This week we look at several situations where attackers are in an offside position and whether they are interfering with an opponent. Which raises the questions, if you duck out of the way of a shot can you still be offside? Yes, but maybe not.
Also, a couple of plays that serve as warning to not lose your focus.
Players in Offside Position on Goals
There have been several plays recently where attackers have been in an offside position when a goal was scored. Proper procedure for the assistant referee is to hold their position without raising the flag and letting the referee know in case there is a possibility of interference.
In the three situations presented below, all from this past weekend's matches, only in situation 2 did the AR not run up the line, communicate with then referee and wait for confirmation from the referee that the player did not interfere.
In Week in Review #3 there were two similar decision presented. Again, in those plays the referee was not made aware of the offside positioned players.
Even though in all 5 of these situations, the on field decision was correct, although AR mechanics were not.
Interfering with a player (line of vision) is rare and so is making a clear impact on a defender's ability to play the ball, however it is important to follow procedure for that one time it happens in your match.
What do you think?
Situation #1 in Houston has generated a lot of debate and Paul Rejer has written very well about it in his PRO's Plays of the Week. We won't go over it again here, but we do want to see what you think, so please vote in the poll below.
Don't Let Your Guard Down
Two plays from this past week's matches serve as warning to always keep your focus and concentration even when the ball is not in play. Especially with home teams that are more likely to push forward quickly and not slow the game down.
Focus in Vancouver. The assistant referee correctly calls a foul right in front of him. However, watch as he notices a fraction of a second late that Vancouver is about to take the free kick quickly. Fortunately, he still reacts in time to make the correct decision, but has to make the call from less than optimal position.
Point to be taken from this play is not to take you eyes off the ball, not relax just because the ball is not in play and that the signaling for a foul is less important than being in position to make the next decision.
Concentration in Columbus. What looks like a normal corner kick turns into an offside situation when Columbus' Higuain plays a pass back to the original taker of the corner kick. This player is in an offside position and even though the defender gets the ball first it should be flagged for offside because he challenges for the ball and interferes with an opponent.
Free kick Offside Tactic
Be ready for this type of play again from Columbus. This can be extremely difficult for assistants and you need to be prepared for it. Concentrate on taking a mental picture of the defensive line, be perfectly aligned with the defenders, take your time in making the decision as you have more to process. Be especially aware of the attackers withdrawn from the line of players, as they are the most likely not to be caught by this trap.
Call of the Week #5
Call of the Week #4 was a landslide for Jason White, but again he had little competition. This week you can chose from a great "wait and see" offside decision that leads to a Columbus goal made by Brian Poeschel versus Ian Anderson assisting the referee with a penalty kick decision when the referee wasn't sure if the hand ball was inside the penalty area.