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Question Number: 22781

Law 11 - Offside 1/30/2010

RE: Select Adult

Dave Young of Moss Beach, Ca USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 18330

Players 8 and 9 are attacking the opponent's goal. 9 shoots and hits the crossbar. Player 8, who was onside when 9 shot, receives the deflected ball and knocks it in. By this time 8 hits the ball he has moved offside.
Is this a goal? Seems that the rule says he was onside at the time 9 shot the ball and that should be the deciding factor???

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham


If a player is in onside position when the ball is touched by a teammate, the player is entitled to participate in play regardless of the changing positions of the ball and the opponents. The player will again be considered for offside position the next time to ball is touched by a teammate.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dave
Yes you are indeed correct. The determining factor is the position of 8 when 9 takes the shot at goal. As 8 is not in an offside position when the shot was taken he subsequently cannot be judged offside when he receives the ball from a rebound off a post or opponent, no matter what position he is in. When the ball is touched or played by his team mate and the player is not in an offside position the rebound off the crossbar or an opponent has no bearing on the decision.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Law 11: 'A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team ...' Since 8 was not in an offside position when 9 last touched/played the ball, there is no offside infraction to call.

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Answer provided by Referee Tom Stagliano


My fellow referees (Wickham, McHugh, and Voshol) are all completely correct.

However, I detect, from your question, a possible misunderstanding of an offside position.

Remember, to be in an offside position, a player must be, in this order:
In the attacking half of the field
Ahead of the ball
Not have two opponents even or closer to the goal line.

In your example: You claim the player went to an 'offside position' after the ball was last touched by his team mate and it hit the crossbar. However, at that moment, that player was behind the ball.

For your scenario, this may be moot or not. It is just that most people tend to forget there are Three criteria to determine an offside position, not one.

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Offside Question?

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

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