Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 33770

Law 11 - Offside 11/13/2019

RE: Competitive Under 19

Bo of Greensboro, NC USA asks...

Law 11

I may be having a Brain Bubble but what is meant by an offside offense occurring on players own half of field?

4. Offences and sanctions

If an offside offence occurs, the referee awards an indirect free kick where the offence occurred, including if it is in the players own half of the field of play.


Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Bo,
The potentially slightly confusing situation is because offside has two distinct components: offside position and offside offence.

A player can only be in an offside position in the opponent's half but you have to remember that it is not an offence to be in an offside position. An offside offence only occurs when the player who was in an offside position when the ball last touched a team mate, becomes involved in active play. There is no restriction on where that active involvement (and therefore the offence) occurs. A player can quite easily start from an offside position in the opponent's half and then move back into their own half before becoming involved in active play.

When this happens, even though the player started from an offside position in the opponent's half, the actual offence - and therefore the restart, is in the player's own half.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Bo,
the confusion is a result of (offside position) being determined ONLY inside the opposition half. If an attaching player is deemed to be in an offside position he is ONLY RESTRICTED from active play. Being restricted is NOT an offence! He must participate in play, we call (INVOLVEMENT) which is the 2nd part of offside . This IS an INDFK offence from WHERE this involvement occurs from, --BECAUSE --he was RESTRICTED earlier by the position he was in WHEN inside the oppositions' half of the field at the TIME of his team mates' last touch of the ball.

A player can move up and down the FOP, even while restricted and could move into their own half to either interfere with play by touching the ball or interfere with an opponent when challenging for the ball. Thus the restart COULD occur inside his own half .
Historically the restart USED to be inside the opposition half from the POSITIONAL determination. This is NO longer the case.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bo
It is the location of the indirect free kick for the final part of the offside offence.
IFAB wanted to ensure that Law11 offence restart locations were the same as any other offence location.
So if an attacker in an offside position in the opponents half comes back into his own half to complete the offence by interfering with play or an opponent the IDFK is taken from that location which will be in his own half.
Clearly a player cannot be in an offside POSITION in his own half yet he can commit the offside offence in his half.
It is rare and it includes situation where a team is pushed up to half way and attacker stood offside in the opponents half runs back into his Ken half while the ball is in the air to play the ball.
In the past the IDFK was taken from his offside position whereas now it taken from where the offence is completed.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 33770
Read other Q & A regarding Law 11 - Offside

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

VAR (Video Assistant Referee) Questions?

Learn about VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.