Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 21091

Law 11 - Offside 4/6/2009

RE: College

Daniel of Palermo, Italy asks...

Question about Offside.

Imagine this configuration of players counted by smaller distance from goal line:

- BLUE GOALKEEPER (nearer to goal line, for example 1 meter from it)
- RED PLAYER1 (distance from goal line for example 2 meter)
- RED PLAYER2 with a ball (distance from goal line for example 3 meter)
- BLUE DEFENDER (nearest to his goal line, distance from goal line bigger than 3 meter, say 10meter)

If RED PLAYER2 (player with ball) gives ball to RED PLAYER1, should referee consider this as offside offence in situation described?

I am asking this, because it seems that referees today judge this as offside offence!

But, before 15 years, I read official referee handbook for preparing exams (I am not referee, just had opportunity to read that) and as I remmember there was rule (with picture) which stated that above situation should NOT be consider as offside offence (although RED PLAYER1 'IS' nearer to goal line than ball) because offside offence require that 'at least TWO blue deffenders must be between goal line and RED PLAYER2 (with a ball) in a moment when he hiting a ball to RED PLAYER1'!

So, according that 'rule', this should not be considered as offside because there are only one blue opponent (goalkeeper) between red player with ball and goal line.

I found that rule reasonable and in spirit of rules of game, because that situation could't happen with unfair plays, and means that red team played good to find themselves in that position, so it looks unreasonable to limit their free playing for scoring as long as only goalkeeper is in front of them.

However, Today, to my surprise, this situation certainly IS considered as offside offence.

So, my question is - Does above rule ever exist (and probably changed meantime) or I have bad memmories?

thanks in advance

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Daniel, you have had bad memories. This has always been offside.


Read other questions answered by Referee Chuck Fleischer

View Referee Chuck Fleischer profile

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

I'd have to agree with Ref Fleischer. You indeed have a poor memory of the rule book you read lo so many years ago. You focused on Red 2 as the determiner of the offside line, when in fact Red does not determine the line at all.

The mistake comes with determining offside position (OSP). OSP is not an offense, but it does mean the Red player is closer to the goal line than the ball and the 2nd to last defender. Red 1 is in OSP. You'll note Red 2 is not involved in this equation since he is in an onside position.

The moment Red 2 touches the ball toward Red 1, Red goes from being in an OSP to being offside.

You might be interested in reading the article on offside on this very website.

Read other questions answered by Referee Michelle Maloney

View Referee Michelle Maloney profile

Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

Bad memory. Thanks for clearing it up though!

Read other questions answered by Referee Steve Montanino

View Referee Steve Montanino profile

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Don't know what you were reading but it was wrong 15 years ago and is wrong now. The Red player 1 is nearer the opponents goal than both the next to last opponent and the ball so he is in offside position. Hence, if the ball is played to him and he participates in play, he is guilty of an offside offense

Read other questions answered by Referee Keith Contarino

View Referee Keith Contarino profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 21091
Read other Q & A regarding Law 11 - Offside

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

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

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.