I have noticed players standing in a line to block free kicks in the World Cup, with some teams choosing to have a player lay along the ground to block lower shots.

Are there any rules preventing teams from stacking players? For example: 3 players standing as the base holding 2 players elevated?

I realize it may not be the greatest strategy for defending, but is it allowed?

  • I wouldn't want to be a player standing on the shoulders of others, and to take a direct hit of the ball, off the boot of Marcus Rashford's left foot. One might end up in the back of the net.
    – WS2
    Dec 10, 2022 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


I don't believe there is anything in the Laws of the Game (most likely Law 12.3 "Disciplinary Action") which would specifically forbid this; Law 12.3 does include the catch-all allowing a player to be cautioned if they "show a lack of respect for the game" which a referee could use if they felt it necessary.

That said, the rules for sports in general don't need to include things forbidding behaviour which is likely to result to degrade a team/player's performance because there's no need for it unless people are being deliberately silly - in which case the "lack of respect for the game" clause does come into play.

  • I'm pretty sure such action would not be legal. I just need to find something in the LotG to quote for an own answer.
    – dly
    Dec 9, 2022 at 21:27

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