Indoor Week: History of the Game

Jan 16, 2012

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We’re celebrating the climate-controlled side of the beautiful game at World Soccer Shop with Indoor Week! With a walled-in pitch, whether turf or a court, and the speedy, frenetic play, it’s different enough to be a nice change of pace, but is still the game we all love to play. Get all your essential indoor soccer gear at World Soccer Shop!

Indoor soccer is generally seen for its recreation during those wintry months of the year between seasons when youth players or past-their-primes can lace up their cleatless boots and enjoy the warm, casual version of the game. But surprisingly to some, the professional indoor game actually has a rich history, during which it’s changed quite a bit.

In fact, indoor games were once played in modified skating rinks… back in 1885. Apparently that’s when the first official indoor soccer match took place between Ontario and Newark. Going to back how the game has evolved, that first indoor match featured the offside rule and most restarts coming from the referee tossing the ball up for grabs.

Jump ahead a mere century, and you’ll find the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), the United States‘ first professional indoor league, being founded in 1978. Teams sporadically joined and left the league (for various reasons) during its first tenure until 1992 with 32 total cities at one point having a team, but with no more than 14 teams in the league at a given time. When the National American Soccer League (NASL) folded in ’84, the MISL was the country’s only professional soccer league until it shut down in 1992, and MLS took the spotlight with its debut season the following year.

However since it’s first run, the MISL resumed and continues operation as the country’s premier indoor league with eight teams. Perhaps you’re a devout fan of one of these professional teams, or maybe you’re simply a casual player of the modified game, either way, say your thanks that the indoor game is no longer played on the waxed hardwoods of a customized skating rink!

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  1. Gabriel

    Very interesting…