I recently took a 50-question USSF recertification test. Two of the “official” answers seemed to deviate from statements made by you on this column.

The first question involved OS or not by two attackers standing apart at the top of the goal area during the taking of a free kick just off-center and outside the PA. The question stipulated that they did not move. Nonetheless the “correct” answer was OS, presumably for visual obstruction of the keeper. See your answer of 3/4/08 on this column.

The second question involved the r/s, if after a goal and before the k/o, it is discovered that one team had an extra person on the FOP.

The “correct” answer was no goal, if the extra person was on the goal scoring team, and goal, if extra person was on the other team. The question made no mention of any involvement in play by the extra person. In the absence of the latter it would seem to me that the answer is goal in either event. See your answer of April 2, 2008.

Thank you in advance for your assistance on this query.

USSF answer (November 17, 2008):
In the both your questions you are talking apples and applesauce, in other words, two totally different situations. The two questions on the recert test are not affected by the two answers on Ask A Referee or Ask a Soccer Referee. The one in your first test question involves players standing at the top of the goal area, and the scenario does not tell us where they are in relation to the goalkeeper. More specifically, we fail to see how an answer about jumping up and down in a “wall” or in front of a keeper can have anything to do with a recert test question about offside. The question in the item dated 4 March 2008 involved a player who stood directly in front of the goalkeeper and who, IN THE OPINION OF THE REFEREE, did so to block the goalkeeper’s view. And there was a caveat in the 4 March question involving “merely standing.” It was stated that “this would be acceptable behavior unless (a) the attacker moves as the goalkeeper moves (which makes it similar to such behavior at a corner kick) or (b) is so close physically to the goalkeeper that it could be interpreted as an aggressive occupying of ‘personal space.”” Neither is the question regarding the extra person in any way related to what was discussed in the 2 April answer, which dealt with an outside agent entering the field. Apples and applesauce; related, but not related, made of the same materials yet totally different.

Finally, without knowing exactly (a) what level test you took (7/8 or 5/6) and (b) the questions whose official answers you question, there is little we can do. There is no such thing as an “official” 50 question recert test — there is only a 100-question grades 8/7 test — if a state association chooses to pull only 50 questions out and use them for recertification purposes, there isn’t anything we can (or should) do about it, but who knows what other changes might have been made. On the surface, the official answer on the first question (whatever it is) sounds acceptable — if they were just standing but still obstructing the keeper’s view while in an offside position, then they were clearly in violation of Law 11 and should be declared offside. On the second question, the situation again seems straightforward and not contradicted by anything we have said — namely, if a goal is scored but before the kick-off restart is taken, it is determined that the scoring team had an extra player illegally on the field, then the goal would not count regardless of what role (if any) the “extra” player had in the scoring of the goal.

Leave a Reply