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Question Number: 34567

High School 4/19/2022

RE: High school High School

John p Burns of loveland, CO United States asks...

If a defensive player is injured and down on the field, but the ref is allowing advantage, is the injured player active for offsides by the team attempting to score.

In other words the the offence played the ball forward and the ref called offsides even though the injured player was closer to goal. But was not in the play. is offsides the correct call?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

hi John

If a defensive player is down injured that player must be included in the offside calculation.

If on the other hand it is an attacking player the injured player must either interfere with play by playing the ball or interfere with an opponent. To interfere with an opponents the player in an offside position would have to do something to interfere which could include challenging an opponent, being in the way of an opponent preventing the player from playing the ball, being in the line of sight of an opponent restricting them from seeing the ball.

In general an attacking player down injured would not meet any of those conditions so no offside should be called. It is not an infraction to be in an offside position. The player has to do something more which interferes with play or an opponent and lying on the ground or for that matter standing inactive is generally not interfering.

By the way the reason there is a difference between injured attackers and defenders is that a defender could easily lay down injured to place an opponent in an offside position. An attacker laying down injured takes that player out of the game.

So in your case if a defender is down injured and advantage is being played that defender should be counted as an opponent in any offside calculation.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI John,
based solely on your description no there is no reason to warrant an offside IDFK out.
Offside is a 2 part equation.
It requires the position to be established first
2ndly actual involvement in play must occur to finalize the infraction as a INDFK stoppage .

If play is permitted to continue then that injured player is still active.
If the injured player was a PIOP he still can not touch the ball or interfere with an opponent as he still retains his restricted status.
If the ball was to accidently hit him or in trying to recover he somehow bumped into an opponent or blocked the keepers line of sight then the criteria for an INDFK out for offside involvement is met

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Offside Question?

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

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