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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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You Call It Q&A's - January 17, 2000

MrRef 1/17/2000

Attacking player A1 is in an offside position on the left half of the field. At that moment attacking player A2 makes a shot at goal. The ball bounces off the goal post then hits you (The Center Referee) in the leg and ends up in a perfect position for attacking player A1 to kick the ball into the goal.
What's Your call...

Answer submitted by Dan Anderson Everett Washington, USA

No goal, restart with an indirect free kick for the opposing team from where player A1 was when the shot was taken for an offside infringement.

Player A1 met the two requirements for an offside call (special circumstances of own half of field, throw-in, corner kick aside) POSITION & INVOLVEMENT.

Position - A1 was in an offside position when ball touched or played by teammate - ahead of ball and ahead of second to last defender.

Involvement - A1 definitely became involved in active play by playing the ball into the back of the net.

SIDE NOTE - the ball hitting the referee has no bearing on the question. The referee is considered to be part of the field of play - kind of a moving dirt clod!!! :-)

Answer submitted by Dennis Lacey of Wichita Kansas, USA

Offside. Play will be restarted with an Indirect free kick for the defending team at the point of the offense. According to Law 11, a player is offside if he or she is in an offside postition and, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his or her team, is involved in active play by (1) interfering with play, (2) interfering with an opponent, or (3) gaining an advantage by being in the offside position. Your question assumes A1 was in an offside position and it is hard to imagine a clearer example of gaining an advantageby being in that position than than being in a "in a perfect position . . . to kick the ball into the goal." Neither the deflection off the goal post nor the deflection off the referee end the sequence of events that began when A2 played the ball. Only the defending team's gaining clear possession would end that sequence. Accordingly A1 is offside.

Answer submitted by Bill Languemi of Elk Grove California, USA

As the center referee you are part of the field. A1 was in an off-sides position and involved in active play when the ball landed at his feet after hitting the center referee. The defending team should be awarded an in-direct free kick from the spot where A1 was when A2 first shot the ball.

Answer submitted by Douglas D. Harris of Albion Michigan, USA

"Attacking player A1 is in an offside position on the left half of the field. At that moment attacking player A2 makes a shot at goal."

This satisfy's one of the three legs of an offside decision. The player A1 is in the offside position when the ball was last played by a teamate.

"The ball bounces off the goal post then hits you (The Center Referee) in the leg"

The ball still has not been touched by an opponent, the attacking player A1 is still in postion to be called offside.

"and ends up in a perfect position for attacking player A1 to kick the ball into the goal."

Player A1 now has satisfied another leg of the offside triangle, area of involvement or active play. If player A1 decides to make contact with the ball completing the third leg of the offside triangle anytime before an opponent or A2 collects the ball, A1 shall be deemed offside and my flag would go straight up to indicate the infraction.

Answer submitted by John Sagar of Newmarket Ontario, Canada


The offending player gained an advantage from being in an offside position. The ball hitting the referee is inconsiquential.

Answer submitted by Danny Wilbor of Hull Yorkshire, England

Offside. Free kick to defending team - offside when ball was struck.

Answer submitted by David McCollum of Houston Texas, USA

Offside. The referee is part of the field. Since the pass deflected off the post and the referee -- both parts of the field -- the play would be treated as a pass to A1, the offside player.

Now, another good question might be why was the referee in a position that caused he/she to become a part of that play?

Answer submitted by Savulescu Benone of Pitesti Arges, Romania

A-the referee stop the game

B-he will give an indirect free kick to the opposite team of the A1 player because he was in an offside position when A2 player hit the ball.

C-the referee is a neutral person and doesn't matter that the ball hits him.

A Note From MrRef

Yes! We received over fifty responses to this question. 98% called it correctly - Offside! As one of the responders put it the "referee is just like the goal post" part of the field.

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