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Question Number: 31548

Law 11 - Offside 5/18/2017

RE: Rec, Travel, Scholastic Under 17

Mike Hickman of Pulaski, Virginia USA asks...

OFFSIDES: Two offensive player (O1 & O2) were on an attack...which was repelled. The defense was advancing the ball toward the opposition's goal when they lost possession and O3 gained possession. O1 and O2 are both in offsides position now. O3 takes a shot from just outside the penalty area however the ball deflects off of D1 towards O1. I call offsides. The coach questions the call at intermission. Was I correct in allowing the shot on goal but once the ball deflects they now have gained an advantage necessitating the offsides call.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mike
As described this was a correct decision for gaining an advantage by being in an offside position. That is on the assumption that the PIOP player O1 interfered with play. Now the only question is whether the touch by D1 was a deflection or a deliberate play. That is a judgement call. If it was a deliberate play then that reset the offside. You decided it was a deflection so it was offside.
In this link you will find UEFAs interpretation of the difference between a deliberate play and a deflection. It also gives some video examples of the difference.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Mike,
I will say it appears you could be correct provided the PIOP actually touched the ball or interfered with an opponent !

The key points here are WHERE are the 2 teammates WHEN the onside team mate shoots? And did they touch/interfere with the ball or an opponent to be actually involved after the rebound/deflection/deliberate save?

They are NOT permitted to be in the keeper's line of sight or interfere with an opponent trying to get to the ball. If they were offside positioned by being closer to the opposing goal line then both the ball & the 2nd last defender they remain restricted from active play & would be guilty of gaining an advantage should they participate after the deflection by D1. There might be some discrepancy as to whether D1 had a deflection or a mistake off a deliberate play but then again a deliberate save which is saving a shot at he goal is still not a reset

if an onside player was TAKING a shot then his two offside teammates would have to not be in the line of sight of the keeper otherwise THAT is an INDFK offside criteria already met. If they are NOT interfering with the shot or with any opponent trying to stop that shot then when the shot deflects off ANY defender they STILL can not participate as the offside RESTRICTION remains. Even on a deliberate save the two PIOPS can not participate for gaining an advantage would still apply! The thing is players are continually on the move in opposing direction even as the ball does the same so it can be difficult to recall were some was at that exact moment the ball is last touched BUT that is what he duty of the AR is ! Freeze frame everyone, to take a glimpse in time, to adjudge position of players with ball & certain other interactive players and decide YES or NO! In your scenario was there ANY chance the shooter who was onside could have played that ball before either of the PIOPs could ? Involvement criteria requires very close proximity to be thought as challenging to interfere with an opponent and an actual touch of the ball to interfere in play.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Mike,
So long as the touch by the defender D1 was definitely a deflection and not a deliberate play then an offside offence would still be possible. However it does sound as if you may have been a little quick on the whistle since in your description, you do not mention that the PIOP did anything to become involved in active play. The player has to either touch the ball or interfere with an opponent before an offence occurs.

There is a provision that says ''A player in an offside position may be penalised before playing or touching the ball, if, in the opinion of the referee, no other team-mate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball,'' but again it is not clear from your description whether this was the case. Normally you should wait until the player has become involved in active play before whistling the offence.

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Offside Question?

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

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