Recently I was invited to a co-ed indoor soccer game where all the participants were people from my company. At the time I didn't really know any of the other players personally and most of them I'd never met before because none of them worked in my building. I was made to believe ahead of time that it was to be a low-key and very casual soccer game, but all the other players--including the three female players that participated—were exceptionally good. I kick the ball around for practice on occasion, but I hadn't played in a soccer game in over 10 years.

Things were going along okay at first, but I got tired fairly quick. About halfway through the session my legs/body were becoming fairly sluggish and I was stumbling and losing my balance often. That's when it happened: when trying to pass the ball I tripped and fell into one of the female players. My hand was out in front of me and I touched the player's chest with my open palm. This was bad enough, but I was off balance and I kept falling towards her while at the same time she was moving backward to get away from me so my hand seemed to stay on her body. It was probably a split second but it seemed like an eternity. Eventually I just fell on the ground. Needless to say, I felt extremely awkward but I tried to act as if nothing had happened. I was also really, really tired. Positions on the field were not really set, and so half unconsciously and half intentionally I migrated to the side of the field that she was not playing. This means that that for the remainder of the game we were on totally opposite sides (I had been playing left defender but my right foot is stronger than my left, and I to be honest had wanted to move to the right field anyways). For the last segment of the game my left shin muscle started to spasm and I had to leave the game.

A few more details: I did not touch the player on purpose, and I am not the sort of person to do that kind of thing. I was wearing contacts for the game, but the contacts were a weaker prescription because I normally wear glasses. So my vision was not the best. I could not see if all the other players noticed what had happened, and if they did they did not make it known to me. I could not see the female player's expression so I do not know if she was distressed after the incident. Again, I moved to the side of the field opposite to her so we were not really in contact for the 2nd half of the game. I had never met the female player prior to the game. Because I did not play very well I do not think that I will be invited back for another soccer match.

I avoided the situation and acted like nothing happened. I am wondering if I could have acted better. What else could I have done to resolve the situation where I may have caused a woman distress by accidentally touching her chest during in a better way?

  • Welcome! I'm sorry, but this question seems a little too subjective for this site. While many good questions here generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, answers to "What should I do?"-type questions like this one will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. Additionally, posts here should not ask multiple distinct questions at once. It would be great if you edit your question so it asks for help with something specific, rather than simply asking for opinions on what you should do. – gparyani Oct 31 at 3:07
  • I felt extremely awkward but I tried to act as if nothing had happened. Does this mean you did not immediately say sorry for falling into her? – Marzipanherz Oct 31 at 6:29
  • @Marzipanherz I may have said a quick sorry reflexively but honestly, I don't remember. – wrieedx Nov 1 at 4:15

As someone that chronically overthinks and overanalyses situations, this is even too far for me. The short answer is no, she wouldn't have cared, it would be gone from her mind and not given a second thought. You were falling, it was an accident.

As for each of your specific questions:

  1. What you did was fine. You didn't mention it, but I assume you said "sorry" afterwards, as it was an accident. If you didn't you should have. Not because of where you touched, but because you fell onto another person. The typical response is to say "sorry" and move on. Yes you were right in just moving on and pretending it didn't happen. Though, by the sounds of it, for different reasons than what she probably assumed. (Which was probably embarrassment)

  2. No. You are making a mountain out of a molehill. It was meaningless and only comes off as creepy that it is so on your mind, when it is probably something she dismissed immediately.

  3. Really wouldn't worry about it. Assuming you don't get called in by HR, like I said before she probably didn't care and at worst had a laugh about it with her friends. And yes touching anywhere is something both sexes deal with in any co-ed game. As long as it is accidental and not creepy then it is expected and gotten over.

  • 1
    We prefer answers on this site to include some explanation of why you’re suggesting this course of action. Why do you believe these things are true (that "she wouldn't have cared", that it's right to pretend it didn't happen, etc.)? Is this based on some personal experience like playing in co-ed sports, if so can you include that information? – Em C Nov 3 at 16:27

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