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Question Number: 30674

Law 11 - Offside 8/16/2016

RE: Competitive Under 19

Thomas Schaller of River Forest, IL United States asks...

So for the competitive youth level I would not be wrong to instruct my ARs to flag for offside as soon as the attacker in an offside position is becoming active and might get to the ball first? I just hate to wait to see who gets to the ball first whilst charging full speed at each other.
And if it's OK to whistle earlier than the actual touch, where would I spot the IDFK given the new rule? I would spot where the linesman has his/her flag raised and would interpret the law that the attacking player started interfering at that point, correct?

Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Hi Thomas,
There is a certain degree of ambiguity to offside as it STILL involves an OPINION as to what constitutes the interference. The offside restart, which was a bit more flexible then most restarts as to exact location under the older version has tightened a wee bit but is still flexible in most cases as a (general area) than an exact spot. You should, in my opinion err on safety in youth although an occasional advantage wave off CAN be condoned if say the keeper had clear ball possession as in his grasp in his PA and the striker had veered off in a close brush that although a flag was raised as the collision looked possible. In cases where a single offside opponent is chasing remember to consider if the ball COULD still exit the field prior to him getting to it.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Thomas
There is an element of understanding of what is likely to happen in these scenarios. The last thing that a referee wants to happen is a too early flag, whistle to find an onside player running on to the ball after the PIOP has stopped his run. So Law 11 allows for the early flag in the lone PIOP situation and where it is likely to be called and a danger of collision. This is what one does not want
Here is example of a flag before contact of the ball.
There is no possibility of anything much else happening other the offside so the it can be called early.

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Offside Question?

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

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