Offside Rule was made to Prevent Cherry Picking If you are new to the game of soccer and just

now learning about the Offside Rule; it was put in place to keep players from cherry picking and just standing in front of the goal waiting for the ball. Understanding this rule is easier than you think. If your team has control of the ball; there must be at least two defenders (goalkeeper and a field player or two field players) at the time the ball is passed to the player closest to the goal. This player can be in the offside position when they receive the ball, but must be in-line or in front of the last defensive player (generally the goalkeeper will be playing in back of the last defender). It is the Assistant Referee who is on the sideline responsibility to remain in line of this situation and help make the offside call. As you can see below there are situations where offside will not be called. If a player receives the ball directly from a goal kick, a throw-in, a corner kick, or if a defender touches the ball prior to the player in the offside position receives the ball. Furthermore, a player can be in the offside position and not get called for offsides it they do not directly affect the play. One example, a player takes a shot on goal and the player in the offside position is not in direct line of the shot or distracting the goalkeeper. If you have any questions about this rule; contact your league referee coordinator and they can answer your questions or go to our contact us page and we can assist with any questions you might have.
LAW 11 ± OFFSIDE

Offside position It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position. A player is in an offside position if: ‡ he is nearer to his opponents¶ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent A player is not in an offside position if: ‡ he is in his own half of the field of play or ‡ he is level with the second-last opponent or ‡ he is level with the last two opponents Offence A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by: ‡ interfering with play or ‡ interfering with an opponent or ‡ gaining an advantage by being in that position No offence There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from: ‡ a goal kick ‡ a throw-in ‡ a corner kick Infringements and sanctions In the event of an offside offence, the referee awards an indirect free kick to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 ± Position of free kick).

Source: Soccerhelp.com; fifa.com
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