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Question Number: 22129

Law 11 - Offside 10/2/2009

RE: all Other

RVW of Richmond Hill, ont Canada asks...

I've asked many and recieved as many answers...offside in a goal kick..
Senrio: When the goal keeper take A goal kick .all the defence are on thier half close to half line.
1) Does he have to hold the ball in his hands?
2) Takes the kick from ground after the ball went out from the goal line
Can a striker stand between them (or any second last player) and the keeper and recieve the ball being kicked straight from a goal kick?
Is that an offside?

The law doen't indicate who's taking the goal kick and who's on offside as a result..

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

A big difference in a GOAL kick per LAW 16 and the keeper/goalie kicking or punting the ball!
A goal kick is awarded when the opposition is the last touch the ball before it crosses your goal line and is not a goal (The 8 yard section of the goal line in between the posts under the crossbar)
A Goal kick is a RESTART of play!
A Goal Kick is one of THREE offside exemptions on the restart.
Corner kick and throw -in are the other two.

ANY defending free kick restart DFK or INDFK coming out of the defending penalty area is NOT offside exempt although all opponents must be outside at least 10 yards away and the ball must completely go beyond the penalty area into play.

When the ball is IN PLAY and the keeper chooses to distribute the ball by tossing it with his hands or punting it in the air or throwing it on the ground and kicking it as a touch of the ball by a team mate the rest of his team is evaluated for OSP if they are found to be thus restricted from further play.

The goal kick can be taken by any of the 11 players, keeper usually but certainly not always at the youth level! If the ball is kicked far enough into the opposition half and the opposition foolish enough to not mark the attacker he may receive that ball and continue towards the opposition goal with no restrictions!

This will include if an opponent deflects that ball to the attacker because a deflection off an opponent does not reset offside for the other team. What was present remains in effect which in this case, was the offside exemption!

So too the offside positioned player could return into his own half to pick up the ball and continue back down field PROVIDED no other teammate touched the ball while he offside positioned in the opposing half.

You CAN NOT be guilty of an offside position within your own half, however, you could be guilty of offside involvement and lose possession of the ball if you were judged offside positioned earlier in the opposition half and used the ball's hang time to return to an onside looking position. The exemptions to that of course are if that ball was a direct goal kick, throw in or corner kick!


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

A goal kick is taken when the ball goes over the goal line and it is taken from the ground anywhere inside the goal area by any member of the defending team. It cannot be taken out the hands and the ball has to be at rest. Offside does not apply to a goal kick so the kicker's team mates can be positioned anywhere in the opponents' half and if he/she receive the ball directly from the goal kick it is not offside.
A 'fly kick' is taken from the goalkeeper's hands and the ball is in play so offside applies here. If the goalkeeper throw the ball down while he is in possession of the ball in play then offside also applies.
A simple way to remember this is that a player cannot be offside if he receives the ball directly from any restart where the ball has gone over a boundary line that is a goal kick, corner kick or a throw in. Offside applies in every other occassion.

To quote the Law Page 31 Laws of the Game
No Offence
There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:
? a goal kick
? a throw-in
? a corner kick
Goal Kick Page 48 Laws of the Game
? The ball is kicked from any point within the goal area by a player of the defending team
? Opponents remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play
? The kicker must not play the ball again until it has touched another player
? The ball is in play when it is kicked directly out of the penalty area

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Really, RVW, a little more study might reveal the answers to your questions! The Laws of the Game are online in many languages at

On a goal kick, the keeper cannot hold the ball in his hands - if he does it is by definition not a goal KICK.

Directly means the ball goes from the foot of the kicker of the goal kick to the attacking player who receives it. Anyone on the team taking the goal kick can take the kick. There is no intervening touch allowed from another player, even if accidental, or it is not received directly.

Law 11 clearly says there is no offside offense if a player receives a ball directly from a goal kick, a throw-in or a corner kick.

Law 16 clearly says a goal may be scored directly from a goal kick, but only against the opposing team. (In other words, you can't score against your own team on a goal kick.)

In summary, an attacking player can be standing in an offside position when a goal kick is taken, and if the ball comes to him directly, he may take the ball and go with it and even score.

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Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 22129
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Offside Question?

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

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