'The right call', by Ref. Vangelis December 2005
A player (A1) has the ball at his feet in the attacking third of the field. A1 decides to dribble pass the second to last defender. Now A1, and on the other side of the field, A2, runs beyond the second to last defender. A1 is now going 1v1 with the goal keeper and decides to pass the ball to A2. Is A2 offside because he is beyond the second to last defender? What is the point of reference once both players pass the second to last defender? Once A1 dribbles pass the second to last defender, is his only option to go 1v1 with the goal keeper? The Laws of the Game don’t seem to address this situation. Thanks for checking this out!
Law 11 defines an offside position as follows: “A player is in an offside position if he is nearer to his opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second to last opponent”.
Also, the law states that “A player is not in an offside position if he is in his own half of the field of play or he is level with the second last opponent or he is level with the last two opponents”.
As we can see from law 11 there are two points of reference mentioned that can help us determine if a player is offside or not. The first one is the location of the ball and the second one is the location of the second to the last opponent in relation to the location of the player in question. Also the player must be in the opponent’s half of the filed.
In your scenario listed above, it would appear that the player in question, A2, is already in the opponent’s half of the field. In addition to it, player A2 has passed the second to the last opponent. Therefore, the last point of reference for your scenario is the ball. If player A2 is ahead of the ball when player A1 passes the ball, he will be in an offside position. If player A2 is even or behind the ball when player A1 passes the ball, he will not be in an offside position.
So player A1 has the option to go 1v1 with the goal keeper or pass the ball to a teammate who is even or behind the ball.
First attacker passes a ball to second attacker who is clearly in an offside position; second defender is 3-5 feet in front. First defender jumps up deflects the ball with her head, ball hits the cross bar and fall at second attackers feet who, is now onsides “bangs” it in for a score. Is this a score or is this off-side? This call went against my team who was attacking. It was called a no goal. Of course being a good well behaved National D licensed coach and a grade 8 referee I did not argue the call. What does Ref. Vangelis say?
I have asked this question to 6 other referees they are split 50/50 on the call. In my opinion, and I may be wrong, since this ball was deflected by defender 1, attacker 2’s offside does not matter at the beginning of the play it become a new play. Should I go back to ref school for a refresher?
Answer: It would appear to me that the referee made the right decision disallowing the goal.
Law 11 states that “A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by: interfering with play or interfering with an opponent or gaining an advantage by being in that position”.
Also, the International Football Association Board this year defined gaining an advantage by being in an offside position to mean that a player plays a ball that rebounds to a player off a post or crossbar or playing a ball that rebounds to the player off an opponent having been in an offside position. This decision of the IFAB will appear in the new Laws of the Game 2005/2006 edition.
However this interpretation of the law is not new. In the back of the law book pages, 48 and 49, your scenario is illustrated for at least 5 or 6 years.
The first picture on page 48 shows attacker #6 taking a shot. The ball hits the post and ends at the feet of another attacker who was in an offside position at the time of the shot. The caption reads “The shot by number 6 rebounds from the goalpost to a teammate who is penalized for being in an offside position, because when the ball is played, he is involved in active play and gains an advantage by being in that position”.
The second picture on page 49 shows an attacker taking a shot. The ball is deflected by the goalkeeper and ends at the feet of attacker #8 who was in an offside position at the time of the shot. The caption reads “The shot by a teammate rebounds from the goalkeeper to #8 who is penalized for being in an offside position, because when the ball is played, he is involved in active play and gains an advantage by being in that position”.
In your scenario listed above the player in question gained an advantage by being in an offside position at the moment of the shot. The fact that the player was onside when he received the ball after its deflection has no significance. It is all part of the same play.
Are you glad you behaved well and accepted the call of the referee? Next time you see the same referee perhaps you can thank him/her for keeping up with the proper interpretation of the law on offside. Also it would be nice to correct the view of those 50% of the referees who offered the wrong opinion as well as any players and parents who were involved in such discussions.
Dear Ref. Vangelis,
Recently I asked you how a referee manages a situation in which 2 team mates have a fight and you made it very clear to us. What happens in case of a more common violent conduct and, if you stop the game, how do you restart it?
Answer: The most common violent conduct is usually against an opponent.
Among the 10 major offences resulting in a direct free kick or a penalty kick, Law 12 lists kicking, striking and spiting at an opponent. In every case violent conduct will involve one of these things in some way.
Therefore the restart of the game in such a case would be a direct free kick at the spot where the offense occurred or a penalty kick if the offense occurred in the penalty area.
The last situation is when violent conduct occurs by a player outside the field of play or by a non player inside the field of play and the referee stops the game to resolve the situation.
Law 8 states that "a dropped ball is a way of restarting the match after a temporary stoppage which becomes necessary, while the ball is in play, by any other reason not mentioned elsewhere in the Laws of the Game".
Therefore the restart in such a case would be a dropped ball at the place where the ball was located when play was stopped. (except special circumstances mentioned in law 8 for the goal area).
Here is a summary of the last three articles:
A player guilty of violent conduct is punished by being sent off and shown the red card.
The game will restart as follows:
-If the offense was committed against an opponent on field of play, the restart would be a DFK from the spot or a PK.
-If the offense was committed against any other person on field of play, the restart would be an IFK from spot of the offense.
-If the offense was committed off field by anyone, or on field by non player against an opponent or any other person, the restart would be a dropped ball at the spot where the ball was when the game was stopped.
-If the offense was committed while the ball is out of play, the restart must be appropriate to the reason the ball was out of play.
All restarts mentioned above are subject to the special circumstances listed in law 8 for the goal area.
Posted on 11 Dec 2005 by coachgianni