The word TACKLE is used variously in soccer coaching material, in general speaking and in referee laws and instructions.

It’s used by TV commentators to describe a player sliding to kick a ball out of bounds without an opponent being in close proximity.

Coaches teach a ‘block tackle’ which is often no more than a front-to-front confrontation that doesn’t touch the ball. Referees say a kick of the ball made by reaching between the legs of an opponent from behind, without touching the opponent, is a ‘poke’ while a reach in front of a player to drive the ball away is a ‘tackle.’ In relaxed conversation a tackle has to touch the ball – or not.

It’s all a bit confusing. Is there a standard description for the word TACKLE that applies to the Laws of the Game?

(I’m still unsatisfied with the MAKER of a throw-in being the TAKER of the throw-in and not the one taking it on foot, head or chest.)

USSF answer (July 29, 2008):
In the less-complicated world of the Laws of the Game and refereeing — in contrast to the complicated and overly-esoteric scientific world of the coach — a tackle is any play with the foot for a ball under the control of the opponent, whether the player contacts the ball with the foot or not. This includes “pokes,” “block tackles” or whatever other term the coach(es) may use. In all events, a “tackle” is not limited to “sliding”; a sliding tackle is simply a tackle performed in a particular way.

In addition, there is something in the Laws for 2008/2009 that applies to both “tackle” and “charge” (Law 12). Both terms refer to actions that occur many times during the game without violating the Law — they only become an offense if either is performed carelessly, recklessly, or with excessive force.

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