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Question Number: 26965

Law 11 - Offside 11/1/2012

RE: Retired Adult

Dimitris of Thessaloniki, Greece asks...

A trivial question about offside but perhaps it's not that trivial so i will ask for confirmation anyway. :)

Here is the situation on the pitch:

Player A1 shoots little outside of the penalty area(this is irrelevant anyway and it can shoot from inside penalty area also) and the ball is deflected on a defender near in front of A1 and it(the ball) goes away from the penalty area or spins and remains in the A1's position or something similar but far away(let's say 6+ meters/18+ feet) from the goalkeeper.
At the same time the shoot occurred, a teammate A2 of the A1 player, is standing let's say in the height of the goal's area line or anyway anywhere else in such a way, that he is in front of the goalkeeper(which stands in his goal line) and obstructing his vision to the ball.

So we have 2 things and an implication:
?Clear obstruction of the goalkeepers vision/clear offside position of A2.
?The player has shoot the ball and the ball had been deflected in a place far away from the goalkeeper.
?The goalkeeper had never had the chance to play or interfere with the ball.

The question is, after the shoot has been made, should the referee give a violation because of an offside position because the vision of the GK has been obstructed?

My answer is a clear and sound NO.
And i explain:
-A2 obstructs GK vision.
-A2 is in an offside position.
-BUT the GK does not have any chance to play the ball(there was not any shoot in his goalposts, the ball has been deflected after the shoot and let's say(this is irrelevant also) went back to A1), so A2 did not interfere with the GK and did not prevented him to be able to play the ball.

But i want your opinion too.
I have made an animated GIF about this to help you visualize all these if i wasn't clear enough:

Thanks in advance.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Dimitris,

I can see where your concern lies. What helps simplify this is that we should refrain from penalising trifling breaches of the law.

While, technically, the attacker in the offside position may be interfering with an opponent, this has had no effect upon play at all, thus is a trifling infringement and should not be penalised.

Your reasoning on this decision is correct - but it's always good to be sure!

I liked the animated gif, by the way!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dimitris
Being in an offside position is not an offence and the player has to meeting one of the three conditions for offside to be called.
The player in an offside position has to either
a. Interfere with play by touching the ball
b. Interfere with an opponents by preventing the opponent from playing or being able to play the ball
c. Gaining an advantage by being in that position
So in the example you cite there is no offence as the player has not met any of the three conditions.
Had the shot got past the defender the CR and AR has to decide if the PIOP touched the ball (a) or interfered with an opponents (b) which includes line of sight to the ball in this case the GK or perhaps played the ball after it rebounded from an opponent or the frame of the goal then offside should be called.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

I, too, liked your GIF!
LAW 11 requires an attacker in an offside position to prevent an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball either by obstructing his view or some other means, in order for there to be an offside offense. LAW 11 also tells us it is not an offense to be in an offside position.
A2 is in an offside position. A2 is obstructing the keeper's line of sight but the ball is nowhere near the keeper so he is NOT preventing him from being able to play the ball.
LAW 11 does not make it an offense to obstruct the line of sight of the goalkeeper. The offense is preventing him from playing the ball.
Since the ball is not playable by the keeper anyway, there's no offside offense here.

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Offside Question?

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

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