Can You Slide Tackle in American Football? Updated 2023!

Updated on 
January 17, 2023

Are you playing American football and are wondering what are the restrictions when it comes to tackling? You're in the right place!

So you and your buddy made a bet over a cold one and now you're sweating bullets to find out the answer? Don't worry, I've got you covered. I made a research on my own, asked questions on Reddit and found the answers!

Can you slide tackle in American football?

Slide tackling is not allowed in American football. American football players are allowed to tackle opponents only with player's arms and shoulders, not their feet. Slide tackling is a common technique used in soccer to take possession of the ball from an opponent, but not in American football.

The source of this claim is Wikipedia and official rules of NFL. Also, one Reddit user with name u/petros08 responded with answer:

"Any use of the foot or leg to obstruct an oponnent is a tripping foul and a 10 yard penalty."

So it seems like we have an answer!

Why can't you slide tackle in football?

In American football, slide tackling is not used because it is not a legal move.

The rules of NFL prohibit players from slide tackling or attempting to slide tackle a player.

This is because a sliding player is considered to be dangerous and such a contact could result in injury. You can also check our other article where we give you an answer if it's alright to tackle below the knees in NFL.

Instead, in American football, players use tackling techniques that involve hitting the opponent with their shoulders or wrapping their arms around the opponent's legs - exactly as we discussed already in the beginning.

Can you tackle with your legs in American football?

No, tackling with the legs is not allowed in American football. Players are not allowed to make contact with the opponent below the waist, and use of legs to tackle or trip is considered illegal and results in penalty.

To mention this once again, the primary method of tackling in American football is to use the shoulders and upper body to hit and wrap up the opponent.

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Tom Lindeman
Ball Athlete project
Hey! My name is Tom and I created this blog in order to help people wherever they are in their sport journey. Inspirational posts, guides, reviews and much more! Read about the project here.
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