In this blog, we will help you understand or answer the following question:
- The difference between playing indoors and outdoors.
- What are the pros and cons of playing indoors?
- What's Better: Indoor or Outdoor Play?
- Are indoor games better than outdoor games?
Playing indoors sounds easy, in theory; we don't need to worry about wind, rain, cold, snow and unexpected weather. In Canada, as well as in some parts of USA, where snow falls from November to March, there’s no choice but to play indoors during that part of the year. Many players who enjoy outdoor sports either sit out the season or turn to other, more appropriate, outdoor sports like skiing, skating or outdoor hockey. Apart from the advantages of not being at the mercy of the weather, there are other reasons to play team sports indoors:
- The playing areas are usually smaller than those found in outdoor fields and are generally cleaner and flatter. Also, we don't have to worry about certain uneven or flawed characteristics which may detract from the game while playing in an outdoor field (bumps, uneven grass, stones and dangerous objects, puddles, etc.).
- The games are faster and more fun because we have the added challenge of taking into account the “bounce factor” when playing with boards, wall or nets. Also, when the ball does go out of bounds, it’s quick and easy to retrieve.
- Most indoor fields have score boards and we are motivated to play harder when we are reminded that we are losing the game.
- The crowd is closer to the field making for a very fun atmosphere.
- Indoor fields are more appropriate for players with good technique because the fields are flatter and more uniform, players are able to control the ball better and move faster and with greater ease.
- We exercise harder when we play indoors because we are always running and the games are rarely interrupted.
- Players play closer together during indoor games and this facilitates networking.
Despite all these advantages, we sometimes forget that playing in a controlled environment which offers complete protection against unexpected weather can be a problem in itself. The ambient temperature in the arena, condensation, quality of the air, the size of the crowd, and the type of turf or floor affect the game in a major way. Some disadvantages to playing indoors are:
- We play in an artificial environment (controlled temperature, no wind, no sunshine, etc.) which is completely different from the natural conditions of outdoor sports.
- You are limited in your freedom to run and kick the ball because of the constraints of walls and ceilings which are often too close to the playing field.
- The boards around the field affect the game in a major way. These can be a major disappointment for purists who enjoy playing the game in its natural environment.
- Playing indoors is often more costly than playing outdoors because indoor fields are very expensive to rent and maintain compared to outdoor fields, which are almost free.
- The number of available indoor arenas seems to be diminishing all the time. Often, it is necessary to travel far and/or schedule games very late in the day to take advantage of an opportunity to play indoor sports.
- Sports injuries can be very dangerous - especially when you get pushed against the boards by reckless players.
- Outdoor games help your mind feel fresh, and it is harder to get fresh air indoor especially during the winter where all windows and doors are closed.
- Most indoor games could probably be played outdoors, but not vice versa.
In conclusion, I think that the climate and the season, as well as your geographic location, should dictate your choice of where to play your favourite sports. I suggest taking advantage of the best of both: during the winter, play indoors and during the other seasons, take it outside.
Some resources about indoor vs outdoor games:
- similarities and differences between indoor games and outdoor games
- 5 differences between indoor and outdoor track and field
- Indoor vs. outdoor volleyball: The differences that explain Brazil’s dominance on the beach