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Question Number: 32458

Law 11 - Offside 5/20/2018

RE: Rec and select High School

mary ramirez-de-arellano of damascus, maryland USA asks...

In the book 'Preventive Officiating by Randy Vogt' I just read the following:

'Even though players cannot be offside from a goal kick, offside could possibly be called if a teammate receives the ball directly from the goalkeeper's distribution, such as a punt, drop-kick, throw or pass.' p. 56

This confused me in part because on the previous page he writes,' Let me emphasize that if the player is level with or behind the ball, that player is not in an offisde position no matter if two defenders are not between that player and the goal line.'

Could you explain this please? Thanks so much!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Mary
the difference is in dynamic versus static play .
Randy is discussing the STATIC restart application of offside in the three RESTARTS that are exempt as opposed to the DYNAMIC ball distribution when the keeper in active play is distributing the ball as his last touch, these are not goal kicks but releases of the ball into play after having possession for 6 seconds. .

The part you are confused about has NOTHING to do with the static or dynamic aspect of play but of the POSITIONAL determination on the field! The EXCEPTION on the three restart relates only to the TOUCH that get the ball BACK into play. We simply do not CONSIDER position at this time UNTIL there is a secondary touch by another teammate only THEN do we consider their position. In effect positional concerns are ignored on the three exempt restarts.

You still need to grasp that once the ball is last touched/played by the attackers, ALL 22 players and the ball move so circumstances are constantly changing . IF we are free to consider the POSITIONAL requirements after a 1st touch ( this is not the case on the 3 exempt restarts as we need that 2nd touch by another team mate to begin such an evaluation) only then do we determine if there WILL be any chance of subsequent INVOLVEMENT.

The LOTG state that during DYNAMIC play if an attacking player is even with or further away from the opposing goal line than the 2nd last opponent he CAN NOT Be in an offside position when his attacking TEAM MATE last plays the ball.

However there will be times when the BALL itself is closer to the opposing goal line than any two opponents?

Does that mean an attacker cannot go get it? NO what it means is NOW the ball becomes that invisible line that you see occasionally drawn across the TV screen as the offside marker for positional evaluation. If the attacker dribbling the ball is onside over on the right his teammate following over on the left flank waiting for a cross or pass MUST grasp the ball location is VITAL in determining his position on the FOP as there is NO longer a 2nd last opponent to worry about. A long as the teammate does not get too anxious and run ahead of the ball getting CLOSER to the opposing goal line before it is passed/touched over to him he will be ONSIDE and free to play the /ball. The ball can be passed in any direction and the onside teammate can wait for it go get it ahead or go back & retrieve.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mary
A player cannot be offside directly from a goal kick, throw in or corner kick. Now that does not prevent a PIOP from receiving the ball from a head on or touch from a teammate AFTER the restart. Referees need to be alert to that
An example would be a PIOP is stood say 5 yards in an offside position. The restart is a goal kick and as the ball is challenged for in the air with a a teammate heading the ball onto the PIOP who is still in an offside position at the moment of the touch. That is called offside. If the PIOP received the ball directly from the goal kick it cannot be offside.
Now when the ball is in play offside applies at all times so a punt, throw from the goalkeeper offside will apply in all situations where a PIOP interferes with play or an opponent.
Now as to the line about being level or behind the ball that is to cover times when say on a play where two forwards are through on goal with only the goalkeeper or another opponent between the players and the goal line. The only way an attacking player without the ball can stay in an onside position is to stay BEHIND or level with the ball. A player cannot be in offside position behind or level with the ball. The other way to be in an onside position is to have two opponents between the player and the goal line. When that is not possible with only one or maybe no opponents then the ball is the offside line and if the player is behind the ball then she cannot be in an offside position.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Mary,
I'm not quite sure about the link between the two paragraphs you quote. The first one points out that a player cannot be given offside from a goal kick (a dead ball restart) but can be given offside from open play. The second paragraph deals with the definition of offside position, pointing out that a player is not in an offside position if they are level with, or behind the ball.

The two passages deal with two different aspects off the offside law and other than the fact that they are both part of the same law, are not directly linked. The fact that a player is not in an offside position when level with or behind the ball, is pretty much irrelevant when considering a player receiving the ball from either a goal kick or a goalkeepers punt (or throw/pass) since a player behind or level with the ball in such situations would be well inside their own half of the field and so couldn't be offside anyway.

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