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Question Number: 31882

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/9/2017

RE: Competitive Under 19

Salvador Flores of Indianapolis , IN USA asks...

Question 1: what is a fair shoulder tackle? What is a good example of a fair shoulder tackle? What is a foul trying to shoulder tackle someone?
Question 2: if a player tries to kick the ball but misses the ball and kicks another player in any part of his body who took the ball away from the other player, would it be a red card or yellow card?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Salvador
Under the Laws a player may make a fair charge on an opponent provided it is not done in a careless, reckless or uses excessive force. It is also required that the contact is generally shoulder to shoulder although at different heights this may not always be possible. So what do we mean by careless, reckless or excessive force.
'Careless' indicates that the player has not exercised due caution in making a play.
'Reckless' means that the player has made unnatural movements designed to intimidate an opponent or to gain an unfair advantage.
'Involving excessive force' means that the player has far exceeded the use of force necessary to make a fair play for the ball and has placed the opponent in considerable danger of bodily harm.
The term I like to use in charging is that a player while challenging for the ball 'eases' the opponent off the ball by using his side / shoulder against an opponents shoulder / side. Strength is a factor. It also happen while the players are in close proximity to each other as a referee would not allow a player to run from distance to crash his shoulder into an opponents shoulder. That is certainly reckless which is a foul and a caution. It could also be the use of excessive force which is a red card.
On your second question the player is certainly at least careless and depending on the circumstances could be reckless which is a caution and if excessive force is used it is a red card. The referee has to consider many factors such as the direction and manner of the kick, the location of the players, the strength of the kick etc. So a referee could go with anything from a foul only to a red card for serious foul play.
To illustrate this a player could be kicking the ball as a pass and misses the pass but his actions makes slight contact with his opponents boot. That is most likely to be a foul only. Compare that to a player who runs at distance to kick the ball which he misses and his follow through violently makes contacts with the players mid rift using excessive force. That is a red card offence for serious foul play. Both fouls ended up kicking an opponent in two completely different ways.

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