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Question Number: 32585

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/10/2018

RE: Rec Adult

Brian Lutke of Whistler, BC Canada asks...

Please clarify whether it's a foul:
Player 1 has possession and Player 2 slide-tackles hitting ball first but also hits Player 1 (foot-to-foot, or foot-to-leg) after hitting ball. All players on defending team saying 'but he got the ball first'... does it matter if there is still player-to-player contact after ball is played???
Many thanks in advance!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brian
Playing the ball is not a free pass for not committing a foul. Once the referee deems that the challenge is careless or reckless it is a foul whether the ball is played first or not.
Now in a challenge we all know that there can be a coming together of players after the ball is played which is not a foul. The decision that the referee has to make is whether the contact is a coming together after the ball is played or the challenge is a follow through into the opponent.
In recent times there has been an increase of the challenge that plays the ball yet the player aggressively continues onwards into the opponent. That is a foul, a caution for being reckless and if excessive force is used the player is sent off.
Now the decision can be difficult depending on angle of view etc. Have a look at this video
The referee opined that it was not a foul yet many would also see it as a foul. I personally would have no difficulty if a foul was awarded as in my opinion it was at least careless in the manner of the tackle. That though is based on video replay from a number of angles. The referee gets one go at it from his unique viewing location.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Brian,
foul recognition is as much art as science with a little gut tension thrown in.
A referee with integrity will call what he sees but as to his understanding of the event well lets say some are rather firm in their beliefs, right or wrong as they maybe! Experience be it our own or what we learn off others combined with mentoring training etc we get the obvious fouls . . There is still the challenge where contact occurs and we sort out whether that challenge had MORE or less of a foul intertwined.

The answer is yes it does matter in the WAY it occurs!
It can fair or tolerated as part of a decent challenge but then it can be unfair risky and a foul !

For example I have seen a solid text book slide tackle knee bent foot down and away sweeps the ball free clearly and the upright player who showed too much ball falls over top the sliding player out in front. The whistle goes a foul for tripping? It is NOT a foul, there was no trip, the slide challenger got TO the ball first and THEN the other player ran over top and rather then jump over or try to jump over decides to fall OVER the slider. This was play on all day .

Now lets take a solid slide tackle who comes in at a DIFFRENT angle more into and through the player so that it collapses the legs as the slider is moving not at the front pushing the ball out and away but THROUGH the player legs in the body was always going to take a severe hit with no chance to leap or jump out of the way The I got the ball first does not excuse the manner or the force used to win that ball as it was unsafe to do so.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Brian,
Yes it matters if there is contact between players - although it does not necessarily mean that a foul has occurred. According to the Laws of the Game the decision is based on whether a player has tackled or challenged an opponent ''in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force.''

Making contact with an opponent while tackling is a very common occurrence and as ref McHugh says, it can be a simple 'coming together' which, if it does not even rise to the minimum required threshold of being careless, is not a foul. However if the tackle or challenge is judged by the referee to be careless, reckless or involving the use of excessive force it is a foul, no matter whether the ball is played or not.

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