• January 23, 2021

Top Bizarre Variations of Football

Even with the vague origins of football, it is undoubtedly the most popular sport across the globe. The game not only dominates in terms of fans but is also the most focused on by gamblers in sports betting. The game’s success has resulted in various types of the same to appear in attempts to entertain the masses. 

Some struggle to gain a lot of attention, but others have taken off well even to be played in professional arenas like World Cup competitions. These games follow the basic rules of kicking a ball around using feet, but the regulations beyond this point differ. 

Here are the strangest forms of the game that exist:


Futsal is a football type that is played mainly indoors on a hard court like that of basketball. The game works with two teams with each one made up of five members, including the goalie. Due to the reduction in team members, the pitch is also usually significantly smaller than the regular one and is delimited using lines. The ball is also made smaller and of hard, low-bounce material that plays in favour of the unique game. 

The game emphasizes not only technique but also creativity and improvisation to win. It was first played in Uruguay in 1930, and a rule book was later published in 1933. Since football was already highly popular in the country – having won the 1930 World Cup as well as two Summer Olympic titles, this new variation of the game drew great numbers.

Futsal is similar to Five-a-side Football, which also has four outfield players and one goalkeeper. The game is played on a smaller pitch that is usually outdoors and decorated using fake grass. Unlike Futsal, Five-a-side Football is enclosed in a cage with a barrier on each side to prevent the ball from exiting and keep the gameplay flowing consistently.

Indoor Football

Indoor Football is derived from the association kind and is adapted to unfold in an indoor arena. This version is also often referred to as six-a-side football, snowball, fast football, or floorball. The game is usually played in North America, especially Canada and the United States. 

Indoor Football was invented as a way to keep the soccer game alive during the harsh winter months when outdoor activities would be challenging due to snow. These states learnt to transform gymnasiums into smaller football field that allowed six players on each team. Unlike futsal, Indoor Football replaces hard floors with synthetic turf to be as similar as possible to the outdoor version. The variation is played on different levels including amateur, collegiate, and professional leagues. On the international level, it can be found in competitions like:

  • World Minifootball Federation – Switzerland
  • Fast Football Federation – The United States, Mexico
  • African Minifootball Federation – Africa
  • Asian Minifootball Confederation – Asia
  • European Minifootball Federation – Europe
  • Oceania Minifootball Federation
  • Confederacion Panamericana de Minifutbol

Three-Sided Football

Three-sided football pits three teams against each other instead of the usual two. This version of the game is played on a hexagonal field as opposed to the regular rectangular. And goals posts are placed on three of the pitch’s sides. Three-sided football also changes the determination of the winner from looking at which team scored the highest like in regular soccer and instead crowning the one that concedes the fewest goals. 

This football variation was invented by Asger Jorn, a situationist as a way to explain his triolectics notion. The game was Jorn’s refinement of the concept of dialectics conceived by the scientist Marxist. He also aimed to change everyone’s general idea of the popular game. Three-sided football was first played in 1933 in London and has since spread to France, Austria, and Italy.

Crab Football

Players aren’t allowed to use hands aside from goalies, and neither are they supposed to stand unless they are playing the position of Wicket Keepers. The game is mostly played in schools during physical education and can sometimes use wheeled platforms for players to push themselves around on their posterior.

Rush Goalie

The rush goalie is also popularly referred to as fly keeper, nearest dearest, goalie wag, or f goalie. This game gives the goalkeeper a lot more flexibility than in regular association football. This player has the freedom to run into the field and join other outfield players to participate in the gameplay. However, when it comes time to defend, they have to take up their role at the goalpost and prevent the ball from hitting the back of the net. 

Once all danger has been averted, they can run back into the field and continue with outfield play. This system is often used when one team outnumbers the another. The team with the extra player has to pick one that stays at the goalpost like a regular goalie while the other one is free to play rush.

Freestyle Football

Freestyle football is often played in North America and is used as a mode of self-expression. The game counts on players to get creative with juggling the football using any part of their body aside from the elbows to the hands. The winning player is the one that showcases the best dances, tricks, acrobatics, and even incorporates music to entertain onlookers and outshine their competitors.

This form of football eliminates the usual scoring associated with the game and makes it about entertainment only. It has an official governing institution dubbed the World Freestyle Football Association and holds regular tournaments.

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The Bottom Line

Football’s global success has seen the rise of many more variations of the game beyond this list. More of them are continuously created in an attempt to be the next big thing.