Futsal Slide tackles

This is a touchy topic in Futsal because short of the international level, referees typically do not permit players to leave their feet to play the ball. With a hard court surface being used, it means that players that fall down will experience more force and are more likely to be injury.

The rationale was simple. Keep players safe.

Before you can go on to understand the rules, you must understand the history behind it.

2010 was a seismic year for futsal when FIFA introduced numerous law changes that modified the way the game was played everywhere. Unfortunately, the changes did not filter down to the grassroots level as effectively as might be hoped.

Old Interpretation

There are two key terms to keep in mind.

  • Sliding
  • Slide tackling


Sliding is the act of playing the ball when no opponent is in playing distance of the ball. Playing distance quite simply means that they are able to play the ball and is often defined as one metre or one yard. There is no offence for sliding. Popular reasons for sliding are to keep the ball in play or to save a shot on goal.

Slide tackling

Slide tackling is challenging for the ball when an opponent is in playing distance of the ball. If the referee deems this dangerous, it will be considered an offence and penalised accordingly.

  • If contact is made, a direct free kick is awarded (or a penalty kick if the offence occurs inside the offending team’s own penalty area) and an accumulated foul recorded.
  • If no contact is made, an indirect free kick is awarded for playing in a dangerous manner.

New Interpretation

Consider these guidelines (not referenced from anywhere) and ignore any definitions above:

  • The slide tackle should not be deemed dangerous by the referee. If the slide tackle forces a player to jump to avoid it or trip over it while in natural movement, it’s dangerous.
  • The tackle makes no contact with any player at all.

The FIFA Futsal Laws of the Game does not specifically state any of the above so slide tackles should be governed much like they are in football and much like the guidelines I described. However, this is rarely seen on local courts depending on your area but be aware of what the league enforces and be consistent.

2 comments on “Futsal Slide tackles

  1. David McMillan says:

    Glad I found this site , some really great info
    I’ll be reading a lot more and commenting soon
    It’s people like you who help us more than the Laws of the game some of this info not in Laws of the game but should be

  2. Flebrun Priv says:

    What an interesting and important futsal topic indeed. Futsal, in my point of view, must stay the very pecial place where players are protected, a unique place where technical abilities must be improved and shown, where gifted and fair players are better protected. Football is NOT futsal. Football and futsal differ on a very central notion : contact. A pitch made of grass is not the same as an indoor pitch… The first allow physical contact and fair challenge including opponent falls. Futsal does not. Futsal can’t be played with the same physical spirit and fulfillment… The use of sliding-tackle should is essential and be more defined and restricted by FIFA in that point of view. A sliding-tackle should not produce any contact and should only be used as a defensive action in the sense of “barrage tackle”. Otherwise futsal could lose its technical advantage and become a new football but indoor…

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