Playing Walking Football?

Who plays Walking Football and what you need to get involved

Who’s playing Walking Football? it is ‘traditionally’ seen as a game for over 50s in men,  however, by looking at the game by age or gender, you might exclude potential participants, such as players in their late 40s with health issues, younger players returning from injury or referrals from Health Care Providers.

In fact many different age groups are playing Walking Football, due to the non-contact nature of the game and because no running is allowed. We have seen games where three generations of one family are all playing together on the same team.

Competitive matches

Making sure Walking Football is fair
Find a club

All competitive matches due have a strict age policy, so if you join a club and play in competitive matches against other clubs or in competitions, you will only have people of the same age group in your team and the opposition team.

Age groups are:
Men over 50s (50-59), over 60s (60-69) over 70s (70+).
Women over 40s (40-49), over 50s (50-59), over 60s (60+).

However is it common to have mixed-age teams playing friendlies and in regular club sessions.

Walking football kit

What kind of kit you need to start playing

You may not have kicked a ball for years so probably don’t have football kit of any type. Players can wear anything they feel comfortable in, so if you turn up to your first session in jogging bottoms and t-shirt and you are happy playing football in them, then that’s absolutely fine. This is recreational football so players should be able to wear whatever they’re comfortable in. 

As you attend more sessions, you will probably want to buy a more appropriate kit and we recommend that all players wear shin pads to further cut down the risk of injury.

Your first set of Walking Football kit

The kit doesn’t have to be expensive and the only thing you may need to buy that you don’t already own is a pair of shin pads and perhaps appropriate footwear. Of course, you can wear any kind of training shoe to play Walking Football, but getting ‘football-specific’ trainers will give you more stable footing and better control of the ball.   

We’d also recommend players wear ‘breathable’ clothing if they can. Shirts and shorts made specifically for sport have properties that allow body heat to be expelled and air to better circulate around the body. Keeping players cooler and helping to prevent overheating.

Find a club

Walking football. The basic rules

What you need to know about playing Walking Football
  • Non-Contact
  • Above head height restriction on ball
  • Deflection above head height by goalkeeper – ball retained by keeper
  • No heading the ball
  • All free kicks indirect
  • Whistle stops and resumes play – no quick free kicks
  • No direct goal from a kick-off or any dead ball situation
  • All free kicks have defenders 3-metres distant
  • Players may not play the ball whilst grounded – to include slide tackling, slide blocks
  • Cornering a player is not permitted – allow the opponent to turn
  • No 2 vs 1 tackling at barriers/wall
  • No tackling across an opponent at a wall/barrier
  • Playing with reckless or dangerous intent is an infringement
  • One-step penalty kicks
  • No restriction on passing back or out from the goalkeeper
  • Sin Bin time out for any three same or variety of infringement
  • Zero tolerance on disrespectful conduct towards the referee

Walking football is inclusive

Many women now play Walking Football

Walking football used to be a sport that was almost exclusively played by men, but that’s not the case anymore. Many clubs now run women’s teams and some clubs are exclusively for women. 

There is now also a women’s England Team and recently the first mixed-gender international game took place. In women’s Walking Football the bottom age range for competitive matches is lower, starting at 40.