Can you explain to me the proper ways to do slide tackles?My understanding is when the ball is controlled at the attackers feet, that there is no way to execute it without alot of luck.ÊLuck meaning the attacking player was not wiped out.——-The attacking player with the ballÊis going down almost all the timeÊfrom the defender executing the slide tackle. A foul (correct ?) even if the ball is struck first.——-The sliding leg of the defender has to be the one closest to the attacker with the ball ( approaching the attackerÊfrom the left side means the slide tackle from the defender has to slide with the right leg to strike ball) if this not down, a foul (correct ?)———–My understanding of the proper way, is the ball has to be a couple of feet (2-3) in front of the attacker with the ball, the defender still has to use the leg to strike the ball that is on the same side as the attacker, and if executed this way, there is no foul because the attacker has a chance of defensive moves from the tackle. The other way mentioned the attacker has no chance at all.ÊÊThe above examples are with players moving at full speed. This is explained how, so I can easily relay this to the appropriate people in our league.

USSF answer (April 17, 2007):
We have not responded to your question in the way you requested, but we think we have answered it in the only way possible. In brief, there is only one way to slide tackle– safely. And when it is not safe, it is almost always so unsafe as to require a red card for serious foul play.

The term “slide tackle” refers to an attempt to tackle the ball away from an opponent while sliding on the ground. A slide tackle is legal, provided it is performed legally. In other words, there is nothing illegal about a slide tackle by itself–no matter where it is done and no matter the direction from which it comes. Referees (and spectators) should not get hung up on the term “slide” tackling. There is nothing in our concern regarding endangering the safety of the opponent which limits this to a slide tackle. In fact, if, in the opinion of the referee, the tackle endangers the safety of the opponent, it makes no difference if there is contact or not.

FIFA emphasized in the past the great danger in slide tackles from behind because, if this tackle is not done perfectly, the potential for injury is so much greater. Nowadays, if the referee decides that the foul while tackling from any direction–from the front, the side, or the rear–was done in such a way as to endanger the safety of the opponent, the proper action is to send the violator off the field with a red card.

How can tackles become illegal? Two of the most common ways are by making contact with the opponent first (before contacting the ball) and by striking the opponent with a raised upper leg before, during, or after contacting the ball with the lower leg. Referees must be vigilant and firm in assessing any tackle, because the likely point of contact is the lower legs of the opponent and this is a particularly vulnerable area.

The referee must judge each situation of a tackle from any direction individually, weighing the guidelines published by FIFA and the U. S. Soccer Federation, the positions of the players, the way the tackler uses his/her foot or feet, the “temperature” of the game, the age/skill of the players, and the attitude of the players. Only then can the referee make a sensible decision.

While one may (and should) sympathize with the injured player, soccer is a tough, competitive sport, and injuries can happen with no associated infringement of the Law. Players who act on the basis of the opposite presumption, abetted by like-minded spectators, do the sport no good.

For the sake of those who would punish any tackle, we ask that players and referees alike remember that it is not a foul if a sliding tackle is successful and the player whose ball was tackled away then falls over the tackler’s foot. It has to be in the opinion of the referee, but if the tackler accomplishes the objective of taking the ball safely and within the meaning of the Law, then it makes no difference if the player who was tackled then falls down. With a big “UNLESS”: if, in the referee’s opinion, the tackler has used excessive force, then the tackler should be sent off for serious foul play. Or, if the tackler makes the tackle and then lifts either the tackling foot or the other foot and trips the opponent, that is a foul. Simply because a player falls over the foot of the tackler is not a dangerous thing. It’s one of the breaks of the game.

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