want to strut our stuff on!
But it is also a physical and frequently ultra-competitive form of the sport, this is the case at any level. For aspiring players wanting to improve their skills, the unforgiving nature of the 11-a-side game is not the ideal platform to practice new (and unperfected) skills.
At this stage of a player’s development, a blend of 11-a-side and 5-a-side is perfect. The big game allows them to develop stamina, positional sense, and the more physical attributes required. Whereas the 5-a-side game offers the perfect platform for developing those deft touches and subtle skills in a more forgiving environment.
5-a-side for age forty upwards
Unless you have stayed injury-free and in tip-top condition, then this is the age range where many of us must face the fact that our pomp is behind us. The 5-a-side game offers the perfect opportunity to remain playing the sport you love, and by joining a team, tournament, or league that comprises players of similar circumstances, then none of the competitiveness is lost.
The beauty of the 5-a-side game is that there are teams and leagues to suit all abilities and fitness levels. Even if the old legs aren’t capable of much more than a gentle jog, there is still much enjoyment to be had on the level playing field that only the 5-a-side game can provide.
This means it is great for retaining fitness levels and also keeps you socially active too. There is no limit to the age where 5-a-side can be enjoyed. This means that there is never any need to hang up those boots and give up the sport you love, regardless of age and physical condition.
Whether you are just a nipper starting out in the game, or your nippy days are behind you and hanging up your boots seems like the only option, 5-a-side football is the perfect option for learning or continuing in the game.
At Astro Park, we cater for all ages and skill levels, and our all-weather facilities mean you can play the sport you love all year round.