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Offside scenario & goalkeeper injury

Discussion in 'Laws of the game' started by SLI39, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. SLI39

    SLI39 Active Member Level 7 Referee

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    1) A few weeks ago I was talking to a parent before a match, and he asked my opinion on a particular scenario (he had a rugby, not football, background). At the time, from the way he described it, I didn't think offside should be given, but I will share it:
    -The ball is passed to a player on the left wing; he is onside when he receives the ball and proceeds to run with it.
    -A team-mate on the right wing, who was offside when that initial pass was played, runs parallel to the player with the ball, anticipating a cross. A defender tracks his run.
    -This second player is behind the ball from the cross and scores.

    I cannot see any justification for offside here in law 11; he has not interfered with play, prevented an opponent from playing the ball or challenged for the ball (the ball is 50 yards away minimum). I think the parent assumed that, unless the player remains stationary, he is interfering; but for me the player's intention to get involved in play from a second phase is not relevant.
    It does seem a bit strange, however, that an offside call here might depend on the angle of his run (i.e. towards the ball or not).


    2) On the weekend, I had a goalmouth scramble situation, and I'm not sure whether I should have stopped play. A striker went through one on one with the keeper; the former went down, but I thought the keeper avoided catching him (nor was it a dive). The ball somehow stayed in close to the goal-line, and amazingly it didn't go in from a couple more attempts. Eventually an attacker fouled a defender. For those 15-20 seconds the keeper was on his knees around 8 yards from goal (one defender told me I had to stop for injury, but for me he was not injured, just resigned to conceding). I know the laws give the referee the power to stop play for an incapacitated keeper (head injury or not), but with a goal seemingly imminent would you stop play when it was no fault of the attacking side, especially if you weren't convinced the keeper was injured?

    Thanks
     
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  4. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member Level 4 Referee

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    Answer 1) is covered on p196 of the lotg. I have attached the diagram. But in a nutshell this is not offside. 20171113_152237.png
    Question 2 YHTBT. If you felt the keeper was not injured then dont stop play. What made you think he wasnt. Did he make any signals to say he was? For me its a tread carefully scenario. If it turns out he is injured and you've allowed a goal then match control is gone but again without actually seeing the incident its almost impossible to give a definitive answer.
     
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  5. PinnerPaul

    PinnerPaul Well-Known Member Level 7 Referee

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    Think you're spot on with both
    1) Is really simple if you think about it. There were two points when the scorer of the goal had to be judged offside or not - when the passes were played by his team mates. On both occasions he was on side - so no further thinking required!

    2) Yes again, you're correct - unless a serious injury/head injury suspected no need to stop play.

    Although not quite the same scenario - QPR v Sheff Utd recently - Sheff Utd GK collides with own player, land heavily, drops the ball, stays down, ball runs to QPR player who taps into empty net - goal and no protests at all from Sheff Utd players. GK WAS seriously injured as it turned out - had to leave on a stretcher after 6/7 minutes. However referee could not possibly know that at the time.
     
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  6. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member Level 4 Referee

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    Fair point. I think that in the OP play is continuing without a possibly injured keeper whereas in the qpr game it has happened almost immediately from your description. That said if ths referee doesnt think he is injured then play on :)
     
  7. PinnerPaul

    PinnerPaul Well-Known Member Level 7 Referee

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    2) Yes agree - that was why I said 'not quite the same scenario':p
     
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  8. SLI39

    SLI39 Active Member Level 7 Referee

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    Thanks for the helpful responses. That diagram helps clear up my doubts; I think 'close' is the key word here. If an offside player makes a forward movement with the ball in close proximity, even if only anticipatory, 99% of the time it's still a nailed on offside call. The first Arsenal goal in the FA cup final was an interesting counter example.

    As for the keeper, he himself didn't say anything either at the time or afterwards. His captain may have thought he could prevent the goal just by virtue of the keeper's being on the floor.
     
  9. one

    one Well-Known Member Level 7 Referee

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    Agree with above. A couple of points on the first scenario.
    • You say the player on the left wing is onside when he receives the ball. You may have not meant it that way but to be clear, the offence is judged on if the player is in an on/off side position when the ball is kicked to him not when he receives it.
    • It is common for newbies to penalise the player on the right wing for gaining an advantage from being in an offside position. While this is true in common English meaning of gaining an advantage, the LOTG definition of gaining an advantage is significantly different (see law 11).
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 12:56 AM
  10. Peter Grove

    Peter Grove Well-Known Member

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    JamesL has already given the official answer to point 1 with the illustration/wording from the Laws of the Game. A similar 'Laws of the Game' answer to point 2 is that the referee:
    I should point out that this is the same whether the player is the goalkeeper or not. The statement that "the laws give the referee the power to stop play for an incapacitated keeper" is not true - not if you mean that the law gives you special dispensation to stop play for a keeper with only a slight injury. You don't have to stop play just because a keeper is on the ground, any more than you do for any other player.

    Now I think that everyone, including referees and players, knows that keepers generally don't stay down if play is going on around them unless they are seriously injured, so I would say most referees are likely to stop play more quickly if a keeper is staying down than if it were an outfield player. However that is based on the referee having formed the opinion that the keeper is seriously injured due to him not getting up again, not because the law itself gives any special consideration to keepers in this regard.
     
  11. Peter Grove

    Peter Grove Well-Known Member

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    Which is why I have felt for a long time now (basically, ever since the IFAB issued the 'clarifications' in 2003 of the terms used in the offside law) that they should simply drop the phrases, "interfering with play" and "gaining an advantage" altogether. Especially since the full definitions are now included in the main body of the law, there is no useful purpose to be served (IMHO) in leaving these phrases in there. All it does is lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretation of the law.

    If "interfering with play" means touching the ball - just say so. Similarly with "gaining an advantage" - ditch the misleading phrase and just leave the full definition in there.

    Interfering with an opponent is the only one of the three offside categories that actually means what it says.
     
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  12. bloovee

    bloovee Well-Known Member Level 7 Referee

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    Hear hear. "Gaining an advantage" no longer means what it originally meant, and is redundant and misleading. You can obviously gain an advantage (in real speak) from having been in an offside position (incident 1 in the OP) but not under law 11 except when it just means playing the ball. For some reason, the lawmakers do like to hang on to some of the old language and then end up with new definitions to fit (e.g. "careless, reckless, excessive force" which were not originally intended as an escalating degree of sanction).
     
  13. Peter Grove

    Peter Grove Well-Known Member

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    True, although to be fair the phrase is no longer "gaining an advantage by being in that position" but "gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent ... etc." which is a slight improvement. Still, much better to drop the whole "gaining an advantage" part and just leave the rest of the wording, as far as I'm concerned.
     

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