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Question Number: 27963

Law 11 - Offside 11/2/2013

RE: Select Under 13

Zach of Elk grove , Ca USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 24681

I'm a newer referee although I also play comp. I was an AR and I called offside when the goalie punted the ball to his forward who was offside and the tying goal was scored.. The center ref talked with me and said it was not offside because the ball skimmed off the the head of a defender first. Was he right because now I'm confused.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Zach
When you say skimmed off the head of the defender that suggests deflection rather than a deliberate play of the ball. If it was a defelction then offside was not reset and your flag was good.
If it was a deliberate play of the ball that went astray then offside was reset.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Headers present a difficult decision for the referee. If the referee judges it to be a deliberate play by the defender, then offside position is reset; the opponent is entitled to play the ball. If, however, it is judged to be a deflection, then the opponent remains ineligible to play the ball.

In this case, both you and the referee acted properly. You raised your flag to indicate (assistant referees do not call) offside. The referee properly waived down your flag and allowed play to continue.

In the end, it is the referee's job to make the final decision regarding deliberate play/deflection. (Wise referees never waive an offside flag down unless 100 percent sure that that is the correct judgment.)

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Just a guess, but at this age group, what's the likelihood of a player being able to control the ball from a long punt with his head? My guess is pretty low. I would never waive down my AR on an offside call unless I was positive he/she was wrong, assuming said AR is in proper position.

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Offside Question?

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

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