Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 32427

Law 11 - Offside 5/6/2018

RE: Amateur Adult

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro, CA Sacratomato asks...

Attacker is fouled just outside the box. A teammate, who is in the offside position, stands right in front of the goalie. The kick is taken. As the ball goes in for a goal, CR blows his whistle for the obstruction. After the game, there is a friendly disagreement between Center and AR. Center says its a direct kick for obstructing. AR insists it is offside infraction. What is the actual infraction if any?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi George,
When a referee blows the whistle for an offence, they are not required to announce what the actual rationale for the decision was - and I would say they they quite routinely don't, but assuming the referee had stated that the offence was impeding (not obstruction, as there is no such offence) then that would appear to be what he judged it to be. However, for it to be a direct free kick, it would have to be the offence of impeding with contact.

If you are asking whether this was the correct decision then that is difficult to say without seeing the incident in question. If the player merely affected the keeper's ability to play the ball by clearly blocking their line of vision, that would normally be considered an offside offence. However it could also be a Law 12 violation (impeding - either with or without contact) if the referee judges it to be so.

The law states that if:

''a player moving from, or standing in, an offside position [...] moves into the way of an opponent and impedes the opponent's progress (e.g. blocks the opponent) the offence should be penalised under Law 12.''

So either offside or impeding could be given and either decision could be correct, depending on what exactly took place.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI George
Hmmm it might be an argument over semantics. given the word obstruction appears in the offside definition. The referee then recall the old impeding use of the word obstruction puts the infractions together an viola misunderstanding

A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by
a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by:
# interfering with an opponent by:
## preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by
clearly obstructing the opponent's line of vision

Given non contact impeding & offside are both INDFK taken from the point of occurrence it really matters little. As CR outranks the AR then lets call it impeding even if the actual decision should be offside.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
Without contact it cannot be a direct free kick.
The fact that the player stood in front of the goalkeeper without moving it is unlikely to be impeding so for me the only decision is offside for line of sight interfering and that is an IDFK restart. Even if it was impeding it is still an IDFK.
For me the easy decision is offside as it is easily sold with a flag up for the PIOP who is stood in front of the goalkeeper on line of sight.
I would only go with the DFK if there is contact of a foul nature such as charging, holding etc which is the more serious offence than offside.
Anyway in that location it makes little difference if it direct or indirect. Hardly going to score from there?

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32427
Read other Q & A regarding Law 11 - Offside

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 32438

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

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

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.