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Question Number: 32507

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/13/2018

RE: Under 6

jim of London, England asks...

If two players from the same team collide, what is the outcome, would the outcome be different if they both just slipped and hit each other or one purposely went in for a dangerous tackle? thank you

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jim,
If two players from the same team collide accidentally and neither is hurt, no action would be necessary, neither disciplinary action nor anything else.

At u-6 level if a player tackles a team mate, I'd say the chances are fairly good that the player was confused and didn't realise who they were tackling. Again, if the tackle was a 'normal' one - not even rising to the level of carelessness, no action would be required. I'd be surprised if a player of this age would deliberately try to harm another player, especially a team mate but if the referee were convinced that there was malice aforethought he should definitely at a minimum, have a stern word with the player and might ask the coach to take the player off for a bit of counselling.

Using cards at this age is unusual (and not usually required) - in addition it may be that the rules of competition (ROC) have specific provisions regarding red and yellow cards, in which case these should be followed. The ROC might also provide that only indirect free kicks can be awarded for fouls and in any event, the referee is likely to allow a little more leeway to players in terms of what constitutes a foul, given their tender age.

Now, at adult level, the referee would apply the 'full' Laws of the Game which say that if the referee judges that a player's actions rise to the level of an offence against a team mate, a direct free kick or penalty kick should be awarded. If in addition, the referee considers that the offence warrants it, the player could even be cautioned or sent off. At u-6 level I'd be surprised to see cards being used, although if the ROC allowed for it and the offence were truly egregious it could still be a possibility.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jim
Accidents like collisions between team mates happen and there is no offence. The referee may stop play if the players are injured and arrange for the appropriate assessment and treatment. If both get up with no apparent injury it is simply play on.
There can be times when a player goes into a challenge and makes *foul* contact on a team mate who happens to be in close proximity and unable to avoid the collision. Again no offence has been committed unless it impacts negatively on an opponent.
I recently had a situation where a player went into a challenge and fouled his team mate yet also resulted in the opponent getting pushed. The player hurt his team mate and it resulted in a foul on the opponent as well which was punished by a direct free kick.
Now if a player deliberately kicks or strikes a team mate that is a different matter and it results in the player being sent off for violent conduct and the restart is a direct free kick or penalty kick to the opponents.
At Under 6 I suspect that the contact was accidental in which case no action needs to be taken. Poor motor skills and / or spatial awareness can result in players accidentally bumping into team mates in which case there is no offence.
As Referee Grove points out small sided Underage games can be managed by rules of competition which can including temporary suspensions from the game rather than the regular use of cautions etc.

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