I have a question about the placement of the free kick following an offside infringement.
Law 10 states “In the event of an offside offence, the referee awards an indirect free kick to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of Free Kick).”
Advice to Referee’s (section 11.13) says the restart should be where the offside player was when his teammate played the ball. The kick should not be taken from the position of the second to last defender.
OK – here’s my question. Why is the kick always taken at the position of the second to last defender? Granted, sometimes the offside player and the second to last defender are very close so it doesn’t matter. But when they are not close – one always sees the ball moved up to the position of the AR.
Isn’t this wrong? It seems to me the general practice and the laws are not in synch. Comment?
USSF answer (February 25, 2009):
You quote correctly both the Law (though you should be citing Law 11, not 10) and the Advice, and then ask why is the kick always taken at the position of the second-last defender. In point of fact, the kick is indeed taken from the place where the player was when his teammate played the ball, even though the player may have moved elsewhere by the time he becomes involved in play.
If the kick is taken from the place where the second-last defender was, that is because of sheer laziness on the part of either the assistant referee or the referee. The AR is expected to stay with the second-last defender or the ball, whichever is nearer to the goal, but must remember where the player in the offside position was when it comes time to flag for the offense. Too many ARs take the easy way out, but you should not allow that to influence how you officiate the game.