Player safety protocol


Guidance on maintaining player safety during a match: kicking the ball.

Walking football is a competitive sport but differs from FA rules and adult five-a-side football in that more elderly players are clearly at a higher risk of injury. The Walking Football Association rules reflect this. This is in-house guidance on the area of minimising the risk of injury to others when kicking the ball, while maintaining the element of competition.

In line with the Walking Football Association guidance, the ball should not be hit with full force or undue force, at or towards other players thereby risking injury.

At a free kick, if a defensive wall is formed, the ball should not be hit with full force towards the wall. It is the referee’s discretion as to whether the ball has been hit too hard towards the wall.

The ball should not be hit with full or undue force towards a group of players where there is a reasonable chance they will get hit.

However, if a player intentionally steps into the path of a moving ball in order to stop its progress, this will not be deemed an offence.
When tackling, any follow-through or hard swipe of the ball which causes the opposing player to move out of the way for fear of contact or injury shall be, at the referee’s discretion, an offence, even if no contact with the other player has been made.

A hard, uncontrolled kick or swipe of the ball in which no attempt was made to send the ball into a particular direction and, at the referee’s discretion, could have hit another player, shall be deemed an offence.