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: 32910

Law 11 - Offside 12/9/2018

RE: Adult

Tommy of rishon Leziyyon, Israel Israel asks...

according to the image,
can Player A can pass to Player B (or its offside)?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Tommy,
Player is in an offside position if, at the moment the ball is last touched by an opponent, they are closer to the opponent's goal line than both the 2nd last line of defence and the ball.
Player B is past all the defenders and is in front of the ball, so is in an offside position. Player A cannot pass the ball to Player B.

Player B would need to remain level with Player A - or behind them - before Player a passes the ball.

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Tommy,
In the image you have posted, Player B is in an offside position (nearer the opponent's goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent). If by passing the ball to Player B you mean that ball is played to and directly received (touched) by B, this would indeed be an offside offence.

Please note however that even though Player B is in an offside position and even if Player A passes the ball towards B, there is no offside offence until or unless B actually touches the ball - or interferes with an opponent (which looks less likely but which I could see potentially happening here if the pass were played in front of B and B ended up challenging the keeper for the ball or otherwise affecting the keeper's ability to play the ball).

If the ball were 'passed' towards B but B decided not to play it (and didn't prevent the keeper or any other opponent from playing it) he would not be guilty of an offside offence and one of the other blue players could run through to attempt to play the ball and that would be permissible.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Tommy
There are only two ways of being onside.
One is level or behind the ball and the second is level with the second last opponent.
Player B is clearly in an offside position and cannot now participate in active play. So if Player A passes the ball to him and B plays it then it will be called offside when B plays it or interferes with an opponent perhaps the goalkeeper in this example. .
The only way B can participate in play is to wait for Player A to move the ball forward and A then waits until B is behind or level with the ball before playing it to him.
This scenario happens quite a bit when say a winger gets past every opponent with only the GK between him and the goal line and he crosses the ball to a centre forward who is ahead of all the defenders. If the centre forward is ahead of the ball he is in an offside position and he will be called offside if he plays the ball or interferes with an opponent.
It is exactly the same as your scenario with the only difference is that the distance between A and B is much greater.
Have a look at this video where offside was incorrectly called
Had the centre forward, the goal scorer been over the imaginary line that is ahead of the ball it was indeed offside.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32910
Read other Q & A regarding Law 11 - Offside

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.