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Question Number: 31739

Law 11 - Offside 8/27/2017

RE: Competitive Under 13

Bennett McElwee of Auckland, New Zealand asks...

This question is a follow up to question 26187

I'd just like a clarification of one of the answers.

The answer said: 'If the player who chest trapped the ball was in an offside position at the moment the ball was played by her teammate but the keeper PLAYED the ball by intentionally deflecting the ball away from the goal, in other words making a save, the offside position is irrelevant because the ball was last played and controlled by the keeper. Goal counts.'

Law 11 says: 'A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save by any opponent) is not considered to have gained an advantage.'

That sounds to me as if an offside player receiving the ball from a deliberate save does NOT commit an offence and so could score. Is that right?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Bennett,
The answer you refer to from 2012 is not in accord with the current interpretation of offside.

There is the slight possibility of confusion because of the use of the term 'deflecting.' Normally when we talk about the ball deflecting off a player we are talking about an unintentional touch which does not reset offside. However in this case it refers to an intentional deflection - or in other words, a deliberate save. As the law extract says, a player receiving the ball from a deliberate save, having been in an offside position when the ball last touched a team mate, is considered to have gained an advantage and committed an offside offence.

I should point out that back in 2012 the law as not quite as clear on the definition and treatment of a deliberate save as it is now although even back then, I would have said that most referees (myself included) did not consider that a save where the ball rebounded away from the keeper on a single touch, constituted control and a deliberate play of the ball resetting offside.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bennett
Thanks for the question an following up for clarification.
You are correct that a save does not reset offside. A save is defined as when a player stops, or attempts to stop, a ball which is going into or very close to their goal with any part of the body except the hands/arms (unless the goalkeeper within their penalty area).
I think the use of the word save in the context of the answer did not convey accurately what was meant. For me once a players exerts complete control over the ball then we have a reset on a offside. So a parry which could be deemed a save is a reset or say the goalkeeper deciding to use a body part other than the hands to control the ball would also be a reset as a deliberate play of the ball.
When we talk about save we must also use some implicit knowledge of what is meant. There is a world of difference between a save and poor control by a goalkeeper trying to play the ball. One is that the GK has not exerted any control over the ball in the act of stopping the ball and the other is that it is an error of control where the ball has been poorly played by the goalkeeper. The referee is the sole judge of what constitutes a save or not.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Bennet,
if you look at the disclaimer on the main page answers posted years ago may not reflect recent changes in the LOTG. A deflection was STILL not a reset back in those days but as to what constituted a deliberate save was not written directly into the LOTG at that time. If a keeper had say decided to punch a ball that could have been easily caught most referees would have seen that as possession and a release of control and could have allowed a PIOP to participate. Cheers

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