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Question Number: 31517

Law 11 - Offside 5/8/2017

RE: competitive Under 19

Gabriel of West Windsor, NJ USA asks...

A player is in offside position about 3 yards from the midfield line. the ball is cross from the opposite site and the off side players returns to his side of the field to catch the ball. Should an offside be call here?



Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gabriel
Yes offside must be called as the player in an offside position interfered with play. It makes no difference where the ball was played by the PIOP which can be in a players own half. The fact is that the offside offence was completed by the movement of the player and his playing of the ball.
Under the new amended laws the IDFK is now taken from where the ball was played by the PIOP which is now in his own half. That in its own right shows that there was an offside offence and the location of the free kick even in the players own half confirms that principle. It is the position of the player when the ball was played by a team mate that determines offside not where he plays the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Gabriel,
While the player is guilty of offside involvement if she caught the ball it would be a DFK for handling the ball deliberately and DFK rather than an INDFK. We punish the more severe infringement if they happen at the same time!

If she played the ball using the body other than the hands or interfered with an opponent THEN it would be an INDFK for offside involvement. Once a player is restricted from participation nothing that players can do on their own will rest that restriction.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Gabriel,
Assuming when you say 'catch the ball' you mean 'catch up with and play the ball' rather than 'catch the ball with the hands' then yes, this would be an offside offence.

This is one of the changes brought in with the 2016-17 Laws amendments and is the subject of one of the FAQ's to Law 11 on the IFAB website, 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 commit an offside OFFENCE in their own half if they go back into their own half from an offside position''

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Offside Question?

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

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