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Question Number: 9862

Law 11 - Offside


Jim Menter of Haverhill, MA USA asks...

I was at a game when the our team took a shot and it hit the cross bar. We had a player that was apparently offside when the shot was taken. He got the rebound and scored. They called him offside. No parent agreed with me that is was offside. Can you put it in writing?.Thanks.

Answer provided by Referee Victor Matheson

Dear fellow parents of Jim Menter of Haverhill, MA. Mr. Menter was absolutely correct about the offside call. If a player is offside at the moment a shot on goal is taken by a teammate, if that shot rebounds off the crossbar, post, referee, goalkeeper, or another player, the player in an offside position should be penalized for offside. If the shot goes directly in the goal so that the offside player does not ever participate in the play, then the goal counts, and the player should not be penalized for offside. Sincerely, Victor Matheson, lead panelist, USSF National Referee, Division I college referee. (Hope that's good enough for you!)

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

The player in an offside position has gained advantage from that position. This is prohibited by Law 11 - Offside. ..When judgment of offside position is necessary, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his OWN team ask these questions: ..1. Is the player in the attacking half of the field?.2. Is the player nearer the goal line than the ball?.3. Is the player nearer the goal line than the last but one opponent or the last two opponents?..If all are answered yes GOTO next paragraph ELSE IF any question is answered no, the player is not in an offside position and can participate in play until the next touch by a member of his team. At that point GOTO question 1. ..The player is in an offside position, ask two more questions: ..a. Is the player interfering with play or an opponent?.b. Is the player gaining an advantage?..If either of these is true or becomes true before the next touch by one of his OWN side then the assistant flags for offside and the referee blows for the infraction and awards an indirect free kick, to be taken from where the attacker was at the moment the ball was touched or played by a member of his own team...Remember that it is not contrary to the Law to be in an offside position. After the ball is played a footballer may run into an offside position and play it without penalty. When a player is in an offside position and the ball is touched or played by a colleague that player may not get involved, without penalty, even if the ball bounces off an opponent or an opponent misplays it. ..Regards,

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Offside Question?

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

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