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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33713

Law 11 - Offside 10/16/2019

RE: High School Boys High School

Ron Woodruff of Milford, Ohio United States asks...

Offside with a defensive play question:

Attacker (A1) in an offside position.
Attacker (A2) and Defender (D1) both attempt to play a 50/50 ball. A2 kicks it a split second before D1 kicks it. (A 'bang bang' play)
The last touch is off of D1 and it rolls directly to A1 who kicks the ball into the goal.

I hesitated for a second trying to figure out if that was deliberate play by the defender or a deflection. I decided that it was deliberate play since he was attempting to kick the ball.

However, I'm still conflicted on whether I got it right. It felt wrong because A1 scored an easy goal. And, I imagine some people would consider that a deflection.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Ron
based on the context it almost sounds as if the defender is challenging the attacker and from a very close range, at high speed, as the attacker pounds the ball off the defenders leg/foot? The defender is is reacting to the ball but has no real deliberate play other than just trying to block it from going though once the ball is last touched by the attacker. . This appears it could be a bit more of a deflection than a deliberate play because of the timing, space and speed of play. Still your match your decision your reputation & the old saying when in doubt do not wave it about is still the sage saying at the recreational grassroots despite the VAR exactness at the elite level.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ron
It's really a judgement call based on how play transpires.
For me I would make the call based on the direction of the kick and if you felt that D1 played it in the direction he intended then that is a reset.
If however A2s intent was to kick the ball in the direction of A1 which transpired albeit indirectly then you could sell the contact on D1 as a deflection.
Personally I think it was offside as if it came off A1 last it is offside and if D1 makes contact last it is more than likely not deliberate.
I think the fact you ask is that it more likely in the offside camp than not.
But hey there is doubt-and the benefit can be given to the attacking team,

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