Offside is the most contested rule in Soccer! Professional referees now have video review, in ear pieces, and lots of training and still have troubles getting it right. As a fun-first player in our Leagues, we don’t expect you to be perfect, but we do ask that you take a bit of time to become familiar with the rule and how to call it. If you and your team understand the rule, it will allow the game to flow better and be surely appreciated by your opponents.
So, what is offside?
A player is offside when they are closer to the opponent’s goal than BOTH the ball and the second last defender. To be offside you need to be in this position, as well be a part of the ACTIVE play.
Common Q and A’s
- Does a goalie count as a defender?
A: Yes, essentially when referring to defenders it’s just two players closest to the net on the other team, no matter what position they typically play.
- Is a person offside if they move past the 2nd last defender after the ball is kicked?
A: A player can make their move the moment the ball is kicked. If a player moves into an offside position after the ball is kicked → Onside
If they move past the 2nd last defender before the ball is kicked → Offside
- Are there times you can be in an offside position, but not be called for it?
A: Several actually, such as goal kicks, corner kicks, throw-ins, and times when you are not part of the active play.
We know that the rule itself can be pretty hard to understand on paper, which is why we have created a short animated video to help!