Indoor Soccer Games for Kids
Soccer field image by rasita from Fotolia.com
Soccer can be a great game to play out in the sun, but what happens when things get cold, wet or dark? There's no reason to quit playing the world's most popular sport just because you're forced indoors; there are plenty of indoor soccer games that kids of any age can enjoy in a gymnasium, auditorium or wherever you can find sufficient indoor space.
King of the Ring
Because of its enclosed nature and smoother surface, indoor soccer puts a premium on being able to control a ball close to your feet. Mark off a "ring" with clear boundaries within your gym, and give each kid a ball. The purpose of the game is to dribble throughout the ring and maintain control of your ball, while simultaneously trying to kick other kids' balls outside the ring, eliminating them. Last one standing is crowned.
If handballs weren't illegal, this game could be called "Heads-Shoulders-Knees-and-Toes." Each competitor gets a ball and stands facing one of the walls of your arena. Proceed to "juggle" the ball off the wall and back to yourself, either with the head, the knee, the feet or a combination of all three, depending on age and skill level. The winner is the last person to have her ball hit the floor.
One on One
When it comes to soccer, mano-a-mano is best conducted indoors. You can play with smaller goals and no goalies, and the enclosed environment means less time spent chasing down errant balls, as well as more opportunities for passes off the walls and ceiling that help you get around a defender in a one-on-one situation. Generally a favorite among trash-talkers.
This one is better suited for older kids with better instincts and reaction times, and should only be played in a gym with a high and durable ceiling. Each competitor kicks a ball as hard as they can straight up into the air. The ball will hit the ceiling and bounce back -- make sure to move out of the way while the ball is in flight. The kicker whose ball bounces the most times wins.
Slip and Slide
This particular game might require some supplementary equipment in the form of knee and elbow pads. Set up a goal at one end of the "field," with balls placed at different points and varying distances. Competitors take turns shooting from each ball location, with the catch being that they must slide along the floor into the shot. Player--or team--that totals the most goals is the winner.
Ryan Eshoff is a senior writer for the "Daily Bruin" newspaper, where he has covered the entire breadth of collegiate sports in both a writing and editing capacity since 2008. He has blogged about college sports and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in American literature and culture from the University of California, Los Angeles.