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Question Number: 31839

Law 11 - Offside 9/28/2017

RE: Competitive Under 14

Aaron Speca of VIRGINIA BEACH, VA United States asks...

Good morning, Ask-the-Ref referees! Here's another interesting offsides scenario from last weekend's match ...

Black defender steals the ball and tries to play it back to a teammate. Ball goes slightly awry and winds up at the feet of a white attacker who was indeed in offsides position but the ball was not played to him off white.

Video provided, both full speed and in slo-mo.

One thing I noticed is that the AR was out of position, not nearly even with the last defender. Even so, I'm not sure that affected his call and honestly, I can understand the raising of the flag because it would have been difficult for him to see who played the ball last from the other side of the field.

The CR though, appears to be in much better position to see that and I guess my thought is he should have waved the flag down.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Aaron, you already know the answer you just wanted us to see your new improvised video replay system lol No offside was in evidence The AR was a disinterested spectator as far as I could tell & the CR apparently not a strict disciplinarian on positional play!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Aaron
This was not offside as the ball was clearly played by the defending team to the attacker. The only possible defence is that the White attacker might have touched the ball. I had to look at this a few times to figure out that Whites where the attacking team going to the left.
And yes the AR is extremely poorly positioned and may have incorrectly interpreted the offside here. I would be quite sore on the AR as he seems static, in a poor position and even it was touched by a White player it was still a tight call from his position.
The CR has the ultimate responsibility here and he should certainly have seen that it was the defending team that played the ball. Did he see a touch by the attacking player. Without that touch he should have waved the flag down.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Aaron,
I think you and my colleagues are all correct, this was not offside as the ball was played to the white player by an opponent, not a team mate. I would say though, that the ball does pass extremely close to the leg of a white player and so I could sympathise with an AR on the far side of the field who might have thought there was a touch by the white player on the way through.

However, this does not excuse the poor positioning of the AR. I had to watch the clip a couple of times before I even spotted him (I was foolishly looking for him somewhere in the vicinity of level with the second-last defender).

Whether the AR was poorly-positioned or not, the referee should have over-ruled the flag - assuming he was sure that the ball had not touched a white player after being played by the black defender.

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Offside Question?

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

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