What is Offside in Soccer?

Aside from basketball, soccer is currently making its way to the top as the most watched and most anticipated outdoor sports of today. David Beckham, Diego Marado and Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima are some names that can be linked directly with soccer. Seeing soccer in the television with your friends may be fun but knowing some rules that govern the game can be very frustration- especially the offside rule in soccer. What is the offside rule in soccer?

Being the shortest among the 17 rules that governs soccer, the offside rule 11 seems to be the hardest to understand and was seen to be a loophole among soccer rules. The controversy was mainly due to its subjective nature where referees have their own judgment as to when a player is offside or not. For a fair judgment, it is best for viewers to also know the rule and not just the players and referees.

Offside foul is called whenever a player from the offensive team or attacking team is seen to do the following: stands behind the line of the defender, stands on the defender’s half field, stands closer to the goal line than the second-to-last defensive player and the ball, and the attacking player is involved in the play. Whenever an offside foul is called, the game is stopped and the opposing team is rewarded with an indirect free kick.

The rule was formulated in order to prevent lazy players from staying in front of the opposing team’s goal (especially when the play is occurring on the other side of the field) and wait for the ball to come. It should be noted that the offside rule applies only when the ball is being passed and not at the time when the ball is received. In short, when the player is “onside” when the ball is passed and then maneuver in front of the unsuspecting player from the opposing team to catch the ball (even if he is near the goal of the opposing team), the player is not offside.

There are also exemptions in the offside rule. It is not effective when the attacking player is on their side of the court or field, when the ball is passed backwards anywhere in the court or field, during throw in, during goal kick, and during corner kick.

When offside is determined, the referee on either at the sides of the field or at the center will declare offside. The center referee would whistle in order to stop the game while the side referees will wave a red flag in order to signal the center referee to whistle (in times when the center referee did not see the offside foul). Again, when offside is called, the opposing team will have the privilege to own the ball.

With the detailed definition of offside rule of soccer stated here, you will sure enjoy watching soccer and have your share judgment whether the player is on the offside or not.

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