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Question Number: 28182

Law 11 - Offside 2/16/2014

RE: Rec and Select Under 16


This question is a follow up to question 28129

Ref Gary Voshol, replying to question 28129 (is a player offside when standing on the half line?) writes
law 11 says, 'A player is not in an offside position if he is in his own half of the field of play or ...'

If he is on the line, but not over, he is in his own half (because the line is in BOTH halves of the field) So he is not in an offside position
My question: If we extend that logic, then a player who is straddling the half line is simultaneously in BOTH halves. Which means he IS in his own half and therefore, by law 11 is NOT in an offside position.
-- right or wrong?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

The law also tells us to consider the position of the parts of the body that can play the ball in judging offside.

So if the player is straddling the line, then relevant parts of his body are in the attacking half, so we consider those parts in determining offside.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gus
The player is not in his own half only. Part of his body that can play the ball is in the opponents' half so that place him an offside position as per FIFA's advice and an offside infraction will be called when he interferes with play or an opponent. The law states that "nearer to his opponents' goal line" means that any part of a player's head, body or feet is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent. A player can have his body level with the 2nd last opponent and his leg can stretch out to play the ball. That is deemed to be offside. That logic applies to the half way line.
Anyway it is very rare offside offence and one that is not going to challenge officials very often in play. I have not seen it and watching the net for a very long time I have not seen it there either. It is important to know the principle.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Logic supports your comment, but the interpretation is that such player may be in offside position (if the other elements are present). In real life, however, it may be very difficult for the assistant referee to judge whether the player is behind/in front/or on the halfway line in the moment that the ball is touched or played by a teammate. Any doubts regarding offside position are resolved in favor of 'not offside.'

The question may be more interesting on paper that on the field.

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See Question: 28233

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Offside Question?

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

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