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Question Number: 32863

Law 11 - Offside 11/3/2018

RE: Under 17

Nigel hicks of Camborne, Cornwall asks...

Is it offside if the goalkeeper is on semi circle and a striker passes the ball past the goalkeepertowards the goal to another striker on the 6yard area with only one defender in his way and scores a goal.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Nigel
Law 11 Offisde does not differentiate between goalkeepers and defenders. It only refers to opponents
The Law tells us that a player is in an offside position if any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.
In your example the scorer only has one opponent between himself and the goal line at the moment of the pass by his teammate so as he interfered with play by playing the ball to score in an offside position the goal is ruled out due to offside.
To be onside the scorer would have to be level with the second last opponent which from your description was the goalkeeper.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Nigel,
when the last touch of the ball off a teammate occurs the receiver of that pass can not be
(a) inside the opposition half or
(b) ahead of the ball, if he IS then he must have
(c) at least two opponents even or closer to the opposing goal line than himself
Although the keeper, because of the nature of his responsibilities, is often part of the two opponents or is the last opponent, he is but one of 11 opponents on the FOP. ANY two opponents of the 11 are up for consideration as last or 2nd last defender depending where on the FOP they may be.

Based on your description it appears the keeper is in this case the 2nd last opponent & is positioned in the penalty arc??? I suspect you are referring to that D section in front of the PA that shows the 10 yard distance from the 12 yard PA spot, which is outside the PA and the keeper can not use their hands.

The attacker passing the ball is onside and when he last touches the ball his team mate who will receive this ball must either be behind the ball or even or further away from the opposing goal line than in this case the keeper as he is the 2nd last opponent. You make it sound as if the attacker is in fact already near the 6 yard goal area at the time of the pass with but a single defender as the last opponent is closer to the goal than he. This is an offside position and upon receiving the ball he is offside INDFK out .

Just to remind you that IF the receiving attacker was in behind the ball or even or farther away than the keeper than the opposing goal line, he can RUN forward to get to the ball near the 6 yard goal area and NOT be offside, even if no other defender was there or not because he was NEVER in an OFFSIDE position to begin with at the moment the ball was last touched by his team mate. . .

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Nigel,
If I'm reading your description correctly, this would be an offside offence. If the striker on the goal area line only has one defender between him and the goal when the last touch by a team mate occurs, he would be guilty of an offside offence as soon as he touches the ball.

Because the goalkeeper is almost always the last defender, people often have the mistaken impression that if there's an outfield player between the attacker and the goal, the attacker must be in an offside position but that isn't necessarily the case. The scenario you describe, where the keeper has come well off the line and is not the last defender, is the classic example of this.

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Offside Question?

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

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