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Slide Tackling

Slide Tackling

Tackling Defined

Unlike in American football, tackling in soccer does not mean to drag an opponent to the ground. Tackling simply means to take the ball away from an opponent. This can occur while standing, walking, running, jumping, or sliding.

Slide Tackling

Slide Tackling is taking a ball from an opponent while sliding on the ground, taking control of the ball by contacting the ball before contacting the opponent. Proper slide tackling is legal per the Laws of the Game as defined by FIFA, the governing body for international soccer.

AYSO Region 256 Rule

Our region has determined that slide tackling inherently puts our players in danger in the 8U and below divisions. Therefore, Region 256 has determined that slide tackling should be considered as ‘dangerous play’ and should be treated as such by our referees for the 8U and below divisions. For the 10U division, slide tackling is only allowed when the defender approaches from the front of the attacking player. Slide tackling from the side and from behind should be considered as 'dangerous play.' For the 12U and above divisions, there are no restrictions for legal slide tackles.

Penalizing Slide Tackles

If the tackle results in contact normally associated with a direct free kick offense, the referee should award a direct free kick from the point where the offense occurred. If there was no otherwise illegal conduct, an indirect free kick should be awarded for dangerous play. As always, should a tackle endanger the safety of an opponent, such as a slide tackle from behind, this must be sanctioned as serious foul play (a red card offense for older players).

Other tackles and how to determine if an offense has been committed

When players are contesting a ball, not all contact is illegal. Challenging an opponent for the ball with a brief “staccato” contact can be considered a legal charge. If contact is determined to be careless, reckless, or done with excessive force, the opponent should be awarded a direct free kick from the point where the offense occurred.