A few months ago I was refereeing a game and I disallowed a goal for a player being in the offside position. It didn’t have a bearing on the game, thankfully, but reading more and more of the new interpretation and wanting to be as spot on as possible I would like to run the scenario by you.
An attacking player was down on the ground by the goal line and the back post of the goal. The keeper wasn’t concerned with the player and just keep his focus on the play. However the ball was crossed from outside to the top of the penalty area and an attacker struck a shot on goal. The keeper dove for it and the attacker lying on the ground (in an offside position at the time the ball was played by his team) did a little scissor kick to try to help the ball into the goal. He also missed the ball and a goal seemed to be scored.
My AR and I agreed that it would have been fine if he would have just stayed there and made no move to play the ball, but since he made an attempt to play it we disallowed the goal.
After reading the interpretations and comments and advice I think I may have made a wrong call. The player never touched the ball, nor did he interfere with the opponents. If I were to remove that player from the field of play magically, the goal would have been scored. So was my original decision correct or my 2nd guessing myself now? If it depends on the level of play the game was a U18 boys game.
USSF answer (May 1, 2009):
We applaud your effort to stay on top of all the new directives and interpretations, but are uncertain as to why you are having second thoughts in this case. Your initial decision was absolutely correct, although the reason was wrong.
The player in the offside position clearly kicked at the ball that the goalkeeper was attempting to play, thus interfering with an opponent and making himself offside.