Player safety is our top priority -- our league strictly prohibits slide tackling in any game
Slide tackling is prohibited in all matches. Players are permitted to slide to play a ball provided they are NOT in proximity to any other player. If in the referees opinion the slide tackle is reckless and could injure a player, a Caution (Yellow Card) MUST be issued. If in the referees opinion a slide tackle is violent with intent to injure a player deliberately, the player will be ejected (Red Card).
Further Clarification of Slide tackling: The League does not allow slide tackling; this is a safety rule for the League. Does that mean that a player can never leave their feet? No! A player may slide to make a play on the ball, provided there are no other players within playing distance of the ball. Like with most other soccer laws, it is the judgment of the referee that will determine whether another player is within playing distance of the ball when a slide tackle is taken. Thus, you don't have to touch or make contact with another player to have violated the leagues law on slide tackling.
Note about goalkeepers: A goalkeeper may slide to make a save, provided that in doing so they do not violate the law against slide tackling. While incidental contact may occur, a goalkeeper sliding to cradle the ball will not be penalized. If contact is made due to a goalkeeper sliding toward an opponent leading with the feet, the slide tackle law would apply.
Referees are asked to enforce two new elements to the law (in italics). The updated Law now states: "Slide tackling, or the attempt to slide tackle, is prohibited in all matches and MUST be Cautioned with offending player then going to the Sin Bin. Players are permitted to slide to play a ball provided they are NOT in proximity to any other player (Opponent or teammate). If in the referee’s opinion a slide tackle is violent with intent to injure a player deliberately, the player will be ejected (Red Card). A goalie is permitted to slide within their box to MAKE A SAVE, but CANNOT slide solely to tackle the ball away from an attacker. If the goalie slides within their box to make a tackle (and not a save using their arms/body), they are guilty of a slide tackle and must be cautioned and sent to the Sin Bin (or red carded if violent). ALL restarts for slide tackling fouls are an Indirect Free Kick, including those which occur in the Box.
Situation A: An attacker is advancing with the ball, and a defender slides to tackle the ball away. The attacker manages to avoid the slide and continues their attack successfully. In this instance, the referee should apply advantage and let the attack continue ONLY if it results in an immediate goal scoring opportunity. If it does he lets the attack conclude and then comes back and cautions the player who slid. Should the advantage not result in an immediate goal scoring opportunity, the referee MUST stop play, come back to the spot of the infraction, award an IDFK to the attacking team, and caution the player who slid. Rationale: The slide tackled occurred in proximity to another player and MUST be cautioned.
Situation B: A ball is going out of touch and a player, not in proximity to any other player(s), slides to keep the ball inbounds. The referee should NOT stop play. Rationale: Sliding when not a tackle or in proximity to another player is permissible.
Situation C: An attacker on a breakaway enters the box in a one-on-one situation with the keeper. The keeper comes off their line and slides head first with arms outreached to make a save, grasping the ball and pulling it to their chest. The attacker makes contact with the goalie, flying head over heels over the goalkeeper. The Referee should NOT stop play for a slide tackle. Rationale: In this instance, the goalie clearly put himself at risk to make a save, not a tackle. A goalie is permitted to go to the ground to make a save.
Situation D: Attacker A makes a pass to a teammate Attacker B in an on-side position in the box. The goalie, anticipating the pass, comes off their line and slides to intercept the pass just before it reaches Attacker B. In close proximity to Attacker B, the Keeper as a result of their slide successfully kicks the ball away. The referee should stop play for an illegal slide tackle and Caution the Keeper and send them to the Sin Bin. The restart is an IDFK in the box for the attacking team. Rationale: A Keeper within their box can only slide to make a save, not a tackle. In almost every case, if a Keeper is attacking the ball feet first, it is almost certainly a tackle. If the keeper is diving head first, or clearly reaching for the ball with their hands, they are clearly attempting to make a safe. In this case, he was in proximity to another player and slid to tackle the ball away, not make a save, and must be cautioned.
Situation E: Two players from the same team rush towards a ball that is not in anyone’s possession. As they near the ball, one of the teammates decides to slide to gain possession while his teammate, in close proximity, continues to run to the ball. The referee should stop play, caution the player who slid and send the player to the Sin Bin, and restart play with an IDFK for the opponent.
Situation F: An attacker is advancing with the ball down the wing. The defender, seeing that they are beat, attempts to make a slide tackle from the side of the attacker but conducts the slide too late and after the attacker has advanced 5 or 6 yards past him. If the referee judges that the slide was so late to no longer be within playing distance to another player, he should allow play to continue and does not need to come back to caution the player who slid. Rationale: The referee determined that the slide did not occur in proximity to another player, and therefore was not a “tackle” and is permissible.
Situation G: An attacker with the ball is moving toward the goal. An defending player moves to intercept the attacker and begins to go to the ground in an attempt to impede the attacker. The defender then goes to one knee, but does not actually slide. The referee should stop play and Caution the player for “attempting to slide” to tackle the ball and send them to the Sin Bin. Rationale: The FXA Law prohibits slide tackling “or the attempt to slide tackle the ball.”
Situation H: A Keeper comes off their line to face an attacking player. While in their box, the Keeper slides in an attempt to make a save on the ball. Instead of grabbing the ball, however, the Keeper during their slide grabs the attacker’s legs, knocking the attacker off the ball. The Referee should immediately stop play an award a Penalty Kick to the Attacking team and apply any DOGSO requirements if in effect. Rationale: Although the Keeper conducted an illegal slide tackle, grabbing and tripping the attacking player is the more serious of the two fouls and must be sanctioned.
Situation I: An attacker enters the box and the goalie comes off their line to challenge the attacker. The attacker attempts to dribble around the goalie, who realizing he has lost an angle to the attacker, then slides feet first in an attempt to dispossess the attacker of the ball. This is a slide tackle and the goalie must be cautioned and sent to the Sin Bin. The restart is an IDFK at the spot of the infraction.
So here is the bottom line. The League wants to eliminate slide tackling. ALL slide tackles MUST be punished with a Caution. To be sanctioned as an infraction of the FXA Laws of Competition, the slide must be with the intent to tackle the ball AND in proximity (playing distance) to another player (teammate or opponent). If either of these is not evident (ie, wasn’t trying to tackle the ball or wasn’t in proximity to another player), there is no infraction. But if either is present, you MUST stop play, Caution the player, send them to the Sin Bin, and award an IDFK to the opponent. If you’re in doubt as to whether the slide was deliberate or not, you must stop play for the infraction and caution it. The purpose of the law is to protect the players. And although a keeper is permitted to go to the ground to make a save, in almost every circumstance if the keeper goes feet first they will be violating the law. If the go head or arm first, they are clearly attempting to make a save on the ball. If they are just sliding to kick the ball away from a teammate or opponent who is in playing distance to the ball, they MUST be cautioned and sent to the Sin Bin.