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Question Number: 19288

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/6/2008

RE: Cup/ODP player, grade 8 ref Under 18

Tiffany Oliver of cheswick, pa usa asks...

Slide tackles

My understanding is that all forms of slide tackling are legal as long as the player gets "all ball" and is not reckless(boots up, player hit first). I have felt slide tackles from behind are fine as long as it gets the ball, even if the other play falls down (again, as long as it isn't reckless). What is the correct call on a slide tackle from behind where the player clearly get the ball, but the player falls as well?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Tiffany, your thinking is along the right lines. A few years ago, FIFA took the words "from behind" out of the statement that tackles which endanger the player must be sanctioned with a send-off (red card). Too many referees were focusing on the "from behind" and forgetting the "endangers".

If a player successfully slide tackles the ball away from an opponent, from any direction, but then continues through to trip the player, a foul has been committed. If the leg is kept low so all the opponent has to do is step over it, then generally there would be no foul. We can't focus on her falling; we have to see *why* she fell.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Tackling for the ball of which a slide tackle is a type of tackle and one that has the greatest opportunity of causing a defender to be less effective once committed to go to ground as well as a cause of injury to an opponent if the legs and feet are used as a weapon platform. While making contact with the ball lessens the possibility of a FOUL being present it does not exempt it. I can still catch their ankle or sweep the leg or even grab a hold as I slide on buy or through the player. The direction of tackle is not the reason to find a foul, the manner in how it is done, the force used with respect to a consideration of the safety of the opponent and ANY extra curricular activity with the aftermath per leg sweep, body impact and arm or hand action.

A player can fall over an opponent who pokes the ball away fairly and we see it as a part of an ok challenge in the player is falling over the opposition player who got the ball. Yet if the impact or consequences of how that tackle was performed if they create unsafe or dangerous conditions as in riding over top the ball, neck snap jarring wipeouts where the legs are collapsed by impact then the player is not falling she is being charged or tripped or kicked as well as having the ball cleared away.
Foul recognition is as much art as science but training, experience and being mentored will help you in your struggles.

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