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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35531

Law 11 - Offside 5/23/2024

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


one more offside question, please.

Situation 1:

Player A20 runs with the ball towards the goal. In doing so, A20 touches the ball several times. We assess five such offside situations (A20 touches).

In the fourth situation (touch) the teammate A44 is in an offside position and blocks the opponent.

With the last (fifth) touch, A20 passes the ball into the box. Teammate A44 is in an onside position.

(There are still two options - 'onside' A20 still blocks the defender vs. no longer blocks the defender. Does it change the decision?). Teammate A44 scores.

Is it offside? Or when is it offside? Or does the last touch reset the previous ones?

Situation 2:

Is almost the same. The difference is that A18, who is very far from A44 and the defender, scores. (In addition, A44 can be in an offside position all the time.)

So do we also assess the distance from the ball? (That's what the lecturers used to tell us for these offside blocking offences. Now I don't like their advice at all.) Or just players who might be near the ball at the end of the action?

In general, what do we take into account in these situations?

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr,
offside is evaluated 1st for position THEN for involvement. Lets say VAR reviews and notices the block is what sets the A44 free to participate. You say A20 is dribbling but at some point the A44 player interferes/blocks a defender? Was the defender attempting to get by or move towards A20? Did the PIOP A44 move in front of the keeper to screen? Was there ACTUAL interference as in even minimal contact or forcing the defender out wide and away? This is important because A20 is onside, has the ball and has not passed it to A44 so the interference must be affecting the play to justify an INDFK out or create a DFK offence through contact . If A20 then carries on dribbling and at the next touch A44 is onside UNLESS VAR determines there is involvement by the PIOP in the build up that allowed this goal to be possible, then there should be no offside!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
Thanks gor the question
In Situation 1 offside is not a factor as the ball has not been played by A20 to A44 so offside is not a consideration. It is simply a dribble by A20. Offside is only a factor on the last touch by A20.

Now there is a possibility of a holding / blocking offence by A44 on an opponent in the scenario. A referee has to consider whether that block was sufficient to call a holding / charging offence under Law 12 against A44. If not then there is no offence and play continues.

In Situation 2 the same consideration has to apply. Law 11 states and I quote
** a player moving from, or standing in, an offside position is in the way of an opponent and interferes with the movement of the opponent towards the ball, this is an offside offence if it impacts on the ability of the opponent to play or challenge for the ball if the player moves into the way of an opponent and impedes the opponent’s progress (e.g. blocks the opponent), the offence should be penalised under Law 12**

So it is up to the referee to opine. Did the PIOP interfere with an opponent's ability to play or challenge for the ball or was it simply blocking movement in which case it is holding / charging under Law 12.
So in your example it reads that there is no offside offence as the defender has not been prevented from playing the ball by the PIOP and then it is simply a Law 12 consideration. If the offence had zero impact on play then I doubt it get called. If it was VC then that obviously gets called yet something distant from the ball may not even be seen. I even doubt a PIOP will even bother if it has zero impact on play.

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Offside Question?

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

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