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Question Number: 30926

Law 11 - Offside 10/19/2016

Stewart of Livermore, CA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 30917

I understand the new rule change that the restart location for offside is where the player becomes involved in play, instead of where he was when the ball was played by a teammate. I routinely tell my AR's to be slow with the offside call to make sure there isn't an onside player who can play the ball. I also tell them, it is virtually impossible to have offside when the ball goes out of play. However, I tell them that they can flag early if there is concern about a collision with the keeper, or if the OSP is the only one who is going to get to the ball. Is this good advice? And on those long balls should the AR just chase it, and when he is certain it is not going out of bounds and that an OSP will touch it then flag it? This may result in a very large distance between the old and new restart locations.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Stewart,
Although I think you are giving practical and reasonable advice. I also tend to think we have incorrect offside on a good goal or goal scoring potential more so than a missed offside that results in a bad goal. The WAIT and SEE approach is far better than too early but in cases where a player who was MARGINALLY offside positioned, just past the midline and he is on a dead run all by himself, thinking he beat the offside trap, chasing the ball headed into a playable area with no possibility that it will exit the FOP.
Initially it seemed to make sense to not wait, to flag early, save some time and stamina but the new impetus to punish the later involvement, not the 1st position, for the restart, makes me think wait till it gets touched, simply because HE might realize he should not touch it and the INDFK restart location is now way back in the defending third not up at the middle if he does.
That said the AR should check once the OPP is in pursuit.
WHO else is giving chase? Team mate or opponent and if opponent is there interference at ANY Time?
Will the ball for sure stay in play or might it exit the FOP before it could be played/touched?
Will the keeper be involved, nothing wrong with a bit of safety to avoid the OPP and keep in mind two players travelling as fast as they can in opposing directions make up ground quickly.
Personally I suggest for the AR to follow along and you will be where the restart is once you see the actual involvement of the touch or interference.
If the AR stops trying to stay with the ball but just watches waiting for the inevitable touch that would signal, to me anyway, that he is convinced the player is OPP. It might warn the team and create a situation where the OPP stops pursuit, the defence convinced you were about to flag to stop or check up and all of a sudden a team mate of the OPP dashes by to secure the ball where initially there was ONLY the OPP.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Stewart,

I think the advice you are giving is all fine, as far as it goes.

When it comes to following the ball, I don't really see why the standard positioning advice for AR'S should not apply:

''The AR must be in line with the second-last defender or the ball if it is nearer to the goal line than the second-last defender.''

The fact that the restart position could be quite different than under the old laws version does not really affect this aspect of things, as far as I can tell.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Stewart
The instructions seem fine to me. ARs must move to adopt the wait and see approach which includes waiting for the ball to go out of play. I do however continue to see early flags when the ball is destined to go out of play even in situations where ARs have been instructed otherwise. Old habits die hard for many.
The new instructions also now do not require the AR to move back to the original offside position after a lengthy run. The IDFK is now taken from where the AR signals for offside which is the location of the interfering with play not the original offside position. Only exception to that is that the AR does not follow the player into the other half where the IDFK must now be taken from where the offside conditions were met.

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Hi Stewart,
the general consensus is with the offside INDFK now being awarded from the POINT of INVOLVEMENT not the POSITION 1st used to determine restricted status the AR should, if not in line with the 2nd last opponent, stay with the ball and follow the OPP until he actually touches the ball or interferes with an opponent as that will be the point of the restart.
The only hitch is if an OPP reverts back into his OWN half and the AR is still in line with the 2nd last opponent back in the opposition half a bit of pointing will have to occur! Perhaps a flip of the hand to indicate the OPP went over and back again to play the ball which is why the flag was raised and the INDFK occurs inside the OPP's own half .
From our pitch to your pitch in the spirit of fair play

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Offside Question?

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

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