Offside and when to blow the whistle to award the indirect free kick. Currently I have had several discussions with coaches and referees concerning a certain kind of offside and when or if to blow the whistle/raise the flag to call it.
Our High School rule as stated in the rule book per this issue: It is not an offense in itself to be in an offside position. A player shall only be penalized for being in an offside position if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by a teammate, the player is involved in active play by: a. Interfering with play or with an opponent; or b. Gaining an advantage by being in that position.
I will try to describe the scenario – The ball has transitioned from one side of the half line (team B offensive side) to the other (team A offensive side), approximately mid-way between the top of the penalty area and the halfway line (on team A offensive side). The team A defensive backfield has come up and formed a line at the halfway line.
One team B forward striker is still 3-5 yards in his offensive half from the halfway line. No team A defenders between him and team A Goalie, who still stands right in front of his goal.
Team B wins control of the ball (on team A’s offensive side) and sends the ball straight at team A goalie, directly over the head (approx 10 ft or more) of the lagging team B forward striker who is in the same position as described (an offside position). The ball lands approximately half way between team B forward striker and team A Goalie and starts bouncing/rolling straight to the team A goalie.
Situation A: Team B player does not make any play on ball (gives up) and it rolls to team A goalie who collects it and then clears the ball.
Ruling: No whistle, play continues.
Situation B: Both players start to run to gain control of ball. Team A Goalie, by several yards (very evident and clearly), collects the ball cleanly and clears it.
Ruling: No whistle, play continues.
Situation B(a): Same as B above, but goalie doesn’t handle it cleanly and it goes into his net.
Ruling: Goal is indicated for team B
Situation C: Both players start to run to gain control of ball. It looks very close as to who will win control, so prior to any touch by any player and/or the ball being closer to any player Ruling: Blow whistle, offside is called
Situation D: Or except for “Situation A” where the team B player clearly gives up on the ball and play – it is automatic.
Ruling: Blow whistle, offside is called
Your thoughts and advice would be helpful – Thanks
USSF answer (August 29, 2011);
We appreciate it when people send in questions, as this allows us to spot problems in referee training. Unfortunately, we CANNOT answer questions regarding games played under the rules of the NFSHSA. This answer addresses the same situations under the Laws of the Game.
Situation A — no offside violation and no whistle
Situation B — offside violation but “wait and see” and allow the play to develop, leading to no whistle and play continues
Situation B(a) — offside violation but “wait and see” and allow play to develop, leading to a whistle, goal canceled, and an indirect free kick for the defense (offside position attacker becomes actively involved in play by interfering with an opponent — acting to distract or deceive)
Situation C — offside violation, whistle, and an IFK for the defense (offside position attacker becomes actively involved in play by interfering with an opponent — acting to distract or deceive and specifically covered in FIFA Circular regarding avoidance of potential collision)
Situation D — we have no idea what ” Or except for “Situation A” where the team B player clearly gives up on the ball and play – it is automatic.” means and cannot comment unless it is clarified.