Play of the Week 26: Offside
PRO Play of the Week 26 covers offside calls, in which Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer looks at examples from Houston Dynamo against Montreal Impact and Real Salt Lake versus FC Dallas.
Rejer said: “At our recent camp we discussed offside decisions, and in particular the new interpretation and how it affects our decision making and thought processes. In particular, we discussed;
Offside Interpretation 2014
“Are we still interpreting the law as we would before the new interpretation? On PRO’s website are the nine clips we discussed at the camp and PRO’s opinion on each play. Our objective was to ensure that we started to consistently interpret the law as per the new interpretation.
Gaining an Advantage
‘Gaining an advantage by being in that position’ means playing a ball:
(i) That rebounds or is deflected to him off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent, having been in an offside position.
(ii) That rebounds, deflects or is played to him from a deliberate save by an opponent having been in an offside position.
A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.
The importance of ‘Wait and See’
“It is important that the AR can refrain from raising his flag until the player in the offside position becomes active.
“The referee has a responsibility to assist the AR with this process, in particular has the defender deliberately played the ball or has it rebounded or deflected to the player in the offside position? The referee is usually in the best position to make this judgment.
“If you compare the nine clips discussed at camp with the two examples from the weekend in this article, you will see two goals were scored with the referee and AR working together to achieve the correct application of law.
“Example one was at the Houston Dynamo versus Montreal Impact game, when Dynamo’s Oscar Cummings played the ball forward with teammate Giles Barnes in an offside position. However, the ball was then deliberately played by Impact’s Kryzysztof Krol. Barnes then collected the ball and went on a great run to score. You can see referee Fotis Bazakos look over to his AR, Matthew Nelson, who communicated with each other and allowed play to continue.
“The second example is from the Real Salt Lake versus FC Dallas game when RSL’s Luke Mullholland played the ball into the penalty area. Dallas defender Zach Loyd deliberately played the ball into the path of offside player Robbie Findley, who scored. Referee Armando Villarreal looked over to his AR Richard Gamache and, following communication, they correctly decided to award the goal.
“In the above plays it could be argued that both defenders did not play the ball deliberately as it inadvertently went to opponents. However, the referees and ARs only have to consider whether the player deliberately played the ball, not where they intendeded to play it. In both cases the defenders deliberately played the ball as there was movement towards the ball but obviously they did not intend for the ball to go towards opponents.
“Both examples display excellent teamwork, correct law application and great goals, which is for the good of the game.”