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: 22596

Law 11 - Offside 11/29/2009

RE: Select Under 17

Randy Flowers of Reynoldsburg, Ohio USA asks...

Dear Sir,
At what point does a A.R. raise his flag on offsides?

Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

The Assistant Referee is obliged to raise the flag once he has determined that the team attacking toward his end of the field has violated Law 11. This requires the AR to determine that the attacking player was in an offside position at the time the ball was last touched by his teammate AND that player becomes actively involved.

Sometimes, there is a period of time between the play of the ball and the violation and the AR must continue to run and follow the play down the field UNTIL he determines the flag must go up. In those cases, once the Referee acknowledges the flag and stops the game, the AR must then run back up the line to the spot where the player was at the moment the ball was last touched.

Read other questions answered by Referee Steve Montanino

View Referee Steve Montanino profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Randy
The assistant referee raises his/her flag when the player in the offside position gets involved in active play and that normally occurs when the player touches the ball. It can also occur when the player in an offside position interferes with an opponent playing the ball.
In some cases when the player in an offside position is the only player capable of playing the ball then rarther than waiting for the player to play the ball the flag can be raised immediately.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

There is no such things as 'offsides' it is offside, lose the (s)!

An AR raises the flag when in his opinion the OSP (offside positioned player) who was judged at the last team mates touch of the ball as nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent is involved in the outcome of play by
interfering with play
interfering with an opponent
gaining an advantage
In the context of Law 11 ? Offside, the following definitions apply:
? "nearer to his opponents' goal line" means that any part of a player's head, body or feet is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent. The arms are not included in this definition
? "interfering with play" means playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate
? "interfering with an opponent" means preventing an opponent
from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing
the opponent's line of vision or movements or making a gesture or
movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent
? "gaining an advantage by being in that position" means playing a ball that rebounds to him off a goalpost or the crossbar having been in an offside position or playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent having been in an offside position
End Quote

There is an interactive video on the FIFA.COM site I suggest you watch it!

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The practical result of the other (correct answers) is that the assistant referee usually must wait to see if the ball is going to be played by someone who is in an onside position rather than assume that someone in an offside position will participate in play. The exception to waiting is when there is a risk of a collision between the player in offside position and an opponent. As a colleague of mine likes to say, better to call the offside than an ambulance.

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 22596
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.