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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34316

Law 11 - Offside 8/22/2021

RE: Adult

John of Antrim, United Kingdom asks...

This question is a follow up to question 34312

So, if the PIOP is not interfering in play in the above scenario, he could potentially be awarded a penalty kick.
However, is that not a case where the PIOP has gained an advantage by being in that position (and therefore guilty of the infraction though he did not interfere with play)?

Btw, in my younger days I officiated in Little League matches where ALL sorts of situations occurred you do not see in adult football/soccer.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi John,
NO, a PIOP only gains an advantage if he physically plays the actual ball off a rebound or a save or a deflection. The fact a goofy defender wants to go over and give him grief is a bad tactical decision.

Whether he blocks a line of sight or interferes with an opponent will depend on HIS actions and where he is in relation to the ball flight and whether his being there creates interference even if he was trying to get out of the way or show no involvement.

It is WHY placing attackers in offside positions in behind the wall for the backing up defenders to fall over is such a silly tactic

The fact a PIOP is at the left post while the ball is at the right post and an idiot defender decides to give him a whack JUST in case the ball was to slide over is a STUPID move and a PK scenario

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
The term gaining an advantage by being in that position is a technical offside term that relates to a PIOP playing a ball that rebounds off an opponent or the frame of the goal.

It is nothing to do with *benefitting* from being in an offside position. To be called offside the PIOP has to meet one of the conditions set out in Law 11 in interfering with play or interfering with an opponent. Simply being in an offside position is not enough so if a PIOP is say charged by an opponent in a situation unrelated to play then that is a charging foul punished by a free kick or penalty kick.
One can be of the opinion that the PIOP should not *benefit* in any way while being in an offside position which includes getting fouled. Yet that is not the case as a PIOP can be fouled once the player is not interfering with play or an opponent in an offside context.

A player cannot foul with impunity an opponent who just happens to be in an offside position.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi John,

Unfortunately, one of the problems with the offside law is that it uses phrases that have a completely different meaning according to the law, than they would in real life.

So as my colleagues have mentioned, a PIOP can only be penalised for gaining an advantage if they touch the ball or interfere with an opponent, after the ball has come off an opponent or the frame of the goal.

I actually think it would be much better if the phrases, "interfering with play" and "gaining an advantage" were removed from the law and only the wording that refers to what these are defined as, were left in.

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Offside Question?

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

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