Is Soccer A Contact Sport? (Full Guide)

This was the highlight of my day when I and some other sports fanatics were discussing contact sports. And during the conversation, we had opposite views about if soccer or football is a contact sport or not. I wouldn’t want to be caught in the act but it’s a question that captivated my interest and I would love to chip in with my own opinion.

Of course, I did chip in my view but I was kind of wrong, and that’s part of the reason why I decided to turn the scene and all I learned into a post. Let me ask you; Is football a contact sport?

Soccer is one sport where body contact is necessary and is, therefore, a contact sport. It has been a contact sport since its inception and this cannot be argued or disputed. 

After all, tackling to win the ball in a game of soccer would surely result in a player making contact with an opponent although the move can be penalized based on the level of aggression deployed. 

READ: 10 Best Soccer Video Games (2023) – Full Guide

This has resulted in the moderation of the game at various levels to reduce violence which has also been seen occasionally in soccer games. Meanwhile, soccer would be weird if all forms of bodily contact is barred. Regardless, without further ado, in this post, you will learn from this article;

  • Contact sports and examples
  • What constitutes a contact sport
  • If soccer is a contact sport or not
  • Can contact be made in soccer?
  • What sport has more contact between soccer and basketball
  • The benefits of contact sport

And lots more.

What Are Contact Sports And Examples

A contact sport is a sport that involves physical contact between players. The term may be used in two senses: It is a general term to describe any sport which involves physical contact between players, and in which athletes are likely to incur injuries. 

In this sense, almost every sport will be a contact sport, since athletes will almost always be at risk of incurring some kind of injury while participating in a sport. 

In a stricter sense, as a sport that is explicitly defined as being a contact sport. This is how the term is used in this article. 

In this sense, there are only a few sports that are explicitly defined as being contact sports, including rugby, American football, ice hockey, lacrosse, field hockey, and other sports where players are permitted to make physical contact with each other while playing the game.

READ: Why Do Soccer Players Wear Bra?

However, here are grades to contact who could share more insight into the topic;

  • Noncontact
  • Full contact
  • Semi contact
  • Limited contact

1. Non-Contact Sport

Non-contact sports are sports in which physical contact between players is not required and is almost possible for players to make contact with each other in the sport. Examples of non-contact sports include golf, tennis, swimming, and bowling.

2. Full Contact Sport

A full-contact sport is a sport in which players are allowed to make contact with each other to an extensive level, often with the intent of taking the opponent out of the play. The objective of the game is often to physically overpower the opponent or to knock them down. 

Examples of full-contact sports include American Football, Rugby, Australian Rules Football, and Boxing, among others. The level of rules and regulations may vary between different sports, but full-contact sports usually carry a higher injury risk than non-contact or limited-contact sports.

3. Semi Contact Sport

Semi-contact sport refers to a martial art or combat sport where physical contact is limited or controlled. This is in contrast to full-contact sports, where full-force strikes and impacts are allowed. 

Examples of semi-contact sports include Kyokushin karate, kickboxing (with certain rulesets), and some forms of taekwondo. In these sports, fighters typically use light to moderate contact to score points, to outscore one’s opponent rather than cause injury.

4. Limited Contact Sport

Limited contact sport refers to a type of sport or activity that involves less physical contact between players compared to full-contact sports. Examples of limited-contact sports include badminton, golf, and swimming. 

These sports typically have lower rates of injury and are considered to be less physically demanding than full-contact sports such as football or hockey.

Is Soccer A Contact Sport?

Yes, soccer is typically considered a contact sport because, in football games, it’s almost impossible to avoid physical contact with your opponent in any form.

READ: What Is A Yellow Card In Soccer?

To get it right, while players may collide or come into contact with each other during a game, the aim is to play the ball, not the opposing players. In addition, soccer is not a full-contact sport, Noncontact sport, or semi-contact sport but football can be considered a limited-contact sport.

Most fouls in soccer are the result of unsportsmanlike conduct, such as tripping or pushing, rather than aggressive physical contact.

Is Contact Allowed in Soccer?

Furthermore, the answer is yes, although the contact is regulated as officials can penalize a soccer player if the level of aggression is way above what is allowed in a player’s quest to make contact in a soccer game. 

As we noted earlier, players would make contact if they go into a tackle during a soccer match although the contact must be with the ball first and not the opponent. 

Making contact with a player or an opponent before the ball would result in a foul and the player can be given a verbal warning, a yellow card, or a red card depending on the severity of the contact that was made.

In a soccer game, players are permitted to tussle with each other even shoulder-to-shoulder charges are occasionally allowed. 

For instance, in the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League Round-of-16 game between Real Madrid and PSG at the Bernabeu, Karim Benzema did a shoulder charge against PSG goalie Gianluigi Donnarumma and it resulted in a goal. The referee on the night ignored the goalkeeper’s calls for a foul for the incident.

If the players engage in an act of pushing an opponent or pulling the opponent’s shirt, they could be penalized and this is the case most of the time for this kind of contact in soccer.

We’ve seen soccer players receive plaudits for how physical and bullish they are, on and off the ball. 

These players leverage their strength and physicality to their advantage against their opponents, albeit within the rules of the game. The likes of Didier Drogba, Diego Costa, and Virgil van Dijk, amongst others, have received plaudits for their physicality.

We’ve also seen teams that received plaudits for their physicality. For instance, some years back in the Premier League, Stoke City were a very physical side and carried out their dominance of teams within the rules of the game before they were relegated. 

READ: 10 Premier League Players With The Most Titles

The same also applies to Sean Dyche’s Burnley in the Premier League who are one of the most physical sides but have maintained their place in the league.

Is Soccer A More Contact Sport Than Basketball

This is one of the most common questions asked by people who are not familiar with the sports world. A lot of people think that basketball is not a contact sport, but the truth is that it is a contact sport. 

Both football and basketball are considered to be limited contact sports; basketball is generally considered to be less of a contact sport than soccer. However, Basketball fails in all three criteria for being a less contact sport.

While soccer players may make physical contact with each other during plays such as tackling or blocking, the contact typically may be intense or not and it doesn’t occur often as in basketball, where players are constantly bumping, pushing, and jostling for position on the court.

In addition, there may be a lot of contact in basketball, which the referee may accept until it hurts the game. And in contrast to full-contact sports like rugby where it is perfectly legal to knock a player off the ball, or even to the ground in several ways, basketball players are typically not allowed to bump or knock a player down.

However, you can only bump an opponent with your forearm in the paint on defense while offensive players are allowed to back down defenders. You must know that if a player is found guilty of aggressive contact, he or she will be fined or dismissed from the game.

Do Contact Sports Increase Testosterone?

Yes, contact sports increase testosterone and some studies show that adequate physical contact can improve the testosterone levels in the blood level. 

Also, It can help boost mood, immunity, and energy levels. So, if you’re looking to boost your testosterone levels, then you can indulge yourself in playing any contact sport. But keep in mind that you should play it regularly and in moderation. 

There’s more research that needs to be done to determine the best way to boost testosterone levels through physical contact. Until then, it’s best not to take supplements or try other drastic methods to boost your testosterone.

READ: What Is A Fullback In Soccer? (Complete Guide)

What Constitutes A Contact Sport

Now, one thing that we missed while discussing the topic is that there isn’t a specific set of guidelines that define a contact sport. So, what exactly constitutes a contact sport? Well, it’s a combination of two things;

  • The rules of the game. 
  • the nature of the equipment used. 

For example, American football, which is probably the most popular example of a contact sport, uses a round ball. And the rules of the game are such that players are allowed to make physical contact with each other. 

So, when you put the round ball and the physical contact rules together, it becomes a contact sport. Similarly, hockey is a great example of a contact sport. However, ice hockey uses a puck instead of a round ball. 

The puck is much smaller than the round ball, so it makes it much easier for players to make physical contact with each other.

What Are The Benefits Of Contact Sport

As we have discussed above, there are many benefits of playing a contact sport. So, let’s take a look at some of the benefits: 

Healthy Body: Regular physical activity promotes good health. It helps you lose weight, reduces your risk of heart disease, boosts your immune system, and keeps your joints healthy. 

Confidence Booster: If you’re a shy person, then sports can be a great way to break out of your shell. When you play a team sport, you have to communicate with your teammates. 

Better Communication: You can’t win a game without teamwork. So, playing a team sport is a great way to improve your communication skills.

READ: What Is A Friendly In Soccer? (Full Guide)

In Summary

So, I believe you now understand that soccer Is a typical limited-contact sport, and also basketball. And in this post, you’ve learned what contact sports are and what constitutes a contact sport.

Also, I shared how playing a contact sport can help the body.