Novice fans don’t understand it. Even though longtime supporters claim they understand the concept, many people openly disagree with them. Referees and their assistants are trained to spot it, but often have to turn to replays to make sure they’ve got it right.
The actor Ryan Reynolds — who, remember, owns a soccer team — admits he doesn’t understand it but has sought cover by saying, “in fairness, nobody understands the offside rule.”
Now you’ll understand.
It is important to be sure that the goalkeeper stays between the player’s goal and the goal, when passing the ball. That’s offside.
The attacking player in this instance is onside at the time the ball is passed. However, the offside player does not move offside after receiving the ball.
The Closest Call
If any part of a player’s body that can legally score a goal is past the last defender — a foot, a head, a knee, even a backside; basically anything other than the lower arm — the player is offside.
An Offside Teammate
The officials must judge if the player without the ball is involved in the play in some way — for example, by challenging for the ball or, say, obstructing the goalkeeper’s vision. If the official finds that the player has touched the ball, they will declare the offender guilty.
The Acceptable Position
This is because the attacking player is not involved in the play and is therefore considered passively offside. The red team is allowed to continue their attack as long as the attacking player does not participate in the action.
The player appears to be looking offside. The play is a corner kicke. The ball cannot be received by a player from the corner kick. Same applies to goal kicks or throw-ins.
A Second Exception
The player appears to be on the wrong side. But the play is taking place in the team’s own half, and a player cannot be offside in the team’s half of the field.
And that’s it. Now, grab a flag — you’re fully qualified to be a referee’s assistant at the World Cup. Well, nearly.
Check out the complete article here