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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34101

High School 1/12/2021

RE: High School

David Lovett of Royal Palm Beach, FL United States asks...

I was watching a game and saw an offside call that made me want to ask this question. I try to keep up with the laws of the game to make it more enjoyable to watch. There was a player in an offside position. His teammate passes the ball in his direction. The referee applied the wait and see so he could see if either another teammate not in an offside position gets to the ball or a defender deliberately plays the ball and resets the offside. Neither of those happened and the original player that was in the offside position ends up playing the ball. My question is where is the restart? Is it where the player touched the ball therefore being involved in the play or is it from where the player was originally in the offside position since he gained an advantage by being there in the first place? Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
Thank you for your question.
There are two parts to offside offences which are position followed by an action of either touching the ball or interfering with an opponent. Position on its own is not enough.
The IDFK is taken from where the player in an offside position touches the ball not the original offside position. Many times there is little difference between both positions yet in some situations it can be significantly different.
At an extreme a player could move from an offside position in the attacking half back into his own half to play the ball and the IDFK would be taken in his own half where he touched the ball.
The reason for this change is that to be consistent with other parts of the Laws and Rules a free kick should be taken from where the offence took place. In offside the offence happens where the ball is touched or the player interferes with play.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi David,
In High School games, which are player under NFHS Rules, the following clause from Rule 13 applies:

"Indirect free kicks for offside (13-2-2b) are taken from the spot where the offending player interfered with play, interfered with an opponent or gained an advantage by being in that position."

As it happens, this is essentially the same as under the IFAB Laws of the Game, although it's worded a little differently in the IFAB code.

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

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