September 5, 2014

Offside - Interfering with Play

Interfering with play is one of three main criteria that determine whether an offside position, which is not punishable in itself, becomes active and therefore punishable. In most of the cases when offside offenses occur, interfering with play is the reason.


Interfering with play means playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate. A player who has initially been in an offside position and is interfering with play is guilty of offside offence.

CLIP 1 - Interfering with play



Interpretation:
A player in an offside position receives the ball from a pass by his team-mate and plays it. He is therefore deemed to be interfering with play and the goal is correctly disallowed for offside offence.

CLIP 2 - Interfering with play



Interpretation:
A player passes the ball through the defensive line. Only one team-mate, who is in an offside position, is able to receive the ball in order to play it in a 1v1 duel with the goalkeeper. In such cases, the mere observations that a) there is no other attacker able to play the ball and that b) there is a very high likelihood that the player will definitely play the ball justify that the assistant referee raises his flag before the player touches the ball at all. He must be deemed to be interfering with play.


Even though the Laws of the Game do not explicitly say it, UEFA has given the following guidelines to their referees and assistant referees (even though, as usual, most assistant referees did not receive these guidelines...):

Referees and assistant referees should be aware that interfering with play means not only playing or touching the ball but also can include attempting to play the ball.
An attacker, who clearly attempts to play the ball, must be deemed to be interfering with play.

CLIP 3 - Attempting to play the ball (Interfering with Play)



Interpretation:
This clip should make you understand what attempting to play the ball means and when such an attempt should be considered as interfering with play.
The ball is played on the left wing and an attacking player passes it towards the area directly in front of the opponents' goal. Another attacker clearly attempts to play the ball in order to score a goal. He is in an offside position at the moment of the pass and should be adjudged to be in a punishable offside position. He is interfering with play given the clear attempt to play the ball. As he is not impeding the movement or actions of the goalkeeper in a significant manner, this clip is no example of challenging an opponent for the ball.

CLIP 4 - Attempting to play the ball (Interfering with Play)



Interpretation:
A player in an offside position clearly attempts to play the ball. Normally, he should be considered as interfering with play for this reason. That's why the assistant referee can raise his flag for offside offence. However, as the ball is travelling towards the goalline with medium pace and there is no player who can reach it anymore, it is acceptable to avoid this unnecessary stoppage - also considering that the goal-kick that will re-start play is quite equivalent to an indirect free-kick from the position where the infringement has occurred.

CLIP 5 - Not attempting to play the ball (Not Interfering with Play)



Interpretation:
An attacker in an offside position is not interfering with any opponent. He is not interfering with play either: he makes no attempt to play the ball and does not touch it. His movement and body posture even indicate that he intends to stay away from the ball. The goal is correctly allowed to stand as there is no offside offence.


Reference to other posts

Interfering with play is closely linked to the wait-and-see-technique. Assistant referees must be reminded on their duty to wait and see whether a player, who is in an offside position, really becomes involved in active play by interfering with play (or by interfering with an opponent, or by gaining an advantage by being in that position). If there are many players who can potentially play or touch the ball, you should keep your flag down until it is absolutely clear who plays, touches or attempts to play the ball.

Assistant referees can raise their flag earlier than usual if it is absolutely clear that the player in an offside position is the only player going for the ball and will very likely interfere with play. Examples of that are shown in the wait-and-see-technique-thread - but also Clip 2 is an example of that.

Interfering with play is linked to gaining an advantage by being in that position. Players who receive the ball from a rebound off, deflection or a deliberate save by an opponent and then play, touch or attempt to play the ball, are to be penalized for offside offence (as outlined in the other threads).


This post will stay dynamic, subject to changes, adaptions and additional videos. So you might benefit from having a look into it from time to time! 

2 Comments:

  1. http://www.skysportaustria.at/runde/ersteliga-2014-08/
    (from 2:00)
    Interfering with play or not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Difficult. He has little chance to reach that ball but you can argue that he at least attempted to play it.
      However this could be considered as challenging the goalkeeper for the ball, having an impact on his ability to play the ball (a new guideline, expect a post tomorrow). But also in this case this would be rather borderline. Good video example.

      Delete

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