Week #23 August 11-13

This week we highlight proper running on the line and being square to the field to make crucial decisions.  An assistant referee helps out a referee caught way behind play.  Also, we present another offside situation for your to decide if the attacker is challenging for a ball and should be flagged offside.

Defining Deliberate Play

Last week we put this question to your vote and everyone overwhelmingly felt it was a deliberate play. (91%) and thus not offside.
It is a deliberate play because the Real Salt Lake defender:

  • Has time and space
  • Has control of his body
  • Moves towards the ball

Is it up to referee's to let the AR know that the this was a deliberate play?  It's actually a shared responsibility because you cannot assume the referee has had a clear view of the play or he may be still concentrating on a previous action.   This is where a slower flag and quick query to the referee can help put this offside puzzle together correctly.

Assisting with Misconduct

In previous week we have been critical of assistant referees not being decisive when the referee is caught far behind play because of a long pass or by the quick release of the goalkeeper as happened in Houston this past week.  
When you watch the clip note how far the referee is behind play, and even though this DOGSO foul may seem obvious on video, the referee is seeing it from at least 40 yards away.  The assistant referee has a much better view, is much closer and his flag is 100% necessary and correct.

Being Square to the Field

Whenever possible being square to the field when an offside decision needs to be made is optimal.
In Los Angeles v Colorado Kyle Atkins demonstrates the advanced technique of moving from a sprinting position to square to field just a moment before the offside decision needs to be made.  To do this not only does he need to show speed in keeping up with the attack but also the ability to read the play as it develops and know at which point the ball will be played.  This is quality and results in a very good decision.

Another quality decision made by Matt Nelson in Dallas is the result of him being square to the field in perfect position as can be seen in this clip.


Another difficult decision due to defenders and attackers being distant from each other is made easier by being square to the field as shown by Daniel Belleau.


I think I made my point...if you want to improve your decision making, being square to the field is a good place to start.

Is This Offside?

A San Jose player is in an offside position at the back post when the cross is made.  Does he challenge for the ball from an offside position?  Should he be flagged for offside?

Vanouver v San Jose - Should this be flagged?

The Best of Week #23

Andrew Bigelow

Three great decision are presented this week, which is your favorite? 

First up is Andrew Bigelow for allowing this tight offside decision and David Villa to scores for NYFC.


Matt Nelson

Choice #2 is Matt Nelson in Dallas who gives benefit of doubt to the attack and Sporting Kansas City scores


Chris Strickland

Choice #3 is your classic wait and see from Chris Strickland in Seattle as Jordan Morris gets a look at goal.

Which call is your favorite for Best of the Week #23"