Soccer Offsides Explained

Soccer Offsides Explained

Last updated on January 13th, 2023 at 07:22 pm

As a parent on the sideline, one of the most frequently asked questions is “What is offsides?”. Not only can it be somewhat confusing as a spectator but also as a player.

What is offsides in soccer? It’s when an offensive player is closer to the opponent’s goal than the last defender (excluding the goalkeeper). In the game of soccer, it would be an unfair advantage if a player “cherry picks” and just stays around the goal when the ball is on the other side of the field.

soccer offsides

What happens if they don’t touch the ball?

Technically, players that touch the ball are called offsides. This isn’t always the case. Some referees will blow their whistle if they are ahead of the last defender without making a touch on the ball.

Does it matter when the pass is made?

Absolutely! The timing of the pass makes all the difference. As long as the player onside at the moment of the ball is passed, it is legal to then run into an offside position.

Can I be offsides on a corner kick?

No offensive player can be offsides on a corner kick, throw-in or goal kick.

What if I’m on my half of the field?

An offsides cannot be called if you are ahead of the last defender but still on your side of the field.

What happens when the offsides is called?

When the ref calls an offsides on a player, the other team is given an indirect free kick where the offsides took place.

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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