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Question Number: 26490

Law 11 - Offside 6/22/2012

RE: Rec High School

Larry of Newburgh, NY USA asks...


Team B is playing the offside trap. Team A is attacking on the far left side of the field, near the touchline. Just as a Team A forward is about to pass the ball to her teammate, the last two Team B defenders run upfield, to make the Team A pass a potential offside play. No other players from either team approach the ball. The officiating crew waits a few seconds to see how play would develop.

Team A 'receiving' forward realizes that she would be offside if she attempts to play the ball, so instead turns and walks up field just as the ball is played in her direction. By this time both teams have stopped playing expecting the offside call, as the ball rolls forward a few yards and crosses the touchline.

Considerations: Team A forward has opted out of active involvement so is technically not offside. Or is she? Does active involvement require an attempt to play the ball or just to have the ball passed in your general direction if you are already in an offside position? All players have voluntarily stopped play expecting an offside call. Is the correct restart (for Team B) an IDFK or a throw-in?BTW, the center ref called offside.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Larry
As described this is not offside. The player in an offside position has not interfered with play by touching the ball nor interfered with an opponent so it cannot be offside. The correct decision is to restart with a throw in.
Unfortunately the referee is behind the times reverting back to pre the 2006 interpretation

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

'Play the whistle' is what comes to mind.

The attacker has done nothing to become involved in active play. Simply being the intended recipient of a pass is not sufficient to be penalised.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

What exactly has the Team A player done? We have to look at what a player must do in order to be penalized for offside:
1. It is NOT an offense to merely be in an offside position
2. Did she gain an advantage by being in an offside position? Clearly NO.
3. Did she interfere with play? She neither touched nor made any attempt to play the ball so NO.
4. Did she interfere with an opponent? I'm guessing that since you say all players have stopped playing this is what the referee called her for but this is wrong. She has done nothing other than AVOID being offside so NO.

Award a throw-in and remind the players to play the whistle

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Offside Question?

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

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