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Question Number: 34009

High School 9/29/2020

RE: Varsity/U18 High School

Jason C. of Lacrosse, WI USA asks...

Ball over the top to a striker making a run... CB reaches up and swats the ball away. It's a clear DOGSO red card but the AR communicates that the striker making the run who was denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity was offsides. Is this still a DOGSO? If no, is it even a caution? Does it matter if the flag went up, or if the AR didn't have time to raise the flag prior to the whistle, and merely communicates the fact that the striker was offsides to the referee? Thanks, as always...

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jason
As the offside offence has happened first then the handling and the DOGSO is mute. The restart is an IDFK for offside and no card.
In the lone PIOP situation there is no possible DOGSO as it is not possible for the attacker to gain possession of the ball legally as to do so would be called offside.
The only question here is whether the attacking player running after the ball has in fact committed an offside offence by interfering with an opponent.
As to the offside flag I would say most referees would take the flag from an AR and penalise the offside. As to timing of the flag, an AR where there is offside is expected to raise the flag for the offence even if the whistle has sounded for another offence.
The referee can if he so wishes take the flag or overule the AR and opine that there was no offside and call the handling. An example would be where an attacker in an offside position is not close enough to interfere with an opponent and the opponents commits a handling offence. The flag there would be in error and the referee would be entitled to wave down the flag and call the handling. That will look *messy* for the officials as it will be seen as an AR saying offside and the referee disagreeing. Ultimately it is the CRs call to make.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jason,
Evaluating a potential DOGSO offence is all about projecting forwards to a hypothetical outcome if the offence under consideration had not taken place. The four DOGSO criteria for instance, are an aid to the referee in arriving at that visualisation of the potential outcome.

So in this case, we have to ask, if the offence had not taken place, would the attacker have had an obvious goal scoring opportunity? The answer is clearly no, because had they touched the ball, they would immediately have been guilty of an offside offence. So no OGSO has been denied, since it never would have existed in the first place.

Now, this one is a little tricky because, the ball having been intercepted by the defender, the attacker never actually got to play the ball which would have concretised the offside offence.

However in this case, since we can't penalise the defender for a DOGSO offence (since it wasn't one) it seems to me that the best outcome under the guise of a "spirit of the game" decision and the logically expected outcome, is to call the offside offence. I suppose it's one of those where you could say that even though they didn't play the ball, based on the description as I read it the attacker in question was the only one who could play the ball and where an early flag would have been allowed.

On the other hand, as ref McHugh suggests, the referee could conceivably overrule the AR and just go with a simple handball decision but I suspect most referees would just go with the offside call as being the easier and neater outcome and the one that I suspect would be widely expected.

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