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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33799

Law 11 - Offside 12/10/2019

RE: Competitive Under 19

Ref Bo of Wilson, NC USA asks...

Offside or not scenario

25 yards from goal right side of field near AR2. Offensive player A in offside position by 2 yards. Ball is played through to her. She initially hesitates knowing that she may be off. Defender comes down to follow ball to endline to usher it out for goal kick. The ball slows and player A then pursues ball pressuring defender who shields then plays ball. Is player A then active and gaining advantage from the offside position?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bo
As the defender has not taken control of the ball with a physical touch then offside is not reset. Shielding on its own in not control. In addition offside consideration is NOT time bound in that after a certain time it no longer a consideration. The extreme of that would be a ball played through and no defender takes control of the ball but are just stood there close to the ball. Once the PIOP touches the ball or challenges for the ball even if it took say 10 seconds it would still be called as offside. However in reality we know that rarely if ever happens and the more likely scenario is how much time is afforded to the defender once he takes control of the ball before being challenged by the PIOP. That is a judgement call based on location, time, manner of the control. If it is *unrestrained* control then it is a reset.
So in your scenario once the PIOP challenges the defender for the ball that for me is offside for interfering with an opponent.
Indeed if the AR believes that the lone PIOP is going to clatter into the defender / goalkeeper who has not taken control of the ball the flag can go up before contact.
In your scenario AR1 could easily tidy this up by flagging fir offside once PIOP gets close to the defender knowing the ball is not going out of play.
If it goes out of play the best decision is a goal kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Bo,
It's a bit of a YHTBT (you had to be there) situation in that it depends on the judgement of the referee in the game as to the various factors, including the timing of the involvement by the offside-positioned player but based on your description I would tend towards giving this as an offside offence.

Please note that if you penalise this, it would be for 'interfering with an opponent' under the sub-category of 'challenging an opponent for the ball,' and NOT 'gaining an advantage.'

For gaining an advantage to apply, the offside player has to actually play the ball after it has:

''rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar, match official or an opponent [or] been deliberately saved by any opponent''

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Bo ,
if the defender has to shield the RESTRICTED offside attacker from playing the ball then the offside attacker has likely interfered with the opponent. It will be based on the proximity to the challenge for ball possession as to when the defender deliberately touches thus plays the ball and if the restricted PIOP was guilty of interfering with the opponent prior to the touch . You imply shielding which creates the impression there could be physical contact between the two BEFORE the defender actually played the ball or the PIOP was actually challenging the defender for ball possession forcing the defender to block the access. This would be sufficient for offside involvement.

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