When I play recreational football, I pursue my man or a player a lot. Sometimes, out of nowhere, their back foot clip my thigh while running and they trip. It looks bad from far away and a foul is taken. I haven't done much besides running behind them or a bit on the side.

In another case, I was standing still and when the player twist and run, the same thing happen.

Is an unintentional clipping from behind considered as a foul in football?

  • 2
    wth? you're asking 2 questions here, one about football, and one about ultimate. The rules are going to be completely different for the two sports. Please split this question.
    – wax eagle
    Jul 20, 2012 at 15:05
  • @waxeagle - I agree. I've edited the question to remove the ultimate aspects. The OP can ask a new question if he wants an answer regarding ultimate.
    – Ste
    Jul 20, 2012 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


It's a short answer, but "Yes".

If you impede a player unfairly then your team will be penalised with the appropriate free-kick/penalty and possible card.

It doesn't matter if it's accidental or not, you have still impeded the player.

Law 12 (Misconduct) of the Laws of the Game state:

A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:


  • trips or attempts to trip an opponent

The key word here is "careless". When running behind a player you need to take care that you don't trip him. If you do, you will be penalised with a direct free-kick against your team.

  • Plus it's often a cynical way of stopping a player who's got past a defender.
    – ChrisH
    Jul 25, 2012 at 16:58

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