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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33055

Law 11 - Offside 2/9/2019

RE: Competitive Under 15

Doug of Bethel Island , CA USA asks...

The ball is played back to a defender who misplays the ball. The ball was deflected off the defender and landed at the feet of a forward who was in an offside position. That forward was in an offside position prior to the misplayed pass. As an AR I raised my flag for offside because the player gained advantage being in an offside position. Is this the right call?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Sorry, it appears you were incorrect. Offside is determined when a teammate plays the ball, not an opponent.

There is one way this might be correct. You don't say who played the ball to the defender who then misplayed it.
*If* it was played by an attacker, and
*if* the forward was in an offside position at the time it was played, and
*if* the ball deflected off the defender (a rebound or deflection, not a play on the ball that just happened to be bad), then it would be offside.
That's 3 if's, and all 3 of them must be fulfilled to be offside. First if, you said it was passed back, so I'm guessing it wasn't played by a teammate of the offside attacker. And third if, from your description it sounds like it might have been a deflection or it might have been a bad play - you'd have to decide that.
So from my reading of your description, at least 1 and probably 2 of the if's failed the test, so it wouldn't be offside.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Doug,
It depends who, in your scenario, played the ball back to the defender. You don't specify but usually when we talk about someone playing the ball back, it refers to a person playing the ball towards their own goal, rather than towards the opponent's goal (which we would usually refer to as playing the ball forwards).

If this is the case here, and the ball was played by a team mate of the defender who misplayed it, then there would be no offside offence. As ref Voshol says, for offside to be a possibility, the ball has to be played by a team mate of the offside-positioned player, not by an opponent.

Even if the ball was played by a player from the same team as the player you eventually flagged for offside, there still might not have been an offside offence. You make two potentially conflicting statements - firstly that the defender misplayed the ball and then that it was deflected off the defender. The Laws of the Game say that there is no offside offence if the ball is deliberately played by an opponent so it can only be offside if the ball was truly deflected and not deliberately played. Which one it actually was, is a judgment call that you as an official, have to make.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Doug,
offside position alone is NOT an offence .
From the way you explain it it appears you are in error?

Several key components to consider, who last played that ball back to the defender who had the error?

Was that error considered a deflection or a mistake as they are NOT treated the same!

Where was the attacker who was offside positioned at the time of that last touch of the ball by his OWN teammate? Was he restricted or not earlier? How if so was he involved?

You claim a defender received the ball so who or how was that ball was played back to him? Not that the direction has anything to do with it by the way.

If that ball was from a defending team mate then there is absolutely NO chance of offside for the opposing team upon receiving the ball via a deflection off or a mistake by this defender.

If the ball is deliberately played by either the attackers or his defending team mate but he misplayed that ball & lost possession due to a mistake thus NOT considered a deflection or rebound, again no matter who played the ball back, offside is not possible!

Only if the attacker was offside when his own team mate redirected the ball back to the
opposing defender and the defender had the ball deflect * (a deflection does not reset offside) whereas a resulting mistake (in the opinion off the referee) while deliberately playing that ball WILL reset the opposition's restricted status to neutral again.


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Offside Question?

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

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