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Question Number: 33545

Law 11 - Offside 7/30/2019

RE: Competive

Eli of Tel Aviv, Israel Israel asks...

I'm asking about a doubt regarding offside offense.
Attacking Player A is in an offside position while his teammate is shooting the ball.
The ball goes directly to the body of a defensive player A, from his body it jumped to another defensive player B, who located about 1 meter from the first defensive player A. That second defender B tries to kick the ball, but as he was only one meter from the first defender A, and the ball was in high speed, the ball just hit the leg of the second defender B, and goes directly to attacking player A, (who was in offside position in the time his teammate shot the ball).
Is player A commit an offside offense or not? and why?

Thank you

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

it will depend on the opinion of the official witnessing the event.
it is NOT an offence to BE in an offside position, however you CAN NOT gain advantage off that positional truth if the ball ONLY Is deflected off an opponent.

A DEFLECTED ball does NOT reset offside restriction.

It is unusual for a ball to be deflected twice but it COULD occur only if the referee or AR witnessing the ball flight path was convinced there was NO deliberate action on the part of either of the the defenders to play the ball or the first touch was actually a deliberate save.

Your B defender talking a kick at the ball might be construed as a deliberate attempt to clear, simply miss kicked, in which case there is NO offside!

In a recent match the keeper made a a deliberate save by sticking out the leg saving a sure goal but then that ball deflected off the back of a 2nd defender to a PIOP standing at the near post at the time of that shot on goal occurred and thus was flagged for offside despite the ball actually contacting two opponents. It was argued, unsuccessfully that since the ball was not last touched by a team mate that the PIOP COULD in fact play it.

The LOTG state specifically that the OFFSIDE RESTRICTION is NOT reset if the ball deflects or rebounds off a defender by accident or off a deliberate save.

Yet in a very similar vein a defender cleared his line with a very deliberate kick albeit saved a goal into the back of a teammate located some 15 yards away (never saw it) that ball arced back to a opponent who was in fact offside positioned at the time of that first clearance but was allowed to collect and score a goal. It was argued, unsuccessfully that since the ball was never deliberately played that the PIOP COULD NOT in fact play it.

The difference of the two was the ball defected of the leg of the keeper onto the back of his teammate THEN rolled to a PIOP. Whereas in the 2nd incident the defender deliberately cleared the ball via a force full kick and if that ball had struck a PIOP it would be offside as a deliberate save, however because it struck his defending teammate the ball is no longer last touched by the PIOP attacking teammate it relived him off his restriction.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Eli,
The relevant excerpts from the offside law would read as follows:

''A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play [when the ball has] rebounded or been deflected off [...] an opponent''

''A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save by any opponent) is not considered to have gained an advantage.''

So as ref Dawson says, this will depend on how the touches by the two defenders are judged by the referee. If both of them are seen as deflections or rebounds, the player in an offside position would be guilty of an offside offence when they become active. If either touch is seen as a deliberate play, the player would not commit an offside offence on becoming active.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Eli
As my colleagues state rebounds / deflections / saves do not reset offside. Law 11 makes no mention of the number of times that can happpen. Generally it only happens once so in your scenario we can say for certain offside would be called off the first rebound. Now the second instance reads like a rebound also so for that situation there is no reset either and offside should be called.
Now on the 2nd rebound if it was the case that the 2nd defender mis-kicked the ball to the player in an offside position then there is no offside offence as the last player to PLAY the ball was an opponent.
Law 11 states ** A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save by any opponent) is not considered to have gained an advantage.**
It is the referees judgement call if the ball was played or rebounded / deflected / saved.

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Offside Question?

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

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