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Question Number: 32640

Law 11 - Offside 8/12/2018

Barry of London, England asks...

During a recent premiership match between West Ham and Liverpool a goal was scored by one of two players who are both well in advance of the last defender. The ball was played across the box to a third Liverpool player who took it to the byline and cut it back to one of the two players who were yards in front of the last defender. Whas the goal allowed simply because the ball was cut back rather than playing played forward even know the two players were yards off side in position?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Barry,
offside is RESET each time a team mate touches the ball.
If the ' A'player passing the ball was ONSIDE and carried the ball to the byline and cut it back with the two teammates 'B & C' further away then the ball from the opposing goal line at that point the two team mates 'B & C' are back ONSIDE and able to rejoin play. The moment the receiving 'B' player touches the ball the other team mate 'C' would need to be further away from the goal line than the ball to accept a pass which he was and thus a goal is fine as the BALL becomes the deciding point when there are no 2nd last defenders within the equation. Remember it is not an offence to BE in an offside position. Once a PIOP is in an onside position when an onside team mate touches the ball it resets their restriction The key is a PIOP when restricted can not be INVOLVED In active play . I know it seems odd when PIOPs are allowed to participate when the 2nd last defender is not present near the goal line but the ball itself is the deciding factor when TOUCHED by an onside teammate.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
Law 11 the offside Law tells us it is not an offence to be in an offside position. Neither of the two players in those offside position played the ball or interfered with an opponent which meant that they could not be called offside.
The ball then went to Liverpool no7 who was clearly in an onside position and when he played the ball that reset the previous offside positions and as both previously offside positioned player were now in onside positions behind the ball both were entitled to get involved in active play which one did by scoring the second goal.
Interestingly the 3rd goal should have been ruled out as the scorer was in an offside position although that was only determined by video replay. If the PL had use of Video Assistant Referee technology the correct decision could have been made. As it is the PL has chosen not to use VAR so we are left with the human eye to make the call in real time.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Barry,
For a player to be guilty of an offside offence, they have to have been in an offside position at the moment of the last touch on the ball by a team mate, before they became involved in active play.

At the time the Liverpool no. 7 crossed the ball, his team mates were behind the ball, not in an offside position so there could be no offside offence.

As I mentioned in a previous response, the law covers this as follows:

''An attacker (C) is in an offside position, not interfering with an opponent, when a team-mate (A) passes the ball to player (B1) in an onside position who runs towards the opponents' goal and passes the ball (B2) to team-mate (C). Attacker (C) was in an onside position when the ball was passed, so cannot be penalised.''

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Offside Question?

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

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