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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34787

Law 11 - Offside 12/1/2022

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


one more quick offside question, please.

Rules say this:''The first point of contact of the ‘play’ or ‘touch’ of the ball should be used.''

Situation 1: The goalkeeper throws the ball. Where is the first point of contact?

Situation 2 is South American:-) The player has the ball on his instep for more than a moment. Then completes the leg movement and passes to a teammate. Where is the first point of contact?


Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr, ,
I might be slow on the uptake here, but I use the sound as well sight to determine release of the ball as the moment for offside positional evaluation. Keeper picks up the ball, gets to hold it then tosses it with the hand, that is the release point of first contact to evaluate offside if it was thrown the length of the field , but, if tossed then, kicked obviously that thump would be point of contact, If you balance a ball before flicking it like a scoop, you are looking to see the ball change direction away. At grassroots you do not have the VAR overview to make micro second judgments in millimetres . just use what I used to call good old common sense, be fair, make a decision, live with it.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
That addition to Law 11 was for the benefit of VAR calculations. Video frames can be blurry on a kick so that is why the first touch is stated.
In your cases the moment the ball leaves the hand is the point of contact. I have never seen an offside from a goalkeeper throw so it is not going to test many referees.
On the second one it is the touch of the ball that passes the ball.

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Offside Question?

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

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