Based on the rules, football is a contact sport. Some say that this is not a contact sport, but the truth is that it is. With up to 22 players running around competing for the ball, the chance for physical contact is very high.

And, unfortunately, in some cases, accidents can happen. There are three types of contact in this sport. There is legal contact, illegal contact, and accidental contact.

Below, you can learn more about each type. This information will help you understand better why soccer is a contact sport.

Legal contact

Legal contact means ’’shoulder to shoulder’’ between two players from different teams. For example, two players running side-by-side, pursuing the moving ball in front of them.

Also, this contact occurs with opponents facing one another or from behind. When performed properly, both these examples represent a ’’fair change’’ in football.

During the performance of a fair change, each player will have at least one foot on the ground. Plus, there won’t be used any excessive force. A fair change can result in some cases in a player being put to the ground.

A fair challenge involves a defender cleanly contacting the ball first. Sometimes, the offensive player falls down, after tripping over the stopped ball.

Illegal contact

Illegal contact in football includes improper kicks, charges, jumps, strikes, and trips. It is also illegal to charge properly, but with the ball not within playing distance.

It is an illegal contact on the defensive team when a defensive back makes illegal contact. This could mean interfering with a wide receiver more than five yards from the line of scrimmage.

At the beginning of the game, wide receivers and defensive backs can make contact to gain an edge over the other. Yet, after five yards, they are not allowed to make substantial contact anymore.

Soccer coaches must teach their players three important concepts. The first concept is legal and illegal contact. The second concept is respect for the opponent. The third concept is trying to avoid injury at the time of contact.

Accidental contact

Sometimes, there is a player contact in football who doesn’t fall neatly into legal or illegal categories. This type of contact can only be bad luck or misfortune.

In fact, it can occur in any sport with many players, not only in soccer. There can always be unfortunate collisions. For example, two football players can go up together for a head ball.

This can end up hitting the other player. Another example is a player running at full speed who doesn’t see the opponent. There can also be other accidental contacts that don’t involve another person.

A goalkeeper tries to make a save and he accidentally puts his wrist into the goalpost. Also, a player can get hit with the ball because he doesn’t have enough time to react. All these examples are most unfortunate.

Yet, they are real instances of another aspect of football. All forms of contact in this sport must be recognized and understood. This will help players understand the risks and pay more attention when playing.

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