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In many ball sports played in Australia there is a familiar term "shepherding". Wikipedia describes it as this:

"Shepherding is the act of legally pushing, bumping or blocking an opposing player from gaining possession of the ball or reaching the contest."

Usually the person doing the shepherding is not in possession of the ball themselves.

Are there any rules in football which prevents one player from preventing an opposing player access to the ball either by blocking access to the ball or by blocking access for them to take the ball from the player in possession on your team?

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In hockey, that practice is known as "playing hockey". – corsiKa Feb 27 '12 at 17:12
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Yes, there is a rule against this. It is a part of Rule 12 "Fouls and misconduct" and it's called "Impeding the progress of an opponent" per page 116 of the FIFA rules. But it goes on to say that a player can "shield" the ball if it's within playing distance of the shielding player (and if the shielding player doesn't use their hands or body to contain the other player).

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The rule is also known as "obstruction". – Braamstruik Aug 4 '15 at 7:41
Well, not anymore. It was formerly known as obstruction. – studro Aug 5 '15 at 0:22

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