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Question Number: 32702

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/11/2018

RE: Club not travel parent coached Under 13

Dean Schaedler of Dublin, OH United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 25508

At what age do slide tackles become legal?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Dean,
Hmmm not so much age, as youth or old folk modifications allowed under FIFA to protect lesser skilled and fragile bone structures through prohibitive bylaws restricting that particular type of tackle. Your local bylaws through the soccer association or the ROC who sets the standards should have your answers. The restriction is a safety issue but I like to think if we are 11 aside all tackles including the slide tackle are in play as long a they are done safely!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dean
Tackling is an integral part of the game and the Laws specify what is not legal in a tackle / challenge.
At ULittles some competition rules may limit certain types of challenges such as slide tackles etc for safety reasons yet most challenges would be allowed provided of course they are not careless or reckless.
At these age groups safety and fun is paramount so referees may adopt a more stricter approach to tackling by whistling strong physical slide challenges perhaps more readily that in older age groups.
You will be familiar as well with the no heading ROC for players aged Under 11. That is a good indication that 12s and above can be expected to play the game without restrictions although competition authorities can make ROCs that take account of local situations such as combined competitions, field condition such as no sliding on Astro, limit footwear use to mounded soles, build out lines etc

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Dean,
As far as the Laws of the Game are concerned, slide tackles are not outlawed at any age. Some competition rule however, may say otherwise.

But if there is no such local rule, the referee should just judge slide tackles as they do any other tackle. If the tackle is careless, reckless or using excessive force it should be penalised but if it is none of these things, it should be permitted.

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