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Offside (football)

Offside in football (offside) is a rule that constantly causes controversy, especially in matches of those tournaments where the video replay system (VAR) is not introduced. The offside rule is quite simple, but in practice many people have great difficulties with its perception - not everyone immediately, it turns out to understand what it means and how it works.

An unrecorded offside position may decide the fate of the match. A vivid example of this was the final duel of the FA Cup in 2016-2017, in which London's Arsenal and Chelsea played. Then Alexis Sanchez scored a goal, although nearby Aaron Ramsey was in a passive offside. A goal, in the end, the chief referee recorded. By the way, that match ended with the victory of the “Gunners” with a score of 2: 1.,

This example shows the importance of offside, and now we will try to explain to you in simple and understandable language the meaning of this rule.

Offside football rule

In a simple and understandable language, the offside rule is interpreted as follows:

A player is in an offside position if, at the time of transfer of a teammate, he is closer to the opponent’s goal line than the ball and the penultimate player of the defending side.

One of the two opponents is almost always the goalkeeper, therefore, if the ball and one of the field players will not be in the same line with you, then the offside position will be fixed. Offside will not be fixed if you are on the same line with the second opponent (or both at once). It is also worth noting that the offside is not fixed in its half of the field and during the throw-in.

When an offside rule violation occurs, the defending team gains the right to take a free kick from the place where the offense was recorded. Players are not punished by the referee for such a violation, even if they climbed into the offside position several times during the match.

Important! An offside position is recorded if even a few centimeters of any part of the player’s body that can be scored is closer to the opponent’s goal line than the ball and the penultimate player of the defending side. The judges do not take into account the player’s hands when determining the offside position, since according to the rules, a goal scored by a hand (s) is not counted.

It is interesting! At the 1986 World Cup, Diego Armando Maradona scored a goal against the England team, but the judge did not notice this and counted the goal. This goal is called the "Hand of God."

Passive offside is not an offense

A player can get into an offside position, but if he doesn’t take any active actions (running after the ball or other actions to prevent the opponent from capturing it), the side referee will not consider this an offense.

Another case where the offside position is not fixed. Suppose a player is in an offside position, but he receives the ball not from his teammate, but from an opponent who, for example, has been circumcised. In this case, the footballer of the attacking team can take possession of the ball, and the line judge will not raise the flag.

Offside football goalkeeper

In modern football, quite often there are cases when the offside position is determined by the goalkeeper. Often, this happens during standard positions when the frame has to leave the goal line to relocate or intercept the ball. This can also happen when, for example, 2 attacking players go out to 2 defending players, and at this time the goalkeeper goes out of the goal, becoming the penultimate player, and the defender located closer to the goal line becomes the last player. In this case, the offside is fixed by the goalkeeper.

Offside Disputes

One of the most fundamental rules of football is constantly at the center of controversy and discussion. This rule has some subtleties that are mainly associated with a passive offside.

As mentioned at the beginning of the post, in the 2017 FA Cup match, a controversial episode with a goal took place. Alexis Sanchez threw the ball through the defense, and Aaron Ramsey, being in an obvious offside position, ran after him, and then left him to Sanchez, who sent the ball into the net.

In this situation, it cannot be said that Ramsey was in a passive offside position, as the movement behind the ball prevented the defense of the “aristocrats” from intercepting the ball, the defenders of the opposite side believed that the judge would raise the flag, and, as a result, the Chilean Sanchez took possession of the ball and scored a goal .

It is difficult to say who is right and who is not in this episode. One thing worth noting is that the offside rule is worth finalizing, because with the separation of the active and passive positions outside the game, a lot of controversy, conflict situations and disagreements arose.

Also, it is worth noting that a lot of conflict situations arise when offside is fixed, when the side referees simply do not have time to catch this line between the attack and defense players due to high speeds, and correctly judge the episode. In such cases, in many tournaments comes the VAR video replay system, which, incidentally, worked at the previous World Cup in Russia.

If from our article you did not manage to understand what offside in football is, then try to figure out this rule from the video:

Offsider Edit

A player is in an “offside” position if, during a pass to him or a shot on goal, he is closer to the opponent’s goal line than the ball, as well as the penultimate player of the opponent.

A player is not in an offside position if:

  • he is in his half of the field,
  • he is on the same line with the penultimate player of the opponent,
  • he's on the same line with the last two rivals,

Being a player in an offside position is not in itself a violation of the rules.

Violation Edit

A player who is in the “offside” position is punished for this only if, at the time of hitting the ball or touching the ball by any of his teammates, he, according to the referee, is actively involved in the game’s actions, and exactly:

  • interferes in the game (concerns the ball that was passed to him or which touched a team mate),
  • interferes with the opponent
  • gains an advantage due to his position (concerns a ball that bounces off the goal post or crossbar or on an opponent).

In the above cases, the opposing team gains the right to perform a free kick from the place where the violation occurred.

No violation Edit

An offside position is not a violation of the rules by a player if:

  • he gets the ball that he got as a result of the intentional actions of the opponent (with the exception of intentional repulsing),
  • he receives the ball immediately after a throw-in due to a sideline, goal kick or corner kick.

Artificial position out of game

The defending team, to disrupt the opponent’s attack, takes the defenders forward. Then the attacking opponent is in an offside position. The 2004 rules were introduced in order to encourage attacking football and reduce the number of such situations. Unfortunately, this solution so far yields few results and, as before, the defenders use the artificial offside quite often. This tactical scheme was first introduced by the creator of the concept of “Total Football” Rinus Michels in the mid 60-ies of the XX century.

In football, there have often been situations when one striker is always close to the opponent's goal in order to receive a pass and score a goal. This problem is believed to have been resolved in the Cambridge Rules in 1848. Then the player was “offside” when he was in front of the ball. In this position, he could not move forward and take the ball - it was necessary to break the ball so that it was ahead of the player.

Around 1860–70, the offside rule was replaced by the following: a player is offside if he is behind the third player of the defending team.

In 1925, due to the increased number of artificial offside positions, the third player was replaced by the second. According to statistics, after this amendment, the number of goals increased by one and a half times.

The 1990 amendment states that a player has the right to be on a par with the second player on the team.

Finally, the 2003 amendment defined the criteria for an active game; if there is no active game, an offside position does not count.

On February 28, 2009, an amendment to the 11th FIFA Rules Act was made. Currently, it sounds like this: "Any player who leaves the field for any reason without the permission of a judge continues to be officially on the field, that is, it is on him that the offside line is built"