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Question Number: 31643

Law 11 - Offside 7/18/2017

RE: kids Under 11

gary bishop of manchester, uk asks...

If player 1 is in an offside position. Then his team mate breaks forward from an onside position and travels forward with player 1, leaving the defenders behind them.
The team mate then passes the ball diagonally backwards to Player 1 who only has the goalkeeper in front of him.
Is this an Offside Offence as Player 1 has remained in an offside position and has now become involved in active play.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gary
The move by Player 2 has begun a new phase of play and he can place His team mate Player 1 in an onside position by his run with the ball.
As long as Player 1 is behind the ball at the moment of the pass by his team mate Player 2 then he is onside and may participate in active play

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Gary,
NO! as long as the player receiving the pass is further away from the opposing goal line than the ball at the time of the pass the direction of the ball is NOT relevant. Nor do we consider the 2nd last opponent.
Offside is looked at in 2 stages!
The 2nd stage is ignored unless stage 1 is active!
Stage one POSITION:
Position is reevaluated at EVERY new touch of the ball by the team mate. Basically each team mates touch of the ball RESETS any previous positional restriction and either starts it over or changes it to nothing. The PIOP may well REMAIN offside positioned despite the direction of the pass & if offside positioned he can not run into an onside position to play said ball again ONLY THEN do we look to see if stage 2 INVOLVEMENT occurs or as in your case where the teammate dribbles the ball closer to the opposing goal line then the former PIOP and then the team mates touches the ball that new touch exonerates the PIOP's old restriction and he is free to rejoin play chasing the ball in any direction. He is NOT in an active in an offside positioned thus stage 2 involvement is of NO consideration.

Key point here nothing the PIOP does on his OWN can reset his restriction. That is why even the PIOP return into his own half or running back into what looks like an onside position might not save him. You will be armed with this knowledge that a NEW team mate touch of the ball , a deliberate play or possession of the ball by the opponents or the ball going out of play will demand a NEW review of a PIOP position. IF the position is active and not reset then INVOLVEMENT anywhere on the FOP results in an INDFK against including his own half.
If there is some confusion it will lie in whether the opposition deliberately played a ball or was it a deflection or rebound or a deliberate save. The other factor will be the speed of play of all the participants. Trying to figure out instantaneously who did what, when and where!

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Your first sentence: 'If player 1 is in an offside position.' That's all fine and good. As long as he doesn't become involved in play, there is no offense.

The key point is that the player did NOT stay in an offside position; after the ball is past him, he is no longer in an offside position. It no longer matters where the opponents are, as long as he is behind the ball. So when player 2 last touches the ball, player 1 is not in an offside position, and again there is no offense.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Gary,

First off, direction of the ball is irrelevant - which is something a lot of people don't realise.

So there can be instances where an offside offence occurs when a ball is played backwards behind defenders.

What is important is whether the teammate is in an offside position at the time it is last touched by the ball carrier - and offside position means being closer to the goal line than both the 2nd last line of defence, AND the ball. So as long as the teammate is level with the ball, he's onside (any part of the body except the arms being in front of the ball is enough to put the player offside - and of course remember, particularly without neutral AR's, that it may be a little difficult for a referee to judge this accurately).

So it doesn't make a difference if the ball is played forwards or backwards - as long as the receiving attacker doesn't have any part of his body (except the arms) in front of the ball when it's last touched by the teammate.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Gary,
It doesn't matter where the player was previously, it only matters where he was at the moment the ball was last touched by a team mate, before he became involved in active play. So if he was not in an offside position when the ball was played diagonally back to him, there is no offside offence.

The scenario you describe is covered on page 201 of the 2017-18 edition of the Laws as follows:

''An attacker (C) is in an offside position, not interfering with an opponent, when a team-mate (A) passes the ball to player (B1) in an onside position who runs towards the opponents' goal and passes the ball (B2) to team-mate (C). Attacker (C) was in an onside position when the ball was passed, so cannot be penalised.''

In this narrative, if you remove the pass by player A and just have player B running forward with the ball past a previously offside-positioned player (C) before passing to him, then it is exactly the situation you describe.

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