The Offside law. Again!

Discussion in 'Referee' started by Englishref, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Englishref

    Englishref Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    London, England
    It mustn't have been shown in the States yet, or else I know there'd be a furious debate on here by now. ;)

    But when it is, I'd like you're opinions on the two offside decisions in the West Ham vs Man City and Blackburn vs Liverpool games please.

    This could go on a bit though. :D
     
  2. Wahoos1

    Wahoos1 Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    No. Already arguing on the local MB about the rule. I did not see the play, but we are still argueing about the rule!
     
  3. bluedevils

    bluedevils Member

    Nov 17, 2002
    USA
    Ignoring whatever the current LOTG or IFAB decisions might say, I think the flag should go up against Sisse of Liverpool on that goal. I mean, the ball comes right to him and he sticks his foot out to try to play the ball while in offside position. He misses it, fortunately, and an onside teammate runs on, crosses nicely and a great finish by Robbie Fowler. Nice goal but I really think this should be considered offside.
     
  4. Grizzlierbear

    Grizzlierbear New Member

    Jul 18, 2001
    canada no it is not
    On the Blackburn vs Liverpool game, it was a great decision by the AR and referee to allow attacking play to flourish.

    This is the exact same as in the Greece match which occured last week in the greek's national first league's game between ATROMITOS-LARISS and Ref VASSARAS(who is selected from FIFA for the world's cup in germany)let the play continue without penalising the player.

    player A attempts to give the ball to a team-mate player B who is in an
    offside position but before he(B)touches the ball he opens up his feet so
    that the ball passes through his legs and goes to another team-mate player C who started from a none offside position.

    The gesture and movement which interferes with an opponent must at least
    deny said opponent the opportunity to challenge for the ball ESPECIALLY when there are NON OFFSIDE players available to recieve the ball.
    Was not there a memo that stated ONLY if the offside player was the ONLY
    guy possible to touch the ball would interferring with play be considered
    without an actual touch?. It is not an offence to be offside and while Cisse
    was on the AR radar for a COULD be flag IN no way did Cisse interfere with
    an opponent in challenging for the ball. The nearest defender to Cisse was
    three yards away STANDING with his arm in the air he was NOT defending the attacking player.
    This is the exact reason we WAIT while flagging to be 100%
    positive that the play would be altered if that offside player was not
    there. The thoughts of the defender are not a criteria of offside only the
    actions of the attacker. It was a GREAT call and again only strengthens the
    wait and see to be sure approach OFFSIDE positioned attackers are always
    trying to interfere with play or seek an advantage the KEY is erasing the
    offside player and determine if the play would have turned out different!
    The argument the defenders will use is he was offside BUT it is not an
    infringement to be offside so anticipating a play or a trouch does NOT
    count!

    I have yet to see the other match West Ham vs Man City so no opinion on that one!
     
  5. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Does it matter that there was no B'burn defender in the neighborhood, no defender who did anything differently to mark Cisse? All I saw was guys quit on the play.
     
  6. Grizzlierbear

    Grizzlierbear New Member

    Jul 18, 2001
    canada no it is not
    ABSOLUTELY SD I agree 100% that is what happens when players try to become referees in the middle of a match. DEFEND until the END!
     
  7. bluedevils

    bluedevils Member

    Nov 17, 2002
    USA
    Grizz, what you are describing in that Greek match is NOT the same as what I saw in Blackburn/Liverpool. In the EPL match, I saw the offside-position attacker attempt to play the ball with his foot but miss, then after the ball went by he raised his arms as if to say he wasn't involved.

    You seemed to correctly argue the correct offside law interpretation. My question to you is, do you personally agree with it? I do not.

    Not sure of the playing background of most posters here, but as someone who played the game at a reasonably high level and as an attacker, midfielder, and defender--- personally, I don't blame the defenders one bit for stopping or slowing down or discontinuing their chase back when they saw the ball going to Cisse who was standing offside and attempting to play the ball.

    That sort of position and action by Sisse, while it may not technically be an offense under the current FIFA offside interpretation, is AFFECTING play.

    Don't get me wrong -- I hate it when defenders stand with a raised arm in hopes of convincing the officials to call offside. But this was different.
     
  8. DerbyRam54

    DerbyRam54 Member

    Apr 26, 2005
    I think Grizz has it spot on here. I've been waiting to see an incident like this at the top level (and nice that it happened to Blackeye Rovers....) to see if the A/R did in fact wait long enough to see what a player in Cisse's position did. Unless you asked the man himself, you'll not know if he was going to touch the ball and then realised he was miles offside, or if it was an orchestrated ploy (I don't think you could say he just missed it, looked to me like he deliberately avoided contact with the ball). Either way, I think the officials applied Law 11 as it currently stands in exactly the way IFAB wants. Whether you like the current interpretation of the law or not, it seems to me that the Cisse incident is a good illustration of how it's supposed to be applied.
    Will more of these plays occur? Will it affect the way defenders defend? The players on the day might have squawked about it, but I haven't seen a major reaction from pundits and managers like with the Red Bulls goal a couple of weeks ago.
     
  9. bluedevils

    bluedevils Member

    Nov 17, 2002
    USA
    I do think it was an excellent example of when FIFA wants to see the flag staying down. Full applause to the crew for this decision. Those are not easy decisions to make and you still see situations on TV all the time this year with ARs flagging way too early and it occasionally costing an onside teammate a chance at catching up to a ball and playing it.

    In this particular situation, I think Cisse did try to play the ball but because it was in the air and was in a slightly awkward position for him as it went by, he failed to make contact. Does that really matter in determining whether an offside infringement has occurred? Probably not. But it is interesting to see the different opinions on whether he tried to play the ball or not, and how those opinions align with the opinions on whether this should have been an offside infringement or not.

    Still hoping people jump in here with more of their own opinions. As a ref, player, fan-- what do you guys think?

    It was interesting that Fox Sports World and Sky Sports News studio analysts didn't really know for sure if the decision was correct. C'mon guys, is it that hard to go to fifa.com and pull up the LOTG and read it? Instead, they sit there and speculate 'was he interfering with play' and 'was he in an active position'?
     
  10. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In that case, much as it pains me, good goal. If a defender had made a move toward Cisse that prevented him from getting to the other guy, then you could argue that Cisse interfered with the play. But to my eyes, no Rover did anything differently that helped Pool except quit on the play.

    I might feel different after re-running it a few times on the highlight show, but that's what I think right now.
     
  11. ref47

    ref47 Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    n. va
    if cisse had turned his back on the pass to say "i am not involved", and if it had hit him - active involvement; passed by him - no involvement. the fact that he watched the ball go by doesn't change this.
    as he did not touch the ball, or interfere with an opponent, and no rebounds were involved - it's as if he was not there - no offside call.
     
  12. Grizzlierbear

    Grizzlierbear New Member

    Jul 18, 2001
    canada no it is not
    What if?
    A ball is headed towards the goal via a shot from the right by a non offside attacker. The keeper dives and misses the ball. The unguarded offside attacker at the left post has to duck out of the way or the ball will hit him. the ball continues onto the post and in for a goal. GOOD GOAL?

    A ball is headed towards the goal via a shot from the right by a non offside attacker. The keeper dives and misses the ball. The unguarded offside attacker at the left post lunges for the ball but misses touching the ball, the ball continues onto the post and in for a goal. GOOD GOAL?

    A ball is headed towards the goal via a shot from the right by a non offside attacker. An offside attacker is over near the left post awaiting the ball's arrival. A defender slides in and pots an own goal.GOOD GOAL?

    What criteria is used to determine if offside is a needed call?

    If the ball would have missed the goal could the actions of the defender be interpreted as preventing the pass TO an offside attacker. While not touching the ball the offside attacker was the only attacker who could play the ball and his being there caused a reaction of the defender to intercept the pass. This defender defended until the end.

    Now if the ball would have entered the goal anyway and the defender only succeeded in putting it in his goal in a slightly different part of the net how does our offside attacker NOW play into the picture? Is not the attempt by the defender to prevent the goal rather than defend the offside attacker?


    Bluedevils. In my opinion offside is FINALLY coming around to what it SHOULD be and was meant to be. I see no new interpretation only a realization that we wait to see what happens before we flag as was always the case. Admittedly when we debate the language of how the laws are written this term of movement and gestures in the interfering with play must not be interpreted as the action bothers the defenders it must in fact prevent the defender from playing the ball or participating in the play.

    If Cisse was blocking a defender while shielding the ball THEN we have interfering with an opponent. The key here in my opinion is although CISSE may have initialy been thinking to play the ball the defenders relied on him doing so and thus stopped, putting their hands up to ask permission to hit the washrooms. The greek play may in afterthought have been a deliberate attempt to get out of the way rather than sell the dummy but given the ball would have hit him if he did not move, it was a through ball allowed to run on.

    Given the recent USSF decision on the free kick positioning where the placement prekick of the two offside players was to interfere with the keeper I can see how these situations of playing but not touching a ball on a let/dummy has USA referees wondering over the area of active involvement. I remind those thinking though that area of involvememt is not a criteria for offside.
     
  13. Wreave

    Wreave Member

    May 4, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    1. Goal.
    2. Probably a goal, but from the way you describe it does not seem the offside player had any impact on the play or the outcome. If no impact, then no penalty for offside.
    3. No goal, if defender was playing ball away from offside attacker.
     
  14. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wreave, I think he was making the point that if a shot gets past the keeper, an attacker ducking to get out of the way doesn't interfere with the play. Much like Rover defenders not running back to mark Cisse means Cisse didn't interfere with their ability to defend the ensuing play. The ball was past all the Rovers players, so they were as helpless as the keeper in his example.
     
  15. Englishref

    Englishref Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    London, England
    IMO, you can make a case to claim that Cisse interferes with play by making a gesture towards the ball which makes the defenders react. They know he is offside - it's what they were doing, playing him offside - so they see Cisse deliberately make a move to play the ball. That says to the players he is offside, so they stop. Had he made no movement, and stood still, with his arms in the air, there'd be no complaints, and the defenders would probably have chased back. As it was, they (probably) wrongly got fooled by Cisse's action, and stopped.

    I'm sure it is defendable by the letter of the law, but I don't think you'd find anyone complaining if the flag goes up in that situation. It's completely different if Cisse makes no attempt to play the ball, and if I were Barry Sygmuta, my flag would have gone up.

    Unfortunately, the offside law still has it's flaws - as this scenario clearly shows. But I'm still to find or read someone who can write the law so that is applied how everyone wants it to be, is easy to understand, and covers every eventuality!

    As for the Man City one, you can forgive the AR. If Richards leaves the ball it's a goal. If it's crossed the line before he touches it, it's a goal. If it hasn't, it's offside. The AR believed it hadn't crossed the line, so stuck his flag up. No replays are conclusive as to whether or not it did cross the line, so I think we can give Guy Beale the BoD.
     
  16. bluedevils

    bluedevils Member

    Nov 17, 2002
    USA

    That is exactly the case I was trying to make. Very nicely explained - now I don't need to try in vain to make the same point. I agree 100%.
     
  17. GlennAA11

    GlennAA11 Member+

    Jun 12, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    I agree with Englishref too. If Cisse had simply stood still and done nothing then I have no problem with not calling him offside. But considering that the ball was practically right to him and he sticks his foot out to play the ball I think he's got to be called offside. If I had been the AR there is no way I could have kept myself from raising the flag in this situation.
     
  18. Grizzlierbear

    Grizzlierbear New Member

    Jul 18, 2001
    canada no it is not
    ALL offside players are making some effort to play the ball only when they do do we consider offside.

    There is no law that says be an offside statue and you will not be held acountable in fact if you freeze and the ball hits you or you block a line of sight to the keeper or force an defender to run around you you are accountable!

    The law says interfere with play interfere with an opponent in my opinion in the FIFA referee opinion in the EPL referees opinion there was no offside call . Find me the instructors at the highest levels of your association who will teach this differently?

    An offside player running after a ball or trying to stop a ball that is headed for touch we are instructed to wait for a touch as the ball going out of play is NOT affected by him running after it! If you use the argument the defenders stepped up and QUIT playing for the reason that Cisse looked likely to play the ball then you miss the point of the first part of the offside law and ITS most IMPORTANT part IT is not an offence to BE offside.

    IF that ball was going into the goal and CISSE waved at with his foot but did not touch the ball do you award a goal assuming the defenders are doing EXACTLY as they were when CIsse let the ball run? The goal is good. Nothing Cisse did changed this outcome. So if we are good for goal in the second senario why does the defenders standing still change what occured originally? If we see a non offside player who is likely to also have a chance to play the ball we WAIT for the touch.

    The defender's CHOICE to step up was a tactical decision . The defender's choice to remain still and raise their arms is an admission that they have quit playing.

    A player standing offside and attempting to play the ball is not a criteria for offside. An offside player running in towards the goal 20 yards away is attempting to play the ball he is still attempting at 15, 10, 5 and 1 but the ball rolls out into touch or into the goal as long as he did not interfere with a player he NEVER participated in play because the outcome remained as it would if he were not there. Sure the defenders knew he was offside but they hoped he would play the ball to regain posession. It looked likely it looked probable but that is the rub here is it not what defenders think that creates an offside call it is the officials, judging the actions of the offside participant if he acted unfairly in either interfereing with play or interfered with an opponent While the defenders placed Cisse offside they forgot to PLAY him , he stuck his foot out and then he pulled it back, put up both arms and allowed the ball to run through. There were no defenders within 3 yards of him, three stood with their arms in the air waiting for the assistant's flag and referees whistle to no avail. Play was allowed to run and rightfully so because he didn't touch the ball. He didn't interfere because the defenders arms were up before his right leg moved. They committed to acting like referees instead of defending against the non offside midfielder attacking through.
    DEFENDERS DEFEND UNTIL THE END!
    ARS WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! BE 100% sure
     
  19. Sagy

    Sagy New Member

    Aug 6, 2004
    As a fan (sometime player) that still likes the pre "passive offside" rule.

    I think that if the offside player is attempting to play the ball (ITOOTR), then it should be called. If it doesn't can can see teams using this as a tactical play - position a player in a clear offside, pass the ball to him and count on the defenders to be slow when reacting to an onside player chasing the ball after it passed the offside player. By itself, this might be OK "by the book" but I can see some bad coalitions occurring when everyone is trying to recover.

    The other issue I have with this case is that the Offside player is likely to be back in an onside position once his teammate gets control of the ball, the net effect is that offside player that are playing the ball (I'm using the term liberally) can no longer be ignored.
     
  20. Englishref

    Englishref Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    London, England
    This is the important part for me. It's up to the AR's discretion whether or not Cisse moving his foot towards the ball, in a manner which looks like he is intending to play the ball, is him making a gesture which deceives an opponent. IMO, it is, which is why I'd flag offside.

    At the very least, it's a way of applying the laws with common sense, and in a way which everyone - bar Sepp - wants it applied, with some sort of wording in law to support the decision.
     
  21. numerista

    numerista New Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    I've enjoyed reading this discussion, and I'm curious whether anyone has more to add about the Man City play. It's one you don't really need to see ... as the ball flies into the net, a player who was in offside position reaches out towards it. Either he gets the slightest touch while it's directly over the goal line or else he doesn't touch it at all. Assuming the officials judged that he did touch it, could they have ignored the offside as trifling?
     
  22. Fulham Fan

    Fulham Fan New Member

    Apr 26, 2004
    Bay Area
    My take is: offside players should not be allowed to deceive the opposing team, even unintentionally, by gesturing towards the ball. Either he went for the ball and missed it or he pretended to go for it. Either way, he's offside.

    The origin of the play was that header to a man in an offside position. The only way for the play to continue lawfully is if the offside man ignores the ball. And he didn't. You can't reward a header to an offside teammate. You can't reward a teammate that fails to show the field awareness and ignore the pass made to him. It was offside.
     
  23. bluedevils

    bluedevils Member

    Nov 17, 2002
    USA
    Agree with Englishref and Fulham Fan.

    Grizz, I believe it is YOU who are missing our point, or at least failing to acknowledge its validity, not vice versa.

    There is wording in the IFAB interpretation to support the claim for offside in this example, as Englishref has explained clearly. Beyond that, there is the simple and logical and, I believe, within-the-spirit-of-the-game interpretation that this IS most definitely interfering with or affecting how play develops.

    It troubles me to think about how far teams will start to go with this 'decoy offside-position player' trick. Just start putting offside players all over the place. Let them pretend to play the ball or act like they are going to play the ball-- basically, convince the opposing team that they are going to play the ball. And then, at the last moment they do NOT play the ball but an onside teammate does play the ball. The defense is caught out of position and unprepared to defend the attack.

    Regardless of what you think the law says, as a person who is interested in soccer -- doesn't this at least bother you a little?
     
  24. ref47

    ref47 Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    n. va
    two attackers are chasing the ball towards the goal line, near the corner. one was onside and one was offside. the defenders see the offside attacker as more likely to get to the ball first, so do not approach. the offside attacker kicks at the ball, slips, misses, and falls down. the onside attacker now has time to get to the ball, plays it.

    the defenders made a choice to let thhose two attackers go to the ball unmolested. they thought the offside player would play it. when they saw him kick at the ball they were sure he was going to play it. they were wrong!
    we are told to wait and see who actually plays the ball, unless the offside player interfers with an opponent. i would not find unfair interference in this case. and i don't think cisse should be judged to have unfairly interfered in the play under discussion, either.

    being absolutely sure someone is offside while playing is not the norm. you almost never know just where everyone is on the pitch at the time the ball is played. it if most often too hard to judge, unless you are the ar in the correct position. players need to play; let the refs do the reffing.
     
  25. bluedevils

    bluedevils Member

    Nov 17, 2002
    USA
    My counterpoint is this:

    Look at how players are playing-- specifically, how defenders are defending. The way they are playing, and how they are reacting to these types of situations. This is how they react.

    FIFA and everyone else who supports this new offside guidance is asking for players to make quite a change-- in my view, a major and fundamental change -- in how they play tactically. I don't think it is a change they SHOULD make, and it surely is not a change they CAN make anytime soon. This is going to take players at all levels quite a while to adjust.

    I said before that the defender standing there with his arm in the air appealing for offside bugs the crap out of me. But I still feel compassion for the defender who positions himself accordingly based on an opponent who appears to everyone in the park to be 'playing' the ball only at the last minute not to physically touch the ball. To me, that is affecting play and if you want to call it interfering with play, fine with me.

    Sure, many players on the pitch typically won't know for sure if an opponent is in an offside position. But a reasonably alert defender who is in a position pretty close to the 2nd to last man - heck, this defender often IS the 2nd-to-last man - he has a pretty good idea of who is onside and who is offside.

    For all you folks who are defending the current guidance, it seems you either enjoy supporting the laws simply because they are the laws, or you don't understand the game well enough to appreciate why those Blackburn defenders felt hard done by the officials in that Liverpool match. I find it hard to believe that people actually believe the current guidance is right or just. Maybe you do, but for the most part all I've seen here is defense of the current guidance and not enough 'I agree with it' or 'this seems fair to me' or 'this is how I think the offside law really should be applied in the game of soccer.'
     

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