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Question Number: 31989

Law 11 - Offside 11/4/2017

RE: Under 19

Steven of new york, ny USA asks...

Can drawing repeated offside fouls get a player a 'delaying restart' caution? Say Team A is winning and Player #5 from Team A keeps intentionally staying 20-30 yards behind the defenders, calling for the ball, and then taking an offside penalty because it will require a while to get the correct Team B players in place to take the kick

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Steven,
While I can see where the actions that you describe could theoretically occur, I have to say I have never seen this happen and I rather doubt that I ever would. It's not a very efficient tactic since the ball stays on the field and in most cases the goalkeeper, who is going to be fairly close anyway, will usually take the kick pretty quickly.

If a team has a slender lead and wants to protect their lead by running the clock down, the more common (and more efficient) ways are to just boot it way out over the sideline so it takes a while to recover it or play the ball up into the far end of the field and hold it there.

In any event, a player who is caught offside is not delaying the restart unless they subsequently do something to prevent the resulting free kick from being taken.

If you're talking about a player being cautioned simply for being caught offside repeatedly then no, that should and would never happen, as far as I am concerned.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright


How can a player be guilty of 'delaying the restart' when they commit an offence while the ball is in play?
Delaying a restart, by definition, can only occur while the ball is out of play.
Players should never receive further sanctioned for repeated offside offences.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

There is a difference between 'wasting time' and 'consuming time'. The attacker being deliberately offside is consuming time, but not wasting it as the ball remains in play. If the other team wants the ball back, they can chase it down or get between the kicker and intended target and intercept it.

It's certainly not delaying a restart, because there isn't any restart until the offense happens, and then it's the other team's restart.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steven
It is an accepted understanding that Law 11 offences do not merit sanction for repeated offences. It is not seen as persistent infringement in the sense that it requires sanction with a caution. The defending team is delighted that the ball gets turned over with an IDFK each time so they will never complain about constant infringement on offside compared to constant Law 12 offences.
Now the PI Law is written in a way that it does not not specify the type of offences. I once heard a story that Referee Clive Thomas once challenged an attacker about getting caught offside so frequently that he told him that if it happened again he was going to caution him. It was probably out of frustration of having to stop constantly for the IDFK on the same player that it was making the game unpleasant for players and spectators. I am not sure if it is true yet I suppose it is technically possible yet never done.
So a referee could if so inclined opine that the offside offences are so blatant and only done for unsporting reasons he could take action to try to prevent repetition. Rare yet so is the outlined situation

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Steven
I answered this inadvertently when responding to your first query.
No chance of a caution. Coach would likely bench him at that point if he was doing it deliberately or even accidently as his teammates likely are all over him for being a tard!

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

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