I was recently talking to somebody about offsides and they brought up that it is no longer true that the head or body is a deciding factor in determining offsides. He said the feet are the only deciding factors, and that if any part of the head is closer to the goal line than both the ball and the second to last defender that the player is not offsides. I asked when he heard about this change, and he said in the spring, but I never heard about it. Is this true?
USSF answer (August 5, 2008):
Ah, those people who do not bother to read the Laws of the Game once they have completed the entry-level course. No, this rumor is not true. The Laws clearly state — in the Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees (beginning on p. 55 of the 2008/2009 Law book):
LAW 11 – OFFSIDE
In the context of Law 11 — Offside, the following definitions apply:
* “nearer to his opponents’ goal line” means that any part of a player’s head, body or feet is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent. The arms are not included in this definition