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Why You Can’t Say ‘Mine’ In Soccer

From a young age, we are all taught the basics of how to communicate on the soccer field as it is one of the most important ways of creating a great team that will win matches.

While there are plenty of great ways to communicate with your teammates there are also a few ways that are best avoided, one of the most common mistakes that soccer players make is to shout ‘mine’ when they are receiving the ball. 

This may not sound like an issue as the player may still shout the word loud enough for his teammates and opponents to hear, but there are actually a number of reasons why you can’t say mine on the soccer field.

Soccer players are not allowed to say ‘mine’ because it can verbally distract their opponents during play and hence give them an advantage. If it doesn’t distract their opponents, it’s allowed to say ‘mine’.

Today we will be letting you in on our knowledge of why this is the case so that you don’t make the same mistake as thousands of other players the next time you step foot on the soccer field. 

It Is Against The Rules

As we touched upon briefly earlier, the use of phrases like ‘mine’ or ‘leave’ are often used as a form of gamesmanship by unsporting players and teams.

Because of this, FIFA has actually banned players from using the words as a kind of distraction tactic on the field, the referee is legally allowed to caution a player if they deliberately try to distract an opponent.

As with any foul committed in soccer, this could result in yellow or red cards being issued depending on the severity of the offence. 

This rule is something of a confusing one though as nowhere in the rules of the game does it say you explicitly cannot say mine in a game of soccer, but the rules are far clearer on the use of distraction tactics.

The most common way that this kind of foul is dealt with is by awarding an indirect free-kick, meaning that a player cannot take a shot or score a goal with it. 

The debate between gamesmanship and cheating is one that will forever rage on as teams that believe a bit of light-hearted distraction or time wasting is merely a part of the game clash with those that believe it should be outlawed completely under threat of severe sanctions.

For me, a balance between the two needs to be struck. The reason for this is that some gamesmanship can be beneficial to the atmosphere and general appeal of the game as nobody wants the game to be completely clean-cut for eternity. 

This being said safety should always be at the forefront of any decision that governing bodies take so if this means banning the word ‘mine’ completely then so be it. 

It Can Be Dangerous

While most of the time poor communication on the soccer field will only result in trivial misfortune such as a mistake from the defence leading to an opposition goal, there can be dangerous consequences of your players not being able to conduct themselves effectively during a match. 

If a couple of players (or more) were to shout ‘mine’ rather than their own names when the ball is contested, there could be problems, especially for younger players.

At a young age, players are far less aware of those around them and can become transfixed on the ball, scale this up a few times, and you have a group of youngsters all claiming the ball is theirs without communicating properly with one another.

This could result in head clashes that could cause severe injuries to players such as concussions, the same could occur when going in for a slide tackle. 

This isn’t to say that this will occur every time a player makes the mistake of shouting ‘mine’ because it won’t, this kind of event is very rare but could still happen of your players are not taught the proper way of communicating on the soccer field.

If you become aware of your child’s (or your own) team not using the correct terms when challenging for possession it may be a good idea to raise the issue with the team coach or manager in order for the problem to be resolved properly. 

It’s Unclear

When you are passing or receiving the ball to your feet (or anywhere else you can control a soccer ball), being clear is one of the most important things to take into consideration.

This can come in a variety of ways such as being loud and confident in claiming possession of the ball, this is important as it inspires confidence in both yourself and your teammates that you aren’t scared to get stuck into the action. 

Shouting ‘mine’ is something that many players to do try and make this point, however, it doesn’t make sense to do this.

The main reason for this is that anyone could shout ‘mine’ when wanting to claim the ball and this could cause confusion within your ranks.

It is also common for opposition players to shout the word aloud in order to steal the ball from you (this is frowned upon as gamesmanship but is still somewhat common). 

The best way to avoid this is to clearly shout your surname at the top of your voice when claiming the ball, for example ‘Smith’s’!

You may be wondering why it is best you shout your surname rather than your forename, and the reason is that multiple players on your team could have the same forename, yet it is unlikely two players have the same surname (if they do then your side may have to figure out a different system). 

It can take time to lose some of the habits that players have picked up over the years, so I would advise practicing the new words or phrases that your team is going to use during matches when you conduct training as this will familiarise your players with their teammates’ names and voices, thus making communication much easier. 

Hopefully, this short guide has helped you understand why you can’t say ‘mine’ in soccer. It can be a confusing rule that slips through the cracks, so next time you’re in soccer training check and see if your teammates use the word to communicate and raise it with your coach if you have any concerns about it.