Soccer Jumping at an Opponent Foul

Soccer Jumping at an Opponent Foul

Jumping at an opponent is a foul in soccer that is committed when one player propels themself through the air and into an opponent. This foul can occur regardless of whether it was accidental or whether physical contact is made. A direct free kick is the typical punishment.


Definition

A jumping at an opponent foul is a physical foul in soccer that is committed when one player launches their body, through the air, into the body of an opponent. This foul is most frequently called when the referee deems that a player intended to make airborne contact with an opponent rather than play the ball. Physical contact is not required for this foul to be called; however physical contact can cause this foul to be called even if the action is accidental.

Jumping at an opponent can take several forms, but any player who becomes airborne through their own propulsion and then makes contact with an opponent is likely to commit this foul. Most fouls are committed by a player either: jumping toward an opponent to intimidate or impede, or jumping toward the ball, missing the ball, and striking an opponent instead. For example, if a player jumps toward the ball but accidentally makes contact with an opponent, a jumping at an opponent foul will typically be called. It does not matter whether a player intentionally jumps toward an opponent's body or if the player attempts and fails to play the ball and makes unintentional contact with an opponent, a jumping at an opponent foul can be called in either case. If a player jumps in the course of playing a ball and makes incidental contact with an opponent due to momentum, no foul occurs.

Like most physical fouls, jumping at an opponent is punishable by a direct free kick being awarded to the non-offending team. If the foul is committed recklessly, a yellow card will be shown; if it is committed with excessive force, a red card will be shown and the offender will be ejected.

Result

The result of a jumping at an opponent foul being called is a direct free kick being awarded to the non-offending team. The player against whom the foul was committed is permitted to kick the ball unopposed from the spot of the foul, with the opportunity to score a goal. The result of this foul is the same at all levels of soccer, as the International Football Association Board (IFAB) rules are followed by all amateur and professional leagues.

Referee Signal

Soccer Jumping at an Opponent Foul Referee Signal

A referee will whistle to stop play when a jumping at an opponent foul is called. The referee will then signal for a direct free kick by pointing with one arm outstretched horizontally. If the attacking team has possession of the ball past midfield with potential for a scoring opportunity, and the foul was committed by the defending team, the referee will allow play to continue and signal advantage until a change of possession or stoppage in play.

Examples

  • One player has control of the ball. An opponent dives feet-first toward the ball, attempting to gain possession. Instead of striking the ball, the opponent's feet strike the other player's shins.
  • The ball is flying through the air, and a player attempts to play the ball by jumping up and heading it. Instead of making contact with the ball, the player collides with an opponent.
  • Away from the ball, a player jumps toward an opponent in an attempt to intimidate them and knock them off their desired path.

Similar Fouls to Jumping at an Opponent

  • Charging
  • Impeding the Progress of an Opponent
  • Pushing
  • Striking an Opponent
  • Tripping

FAQ

What is jumping at an opponent in soccer?

Jumping at an opponent in soccer is a foul that is committed when one player launches their body toward or into the body of an opponent. This violation does not require physical contact to be made in order to occur; the mere act of a player putting their body in motion through the air at an opponent is enough to incur a jumping at an opponent foul. Jumping at an opponent is typically punished by a direct free kick.

What are the consequences of jumping at an opponent in soccer?

The consequences of jumping at an opponent in soccer are a direct free kick being awarded to the opposing team, as well as the potential of being shown a yellow or red card. The direct free kick allows the opposing team to kick for a goal from the spot of the foul. If the referee determines the foul is committed in a reckless manner, the offender will be shown a yellow card; a red card will be shown for using excessive force.

Can you get carded for jumping at an opponent in soccer?

Yes, you can get carded for jumping at an opponent in soccer. The typical punishment for jumping at an opponent is a direct free kick being awarded to your opponent. However, if the referee determines that the act was done in a reckless manner or in a way that disregards an opponent's safety, the offender will be cautioned and shown a yellow card. If the referee determines that you jumped at an opponent using excessive force, you will be shown a red card and sent off.