Contact Sport!! The two words are about the nature of the game. Contact refers to touch while playing a match. It can be from player to player or players with objects. Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular and energetic sport. Soccer also holds the ability to engage audiences from different countries in excitement. In a soccer match, every eye is stuck on the ball and the players wherever they are moving. Now the question arises whether the most popular sport, soccer, is a contact sport or not. In this article, we will discuss the characteristics of a contact sport. We will also give you the answer: Is soccer a contact sport or not? So, do not forget to go through the entire article.
What are examples of contact sports?
In contact sports, physical interaction needs or demands among participants. Physical touching is regarded as the part and how players perform in various sports. Nowadays, most sports have included safety equipment for the players. The safety equipment keeps them safe from getting hurt.
There are several contact sports all over the countries. Basketball, rugby, mixed martial arts, football, wrestling, soccer, ice hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, and water polo are some of the most popular sports in the world. In contact games, there are certain rules on where to interact and where not. If they do not follow the rules properly, the referee gets the power to penalize them.
Is contact allowed in soccer?
Yes, the players can contact each other physically while playing soccer, but there are some rules and regulations. Twenty participants on the pitch continuously run and rush for the ball. So, there is a high chance of direct or physical confrontation. Players can do it deliberately or unintentionally. The game allows participants to compete against one another by permitting them to attack one another. There will be physical contact when the player tackles the ball to hit a goal. Players may fight shoulder to shoulder with one another in this situation.
Some participants adore their physical strength and try to show their dominance on the field. Sometimes, it becomes a negative point for them. Nevertheless, the player should focus on the ball majority of the time without touching the opponent firstly.
The referee allows giving fouls to the players if they find the player is performing aggressively or breaking any rules. For example, if players hit one other or grab each other’s jerseys, the referees can penalize them or disqualify them.
How many types of contact are there in soccer?
Each team needs one goalkeeper and ten athletes for a soccer game. So, conscious or unconscious bumping with each other is quite common. There are three different forms of confrontation in a soccer match.
- Legal Contact
- Illegal Contact
- Accidental Contact
Read Also: What Was The First Soccer Ball made of?
Legal Types of Contact in Soccer
Legal contact happens when two participants come across one another while chasing the ball. “Shoulder to shoulder” is the popular phrase for legal contact in the world of soccer. There are three types of legal contact allowed in a soccer match.
Contact between shoulders
Players can physically connect with each other’s shoulders while chasing for the ball near the goal bar. It also happens when an athlete tries to steal the ball from their opponents at the time of goal.
For a shoulder to shoulder, the player may face a fair charge or a fair challenge. When determining if a tackle is fair, the referee will usually judge the force of the athlete. The foot position of each participant is also an important factor to look at. Though the player uses his shoulder to push, the rules do not allow the player seeking control of the ball to crash into a competitor at a high level of speed.
Contact between legs
In soccer, players try to snatch and rush the ball with their legs. So, the encounter of the legs while playing is quite common. Players will not get charged if they bump or hit the legs of their opponent unintentionally.
Contact between athlete and goalkeeper
Though the goalkeepers stay in a certain area around the goal bar, they have the most crucial responsibility. They have to stop the attack and save the ball from going to the goal bar. If they fail to perform their duty, their team will lose the game. That’s why they have also got some extra facilities. In addition, they have the liberty to utilize their hands and to confront attacking midfielders for the ball. The player does not need to worry about a penalty if none of the players gets hurt.
Illegal Contact in Soccer
Yes, players can physically touch each other on the field while playing soccer. But not every type of touching is allowed. However, there are some guidelines to follow. In soccer, illegal interaction comes with fouls marked as “Fouls and Misconduct.” IFAB (International Football Association Board) has mentioned some natures of illegal contact– “charges, jumps, kicks or attempts to kick, pushes, strikes or attempts to strike (including headbutt), tackles or challenges, and trips or attempts to trip. If a player commits one of these offenses in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless, or using excessive force” (LAW 12 – IFAB)
Careless illegal contact
According to LAW 12 of IFAB, an athlete is careless if he does not project much attention towards his opponent while chasing for the ball. This kind of Illegal touch is unintentional, yet it demonstrates carelessness. If the referee believes that the participant has made contact without caring about it, they may penalize the player a foul for being “careless.”
Reckless illegal contact
According to LAW 12, reckless illegal contact refers to those contacts where the athlete is unconcerned about whether the touch is injurious to their opponent or not. Whenever a participant competes for the ball by sliding towards a goalkeeper, understanding perfectly well that their boots will land up in the goalkeeper’s face is a reckless contact.
Illegal contact of excessive force
According to LAW 12, excessive force shows if an athlete applies extra force while shooting the ball without considering the security of their opposition.
Accidental contact in Soccer
Accidental contact may happen in any event with many moving participants at high speeds in a particular boundary. As we have mentioned earlier, soccer is an active game. So, losing control while running with the ball is quite common. In soccer, the athlete interaction does not always fit cleanly into the legal or illegal classifications. This sort of encounter may even be classified as pure poor luck or accident.
For example, in an attempt to save a ball, a goalie bangs his elbow into the goal area. On the other hand, when multiple athletes come in for a head ball, perhaps one of them ends up hitting another player. None of the situations has been purposely created. So, it goes in the category of accidental contact.
What are the Rules of Soccer about Contact?
There are some terms like fair contact or tackle in the game of soccer.
A fair contact attempt is defined as two attackers battling for the ball side by side in soccer. In addition, the players are unable to grab or pull the competitor who is attempting to catch the ball. Any kind of interaction should not be prompted by the individual who has the ball.
Fair charging usually requires a foot race for position between opponents within a reasonable playable range of the football. Both of the players cannot use their elbows or arms while tackling the ball. But they can apply shoulder-to-shoulder moves if the opponents physically attack someone else with the sole goal of gaining the football.
In tackling, participants need to deal with physical contact. The defenders mostly use tackling in their playtime. Tackling, on the other hand, is perhaps the quickest technique to recover control of the ball.
Players also often use slide tackles to capture the control of the ball. Furthermore, a sliding tackle may turn into a fair or unfair task, but the odds of an unjust hit are always higher. The referee will consider the tackle as fair when the athlete will make contact with the ball first before his opponent.
Is soccer a high or low contact sport?
Soccer isn’t a sport with a lot of physical contacts. The main contact is with the feet and the ball. There is a chance to show aggressiveness in the games that mainly have been played with the arm. The main difference between soccer and other sports is here. In soccer, players are not allowed to be as aggressive with their hands. It also limits the movement of the physical contact. Though some players eventually show their aggressiveness. But there are certain rules to discipline all the participants.
On the other hand, it will not be right to declare soccer as a low contact game also. Because the physical contact of feet, shoulder, and head are sometimes allowed if the athletes are following the rules perfectly. So, the players contact each other neutrally while playing soccer.
Today’s soccer regulations are non-contact focused and designed to improve the game’s basic security, unlike a few years ago, when pushing and pulling, hard-tackling, and the excessive use of force were frequent. Soccer is a mediocre contact sport because of how the game works and how intensely active it is.