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Question Number: 26889

Law 11 - Offside 10/7/2012

RE: U-10 AYSO Under 10

Scott Worthington of Huntington Beach, ca usa asks...

An attacking player is in offside position. The ball is kicked forward by a teammate, and it goes right by the player in offside position, who tries to kick it but misses. He does not touch he ball. The ball rolls toward the goal and looks likely to be picked up by the goalie.

My question: Should the AR raise his flag to signal offside? I realize that if he does, he may ultimately be waved down by the Center if the goalie gets the ball. Is this even an offside violation, since the player did not touch the ball?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Well, the LOTG say that interfering with play involves 'touching or playing the ball' - what exactly does 'playing' the ball mean?

The LOTG isn't clear - but for me, it would include a missed attempt, or a dummy (feint over the ball). So as an AR I'd be putting the flag up - unless I can immedately see that it's going straight to the keeper who isn't too far away, in which case we're better off allowing play to continue and allow the keeper to gather the ball and play it out his way.

If we can avoid interfering in the match, it's good to do so.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Scott
If the AR has adopted a 'wait and see' approach then there is no need to raise the offside flag. Even if the AR did raise the flag the referee can now play advantage and allow play co continue particularly at underage where the punt is more advantageous than the IDFK off the ground.
Whether it is offside depends on the AR's view of the incident. As the player did not touch the ball then he did not interfere with play. So it then can only be considered under interfering with an opponent. If an opponent was close enough that he was unable to play the ball as he did not have a good line of vision or the attempted kick deceived or distracted an opponent then offside should be called. An example would be if the goalkeeper dived to save the attempted kick by the player in an offside position then that should be called. If the PIOP just stood there and let the ball run past him even closely then that is not offside.
So in this situation there was no need IMO to flag the offside and play should continue.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

This is a good question to ask the referee in the pregame. What do you want me to do in a situation like the one you described above? Would you rather I raise the flag and let you wave it down if the keeper comes to get it, or just wait and see?

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Offside Question?

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

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