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Chuck Fleischer, AskTheRef.com Editor 12/28/2005
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 opposing goal line than the ball?
3. Is the player nearer the opposing goal line than the last but one opponent or the last two opponents?
If all are answered yes GO TO 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 GO TO question 1.
The player is in an offside position, ask two more questions:
a. Is the player actively 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 by a team mate or an opponent 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 rebounds or deflects off an opponent or an opponent makes a deliberately save. OR he runs to a position that is not offside and becomes actively involved.
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