Today’s topic is a discussion of the amazing plays that are not allowed in OCASL games.
The bicycle kick, if done properly, is one of the more exciting individual plays in the professional game. And there is no doubt that there are some players in OCASL who are capable of executing the play without danger. But… we disallow all bicycle kicks and award an indirect free kick to the opponents, regardless of how dangerous or safe the execution is. We are worried about head and neck injuries to the kicker, either from collision with the ground, or collision with a teammate or opponent. And we are worried about the possibility of injuring players with the high boot on a ball that might conceivably be played with the head by another player.
Similar problems with the diving header require us to ban those as well. Playing the ball with the head on a ball that is below the waist can be dramatic, but can also lead to terrible head or neck injuries when a teammate or opponent attempts to play the same ball with his foot.
So to be clear, a diving header is just that – the player employs a diving motion to play the ball with her head when the ball is at waist level or lower. The restart is an indirect free kick for the opponents.
Next, the slide tackle.
Sliding is legal. Sliding to play the ball is legal. For what it’s worth, “Toe poking” is also legal. But sliding to tackle the ball away from an opponent is not legal. So, if no opponent is nearby, slide to your heart’s content. If there is an opponent nearby, then stay on your feet.
If your slide tackle connects with an opponent, the restart is a direct free kick. In fact, if your opponent goes to ground trying to avoid your slide tackle, that also, is a direct free kick. Slide tackles that don’t connect with the opponent are restarted with an indirect free kick. Remember that fouls occurring inside the penalty area that would normally be direct free kick restarts are restarted with a penalty kick.
Watch the first few slide tackles in the video, then watch the one that starts in the 34th second. Most OCASL referees will not consider that one to be a slide tackle; it is more of a toe poke because the defender reaches out with one foot and pokes the ball away from the attacker.
One final note: you may legally play the ball while you are on the ground, as long as you don’t put yourself or anyone else in danger. This isn’t special to OCASL, it’s consistent with FIFA/USSF. Most referees will stop play if you are in the way of an opponent trying to play the ball. That is, if a nearby opponent can’t get to the ball without going through a player on the ground, then the player on the ground has committed a foul (indirect free kick restart).
We don’t allow slide tackles, bicycle kicks and diving headers simply because we just don’t have so many players that we can afford to lose any. Stay safe, play hard, have fun…