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Question Number: 34816

Law 11 - Offside 12/26/2022

RE: Amateur Under 18

Nick of Moscow, Russia :( asks...

I would like to ask you a question about passive offside in the game, because it cost me the victory in the semi-finals of the European Championship :( Sorry for the quality of the screenshots.
1st screenshot. There is a corner kick from the German players (white). Spaniards are defending (red, goalkeeper - blue)
2nd screenshot. The German player DjeDje (his name is highlighted) heads the ball to a partner. Here I'm not sure if the Spanish player may have carried the ball, but I think at this stage it doesn't matter.
3rd screenshot. Germany's Luger (name emphasized) heads straight to goal.
4th and 5th screenshot. The ball flies to the gates of Spain, the German player DjeDje blocks the view of the goalkeeper (stands in front of him)
6th screenshot. The ball flew into the goal from Luger's kick (DjeDje did not touch the ball after Luger's kick)
Question: Isn't this a passive offside for DjeDje (he blocked the goalkeeper's view)?
PS Thanks in advance for your answer, and yes, if you are interested in my frivolous question, then I will be ready to provide other camera angles or bring the camera closer to the pitch.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Nick ,
Great job on the graphics by the way it is something we should incorporate into our own site!

it is not terribly important to segregate offside into passive as in not trying to be or actually trying to be!

It is a very simple YES or NO decision. Although given VAR measures to the millimeter it can be difficult for grassroots officials to gauge it so precisely! It is why the instructions to ARS is when in DOUBT do not wave it about!

The LOTG accurately describe why, what, when, how, where, and who is required for this offside non involvement restriction to occur. This is NOT YET an offence only a consideration now in effect

However, you are only held accountable once restricted if you INVOLVE yourself by being guilty of INTERFEREING in PLAY (physically touch the ball ) or INTERFEREING with the OPPONENT! (create a problem for them to play the ball without hindrance) My esteemed colleague Ref McHugh listed these criteria inside the LOTG as well in his answer below

Once the PIOP (Player in an Offside Position) actions are determined as INVOLVEMENT it is an INDFK for OFFSIDE from that point on the FOP!

Once the restricted position is established NOTHING that PIOP can do on their own will LIFT that restriction of NON involvement on the FOP . The ball can move, players from both teams can move, the PIOP can move: It makes zero difference once the restriction is in place that PIOP cannot be directly affecting play or the opponent's in any capacity. even marginally

That is UNTIL a NEW evaluation of the POSITIONAL restriction occurs when
(1) another TEAM mate touches/plays the ball,
(2) an opponent touches/plays the ball via a clear deliberate controlled action that is NOT considered as a save, rebound or deflection
(3) the ball goes out of play

Corner kick no offside positional evaluation is in progress

Once the corner is taken the ball into the middle, if the defenders touch the ball no offside positional evacuation occurs as NOTHING has changed to restrict defenders.

If the German player did redirect the ball at that last touch then there were 2 PIOP whose position would be evaluated and thus restricted but not involved .

However as the ball was redirected out to a non offside positioned attacking Player then there would be a NEW offside evaluation when the final shot (last touch of the ball) was taken by him.
The former two PIOPs restriction were released then reevaluated given it looks like there was an exchange of movement.

If indeed the German player clearly in an offside position was standing in front of the keeper then I agree it could have been deemed as interfering with an opponent, in this the keeper, blocking him from being able to make a credible decision to save, with the goal not awarded but rather an an INDFK out for offside!

The key moment is likely to be when the shot occurs was the PIOP actually blocking the line of sight preventing the keeper from tracking or making a movement to get to to the lane of the shooter or was he considered to be off to the near post as the ball was directed to the far post and thus his offside restriction was not enough of an involved presence having a clear effect effect on the outcome of play?

The LOTG ask us as referees is to look for disruptive close proximity a credible reasonable action to be determined as clearly affecting the outcome of play. WE can only hope that a referee with integrity and a firm understanding of the LOTG makes the choice based on what he saw from the angle he had!
I hope you had a good Christmas and best to you and family in the New Year!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Nick
Thanks for the question.
Clearly you put a lot of work into those screenshots. In considering offside it is only helpful in determining offside position. However position is only one aspect of offside as the player in an offside position has to something more either interfering with play or an opponent to be called offside.

Interfering with play is straightforward enough as it require the player in an offside position to touch / play the ball.
Interfering with an opponent can be less straightforward. Law 11 outlines four ways that can happen which prevents an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly
# obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or
# challenging an opponent for the ball or
# clearly attempting to play a ball which is close when this action impacts on an opponent or
# making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball.

Those four conditions are subjective and a referee has to opine whether one of those four conditions has been clearly met.

Line of sight is highly subjective as a player can be in line with the ball yet not obstructing line of vision. The closer to the ball at the moment it is played is less likely to be interfering while close to an opponent increases the likelihood Obviously there is a “grey zone”in between those two positions which causes the difficulties in determining interference and those can go either way based on factor such as a lack of or slow movement or head movement by say a goalkeeper which can be a tell tale sign of being unsighted by the PIOP. If it looks like the goalkeeper tries to make a regular attempt at a save the opinion might be that the PIOP had no impact on play. Remember that goalkeepers have players in front of them all the time both defenders and attackers so they are coached to watch the ball and to make movements accordingly. To be called offside on line of sight a referee has to be sure that the position of the PIOP has clearly prevented an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball
Here is one that was incorrectly called as offside

Here is one @ 40s that was correctly called as offside

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