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Question Number: 31552

Law 11 - Offside 5/19/2017

RE: Rec, Travel, Scholastic Under 17

Mike Hickman of Pulaski, Virginia USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31548

To elaborate O1 starting running toward where the deflected ball landed and in my opinion would have been the first player there. It was a possibility he could have tripped and fallen (but highly unlikely) and so in my judgment, his being able to get to a ball where he was clearly offside I could immediately call because he was now involved in the play!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mike
Okay thanks for the clarification. In these situation if we wait and see a second or so the situation can be much clearer. Once the PIOP interferes with play or an opponent the offside is called. When the offside is called early there can be debate about what could have happened.
The offside can be called early when
1 There is no possibility of any other outcome other than offside
2. There is a risk of collision between players

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Mike ,
the LOTG changes in the past few years were really geared to a more attacking soccer so with offside they have narrowed down the area of involvement and really force a referee to consider what is or what is not a deliberate action.

The thing is UNLESS there is a physical touch of the ball OR a real interference with an opponent I advise a referee /AR to wait before whistling or raising the flag until 100% sure offside INVOLVEMENT has occurred.

If the quick call is eliminated it offers a chance for the deflected ball to go into touch or over the goal line for a throw in or corner kick which retains ball possession not gives it away with an INDFK for offside. Tactically if there is the remotest of chances a non offside team mate might get to that ball or CALL off the PIOP so he stops his pursuit. we try to see it through.
Not saying you were incorrect just remember if an onside teammate can possibly get to the ball or even yell at the PIOP to halt or let the ball go for a corner or throw in. well people and ball are moving entities.

I had a PIOP on a dead run to the far post lunge to knock a loose ball into the goal while behind the keeper who had just defected the ball slightly that skipped over our PIOP's leg missing him by about an inch and the crossed over into goal over the goal line under the crossbar & between the posts for a perfectly good goal . The coach of the defender went ballistic claiming the PIOP was actively involved because he deliberately tried to play the ball into the goal. I agreed he did try to do so & was indeed intent on scoring not realizing he was offside positioned and thus could have been guilty of gaining an advantage off his teammates shot at goal but BECAUSE he did not TOUCH the ball his actions DID NOT affect play thus he was NOT involved. NO offside ! He certainly tried to be involved but take him out of the picture and what changes? Nothing! Keeper still had to save the shot not just deflect the ball into his goal. The PIOP WAS offside position but interfered with no one and made NO contact with the ball.

I can say with certainty on a similar play where a PIOP on the goal line in behind the keeper as long as nothing was verbally stated for USB, his offside position is of no consequence as there is no interference of an opponent and by simply opening his legs to allow a ball to pass through he has not interfered in play and a goal would stand

My point is one offside attacker was doing everything he could to try and participate while the other offside attacker choose not to participate knowing is he did he would be offside. Both resulted in good goals BECAUSE neither was involved!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Mike,
Even with the clarification you have given, I would still urge a note of caution.

The way the law is written, for me it is not enough just to think that the player would have been first to the ball. You need to be of the opinion that ''no other team-mate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball.'' The player could start running towards the ball but then, realising the situation, stop before reaching it and wait for another team mate to get involved.

This is a scenario that I have seen occur on a number of occasions in high-level games and in most (if not quite all) of them, the officials have taken the correct 'wait and see' approach and not called the offence.

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Offside Question?

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

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