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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34882

Law 11 - Offside 2/18/2023

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

This question is a follow up to question 34873

Thanks! One more thing please.

Part of the rule 1: 'Lines to be not more
than 12 cm (5 ins) wide.'

Part 2: 'A defending player who leaves the field of play without the referee’s permission shall be considered to be on the goal line or touchline.'

The same goes for the attacker.

Part 3: 'A player is in an offside position if: any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than
both the ball and the second-last opponent.'

Situation 1: Defender (or attacker) has part of his foot off the field behind the goal line.

Situation 2: The player stands on the goal line but is on the field. The part of his foot is in the middle of the goal line. It is the closest part to the end of the field. (The player managed to get his foot back on the field, even though he was off before that.)

And now my solution about those lines and positions. :-)

S1: Here I draw the line on the outer part of the goal line.

S2: Here I draw the line in the middle of the goal line.

S1 and S2: So the difference is 6 centimeters.

Am I right?

Again, it looks like a detail, but VAR likes to measure it by inches. (especially the super technologies from the World Cup)


Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr,
Given the LOTG state the lines are part of the area they encompass it matters not whether the definable body part is nearer the front or the back of that 5 inch touchline. If the keepers back heel is just on the outer edge facing the FOP and a 2nd defender's heel was halfway on that front part whereas the attacker was actually inside the netted area technically that attacker is onside as he is by definition even with the second last defender. He will certainly look further back but that goal line is to all intents and purposes for offside just a zero.1 inch wide photo op. If VAR does have an outside edge approach to the offside. I suppose their freeze frame tech can use that as the deciding measure but in grassroots never going to see it that way as the goal posts would block direct line of sight by the ARS
Cheers .

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
When dealing with the lines that demarcate the outer boundariess of the field, it is the outside edge of the line that counts. For instance, to decide if a ball has crossed the line for the purposes of a goal, or to be out of play for a throw in, goal kick or corner, only the outside edge of the line is relevant.

So as far as I'm aware and logically, the same would apply for offside purposes.

Having said that, I'm not sure how relevant it is for ordinary referees like us - it's something that only those operating a VAR system would ever have to worry about and they presumably have their own guides and procedures as to how minutiae like this would be handled.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
This type of question is unique to VAR and for 99.99% of referees the matter does not arise.
In the case of VAR I believe your assumption is correct in that the outside of the line has to used for offside calculation. The reason I say that is an old presentation on FIFA Offside Law 11 showed that a player could not be offside in his own half which included the half way line. The graphics showed that the half way line was part of the player's half and that offside consideration started from the edge of the line.
In the case of the 2nd last opponent there would have to be two players on the line for that to be relevant as the calculation is taken off the 2nd last opponent which ever player that might be? It would more than likely need a team mate off the field over the goal line for this to happen as it is unlikely that two opponents would be stood exactly on the goal line exactly in line.

So on paper the difference can be in centimetres which we know is causing problems for some VAR offside calls.

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

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