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Question Number: 31488

Law 11 - Offside 4/26/2017

RE: Competitive Adult

Rick of Middle river, Md USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31444

In reference to the question on the penalty kick question/ answer
If the kicker kicks the ball after the deflection from the Goalie and the laws of the game are in effect and their is no defender between the kicker and the Goalie would not the kicker be offsides?

The reason I ask this is that when you look at it with the laws of the game after the kick the ball is live and the rules are active it would put the kicker offsides. This is why I believe that the law was meant that another player from the 18 line has to touch it first. Please advise I am just giving another view that I don't think anyone has took into consideration. Thank you for your time in this matter. And please don't take offense to the question.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Rick,
no offence to the question. Understanding the LOTG require constant questioning if they are to make sense.
You also need to grasp certain fundamentals on offside.
(a) when there is no 2nd last opponent the BALL itself becomes the imaginary line delineating position.
(b) it is NOT an offence to be offside positioned
(c) NOTHING changes for the players who are ONSIDE at the last touch of the ball by their team they are free to play the ball
(d) NOTHING changes for any player deemed to be offside at the last touch of the ball by their team they are always restricted from involvement & nothing they do on their own can change that!

A PK kicker is taking a restart & he is BEHIND the ball thus he starts from an ONSIDE position!

Upon taking the kick HE is the last teammate to play the ball given everyone of his teammates and himself were further away from the goal line at that moment ALL the attackers are ONSIDE.

There is no restriction of involvement for offside by any of the 11 team members.

There is however a double touch restriction SEPERATE from offside on the Pk kicker! That holds true for any restart, no one is allowed to play the ball twice EXCEPT on a drop ball.

If the ball had merely bounced back off the woodwork with no keeper touching that ball the PK kicker IF he played the ball would guilty ONLY of a 2nd consecutive touch NOT offside! It is still an INDFK out but nothing to do with offside involvement!

IF the rebound was in anyway OFF the keeper, if he got a finger to the ball as a 2nd touch of the ball the PK kicker is freed from his restriction of the restart of a double touch NOTHING at all to do with offside. The PK kicker can legally play that ball shoot and score even if the ball had passed him and he dragged it back BECAUSE he was onside at the start of the PK and NO criteria has occurred to change that onside status.

For an offside possibility by the kicker!
At the taking of the PK one of the kickers' ONSIDE team mates would attempt to play the rebound creating a NEW touch of the ball, we recalibrate the position of everyone including the PK kicker who if he was closer than the ball or the 2nd last opponent to the opposing goal line could be in the line of sight of the keeper, interfere with an opponent trying to block that shot or actually touch the ball on its way to goal THEN he would be offside and guilty of an INDFK for offside for his involvement in play

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rick
Thanks for the question
Law 11 tells us that behind the ball is in an onside position and that a player is only called offside when the ball is played / touched by a team mate. A player cannot be offside by playing the ball to himself or from a rebound from his kick off an opponent.
So in the penalty kick situation who is the last attacking player to touch the ball? The answer is the kicker so the ball has not been played by a team mate.
So at a penalty kick no player can be in an offside position as per Law 14. Even if an attacker decides to go to the side of the penalty area the referee ensures that he is behind the ball which places him in an onside position so offside cannot apply from the kick to that player or any other player
Once the ball rebounds off a save there is no possibility of offside as the last attacker to play the ball is the kicker who was onside and also in the exceptional situation of the ball going to a player outside the penalty area that player had to be in an onside position when the ball was kicked by the kicker as he was behind the ball when it was last played by an attacker.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Rick,
Offside is an offence made up of parts. The first part of the offence requires that the player be in an offside position. To be so positioned, the law says that the player must be:

''nearer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent''

In the scenario we are discussing, the player is never in an offside position because they are never closer to the opponents' goal line than the ball.

Although, as my colleagues have pointed out, there are other parts to the offside law that are also not fulfilled here, we actually don't need to go that far because even the very first part of the offside criteria is not met.

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