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Question Number: 31365

Law 6 - The Other Match Oficials 3/18/2017

RE: Under 13

Eddie of Sanford , North Carolina United States asks...

So I had a referee on a u12 match. I told the lineman why he was line up with the wrong players. So it didn't matter who the last defender was he would always be line up with the player ahead of the last defender... isn't the second to last defender the person in front of the goalkeeper. Sometimes the last defender would be on the penalty spot n his other defender would be 15 steps in front. The line referee would be up there with them. Stating that was the second to last defender. All I said was how would u be able to see an offside from that kind of distance. He called the main referee and they told me the same thing. I know I'm right now if I'm wrong please tell me also.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Eddie,

hmm it is best when discussing offside not to distinguish the keeper as a separate entity, he is one of 11 players. The concept of the 2nd last defender is it can be any one of 11 players including the keeper. It is just that due to the nature of his position and responsibilities he is USUALLY the last man back ie the 1st defender but he could easily be that 2nd last defender or the 3rd or 4th or 11th as keepers can move up and down the field same as any other teammate.

The closest two defenders to their own goal line can be even or one is slightly ahead of the other. Whom ever is farthest away from the goal line is designated as the 2nd last opponent for the purposes of determining if the opposition strikers are in an offside position. When explaining offside to the ARs explain the fact the keeper is NOT a separate entity to offside and that 1st defender who stands in front of his keeper is indeed the 2nd last defender!


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Eddie
The proper position is level with the second last opponent who ever that may be. Most times we have the goalkeeper on the line so we then look for the last defender who will be the 2nd last opponents. That position helps us to get the tight call correct as angle of view is critical to the call
Have a look at this image which shows how important it is to be level with the 2nd last opponent
While somewhat dated this pdf is helpful

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Offside Question?

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

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