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Question Number: 32286

Law 11 - Offside 3/7/2018

RE: Select Under 14

Alex Camacho of Temple City, CA USA asks...

I was watching a youth game and there was a goal called back from an assistant referee. Looking at the play, I could only surmise that the AR called offside on the play. After the game I asked the ref team about the play and the AR said the green/yellow player was in an offside position and affected the play. No goal due to offside.

At the time, I did not see a player in the offside position and doubted that any player affected the play. After seeing the play again, on video I think this play should have been ruled a goal. No offside on a shot on goal.

In my opinion the green/yellow player is trying to get out of the way of the shot. He looks to be in line with the defender on the far side. He in no way is trying to gain an advantage on the play. Therefore I say no offside.

However if the player had attempted to play the ball and if he was in an offside position, I would have said offside.

What if the ball actually hit the green/yellow player and deflected into the goal?

What is your opinion?

Love the website and keep up the good work. Appreciate any comments/discussion.

Link to video of play at 13:06 min mark.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Alex
Thanks for the question and your comments. Much appreciated
Unfortunately the video is inconclusive and it is not possible to see the situation clearly.
What it looks like to me is that there is an attacker possibly positioned close to the last defender in what could be an offside position. We have to assume the AR had a good view of that
Now the offside could have been called for interfering with an opponent perhaps a line of sight interference to the ball for the goalkeeper.? The ball seems to go close to those players.
Personally I think that if it was for that particular offside offence of line of sight it is questionable given that the goalkeeper can see the ball for quite a distance as any attacker is well away from the goalkeeper not particularly obscuring the ball and its line of flight. The further away the PIOP is from the GK the less chance of that sight interference.
If a player in an offside position deflects the ball it is a certain offence with no debate about it. It is then called offside for interfering with play by touching the ball. Even if it was inadvertent or accidental by the PIOP it is still offside.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Alex,
we appreciate your kind words and are glad to help.
unfortunately there is no clear video that can be utilized to give a clear answer. So I offer speculation only assuming the shooter was not the PIOP . If there was a PIOP and he DID affect play it would have to be interfering with the opponent in he challenged a defender preventing him from getting to the ball or blocked the line of sight of the keeper or by design or accident managed a physical touch of the ball on its way towards the goal. ANY physical contact with the ball by the PIOP qualifies as interfering with play whether he tried or it simply deflected off of him.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Alex,
It's difficult to tell from the video whether there was a player in an offside position but even if there were, I'm having difficulty seeing where there was an offside offence.

As my colleagues have said, the most likely category of offside in this scenario is interfering with an opponent by obstructing the keeper's line of sight. However that doesn't seem to be a particularly plausible explanation, based on the angles and distances apparent in the video. I also don't see any sign of an attacker challenging any outfield opponent for the ball or affecting an outfield opponent's ability to play the ball.

Just to address a couple of possible misconceptions in your post - 'trying to gain an advantage' is not a category of offside offence. A player can be guilty of what the law calls ''gaining an advantage'' but that requires a situation where the ball rebounds off an opponent, the frame of the goal or a match official, which didn't happen here. Also, even if the player had attempted to play the ball that would not necessarily make it an offside offence either - not unless such an attempt also caused interference with an opponent by directly affecting their ability to play the ball.

However if an attacking player who was in an offside position when the shot was taken had touched the ball in whatever manner, that would definitely be an offside offence.

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Offside Question?

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

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