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Question Number: 7090

Law 11 - Offside

RE: AYSO Under 14

Bob Strangeway of Los Angeles, CA USA asks...

What constitutes participation for offside? In a recent game, as AR I made an offside call for which, in hindsight, the player in the offside position may not have been involved in active play. The player was about a yard offside when the ball was played from midfield deep into the attacking half of the field. The girl started to run towards the ball and I raised my flag for offside. However, by the time the center referee saw my flag another girl on the attacking team, who was onside, had got to the ball first. The center accepted my call (it was late in the game, and the attacking team had a substantial lead), but he did look at me a little quizzically. Was I correct to flag offside since the girl did run towards the ball, or should I have waited to see how the play developed? Once the second attacker got to the ball, the girl who was originally offside was obviously back onside.

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

In the case of more than one player going for the ball and some of them are offside at the team's last touch the assistant must wait and see what develops before raising the flag. In this case waiting would have been good. ..One thing you might pay more attention to is eye contact with the referee. If you see the back of his head there exists the possibility he'll not see the flag. Note this does not apply to female referees who are Moms too, everyone knows they have eyes in the back of their heads. ..Raise it when they're looking, that makes 'em look good. Hopefully they look sometime close to the right moment, if they don't look just raise it the old way and make 'em look bad; stand there with the flag up until they get the message! ..Regards,

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Sound advice. I'll say this; FIFA and USSF are discouraging ARs from immediately raising the flag simply because a player in offside position starts to run towards the ball. Last year I saw a ref with 20 years experience raise his flag when a player in offside position over 40 yards from the area of active play, start to run towards the goal and the ball was never even passed! If you don't wait a bit, you can essentially penalize a player for merely being in offside position.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Sebalja

did the player interfer with play or gain an advantage. Yes or No Offside or not Offside. You saw something the CR did not which is why you got a funny look, but it is the reason that you are there.

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Offside Question?

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

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