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Question Number: 27607

Law 11 - Offside 7/17/2013

RE: competitive Adult

mark murphy of melbourne, vic australia asks...

forward standing in a offside position receives the ball from a miss kick of a opponent on side or offside
thanks mark

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Mark,

I'm assuming another attacker was involved here? If Attacker B is in an offside position at the moment Attacker A touches the ball, then the only way the defence can 'cancel' the offside is if they gain control. If they attempt to intercept but are unable to gain control of the ball and it deflects or miskicks to an opponent then this should still be offside - even if the defender has completely changed the direction of the ball.

There is some debate over just how much the law is supposed to protect defenders here. My view is that if I'm not convinced there was control, then I'm still looking for an offside. Some referees interpret the law so that if the defence 'should have' been able to control the ball, then if they haven't controlled the ball it's their tough luck. Others will allow the attack if the defender has significantly changed the direction of the ball. Personally I dislike either approach, but the law is a bit open to interpretation.

If the defence already have possession and due to a poor pass send it to an attacker in an offside position, then this is a defensive mistake and offside cannot be a consideration.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mark
The decision has to be made by the referee and assistant whether the contact on the ball by the defender was a deflection / rebound or a deliberate play of the ball that went astray.
A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball is not considered to have gained an advantage and offside should not be called.
If it is a deflection or a rebound then offside must be called if all the other offside conditions are met.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

A true miss-kick is not a deliberate play, and will not reset offside position. But, the laws do not protect defenders who don't realize that they are kicking the ball where an opponent may be able to play it.

Referees will consider the skill and age of the players in deciding whether there was possession/control for a deliberate play or if there was a miss-kick of the ball. At the highest levels, little is a miss-kick. In u-littles, many are.

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Offside Question?

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

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