Great example: no offside after deliberate play

LOTG: no offside after deliberate play of the ballTheory in the Laws Of The Game is not always clear. That’s why referees need examples to see what a situation really means. Title of this case study: no offside after deliberate play.

The “new” offside rule is two years old. But not every referee or player is familiar with it. Check out the video in the tweet below. It is the perfect example of a player who was in offside position when his team-mate played the ball. But because the defender deliberately played the ball, a new situation occurs. That’s why the attacker is no longer in offside position.

The Laws of the Game are clear on this: “A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.”

Great piece of refereeing to count that goal.

Do you ever have problems with players who don’t understand the offside rule?

Offside rule: correct call decides Valencia clash

The offside rule is still a difficult one for players, fans and even referees. As an assistant referee it’s sometimes difficult to see if a defender is touching the ball and if it’s a deliberate pass as well. In Saturday’s local clash between Levante and Valencia referee Carlos Velasco Carballo had to make such a difficult call.
After a pass from a Levante defender Ángel was in offside position, but he’s walking back and doesn’t interfere with play immediately. Check out the video (from about 2 minutes) first and then read the case study below.

As you can see in the video: referee Velasco Carballo initially raises his hand to give an indirect free kick after an offside signal by his assistant referee. But then something triggers him to go to his assistant referee and discuss the whole situation. Yes, the assistant referee was correct that the player was in offside position when the ball was played. But how did play continue? Below you’ll see a good case study of the offside rule changes as introduces during the 2013/2014 season.

Offside rule: Levante attacker Ángel is in offside position at the moment the ball is passed.

Offside rule: Levante attacker Ángel is in offside position at the moment the ball is passed.

The long ball is reaching a Valencia defender who sees the ball coming. He waits for it and tries to pass the ball forward with his head. The picture below shows that the attacker who was in offside position is not interfering with play at this moment. The Laws of the Game say that “interfering with play” means

  • playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate.
  • OR: preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or movement or challenging an opponent for the ball.

The Levante attacker is completely out of the picture below, which means that he’s definately not challenging the defender. The ball came through the air, so he’s also not blocking the defender’s view.

Offside rule: deliberate pass or not?

Offside rule: deliberate pass or not?

But the header from the defender fails completely, the ball moves backwards towards his own goalie. In just a few seconds the Levante attacker, who was in offside position, reacts and reaches the ball very fast, runs to the goal and scores. There was some chaos with protesting players, the referee and his assistant discussing the situation. Because the question now is: was Levante attacker Ángel gaining advantage of his offside position?

A Spanish refereee blog immediately tweeted: “Perfect teamwork. Levante’s goal is legal. The defender plays the ball deliberately.”

And the blog is right about that. The Laws of the Game says the following: “A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.”

Good call by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo and his assistant referee.

UPDATE: Look at the comment of Niclas below. Did you hear the whistle? I did not until listing a few more times. So the above is true if the referee did not whistle. But if a referee whistles and then changes his decision, restart should be a drop ball.

Thanks for the comment!

The future of the Law 11: modernising offside rules

Screenshot of SkySports tv: offside situation at Dortmund - Malaga.

Screenshot of SkySports tv: offside situation at Dortmund – Malaga.

Dortmund created a very exciting end of their Champions League match this week against CF Malaga with two goals in extra. From behind my tv screen I really enjoyed the atmosphere, but must admit: the last goal was scored by a player in offside position.

And it was not the first one that match. Eliseu put the 2-1 for Malaga on the scoreboard from an offside position. Okay, both teams scored once that way, so they’re equal.

Check out the video with highlights of the match between Dortmund and Malaga:

Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan surprised me on Scottish TV. Not because of his support for referee Thomson – can’t judge his full performance because I tuned in far in the second half – but he lets down the assistant referees and doesn’t mention that the match officials work as a team. Read full interview with Regan on

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But there are lot of matches decided by wrong offside calls. Research by Peter Catteeuw and Fifa and Uefa referee trainer/instructor Werner Helsen showed that during 2002 and 2006 World Cup matches assistant referees made many mistakes. In Korea and Japan (2002) linesmen made 1 mistake in 4 offside calls. That has been improved in Germany, but still in 10 percent of the offside situations, the call was wrong.

I know assistant refereeing is not easy. If you’re not sure about that, give flagging for offside a try with this test. These recent “goals” made me think about modernising “Law 11 – Offside”.

In the next blogs on I’ll discuss the following subjects:

  • history of modernising the offside rule
  • no longer offside in field hockey
  • modern technology and offside

And what do you think of the future of the offside rule? Get rid off it, use technology, keep things as they are or modernise it in another way? Answer the offside poll on Dutch Referee Blog’s Facebook Page or comment below.

Offside or just a stupid own goal?

Zanetti had a big smile on his face after he kicked the ball hard behind his own goalie. Just couldn’t stop laughing about this stupid action.

But what he didn’t know that the goal in the match Parma – Inter didn’t count. Referee Antonio Giannoccaro took over the signal of his assistant Claudio La Rocca, who made an offside call for the attacker close to Zanetti.

What would you say: stupid action by the defender or correct call by the assistant because the attacker is influencing Zanetti’s play although he didn’t touch the ball?

Reaction of the fans in offside situation

Offside, one of the most difficult things to see for an assistant referee. It’s the same for the supporters around the pitch.

Just back from my hodiday, I watched a game of the club I always played soccer myself. I got the screenshot below from a regional tv station. The blue arrow shows my position. I thought: this could have been a wrong call from the AR, so I checked the video.

Screenshot from the match Excelsior'31 versus Spakenburg in the Topklasse, the third level in the Netherlands.

It’s still difficult to see if the assistant is right (what do you think?). That shows very clearly how important the position in (non-)offside situations is. In my experiences most supporters start shouting dirty words to the AR in case of these close calls. Compliments to them: they just applauded for the striker who made a nice strike.