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Question Number: 31526

Law 11 - Offside 5/11/2017

RE: select Under 12

Sarah Anaya of san diego, USA asks...

If on a break away the player with the ball gets past the 2nd to last defender, and passes into space to a team mate who has also passed the 2nd to last defender (think far post run or gate pass) and that team mate is behind the player with the ball, would they be considered off sides?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Sarah,
based solely on your description NO offside is possible.

Once there is no 2nd last opponent then the ball itself is the imaginary line a teammate can not be closer to the opposing goal line than that round 12 inch ball.

The teammate with the ball is NOT considered for judging his team mates offside position, only the BALL when it is LAST touched on the pass over is the criteria we look at in regards to establishing an offside or onside position by the team mate RECIEVING said pass.

Often you can have a receiver appear slightly ahead of the passer but still be marginally behind or even with the ball if the kicking leg stride is stretched out so the ball is off the end of the toe when it is last touched over.

We re-evaluate offside at each new touch of the ball by the team mate passing

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Sarah
There are two ways to be in an onside position.
The first way is level with the 2nd last opponent and the second way is to be positioned behind the ball.
When an attacker gets beyond the defenders with a team mate in possession the only possible way to stay onside is to be positioned behind the ball with the team mate.
So in your example if the attacker receiving the pass was behind the ball at the moment if the pass by the team mate then there is no offside.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Sarah,
The decisive factor in the situation you describe is not the position of the potentially offside player in relation to the player with the ball, it is their position in relation to the ball itself. The law says that to be in an offside position, a player must be ''nearer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.'' So, assuming the team mate was behind ball at the moment the ball was passed, there would be no offside offence.

It is true that when a player is running towards the opponent's goal with the ball, the ball would normally be in front of them, so a team mate who is behind the player would almost always be behind the ball as well, but this is not necessarily the case.

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Offside Question?

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

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