Attacking player is past the second to last defender taking advantage of his team’s throw-in, so he does not start the play in an offside position. The second to last defender intercepts the throw in and has control of the ball at his feet. The attaching player now comes back to play the ball.
I was the AR and did not indicate offside as I felt the player did not come back from an offside position to play the ball since he started onside (throw-in). Another ref observing the game (and trying to be helpful) told me I missed the call that once the second to last defender had control of the ball a new play had started thus, the attacking player came back from an offside position to play the ball and should have been called off side.
What would the correct calling be?
USSF answer (May 27, 2009):
There is a throw-in by Team A. At the time, A5 is in an offside position based on the standard definition. A5 does not become actively involved in play (but, even if he had, he would have come under Law 11’s exemption of having received the ball directly from a throw-in). Instead, a defender gains possession of the ball.
At this point, all offside position evaluations have to be redone because there has been a “new” play of the ball. Regardless of where A5 is (or any of his teammates are), there is no danger of an offside violation at that time because the ball has now been last been controlled/played by someone other than a teammate.
In short, there wasn’t the slightest possibility at any time in this scenario of an offside violation.