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Slide Tackles in Youth Soccer from Jim

There is currently a spirited discussion in our soccer club regarding restricting slide tackles at a certain age group. Currently it is not introduced before the Under 9 age group.

Some club leaders wish to prohibit slide tackles until the players reach the Under 12 level.

I beleive this important defensive technic should taught to 9 and at least 10 year olds. Although I don't recall any injuries resulting from slide tackles, some feel we should prohibit this.

As in baseball, it is important to treach the players how to slide. In soccer, an illegal slide into the player insrtead of the ball, results in a penalty--a costly mistake! An incorrect slide tackle resulting in missing the ball, leaves the defender on his butt and out of the play--also a costly mistake. However, a proper slide tackle is an effective tool to stop a dangerous attack--especially when the attacker is swift and the full back is often a much slower athlete.

Any thoughts on this topic I could share with my soccer club?


Jim Simkalo

Hi Jim,

Thanks for asking me this question.

I consider the slide tackle enormously dangerous. My opinion is not only to forbid it at the youth ages but even on a professional level. More and more often, the greatest soccer players are getting injured in this situation. Just last month Totti had an ankle broken from a slide tackle and Rooney, just few days ago, broke a bone in his foot.

The speed and power of modern soccer is greatly increased. In any slide tackle on the ball, running side to side, many times the foot or the ankle is getting hit after having hit the ball. On slide from other angles the injury is almost sure, if the opponent doesn't jump to avoid the impact.

I hope that really soon FIFA will do something to avoid these kind of deadly impacts.

So, coming back to youth players, it's also my wish that really soon the slide tackle will be eliminated. I'm sorry that you are of a different opinion. In my life, I played at the highest level and I've seen hundreds of injuries directly or on TV and the more time passes the more they are getting frequent for the increase of the violence of the impact.


Coach Gianni

Posted on 03 May 2006 by coachgianni
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