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Question Number: 33130

Law 11 - Offside 3/10/2019

RE: Rec and High School Under 15

David Lovett of Royal Palm Beach, FL United States asks...

I am going to try to ask a simple question on a not so simple subject. Offside.

So Red team player A1 makes a pass to his teammate A2 whom is in an offside position.
As an AR we go into the 'wait and see' mode.

So scenario A is the ball deflects off a defender and goes to the A2 in the offside position whom then gains control and so on. The defender make no attempt to 'play' the ball. I believe in this case the person in the offside position is now offside.

Scenario B is the exact same situation except the defender that deflected it in the first case now instead attempted to play the ball by either sticking a foot out, or heading but in either one the defender did attempt to play the ball but didn't do it very well and it ended up on the foot of the A2 player that was in the offside position to start with. I believe in this case there in no offside due to the non deflection, but actual attempt to play the ball and touching the ball during the attempt to play it.
I guess my last scenario would be same as scenario two but the 'attempt' to 'play' the ball was just that and nothing else. the defender does not touch or play the ball even though they attempted to. In this last case I would go with offside when the offside position player gets the ball or gets involved. Please let me know if these three scenarios make sense and if they are correct calls.
Thanks for your help.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
You are indeed correct on the three scenarios.
The challenge on Scenarios 1 and 2 is deciding between what is a deflection and a deliberate play. Sometimes the difference can be questionable. This is the advice UEFA gives its referees on the subject
On the third scenario as the defender does not touch the ball so an attempt to play it is certainly not a reset.
My colleague Referee Dawson makes a good point on a save as not making a reset. A save can be made by an outfield player with his body other than his arms. Saves are not exclusive to goalkeepers.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI David,
in all three of your examples you arrived at the correct answer . The only caveat I have is if there is a deliberate save where the ball is misplayed or redirected to a previous PIOP opponent. It allows for offside where as that same circumstance away from saving a goal would not allow for offside, it would reset . Here the referee or AR does not need to makea distinction between deliberate or accidental misplay. The reasoning is a deliberate save is counted the SAME as a deflection in these rare cases whereby a defender is stopping the ball from entering the goal versus simply trying to regain possession or intercept and that ball is then played by a PIOP directly after is thought to have gained an advantage .

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi David,
Based on your descriptions I would agree with your conclusions on your scenarios A and C.

On scenario B, while I think you are probably right, it seems a little less clear to me, mainly because we don't have enough details of the entire set of circumstances.

The link provided by ref McHugh gives the following criteria for consideration:

Deliberate Play: Player moving towards the ball; The ball is expected; A deliberate act; Enough time to play; Balanced and ready to play; The ball is properly played

Deflection: Ball moving towards the player; Finds the ball coming against him; An instinctive reaction attempt to play the ball; Not enough time to play the ball; Has to find his balance first; The ball deflects from the player

So in your scenario B, you have not described for instance, whether the ball was expected, whether the player had enough time to react, whether they had to find their balance etc.

Lower down on the page, it is mentioned that if the player: ''has time only for an instinctive reaction and plays it poorly'' it might well be considered a deflection. Was this merely an instinctive reaction, or truly a deliberate play?

So on scenario B, if after considering all the different criteria you are still convinced this was a deliberate play, you would be right not to give the offside but if you were to decide it was only a deflection, that would change the equation.

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Offside Question?

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

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