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Question Number: 21103

Law 11 - Offside 4/8/2009

Scott of Watertown, NY USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 21068

To get more clarification on the myth of not being offside if all players are on your own half of the field. Am I correct in saying that if all players minus the goalkeeper on Team B are on Team A's half of the field as long as Team A does not cross the center line they will NOT be in an offside position. In example if all Team B's players are within the penalty area Team A can have a player near the center line and NOT be in an offside position until that player crosses the center line without the ball.

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I think I'm reading your example correctly, and that is true. The easiest way to remember this is that there are 3 elements involved in offside position, and all three must be true:
Closer to the opponent's goal line than
- The ball
- The 2nd to last opponent
- The half line.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

I guess the real question is: Where was the Team A player when the ball is last touched by a teammate or controlled and played by a defender?

If in A's own end of the field, it doesn't matter how many Team B players are anywhere. Team A is onside. At least, she's onside until a teammate again touches the ball, and then we have to decide again about her position at that moment.

You cannot be offside in your own end of the field, as you noted, but remember it is where you are located when a teammate last touches the ball that matters.

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

There is no special exception for goalkeepers in Law 11.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

You are asking if a player can be in offside position in his own half of the field. The answer is no. Doesn't matter where the ball, his teammates, or ANY of the opponents are, if he's in his own half of the field, no offside position. Period.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

This is NOT a myth. A player is not in an offside position if he is in his own half of the park!


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Offside Question?

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

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