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Question Number: 29567

Law 11 - Offside 7/29/2015

RE: Club Under 19

Rich of Wilmington, DE USA asks...

If on a set play. In this case a direct free kick from about 28 yards from goal. With a wall set on the 18. If the attacking team places players in an offside position, in this case at the corners of the 6 and a player in the wall jumps to play the kick with his head and deliberately plays it and it skips off his head to one of the players standing at the 6, and they score .... is it offside or a goal. (There is no interference of vision by the players at the 6 with the kick and in no other way are they interfering).

In other words does the fact that this is a free kick and not something that occurs during dynamic play negate the new clarification of the offside law............... that if a ball is deliberately played by an opponent that offside is not penalized.


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rich
You make an interesting point and one that requires an interpretation based on each circumstance.
UEFA the governing body in Europe has opined that
** Challenging an opponent for the ball means something more than "making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent".
Challenging an opponent for the ball now requires:
# physical interference
# being within playing distance (1 metre / 1.5 metres)

The ball is deflected when it changes direction and the player:
# Doesn't move towards the ball
# Finds the ball coming against him and attempts to play it
# Creates an obstacle (Free kick or shot)

Deliberately playing the ball means a deliberate act made by the player.
To identify when a ball is deliberately played:
# A clear movement of the player towards the ball
# It doesn't matter the "quality" of the play'' **
So in Europe what you describe would be called offside for gaining an advantage by being in that position as the player has attempted to create an obstacle and probably was not even sure if he was going to make contact with the ball of not. Some player turn away or close their eyes when faced with a fast moving shot from 10 yards. If it was deemed that the player moved towards the ball to play it then that is a deliberate play which resets the offside. It would also be a reset if the action was seen as a deliberate play of the ball such as a header that goes astray. It is also an infringement if the player moves towards the free kick which could result in a retake of the free kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

I agree with referee McHugh here. Sounds like what you describe does not qualify as a deliberate play of the ball by the defender.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Rich,
in short NO!
Offside is CRITERIA based and is a YES or NO decision ITOOTR

Players can stand where they wish on the field but are held accountable if that action is in someway deemed as unfair. If these actions occur when play is not active these are possible acts of misconduct. Simply standing in an offside position is NOT an offence. Remember offside criteria is not judged until the ball is LAST touched by a team mate. When that free kick occurs ONLY then do we look to the POSITIONAL status of the two attacking players standing on the edge of the goal area. At that moment in time they were NOT challenging for the ball, they were not blocking the keeper's line of sight they were not playing/touching the ball thus we ignore them! IT DOES NOT MATTER the REASON THEY DECIDED TO GO THERE ,which was likely to try and distract the keeper. As long as they have not acted improperly they are fine! If for example either PIOP tried to verbally distract the keeper they are guilty of USB they would be shown a yellow card and cautioned for USB, the kick would be retaken if it occurs before the kick or an INDFK out if after the kick .

Now the million dollar question is the defender's deliberate header a deliberate play gone wrong or a deflection thus the offside attackers are gaining an advantage? ITOOTR

I am of the opinion given you say he ...jumped.. and use the word ...deliberate... the offside restriction is lifted, NO OFFSIDE good goal.

Yet if the ball was hit hard and rising player jumps up eyes closed in unison with his teammates hoping to block but unless he was ten feet he would not get more than his hair on the ball a deflection is not without merit, offside no goal!


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Offside Question?

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

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