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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 24979

Law 11 - Offside 5/20/2011

RE: Select Under 19

Jared Sperling of Corpus Christi, TX USA asks...

I was asked a question from a youth Referee the other day that I wasn't quite sure how to answer. I explained in my pre-game to ensure that on an Offside call, to make sure that the Player in an Offside position actually plays the ball before calling the Offside. The situation arose in the 2nd half when the defense pulled up to midfield and the offense played a long through ball down the middle. One attacker was about a yard Offside, but he and another attacker who was Onside both take off after the ball, as well as a Defender. The players get almost to the 18, before the Offside attacker reaches the ball first. Flag goes up, whistle blows and we setup for the Indirect kick. After the game, my AR brought up the point about the ball placement for the Indirect kick and asked if it was correct to place it at the 18, where he 'played the ball' or should we have moved it to midfield where he was when we 'judged' him to be in an Offside position. The problem I see with moving it back to the midfield position is that we don't know exactly where the infraction occurred, since the AR needs to keep up with play in case the Onside attacker plays the ball first. I would like some clarification on this, since we are trying to emphasize the 'wait & see' approach on the Offside calls now. Thanks.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jared
The IDFK is from where the player was offside not where that player touched the ball. The AR has to make a rough guesstimate of the offside position and move back to that point. It does not need to be scientific just close to where he believed the offside offence happened.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The restart is where the offside player was when the teammate originally played the ball. ATR 11.13.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Ninety percent of referees would put it where the offside player touched the ball. The other ten percent who put it back near midfield would be wholly correct (see reference above to the appropriate section in the Advice to Referees). To do otherwise is against the Laws and unfair to the defending team.

The wait and see approach is the only correct method, and it takes courage and concentration to wait and even more to then move back up the field to where the offense took place. As you know, since there was both an onside player and a player who started from an offside position involved, the AR has no choice but to wait and see. Given that the offside positioned player is the one who got the ball, the only fair thing is to take it back where he started from, which is why the Law is written that way.

Hope that helps?

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Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

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