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Question Number: 32238

Law 11 - Offside 2/16/2018

RE: Intermediate Under 14

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32235

Your answers bring up a related question. On page 94 of the 2017-2018 LOTG, it states that a save, for purposes of determining if offside is reset is 'when a player [defender] stops, or attempts to stop, a ball which is going into or very close to the goal...'.

Suppose an attacker crosses the ball into the penalty box & a defender kicks the ball in an attempt to clear it. It then goes to a PIOP.

Assuming that it's considered a deliberate action (I know a deflection wouldn't reset offside), does the definition of 'save' then depend on how close the ball was to the goal when the defender tried to stop the cross.

i.e. the cross can be made by an attacker near the touch line with a defender a few yards away. A defender can try to block it although it's not close to the goal. On the other hand, the ball can cross into the penalty area. At what point would you say it's 'close to the goal'?

Thank you again!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Save is actually defined in the Laws of the Game.
A 'save' is when a player stops, or attempts to stop, a ball which is going into or very close to the goal with any part of the body except the hands/arms (unless the goalkeeper within the penalty area).
So a cross that is headed away from goal is not a save as it not going into or very close to the goal. So in your example the deliberate play by the defender is a reset and there is no offside should the ball go to an attacker in an offside position.
The only reset would be where the ball is headed for or towards goal

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Phil,
a deliberate save is considered if the legal act prevents a shot at or into the goal and without that action a goal could or might likely have scored. Keep in mind some shots are going high or wide and a keeper might yet get to and save the shot in behind so it MIGHT not be a deliberate save just a deliberate action close to the goal. ITOOTR will ALWAYS be factor in circumstances where clarity is shall we say hardly 100%. A referee with integrity sees what he sees and makes a decision!
Offside is NOT reset on a SAVE that stops a goal it IS reset if the ball was obviously never going to enter the goal

You are that judge at that moment
I have awarded a PK and only cautioned a player who stuck out his arm to knockdown a shot that I was CONVINCED was going wide because I was in a very good position to see the flight of the ball. The other team wanted, no they demanded a red card because he INTENDED to stop the shot at the goal .
They COULD not understand that since the ball would have MISSED it was NOT a denial of the goal. In fact it stopped a goal kick from being awarded. The defender was not aware of the netted area and the ball flight or he WOULD have just let the ball go through. I was of the opinion it was missing about 3 feet wide.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Phil,
In the example you give, I think so long as it's fairly clear that the cross is not going towards the goal, it would not count as a save. For me, 'very close to' means a ball headed towards the goal which is going to miss but is going to be close enough that a defender is not sure and attempts a 'save' anyway. A player attempting to clear the ball from a cross (unless the cross were badly mis-directed and heading into the goal) would not meet the definition of a save, in my opinion.

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