Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 30621

Law 11 - Offside 7/19/2016

RE: Rec Adult

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro, CA Sacratomato asks...

A colleague and I were discussing a particular play at the end of a game and he made a claim while comparing two plays he says are very similar.

In the particular play, A1 (left wing) is clearly offside but away from the ball. A2 (right wing) who is onside, sprints with the ball and shoots as he arrives at the 18. Goalie blocks the ball which lands in front of A1 who has been offside all along. My colleague insists its a goal. His reasoning, on a penalty kick, the player taking the kick is cleared to take a second shot once the goalie deflects the ball.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
As you know we evaluate offside on each single touch by the attacking team. In this case A1 was in an offside position and that in itself is not illegal. A1 has to do something more to be called offside. A2 runs with the ball from an onside position and then takes a shot at goal. Offside is evaluated at that moment of the shot by A2. Was A1 in an offside or onside position at the moment of the shot. What happened before that is past. If A1 is onside at the moment of the shot he is free to participate in play by playing the rebound. If he was in an offside position at that time he will be called offside when he interferes with play or an opponent. A save by the goalkeeper does not reset offside nor does a rebound or a deflection.
Now if the rebound was played by the shooter A2 there is no possibility of offside as A2 was onside at the moment of the shot that is he was behind the ball. The ball then rebounds or is saved makes no difference as the player was onside. It would be akin to playing the ball to oneself which can never be offside. I assume that is the reference to the PK scenario is while the kicker does not have a 2nd opponent between himself and the goal he is onside at the moment of the kick (behind the ball) and then free to particate in play provided the ball was touched subsequently by another player not a rebound off the frame of the goal.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi George,
I'm not sure what a penalty kick has to do with this. The only relevant law I can see here is offside. Was A1 in an offside position when the ball was last touched by a teammate?
If so, and it has come off the keeper, we need to determine if the keeper's touch resets the offside or not. In a nutshell, if the keeper saves it then offside is not reset. If the keeper parried the ball - that is to say, controlled it (for instance, clearly palmed it into space for himself, but maybe it didn't quite go where he wanted it to) then offside is reset. Referees will typically give the keeper the benefit of the doubt and consider most things a save. Given it was a shot on goal I expect it was a save. So if A1 was in an offside position when A2 last touched it, it's a free kick to the defence. Penalty kick laws have nothing to do with it.

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


Your colleague is wrong. A player is not offside at the taking of penalty kick for two reasons:

1) They are behind the ball. Offside is determined by the second to last defender or the ball, whichever is closer to the goal. Since the kicker is behind the ball, they can not be guilty of offside.

2) They kicked the ball to themselves. A player can not be offside if they were the person that made the initial pass.

In your scenario, the offside is determined at the time that A2 kicks the ball. Since A1 is not currently involved in the play, we do not make any decision yet, but we do note and take a 'snapshot' of the player being in the offside position.

The keeper's save does NOT reset offside as it was a deliberate save. This is specifically called out in Law 11. Therefore, we do not need to update our snapshot. The ball arrives at the feet of A1 who now gains an advantage from being in the offside position and our flag MUST go up.

Read other questions answered by Referee James Sowa

View Referee James Sowa profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 30621
Read other Q & A regarding Law 11 - Offside

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 30641

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

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

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.