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Question Number: 31659

Law 11 - Offside 7/27/2017

RE: Recreational Adult

Andy of Calgary, Alberta Canada asks...

On a free kick the ball was played off the goal post to a player that was in an offside position only after the ball hit the goal post. The player was not offside when the original free kick was taken. Is the player offside or not ?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Andy
Based on your description of events there was no offside infraction.
The Player was ONSIDE at the last touch of the ball by the team mate but moved into a position closer to the goal line as the ball was in the air so retrieving the rebound off the post is NOT gaining an advantage as he was not restricted at the last touch of the ball by the team mate.

Nothing has occurred to CHANGE his onside status, thus good goal!

It is important to remember that players move while the ball is in flight but nothing changes the circumstances of that snap shot freeze frame of the moment of impact of the ball leaving the foot of the teammate. A post is NOT a team mate nor an opponent but it does not alter whatever offside criteria was in effect prior to the ball impacting on the post.

Not offside restricted to start, thus not offside restricted on the rebound!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Andy,
Offside is an offence that consists of two parts - offside position and offside offence. For an offside offence to occur, the player had to be in an offside position when the ball was last touched by a team mate. According to your description, this player was not in an offside position at that specific moment, so no offside offence is possible.

The law prior to 1997 used to contain the following wording which made this absolutely clear:

''A player who is not in an off-side position when one of his colleagues passes the ball to him or takes a free-kick, does not [...] become off-side if he goes forward during the flight of the ball.''

This provision is as true now as it was then and was only removed because it was felt to be self-evident precisely because the law says that offside position is only to be assessed when the ball was last touched by a team mate.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andy
NOT offside. As the player was in an onside position at the moment the ball was played by a team mate it makes no difference where the scorer subsequently played the ball.
Look at it like this. If the ball was played through by the team mate and his team mate ran on to the ball from an offside position there would be no offside. Just because the goal post *intervened* changes nothing.

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Offside Question?

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

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