Playoffs #1

Deleana Quan, Ekaterina Koroleva and Felisha Mariscal representing the United States and the Women’s U-17 World Cup in Uruguay.

Deleana Quan, Ekaterina Koroleva and Felisha Mariscal representing the United States and the Women’s U-17 World Cup in Uruguay.

The Play In matches and the first round of the conference semi-finals are completed. As everyone knows it doesn’t matter what you did in the regular season anymore, its all about the playoffs.
There have been two offside decisions that were corrected by video review but also many excellent decisions. We will look at the one review in NY Football Club v Atlanta which is a good example of why every AR needs to go thru a pre-corner kick routine.
A colleague from Iran has sent an offside incident from a match and would like some help coming to the right decision.
Finally, we have an interfering with an opponent incident in Portland where the communication failed to come to the right decision. Add your opinion to the comments section telling us how to come to the correct solution.



First watch this clip to see the offside decision that was missed live and then corrected thru video review. The assistant referee is in the right position at the taking of the corner kick and does quickly moved to be in position for the offside decision. The attacker is physically to the AR’s right at the moment the ball is “passed”, which if he is in correct position, would put the attacker in an offside position and then when he goes to cross the ball he interferes with play.
How can we prevent this from happening again?
Every AR should have a pre-corner kick routine that is more than making sure the ball is placed correctly in the arc or getting defenders on the 11 yard line.
The most important part of that routine is knowing who the second to last opponent is going to be once the kick is taken.
This pre-corner kick routine should be about reading the next phase of play - where is the most likely next offside decision. In this case, the team has set up for a short corner, the most likely next decision is going to be right in front of the AR. (Might be a good time to take a step back?)
More and more teams are opting not to have defenders on the posts, which means your second to last defender could be just about anywhere. You need to identify this player before the kick is taken. In this incident it is the lone defender in front of the keeper. A mental note should be taken that if the short corner is taken, he’s the guy.
If there is one defender on the post, this usually makes the goalkeeper the STLO. He is easily identifiable, but what if he goes out to challenge for the ball? Who becomes the STLO? Which defender is most likely to drop back to cover? (Usually the defender near the back post.)
All these scenarios should run thru the AR’s routine. In this case, knowing that there are no defenders on the post, the attack has a short corner set-up and the second to last defender is front of the keeper should give the AR all the information he needs.


A clear case of interfering with an opponent was missed in the Portland v Seattle match which resulted in a corner kick. Fortunately nothing came of the corner kick and the play was pretty much forgotten. Actually it is not fair to say that the interfering with an opponent offside was missed, it wasn’t. It was rather a matter of having all the pieces of the puzzle, but not putting them together.
This clip needs to be played with sound so you can hear the attempt to form the puzzle. Both ARs are involved, the fourth official, the referee and even the defender who was interfered with have something to say.
We want you to tell us how to get this decision right. How should it be handled? Put your opinion in the comments section of this page, with clear details of what should have happened on this exact play.




A clip sent to from an assistant referee from Iran asks for our help in making the right decision on this offside incident. What would you do? (Although not visible at the moment of the pass, assume the red #10 was in an offside position.)

What Would You Do? - Iranian League
Offside - Interfering with an Opponent
Offside - Interfering with Play
Offside - Gaining an advantage
No offside