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Question Number: 31381
Law 11 - Offside 3/23/2017
RE: Youth Competitive Under 19
Nikhil M of Kansas City, Kansas USA asks...
Changes to Law 11 - Offside
An IDFK for an offside offense is taken where the offending player was at the moment the ball leaves his/her teammate's foot/body. That being said, if a long through ball is sent to an attacker who is in a offside position near the half line, the flag is raised at that point near the half line, not 30-40 yards down the field when the attacker touches the ball or becomes involved in play. Therefore, how can an IDFK for an offside offense be placed in the other half of the field, when the attacker comes over and back to make an infringement?
Thanks for your help!
Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh
Not so. Offside position is JUDGED at the moment the ball is played / touched by a team mate. The offside offence OCCURS after the ball is played by the PIOP or the PIOP interferes with an opponent. There is NO OFFENCE until the player in an offside position interferes with play by touching the ball or interferes with an opponent by challenging an opponent or impacts on an opponents ability to play the ball.
If an offside offence occurs, the referee awards an indirect free kick where the offence occurred, including if it is in the players own half of the field of play.
So in you example the offside flag should NOT be raised on a long through ball 30/40 yards downfield away from the offside positioned player. It is not an offence for an offside positioned player to move after the ball or run elsewhere perhaps for another phase of play. So the AR should hold off from raising the offside flag until there is certainty that there is going to be offside offence such as a touch of the ball by the PIOP or there is the strong possibility of a challenge / collision on an opponent. An AR can flag *early* if there is certainty that no other onside player can play the ball. On a long ball played through that is way too early to judge offside as the ball can go back to the GK or out for a throw in, goal kick in which case there is no offside offence.
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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson
your opening statement is incorrect, the offside criteria becomes active at that moment when the position is determined but it is the LATER involvement that dictates the restart LOCATION. To THAT end it is certainly possible to be awarded an INDFK against you inside your own half if as an OPP (offside positioned player) you returned while restricted and involved yourself in active play either by touching the ball or interfering with an opponent upon returning past the mid-line.
A KEY concept in offside ! ONCE an OPP is restricted by the positional touch of the team mate NOTHING that OPP can do on his own will rescind his non involvement restriction!
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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove
One of the changes to the offside law this year is precisely that the IDFK is not taken where the player was at the last touch by a team mate but where they become involved in active play, even if this is in the player's own half.
In the FAQ on the IFAB website this is explained as follows:
''Q3: The Law now says that the IDFK for offside can be taken in the player's own half but how can this be correct?
It is correct because:
a player CAN NOT be in an offside POSITION in their own half
a player CAN commit an offside OFFENCE in their own half if they go back into their own half from an offside position
With the exception of offences in the goal area, throughout the Laws every free kick is awarded from the place where the offence occurs so it is logical that this should also apply to offside.''
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Offside Question?Offside Explained
by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef
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