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Question Number: 26767

Law 11 - Offside 9/15/2012

RE: All Other

Scott of Danville, CA USA asks...

Offside Rule Clarification

I have a question about the 'interfering with and opponent' definition for Law 11 as there seems to be quite varied opinions on the application
As stated in the interpretation of the law http://www.ussoccer.com/Referees/Laws-of-the-Game/Law-11.aspx


?"interfering with an opponent" means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball BY (clearly obstructing the opponents line of vision) or (movements) or (making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent)


Do all of the 3 actions (in parenthesis) specified after the BY strictly apply to the "preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball"? If so then I interpret this as follows:

1. obstructing the opponents line of vision

This seems fairly obvious, a good example being obstructing the goalies view during a shot on goal as this would prevent the goalies ability to play the ball " Offside penalized

2. obstructing the ? opponents movements
Obvious, impeding or shielding the ball from an opponent prevents a defenders ability to play the ball" Offside penalized

3. making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent

Attacker running down the field away from the ball. While this may distract the opponent as they run with the offside player it does not prevent the opponent from playing the ball " Offside not penalized

Attacker running toward the ball. May distract an opponent, but does not prevent the opponent from playing the ball " Offside not penalized

Waving arms to distract or faking to trip an opponent would be a good example of "deceives or distracts" that would be penalized.

Do you agree with these interpretations?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I would place your parenthesis in this manner:

(clearly obstructing the opponents line of vision or movements) or (making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent)

Two conditions - obstruction or deception - the first of which has 2 versions.



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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi
I would agree with those interpretations. The player in an offside position has to do something that interferes. Being in an offside position or running in an offside position is not interfering in the context of Law 11. Defenders have to make the decision when confronted with a situation of a player in an offside position to ignore that player as he may not participate in play. For a defender to go towards a player in an offside position just because he happens to be in that position is not distraction.



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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Sometimes the attacker is not so much interfering with an opponent as interfering with play. The line is thin, and judgment is critical based on whether the AR and/or the referee were correctly positioned to see where the OSP player was and whether or not his/her actions interfere either with the opponent or the play.



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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

You seem to have a good understanding of Law 11. Just keep remaining yourself that it is NOT an offense to be in an offside position. The offside positioned player has to DO something in order for there to be an offense



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Offside Question?

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





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