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: 33910

Law 11 - Offside 3/5/2020

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33905 if the official reason for not awarding Everton a goal was for offside - a decision made by the VAR team, how on earth did they arrive at that conclusion if it is clearly seen that Mcguire made a deliberate play at the ball - and therefore resetting the offside.


Mcguire ineffectively playing at the ball is no different to the defender who jumps to head the ball, only for them to not quite get there and for the ball to skim off their head.

Again, considering the VAR have the opportunity to review this - it is just baffling how they chalked it off if there is a reset.

Bafflingly, they clearly didn't think there was a reset.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Russell ,
His match his decision his reputation
Your match a different decision your reputation

"Save" Clarification
As indicated in the last sentence a "save" can be made by any player and is not limited to the goalkeeper.
# A "save" is when a player stops a ball which is going into or very close to the goal with any part of his body except his hands (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area).
"Deliberately playing the ball" involves a conscious act of a player whereby his making contact with the ball with his feet, head or body was the result of him initiating a sequence of events in a reasonable manner! There is no guarantee of control or possession in a deliberate action. It does involve a ...PHYSICAL... touch of the ball

(b) - deflection = a ball that alters it trajectory or being caused to change direction upon impact
(c) - deliberate save = a ball played with a conscious decision and realization of the consequences of action but is done preventing a goal

These conditions WILL NOT RESET nor change an attacking opponents' restricted offside status! Neither does it alter or change an attacking opponent's ONSIDE status.
A miss kick or poor header is more often a MISTAKE made when choosing to deliberately play the ball!

We do not award offside for a mistake, if it was a DELIBERATE PLAY!

However, the position or movement of the defender's feet or head apparently trying to react does not necessarily mean the ball was deliberately played!

What determines if a mistake is a deliberate play or was it a deflection or a rebound? We hold that when the ball comes to the player, no player will ever get out of the way and let the ball go by, there will always be a motion by the player as that is an instinctive movement. The question is whether it is an action or a reaction.

#DISTANCE: How far away is the ball?
#FLIGHT PATH: Is the ball's direction, or angle altered on its way towards the player?
#SPEED: How fast is that ball moving?
#SPACE: is there room to react?
#TIME: Is there time to prepare?
#IMPACT: Does the ball strike the player, without the player being aware or time to react?

An impact is NOT deliberately playing the ball, nor a mistake, it is either

#{a} rebound which is a ball that bounces back after striking a hard surface or

#{b} deflection which is a ball that alters it trajectory or being caused to change direction upon impact


Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
I agree with ref McHugh that McGuire did not deliberately play the ball - to me it deflected from him. This is an incident that has been the subject of intense and prolonged debate on refereeing discussion sites and the debate is pretty much all about the definition and interpretation of 'interfering with an opponent.' Although it is mentioned as an outside possibility, virtually no-one in these discussions seems to argue that McGuire's actions constituted a deliberate play of the ball.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
I believe that Maguires touch was a deflection and not a deliberate play. If it was a deliberate play then offside does not arise in any shape or form
The closest opinion we have to this being considered a deflection is the following video from FIFA which was also deemed a deflection.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 33910
Read other Q & A regarding Law 11 - Offside

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 33912

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

Offside Question?

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

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.