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Question Number: 31469

Law 11 - Offside 4/20/2017

RE: Competitive Under 13

Aaron Speca of Virginia Beach, VA United States asks...

This play is an example of a flag raised too quickly by the AR I think. Keep an eye on #12 in Dark Blue. He is clearly in onside position when the long ball is struck; his teammate (#19 I think) certainly is not. But the AR raised his flag immediately not waiting to see which player would get to the ball first. I suppose from his angle it might have appeared that the ball was closer to the ORP than it really was, but I would think the advice to the AR would be to wait and be sure that the ORP is the first to get to and play the ball.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Yes indeed too early a flag. There is no offside offence here under the current interpretation and wording of Law 11. In the now distant past this would be have been offside yet not any longer.
Now the referee here who is the ultimate decider can wave the offside flag down and allow play to continue once he is certain that the player that comes on to the ball is not in an offside position. From what I see here it should have been a wave down as it is pretty clear that the player who plays the ball was not offside.
Now it is for this reason that I instruct ARs to wait and see. No need for a hasty quick flag. The problem with the wave down is that defenders stop playing when they see the flag. One can see at least one defender stopping when he looks across at the raised flag in this instance.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Aaron, your assumption is correct. The flag was too early and the CR should have waved it off IF he was aware of the situation. It did seem fairly straightforward.
The deal is the AR usually has a better view looking across than down field so the CR UNLESS he is convinced the AR is wrong will not generally wave off the flag.
As the old saying goes!
When in doubt do NOT wave it about!

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Offside Question?

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

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