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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33800

Mechanics 12/12/2019

RE: rec Under 13

Rob of jacksonville, fl duval asks...

I'm an AR, let's say slightly over the halfway line. I see an offside but hold my flag as it looks like another player in an onside position may get to the ball first. 15 yards down the field the offside player gets to the ball first and I raise my flag. From a position perspective as an AR, do I follow the play down the field until I decide to raise the flag or do I hold my original position?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Rob,
if the offside player is IN pursuit of the ball along with a non offside player you wait until a physical touch of the ball by the PIOP or if that PIOP affects play by interfering with an opponent. That's the involvement and the location of the INDFK. While your duty to stay with the second last defender is a priority do not forget once the ball is past the 2nd last defender THAT is where you should be as THAT is now the basis to find the involvement criteria for offside!
The near AR should mirror the far ARs signal if a flag pops and is unseen by the referee. Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rob
In these situations you must continue with play until the offside offence is fully committed. If the onside player gets to the ball first then by holding the original offside position an AR is hopelessly out of position as play must continue and he is then playing catch-up which is not a good position to be in.
In addition once the PIOP interferes with play or an opponent the flag goes up at that point and location which is where the IDFK is taken from. That means no movement for the AR from the raised flag position.
The only challenge for the referee crew in these type of situations is that if the AR is out of the CRs line of view say with play on the far side of the field of play and without buzzers or mikes the CR may think that it is not going to be called with the flag kept down on his first view across to the AR who is moving with the play. The CR may then just follow play without a second look across to the AR thinking there is not going to be a flag.
CRs have to get into the habit of looking at ARs on the touch of the ball, challenge on an opponent when play develops like you describe and the AR is no longer in immediate view. It is always easier on the ARs side as the flag will be spotted immediately.
My experience of these is that I shouted the referees name when it is clear he has not seen the flag and that has always worked. When buzzers were used it was a simple *buzz* as the flag is raised for offside.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Rob,
The assistant referee should always stay with the second last defender or the ball if it is nearer to the goal line than the second last defender, until or unless the offside offence occurs. As you say, there is another player in an onside position who might play the ball and if they do, and you have maintained your original position, you will be completely out of position to judge any subsequent play.

Also, as you are probably aware, just being in an offside position is not an offence and even if the offside-positioned player does eventually play the ball, the offence occurs where they touch the ball, not where they were when the ball was last touched by a team mate. So whichever player gets to the ball first, you should maintain the recommended AR position which is in line with the second last defender or the ball, so that you are correctly positioned for whatever occurs.

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Offside Question?

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

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