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Question Number: 29857

Law 11 - Offside 10/26/2015

RE: All Other

Derek of Cary, IL USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29845

As an AR, should I raise my flag for offside if I don't know who touched the ball last, or if I can't tell that a defender 'played' it? I feel that the referee would have a better view of who touched it last, and would wave me off if the requirements for offside are not met.
Should this be something to cover in pre-game?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Derek
As AR it can be difficult at times to know 100% who last played the ball out of a crowd or whether it was in fact deliberately played or a deliberate save or if in fact it was deflected
The pregame is where you discuss the communication between the CR and AR. It is easy to ask over a headset who last touched the ball or was it a save or a deliberate play or a rebound but in recreational football we only have eye communication, a possible discreet hand signal and the verbal shout out.
The advice is if we are unsure to keep the flag down. 'When in doubt do not wave it about!' You can remain at attention after a goal and relay concerns if you thought it prudent to do so. The CR will then have to make a decision. Go to question 29821 on these type of signals or think of ways you might communicate you r thoughts earlier to the referee?
Cheers





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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Derek
It is a reasonably rare event and one that ARs don't have to concern themselves about too much. It is a good question to ask at the pre game.
As an AR I will make what I believe us the best decision in the circumstances. If Im unsure then the best decision can be to make no call and then if a goal comes off it to stand without making the standard goal signal. That will alert the referee that all is not well.
Ultimately it is up to the referee to make the call although many will blindly accept the offside flag even perhaps if there is a question mark.



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