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Ask the rabbi Shabbat and Holidays Games and Athletics

Soccer on shabbat

Rabbi Jonathan Blass30 Shevat 5763
1327
Question
Your answer pertained to digging up turf and travelling shabbath and maybe other restrictions. But really my question is whether soccer is permitted not on a professional level on a terrain that is rather more solid and without having to travel , I understand that you are submitting boundaries to avoid touching the core, but is soccer permitted in concordance with Ta’anoug Shabbat granted that you avoid transgressing halakhot that are not necessarely tied to playing soccer ( or basketball for instance).
Answer
Playing sports seriously on shabbat - getting sweated up, for example - is inappropriate behavior for shabbat and therefore forbidden as “maase chol” (see Shmirat Shabbat K’Hilchata 16,1). Not included in the prohibition would be throwing a basketball into a household hoop, or a friendly game of catch or ping-pong, or kicking a non-regulation soccer ball (that is not inflated and then tied see Shmirat Shabbat K’Hilchata 16,8) back and forth with a friend on an asphalt surface.There are rabbinic opinions that would feel that even this behavior is permissible only for children.
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