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Question Number: 34238

High School 6/3/2021

RE: Competive High School

Terry A Mason of Santa Rosa, CA United States asks...

A Player is in an offside position when the ball is passed to them by a teammate. The player in the offside position is aware of being in that position and does not attempt to challenge the ball, giving advantage to the goalie. The player in the offside position then turns away from the ball and starts walking back towards his onside position. However, the goalie does not pick up the ball, but, kicks the ball which goes directly to the player in the offside position, who then dribbles to ball towards the opposing goal and scores.

The referee disallowed the goal because the player that was originally in the offside position did not re-establish himself in an onside before gathering the the ball and scoring a goal. Should the goal have been allowed because the goalie played the ball before the player re-established himself in an onside position or dis-allowed because the players were still in an offside position before the goalie played the ball?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Terry,
so we are certain of the player's offside position at the timing of his teammate's pass!
That is part 1 of offside now on to part 2.

His realization and the subsequent showing non-interest by demonstrating non-involvement in turning away as per your description seems conclusive part 2 is not being acted upon?

Hmm, rather odd of the referee not to grasp that if the PIOP did NOT touch the ball nor interfere with the keeper's ability to play that ball then where is that required 2nd stage of offside involvement?

The decision to kick the ball is a deliberate play by the keeper and in fact, THAT deliberate action by the keeper sets aside the restriction the opposing PIOP did have prior. This in my opinion was a tactical mistake and lack of skill by the keeper! It should have been a lucky break for the player & a goal for his team with a kick-off restart, NOT an INDFK out!!

The fact a flag might have been raised as the PIOP chased it is a possibility but it is the CR's responsibility to choose to accept it as a fact! An astute official would not want a possible collision occurring but there appears to be little evidence to think this given the PIOP walkaway actions?

There seems to be no deliberate save made whereby the keeper's kick would not reset the PIOP as it counts as would a deflection or rebound should the Keeper NOT have been able to deliberately choose a course of action in time or with purpose. The Keeper simply chose his action and performed it poorly!

For a referee to declare the PIOP was offside the ONLY justification would be to hold the opinion the PIOP interfered with the Keeper's ability to play the ball or there was a deliberate save or the ball deflected/rebounded off the keeper. In MY opinion that seems highly unlikely given your description of events. If the referee gave you the explanation the PIOP had not gotten back into an onside position he could stand some more training in understanding how offside resets work!


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Terry
Thanks for the question.
From your description I am of the opinion that as the player in an offside position did nothing to be penalised for an offside infraction he was perfectly entitled to get involved in subsequent active play after a deliberate play by the goalkeeper that was not considered to be a save.
It would make no sense that a PIOP would have to get to an onside position to get involved in active play again. Once the defending team takes control / possession of the ball in a way that the PIOP has not interfered with an opponent then the restriction of getting involved in active play is removed.

As described in your example in my opinion the goal should have been allowed as the player received the ball from a deliberate play by an opponent and there was no offside infraction by the PIOP.

Yes there can be situations where a PIOP closes down an opponent and interferes with that players ability to play the ball, in which case that is offside and it should be called. If say the PIOP closed down the goalkeeper who made a hasty clearance to play the ball which goes to the PIOP then that can be considered offside.

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Offside Question?

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

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