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Question Number: 29908

Law 11 - Offside 11/10/2015

RE: Rec Adult

R Bogh of Beaumont, California United States asks...

In an Adult Game a forward takes a long shot on Goal. The Keeper (With no attackers near (20 Yards Away) Takes his fists and intentionally punches the ball. A player in an Offside position (About 20 Yards away) comes up and Plays the Ball. My fellow referee calls offside (Two Man System) Ruling that Attacker had an advantage being in an offside position. I commented that the keeper intentionally played the play with fists instead of catching the ball, Pass from a defender, no Offside.


Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham


FIFA and IFAB have clarified that a player does not gain an advantage when the ball is received from a deliberate play that is NOT a deliberate save. In this case, however, it was a deliberate save. As a result, the player in offside position is not eligible to play the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

offside could still in effect due to the fact the ball is being played deliberately as a save. It is possible an argument for a parry where control, possession and release are an ALL in one consideration but I generally reserve those for a weak easily caught ball not one delivered at pace.

I can show you a fisting of the ball that I would NOT lay claim is a save though and as a deliberate play would in fact reset offside for the opposition. Recall the 2014 final where the German keeper came well out to punch a ball on the outer edge of the penalty area . While the controversy of that call still reverberates around discussion channels, the ACT itself clearly shows how a deliberate use of the hands should NOT reset offside as a save but in fact reset offside as a deliberate play.

Now the referee incorrectly awarded free kick TO Germany at the very least this was a throw in to Argentina. Many including myself felt this was a red card DFK for Argentina but the point here is to show the fist punch is deliberate play it is not a save and the excessive knee into the head of the player still leaves me wondering???

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

It depends on whether the goalkeeper's punch can be considered a save. If it was a save, then offside. If not, then it's not offside, it's a gift to the opponents.

Reasonable referees would make a reasonable effort to consider any goalkeeper-like actions to be a save. Punches usually are saves. But there might be cases where the keeper was away from goal, say in the top corner of the penalty area, and the ball was headed more toward the corner flag than the goal. Then the referee could logically decide the play was not a save, but was a deliberate play by the keeper that went wrong (for him).

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

The question the referee or assistant has to ask is whether the punch was a SAVE or not. If it was a save then offside has not been reset and it is offside when the PIOP interferes with play.
Now there will be times when the punch is a deliberate play the same as a kick in which case it is a reset. In those situations the referee has to take into account all the circumstances as to why it was done. Was it a poorly executed deliberate play when other options were available such as letting the ball go or catching the ball. Was it a goalkeeper thinking that his punching skills could deliver the ball a distance which just went wrong or miscalculated.
In this video as this was a save it is offside
In this example it is not a save and IMO a deliberate play
Referees are left to determine what is a save. UEFA has opined that a save means that a goal must be possible from the shot/play. If the ball is not destined for goal then it is not a save.

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

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