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Question Number: 34832

Law 11 - Offside 1/15/2023

RE: League junior division Under 13

Graham Dewey of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom asks...

My striker is in a offside position just in front of the two defenders.
The play is in our goal area, my defender clears the ball forward about 10yds inside our half , my strikers runs back towards our goal on our half of the pitch picks up the loose ball starts to run forward linesman flags for offside as the striker was offside when the defender cleared the ball ! Is this the correct decision

Thx Graham

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Graham,

Thanks for reaching out.

This sounds like the correct decision. You also occasionally see this sort of thing happen when a keeper does their punt after saving the ball.

Offside position is judged from the moment the ball is last touched by a teammate - so we take a snapshot of player positions when you defender clears the ball.

All we are concerned about is their position at this moment - and as you say, the striker was in an offside position at this moment.

Players in an offside position are not able to run themselves back onside. So while they ran back into your own half, they were offside when the ball was kicked and that's what matters.

In this situation, there's nothing your attackers could have done for that loose ball - offside is 'reset' at every attacking touch, or when a defender plays the ball (that is, they control it - or they deliberately touch it when they had fair opportunity for control).

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Graham
Thanks for the question.

As you state that the forward was in an offside position behind two defenders and that the ball was played by a defending team mate towards half way which was played by that PIOP that confirms that the attacker came from that offside position to play the ball. That as described is clearly offside.
It is a fairly rare event to be called offside in one's own half yet that is perfectly correct in Law 11. Had the attacker retreated fully into his own half BEFORE the ball was played it could not be offside.

An interesting recent change to Law 11 which confirms this is that the indirect free kick is taken from where the attacking player played / touched the ball in his own half that is the location of the offside offence. Before that law change the IDFK was taken in the opponents' half from where the player was located at the time the ball was played by a team mate.
IFAB the law making body said that it wanted to bring Law 11 in line with all the other laws in that a free kick should be taken from where an offence takes places which in this case is in the player's own half,

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

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