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Question Number: 28068

Law 11 - Offside 12/16/2013

RE: 8

George Adranly of Moraga, cal usa asks...

Is it unusual for a center ref to call an offside, when he is way far & behind the the play? Keep in mind that the AR was in a position in line with the next to last defender.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
Yes it is unusual for the referee to call offside when he has a neutral qualified assistant referee positioned to make the call. It is more unusual when the referee is not 'best' positioned to make a credible call without an AR flag.
Now I have seen it happen when the AR has made an error of judgement either because he was distracted or simply did not see the obvious offside.
Ultimately it is the referee's decision to make and personally I would only make the call if I was 110+% certain that it was offside with no possible debate about it.
Could it have happened that the CR simply forgot that he had neutral ARs and made the call as he would normally with club linesmen?

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

It is unusual, but there are times when it is necessary and appropriate even though the AR is in the correct position with the second last defender or the ball. When the AR knows that the attacker may be in an offside position if the ball was last touched or played by an attacker, but the AR isn't sure who last played the ball, the flag should stay down. The referee may know that it was an attacker who last touched the ball, and thus has the missing element to conclude that this is an offside infringement.

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See Question: 28120

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Offside Question?

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

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