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Question Number: 21080

Law 11 - Offside 4/3/2009

RE: REC Under 19

Jim Brown of Lake Elsinore, CA USA asks...

The defending team, in a BU19 game, has a DFK from about their 18 yard line. The opposing team has most of their players on the center line, with a few closer to the ball. Just before the ball is kicked, a player from the team taking the kick moves into an offside position. The ball is kicked in the air and the player in the offside position jumps up to attempt to head the ball, side by side with an opponent. He misses the ball badly. A team mate of his runs from an onside position an plays the ball and scores. I was the A.R. on the play and was ready to call offside when the player jumped to head the ball, but did not when he missed it. The playes from the other team were all screaming for offside, even while the play was still going on. My take is that the player may have been in an offside position and attempted to play the ball, he did not play the ball, so in my opinion, he was not offside. Am I right?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

You were aware the offside position was of itself not valid reason to make the call
You determined there was no involvement!
Thus no offside!
As an opinion you are correct that he is not quilty of interfering with play!
But did the offside positioned player interfere with the opponent or block the line of sight for the keeper?? Side by side is rather close!

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Oh, my goodness! If the player in an OSP is jumping side by side with an OPPONENT (not a member of his own team) trying to get a ball kicked by a teammate, he is INTERFERING WITH AN OPPONENT. OFFSIDE!

Geez. This is not complicated.

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Answer provided by Referee Gil Weber

Referee Maloney is correct. This is not complicated and there is no reason to think up all sorts of 'what ifs.' The attacker in OSP is judged to be offside by interfering with an opponent. Raise the flag.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

It depends on what you mean by 'He misses the ball badly.' Did he miss it because it was 20 feet over his head? Or because it was 20 yards to his left?

Yet I suspect that because the player and the opponent were side-by-side going for the ball, it is likely both had a credible play for the ball. Then you would consider offside for interfering with an opponent, assuming this player's actions in some way hindered the opponent, either by sightlines or access to the ball.

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Offside Question?

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

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