This question concerns becoming involved in play in determining an offside infraction:

U15 boys game, attacking team is highly skilled. A pass is made by an attacking player to a team mate in the offside position. The ball actually passes between the legs of the offside player who turned toward the ball as it passed. The AR determined that a ball that close to a skilled player caused the player to be involved in the play, although he did not in fact touch the ball before it was touched by a team mate who came to the ball from an on-side position, and signified the offside infraction. Whether the player in the offside position misplayed the ball by being nutmegged by his team mate or whether he intentional dummied the ball is speculation. Had this been a ball played to open space with both an offside an onside player going for the ball, then clearly when the onside player first touched the ball no infraction would have occurred. Is it however reasonable for a referee to be of the opinion that this player was involved in play and be guilty of the offside infraction in this situation?

USSF answer (August 17, 2009):
If the player in the offside position did not interfere with the ability of an opponent to play or see the ball and did not draw undue attention from an opponent, then that player has not become involved in play. In that case, the assistant referee should have kept the flag down, and the referee should not have called offside. We recommend that the AR wait and see what happens.

Leave a Reply