Soccer raises a passion which implies that it makes us blind and deaf to determine what has happened on the field on many occasions. Our team preference makes us think one way or another.

Sometimes knowing that we were wrong, but trying to defend the indefensible. Others because our subconscious betrays us and makes us see what we want to see, and from time to time, because we don’t know what we’re talking about. And one of those themes is, recurrently, when it is Out of Play or not.

You have more than known if you watch football with some frequency, the rule of offside, forward, or offside position. If you only follow it from time to time, for example, when there is a World Cup, you may want to give this article a review. However, if you still need to know what offside in soccer means, stick around until the end!

When is it Out of Play?

Thus, to sack, without anesthesia and straight to the point. According to Law 11 of the FIFA Regulations, a player is in an Offside position when he is closer to the opponent’s goal line than the ball and the penultimate opponent.

And now the remarks:

  • The position is determined when the ball is hit by the attacking player with possession, not when the player in possible Offside receives it.
  • Any part of the attacker’s body (except arms) concerns the penultimate opponent, the ball, or the midfield line to determine Forward Position.
  • The penultimate opponent can be any player, including the goalkeeper. Although this is usually the “last player,” he does not have to be like this.
  • If the possible Offside player is in his half of the court, there is no Forward Position.
  • There is no offside when the goalkeeper kicks in from the goal, throw-ins, or corner kicks.

Is it the same as an offside infraction?

Although when we talk about “Out of Play,” we usually refer to the infraction, it must be taken into account that this must be differentiated from a mere Forward Position.

A player can be in an Offside position without being penalized for it. That player only commits an offense if the assistant referee considers that:

  • Interferes with the game; that is, the player touches the ball passed by a teammate.
  • Interfere with an opponent; when he does not touch the ball but prevents an opponent from playing it properly. It may be blocking his field of vision or movements or trying to distract him.
  • Gain an advantage by playing a ball that has rebounded from a goalpost or an opposing player, having been offside.

Conversely, if the player is in an offside position but does not interfere with play in any of the above ways, there is no penalty.

However, said player can be called an offense without touching the ball. This occurs if the referee considers that no other teammate will be able to play the ball before him.

How is Advanced Position sanctioned in football?

It is sanctioned with an indirect free kick from where the player was offside. When a goal is disallowed after an Offside offense, it is not part of the penalty. The move is invalidated when the footballer in Out of Play touches the ball. Therefore, the goal, after that moment, is not valid.

If the player with the ball continues the play and shoots on goal after the infraction is signaled, he will be sanctioned for it. Likewise, any defending team member who leaves the field, by their goal line, with the sole purpose of placing an opponent in a Forward Position will be cautioned. In this case, the referee will not stop the game and will warn the player to leave the field of play.

During the Offside, the advantage law applies if the defending team recovers the ball and has possession.

When is there no Offside offense?

Well, summarizing everything said so far, there is no infraction for Out of Play when:

  • Being the player in Advanced Position, he does not interfere in the game with any opponent, nor does he take advantage of the play;
  • When play begins while the player is in his half of the pitch, behind the halfway line;
  • If, at the beginning of the play, the attacker is in line with the penultimate opponent;
  • During goal, lateral or corner kicks;
  • If the player in Offside intercepts a ball played by an opponent.

Although many people believe that if the ball leaves the court, there is no Forward Position if the player who receives it has already crossed the middle of the field when the pass begins.


An Offside can be decided by a few centimeters. Centimeters that are sometimes not easily detectable even after seeing the same move dozens of times, from different angles, at different speeds, and with added visual aids thanks to technology. Check our Ota football website for the latest updates on all organized team activities.