Take the 2-minute tour ×
Sports Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for participants in team and individual sport activities. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

share|improve this question
In hockey, that practice is known as "playing hockey". –  corsiKa Feb 27 '12 at 17:12

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Yes, there is a rule against this. It is 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).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.