Formations and Tactics in 5-a-side football

The fact is 5-a-side football is more tactical than many people realize. However, because there are fewer outfield players than in 11-a-side, the tactical or formation options are somewhat limited. It is common to see a team with the better players lose to a less-skilled team because of factors such as tactics and discipline.

There are four common formations deployed in 5-a-side, which are:

the Pyramid (or Christmas Tree);

the Diamond;

the Box;

the 'Y'?

The Pyramid

If you are keen on defensive solidity, then the Pyramid or Christmas tree is something to consider. Here, two defenders are supported by one midfielder and one attacker. Obviously, the midfielder and attacker need to be mobile and dynamic in their approach to the game.

The Diamond

If you are a believer in midfield control or dominance, then the diamond formation is probably for you. Here, two midfielders are supported by one defender and one attacker.

The Box

Here, the focus is on the attacking and defending aspects of the game. However, players must be mobile and dynamic enough to cover the middle of the pitch as well.

The ‘Y’

Even 5-a-side football is about the goals. Goals win you games; so, what’s to lose provided you can outscore your opponent. Here, two attackers are supported by one midfielder and one defender.


So, whatever your preference or style of play, whether you are for all-out attacking, or you like to ‘park the bus’, or you prefer dominating in the middle of the pitch, or just want a balanced approach, there’s something for you. So, start thinking about playing to the strengths of your team … or the weaknesses of your opponent.