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: 34050

Law 11 - Offside 11/11/2020

RE: Professional

gargy of Haifa, Israel Israel asks...


In one case, a player A of the attacking team is in offside position, making his run towards the goal.
His teammate B, plays the ball, trying to cross the ball forward, above the defense to player A in the offside position. The crossed ball gets to a defender's head, who try to clear the ball with his head, but he heads it immediately to the attacking player A in the offside position.

Should it be an offside, as player A was in offside position at the time the ball crossed forward by his teammate B? or the fact the defender headed the ball is enough to cancel the offside?

Thank you

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gargy
Thanks for the question.
As the ball has been deliberately played by an opponent and then it goes to an attacker in an offside position that is not offside as there has been a reset of play.
For it to be offside the PIOP has to do something more than being in an offside position before it can be called. These actions are
# preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or
# challenging an opponent for the ball or
# clearly attempting to play a ball which is close to him when this action impacts on an opponent or
# making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball.
From your description none of these four conditions were met so there is no offside.
Now there will be times when the ball rebounds / deflects off an opponent to a PIOP. That rebound / deflection does not reset offside as it is not a deliberate play and offside will be called once the PIOP interferes with play by touching the ball or interferes with an opponent in the ways listed, There may be times when it is *doubtful* if the play is deliberate or not and then it is a judgement call based on what the referee observes such as the distance of the defender from the ball, is it reactive or proactive, does it hit the defender rather than a deliberate move to the ball etc.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Gargy,
based solely on your description the header was a deliberate action and a mistake, thus it resets offside as a new touch of the ball by the defending team, allowing the opposition to continue their attack. . It is not a rebound or deflection OFF of the head, which then would NOT reset offside and would result in an INDFK out for gaining an advantage .

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 34050
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

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.