Obstruction In Soccer (Find Out The True Meaning Of This Soccer Term!)

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Last Updated on March 17, 2021 by Daniel Cuttridge

Obstruction happens in a soccer match when a player intentionally tries to interfere, slow down, or obstruct an opponent’s movements from gaining the possession of the ball or from scoring. Most soccer lovers and fanatics don’t really know the difference between impede and obstructions in soccer. That’s why they complain or agitate for a foul or possibly a penalty against their proposed offender in a match. Obstruction is illegal and it can result in a penalty or free-kick against the offender and also a possible card too. In this article, we are going to talk about Obstruction in soccer and some of the major offenses in soccer.

In the NFL, obstruction is likewise referred to as impeding an opponent’s progress (like when a player doesn’t have the possession of the ball but tries to stop an opponent from also gaining the possession of the ball. However, the NFL style blocking tactics are not allowed in soccer. It is a foul and can result to further punishment from the referee.

The only part of the game where you can shield the ball is when you have the possession of the ball within a playing distance. However, shielding the ball is not allowed when the ball isn’t within the playing distance. For instance, a player stepping in front of his opponent 10 yards from the ball to halt his progress and thereby allowing his teammate to gain possession of the ball instead.

The Table Below Contains The Fouls In Soccer.

Major Soccer OffensesJumping at an opponentAttempting to injure an opponentCharging an opponent in a very violent or dangerous wayTripping an opponentHolding down an opponent  
Other Minor OffensesOffside playCharging a goalkeeper Deliberate delaying of the game by the goalkeeper or any playerInstruction or InterferenceCharging an opponent with no intention of playing the ball  
MisconductUnsportsmanlike or “Ungentlemanly” conductContinuously breaking the other rulesTo enter or exit the field of play, a permission must be given by the refereeAny dissent shown to the referee, either by action or verbally  

For some time now, the rule of obstruction has been active in soccer but it doesn’t exist in the game anymore. Obstruction in soccer is now known as the act of impeding an opponent’s movement or progress, meaning that a player deliberately moves into his opponent’s path to force a change of direction, obstruct, slow down or even block when he doesn’t have the ball in playing distance. For this offense, an indirect free-kick is given by the referee. You can however, hardly see anything like obstruction in today’s fast paced game, because once a contact is made, it becomes a foul for some reasons.

Fouls in soccer are mainly about common sense in reality. Plays that are prohibited are covered by Law 12 and in Law 13, fouls committed usually results in either a free-kick or penalty kick if the foul is committed in the penalty area. Fouls in soccer can be sub-divided into major offenses, minor offenses, and misconduct.

Top 9 Major Soccer Offenses

We have outlined nine major offenses included in the rules manual, which if any is committed, its considered soccer fouls and will definitely result in a direct free-kick. So, in no particular order, here are the nine offenses in soccer;

1. Jumping at an opponent

2. Attempting to injure an opponent

3. Charging an opponent in a very violent or dangerous way

4. Tripping an opponent

5. Holding down an opponent

6. Trying or kicking an opponent

7. Charging an opponent from behind in a dangerous way

8. Handling the ball

9. Pushing an opponent

Other Minor Offenses

Any offender of these offenses will have an indirect free-kick awarded against his team;

1. Offside play

2. Charging a goalkeeper

3. Deliberate delaying of the game by the goalkeeper or any player

4. Instruction or Interference

5. Charging an opponent with no intention of playing the ball

6. Holding a ball in your hands as a goalkeeper after receiving a pass from your teammate

7. Goalkeeper handling the ball outside the box 18

8. Dangerous play

Misconduct

An indirect free-kick or a yellow card will be given if any of these offenses are committed;

1. Unsportsmanlike or “Ungentlemanly” conduct

2. Continuously breaking the other rules

3. To enter or exit the field of play, a permission must be given by the referee

4. Any dissent shown to the referee, either by action or verbally

However, a red card will be shown by the referee of any of these offenses is committed;

1. Commits a serious foul or a violent foul

2. Receives a second yellow card

3. Uses a foul language, resist or abusive languages on the field will lead to a red card

Is There An Obstruction Rule In Football?

Yes, of course! A player cannot challenge an opposition’s goalkeeper when in control of the ball with his hands. Moving into the path of an opponent to slow down, block, obstruct, or force a change of direction is what is called impeding the progress of an opponent when the  isn’t with playing distance of the two players.  

Is Shielding Legal In Soccer?

Players are allowed to shield the ball when they are in complete possession of it. However, if a player does not have the ball within a playing distance or possibly couldn’t play the ball legally, he cannot shield the ball. If he does that, it means he has impeded the progress of an opponent, which is a foul and he might be penalized further by the referee.

What Is An Obstruction In Soccer?

When the progress of a player is impeded by his opponent, it results to an “indirect kick foul” in soccer. Impeding used to be called “obstruction”. As a player, you cannot use your body to impede another player’s movements, deliberate or not!

Final Words

The bottom line is that moving into the path of an opponent to slow down, block, obstruct, or force a change of direction is what is called impeding or obstructing the progress of an opponent when the isn’t with playing distance of the two players. We’ve come to the end of this informative article. We hope you were able to find resources in your quest to know what obstruction means in soccer. Please do not hesitate to contact us for questions or comments. Thanks!

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