7 Things You Should Know About The Offside Rule

By Christine
October 23, 2023
offside rule soccer

The offside rule in soccer can be a head scratcher for fans who are new to the game. But this seemingly puzzling rule can actually be the ultimate game changer.

In the rough and tumble world of soccer, the offside rule stands as a testament to the sport’s intricacies. Embrace its twists and turns and you get tactical brilliance and strategic maneuvers that make soccer the beautiful game it is. From offside redemptions to VAR interventions, the offside rule is more than a regulation. It’s a dynamic facet that keeps players, fans and referees engaged in the ongoing drama on the pitch. So the next time you witness an offside call, you’ll know just why it adds an extra layer of thrill to the world’s favorite sport.

1. What it all boils down to

In short, a player is offside when they are involved in active play and there are fewer than two players between them and the goal. These can be any two players, including the goalkeeper.

2. If you’re passive, no worries

But if you’re not in active play, the offside rule doesn’t apply. So if you’re passive, you can rest assured you’re not going to get the whistle blown at you.

3. Why it’s not allowed

Key Dates in the Premier League

Being offside is against the rules because it gives you an unfair advantage over the other team. And that’s why when you’re gaining an advantage from being in this position, you’re in the spotlight of the ref’s whistle.

4. There are certain times when you’re allowed to be offside

Being offside isn’t always an offence. Sometimes it’s allowed. For example, you can be offside when you receive a ball from a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in.

5. The punishment

If you’re caught playing offside, the opposing team is usually awarded a free kick.

6. Using AI to determine offsides

It’s notoriously tricky for the human eye to pick up on who is or isn’t definitely offside. For that reason, many major soccer bodies have embraced video assistant referees (VAR) to help them judge it. Using AI technology, super-sharp cameras and slow motion, they can pick up an offside offence in a jiffy and then there’s no more (or at least a lot fewer) quibbles.

7. Forget about it if everyone’s over your end of the pitch

If a footballer is on his own side of the pitch, the offside rule can’t kick in. So that’s a good one to remember. But once you cross over, you could incur its wrath.

Read more about soccer

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