Soccer Slide Tackle

Dear Soccerhelp,

I coach boys U-8 soccer and was wondering if there is such a move called Sliding Tackle? The reason I ask is my son informed me the other day that kids from another team were being taught this move from one of the other team coaches. This coach does have a reputation of teaching some un-sportsman-like moves. I could basically see this being used in his favor in place of tripping.

I, for one, do not want to see any kids get hurt and wanted clarification on this.

Thanks for your help!

Hi Jeff,

This is called a "slide tackle". Here's the definition from the SoccerHelp Dictionary:

"When a defender slides on the ground and attempts to kick the ball away from the ballhandler. If the tackle is careless, reckless or uses excessive force or the tackler first contacts the ballhandler instead of the ball, a foul should be called. If the tackle is from behind (from an angle that doesn't allow the ballhandler to see it coming) a "Red Card" can be given. Some youth & adult leagues don't allow slide tackling because too many injuries result. I don't teach it & don't allow it. Beside the possibility of getting hurt or hurting someone else, you can't play if you are laying on the ground. (See "Tackle" and "Fouls")."

I never taught this because both the kid sliding and the kid being tackled can get hurt. If you're in a Rec league, I recommend you go to your league and ask them to ban this. This is "legal" but some Rec leagues don't allow it, and they are allowed to revise the rules as they see fit.


Thanks so much for your reply. I contacted the head of our soccer league, and unfortunately, they're allowing this move. They said in U-10 and U-14 that's all they do. Some of the kids will be moving up after this year. They also said that it's only legal if they approach from the front or side and if they come from the back they'll be called for a foul.

It's too bad that they're allowing this because the coach teaching only thinks of himself. He's only out to win and continues to play his strong players the whole game without rotation to run up the score, etc. He's obviously not concerned about the possibility of his own players getting injured or injuring someone else.

Again, thanks so much!


Read the rule about tackling and fouls. Some coaches and refs misunderstand and think it's okay to tackle hard as long as the player tackling contacts the ball -- that's not true. If the tackle is "careless, reckless or uses excessive force" a foul should be called. Think about it: otherwise the tackler could come from the front and really hurt kids by wiping them out. I would tell my kids that if they are tackled this way it's okay to land on the kid tackling. I saw this in a semi-pro game a few years ago and the guy doing the slide tackle had both bones in his leg broken when the guy he was tackling landed on him. A good reason to not teach it is that a player can't play if he's on the ground. It's a very bad idea to allow this in a Rec league, it's just asking for kids to get hurt.