What is a Tackle in Soccer?

It is clear that sometimes when playing or viewing soccer matches, certain movements occur. And if you observe some of the moves made by players on the soccer pitch, you will see that they were all carried out intentionally. As a good player, it is your sole responsibility to guard the goal post area against the opposing attacking team. 

During such periods where you defend the team’s goal area, some movements are bound to be made. Such body movements in soccer are what are known as “tackles”. 

And here in this post, we shall be looking in-depth at what a “tackle” is. Meanwhile, tackles happen anywhere on the pitch and must not be only when a team is defending. We’ve seen cases where strikers dispossess a goalkeeper or defender with a well-timed tackle, claim the ball and slot it into the net.

What Is A Tackle?

It is certainly possible that you might have, in one way or the other, heard of the phrase “tackling the ball”. This phrase describes a player’s action of trying to take the ball from an opponent. Over the years, I have seen this movement in a soccer match occur more than five times. It is seen as a common occurrence.


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Now, what is the term “Tackle”?

Going back to what our first question was, I can say a tackle is a sort of attacking move whereby one player tries to take the ball from the opposing player.

It can also be seen as a defensive movement in which a defender tries to recover the ball from the attacking opponent. Sometimes, some players carry out their tackle movements by sliding or by foot extension with the sole aim of recovering the ball.

This particular movement occurs in almost every soccer match. And it is a good defense mechanism for defenders.


Is Tackling Necessary In The Game Of Soccer?

Tackling is indeed a good defensive move. Not only does it help as a defensive move, but it also gives the team an edge over their opponent. 

Every defender must be good at tackling. With this defensive move, he gets to discover in time what his opponent has in mind.

Tackling gives a player a clue as to what his opponent is about to do since you can only tackle a player during a one-on-one experience. 

The chances of getting to know his next move are high. And by so doing, the chances of also scoring goals will be increased as long as there is a good tackling track.


Is Tackling Allowed in Soccer?

As long as the game of soccer is concerned, tackling will keep on existing. The dream of every player is to be the best and most relevant when it comes to soccer matters. 

And this can only be achieved by how well you play on the field, and as a good player, your defense matters a lot. Poor defense yields failure and this is exactly what happens in a weak soccer team. 

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Here, one of the ways to ensure a good ball defense is by tackling the opponent players on every side/juncture, because any loophole can create goal chances, and any goal made may or may not be easy to equalize.


Types Of Tackles

In soccer, tackling may occur in different ways, and I think there are 4 to 5 different tackling movements in total in soccer. Below is a list of them and how they work.

  • Block Tackling
  • Shoulder Tackling
  • Slide Tackling
  • Poke Tackling

Block Tackling

This is one of the most common and effective tacking mechanisms used by nearly every soccer defender. Just like the name implies, “block,” entails defending something against another, Block tackling is when a defender uses his foot to block the ball from making any progress. 

Most of the time, this tackling movement is used to prevent a player from making passes or goals. The blocking mechanism works well within the same space. 

For example, if a ball is crossed to an opposing player, then it will be recommendable for any attacking defender to shield the opposing player from making any ball strikes or passes. 


However, if the tackle is not well-timed or executed properly by a defender against an attacker in the 18-yard box, it could result in a penalty.

Shoulder Tackling (The Thigh and Roll Tackling)

Shoulder tackling involves the use of the shoulder by a soccer player to act as a wall of defense, preventing the ball from moving forward. 

Shoulder tackling in soccer is subdivided into two forms, which are the thigh and roll tackle and the thigh and drive tackle. These two types of tackling fall under shoulder tackling, and below is how the shoulder tackling mechanism works in soccer.

  • A defender might want to use the shoulder tackling mechanism by pressing towards his opponent’s area most of the time after he has given a quick pass to any of his teammates. By so doing, the defender uses his shoulder to act as a shield if and when he tries to make any ball movement.

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Slide Tackling

Just as the name implies, this form of tackling involves sliding. It is the most complex type of tackling and could be dangerous at times. Most of the time, a defender can decide to use this method. 

He slides towards the opposing player who is with the ball to stop the ball from moving to his teammates. 

He then grabs the ball and moves on with it. This method of tackling in the game of soccer can be seen as one of the most effective, but at times it can lead to injury or foul play, especially if two feet are used in the process. A red card would ensue in such a scenario.

Poke Tackling

This type of tackling involves a defender pushing or kicking the ball out of the leg of the opposing player. 


Poke tackling occurs more often than any other form of tackling. The defender runs either from the side or from behind, hitting the ball away from the opposing player.

Necessities For Making Good Tackles

Tackling is a skill, and only if you master it as a player will it be best for you. The several defensive moves made by defenders on the soccer pitch in the form of tackling determine how tough the team looks. Below are some of the necessary features to consider in tackling.


A good defender is expected to tackle his opponent on all edges. By so doing, the chances of making a goal point will be slim. And this can only be achieved by persistently defending against the ball.

Technical thinking

This is the most critical aspect of making a tackle. Technical thinking is required in soccer during the defense to enable the defender to quickly observe the next movement of the opposing player.


Is Tackling Allowed in Soccer?

Tackling is permitted in the game of soccer as it is one of the required skills and techniques in playing the game, but most of the time it becomes dangerous, which is why defending players are expected to carry out the process skillfully and tactically and with very little aggression as possible. 

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However, if the reverse is the case, the player will be given a suspension card and the play will be considered a foul.

Conclusion: What is a Tackle in Soccer?

Tackling is a defensive movement used in the game of soccer as well as other ball games to defend the ball and block chances for goals by the opposing team. 


This act in soccer comes in various forms as outlined in the article. It is one of the reasons why the game of soccer would easily pass for a contact sport