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Blue attacker lofts ball over red defender into space, the defender deliberately raises his hand towards the ball and deflects the ball over his head using his hand in a punching closed fist motion much like a keeper might do, two blue attackers one from the right one from the left are bearing down on the ball so as referee you yell Advantage ! signal with the arms and play on. Right side player gets to ball then chooses to drop pass to the open left side for left blue player who scores only you now see the the AR flag is up for offside.

You go over and ask for the AR's input.

"The right side blue player was in an offside position before the defender deliberately handled the ball when the blue teammate kicked the ball. I kept my flag down per our pregame discussion, because I was not sure which blue attacker would get to the ball first as one was onside and the other offside positioned. I did not think the offside blue player involved himself until he actually touched the ball. Although the defender deliberately handled the ball I saw it as a deflection to the offside attacker. As referee you say thank you and do what and why? Your Decision? Your Match! Your Reputation!


Right, the school book solution is this: The referee gives offside because the offside offense began with the right side blue player in an offside position. Because offside is a two part offense, position and involvement the offside decision is delayed until the next touch of the ball by the attack when offside position[s] is reevaluated, an opponent intentionally plays or gains possession of the ball or the ball is no longer in play. In our case the assistant delayed advising the referee because he was not convinced he had seen an infraction until the offside player actually interfered with play by touching the ball. There is no goal scoring opportunity because of the involvement of an offside player. The handles the ball deliberately did, in fact, demonstrate unsporting behavior which may be dealt with before restarting indirect for offside.

What we didn't say in the question was to which player the initial pass was headed! This is a most important bit of intelligence for the referee to have because it bears on the decision he is about to take. Once the ball is no longer in play there is time to sort out what happened and all present will know something ain't right when they see the assistant's flag up for offside. The assistant is going to say the same thing, blue was offside when the ball was hit, no goal boss. You, the referee know the ball wasn't hit toward the offside player but to the player in a position to have a good chance on goals.

So time to earn your keep! You now know your advantage may not be possible because of "New" information. You know play had stopped naturally because the ball crossed the goal line and there's no returning to the original handling the ball deliberately infraction. You know the ball was heading to a player, not offside, who had an obvious chance at goals and that chance at goals was denied by the defender handling the ball deliberately. Now comes the BIG question... is there anything that you can do to give the goal? Law 10 says no because the team scoring the goal infringed the Laws of the Game to wit: Law 11. Is it possible the defender deliberately handling a ball headed toward a player who could play the ball, thus denying his chance, could have changed the offside equation enough so the offside player was no longer bound by the restrictions of Law 11???? You do know if this had been done with his foot, a deliberate kick to an offside opponent, there would be NO offside infraction. Now the question remains: does handling the ball deliberately mean an opponent intentionally plays or gains possession of the ball?

We tend to think so. Caution the defender for unsporting behavior. Restart with a kick off because the handling infraction upset offside.

362 Steve Vero Beach FL USA Referee
Under Law 12, deliberately handling the ball is punishable by a direct Free kick to the opponent from the spot of the infraction. In this case the CR recognized the infraction, but has allowed pay to continue under the advantage rule as stated in Law 5. "allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalises the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time" It is allowable to be in an offside position under Law 11 unless you interfere with play while in that position. Since the ball was deflected from the handling to a player in an offside position - no advantage could be achieved. The AR signalled offside appropriately after the attacker, in an offside position, played the ball as is also required by Law 11. The fact that the CR did not see the flag until after the goal was scored is irrelevant. My decision: Goal is disallowed. DFK to the attacking team at the place where the handling occurred, as the infraction had already been recognized and the appropriate signal had been given. The deflection from the handling created the offside situation, per the AR. The defending team will not like or understand the call, so I would attempt to explain the decision to the coach at the half or after the game. I would disclose the event in my post game report if there was any real adverse reaction.

372 Mark K Westport CT USA Referee
This is a situation in which there are two sequential infractions for which we have to wait to see what happens. In the first, the blue attacker has made a pass into space behind the defense at the same moment one of his teammates is in an offside position. My AR has rightly interpreted Law 11 (as instructed in the pregame - good thing I included that) and decided to wait to see whether the blue attacker's teammate ultimately interferes with play, interferes with an opponent or gains an advantage from being in that position. In the second, which occurs as the play develops, I have used the Referee's power to give advantage under Law 5 by allowing "play to continue when the team against which an offense has been committed will benefit from such an advantage." In this case, the offense is deliberate handling of the ball by the red defender (Law 12). As the play unfolds an attack indeed materializes, but the attack turns out to be unlawful when the offside blue attacker interferes with play by controlling the ball and passing it to his teammate. Whistle. Conference. Result: No goal. INDFK for the defense after the offside infraction. Why? ATR 5.6 tells us that "the referee may return to and penalize the original foul if the advantage situation does not develop as anticipated after a short while(2-3 seconds). If the ball goes out of play during this time, then play must be restarted in accordance with the Law." The ball is out of play when the offside blue attacker interfered with play. The goal cannot count and the proper restart is INDFK for the defense. At this point, I can no longer penalize the original foul of deliberate handling. I can however, punish for misconduct. The red defender's actions amount to a denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity by handling (DOGSOH). (See ATR 12.40, Diagram 9, in which the description of the play is very much like the instance I am now facing.) ATR 12.39 tells me that in DOGSO situations in which I have applied the advantage I can still punish the offending player after the fact - whether or not the advantage materialized. (In other words, had the onside blue attacker played the ball first, I'd still have to make the same misconduct decision, whether or not he scored a goal.) It also warns me that every game is different and that "there is no single mandatory decision that would be universally correct." So it is up to my discretion, based on "experience, game circumstances and common sense." My choices are yellow caution card for unsporting behavior or red card for DOGSOH.

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