Date:Sat, 14 Oct 2000 11:25:26 -0400
Reply-To:Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees <[log in to unmask]>
Sender:Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees <[log in to unmask]>
From:Jim Allen <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:Re: Offside - Advantage - Handling
Comments:cc: Tom Stagliano <[log in to unmask]>
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"
At 3:45 PM -0400 10/13/00, Tom Stagliano wrote:
>People cite a Jim Allen ruling of several years ago. I, obviously, am
>arguing Against that ruling. I argue against that ruling because it
>introduces a Paradox to the enforcement of the LOTG, and the LOTG writers
>could not have intended to have that Paradox. Who am I to argue this????
>Just an interested referee who hates paradoxes. Maybe it is time for
>someone at USSF headquarters to document this scenario and send it to the
>FIFA board and have them issue a ruling.
>Just my opinion. But, since we saw this event happen last year in the
>MLS, it is a scenario that can easily play out in any or many high level
>games in a FIFA tournament, and therefore needs an across the board ruling
>by FIFA rather than merely a ruling within the USSF ATR.
>Thank you for having this very interesting discussion.
> - Stag
And Jim Allen responds:
Jim Allen does not make "rulings." I answer questions posed to me
and write articles for popular consumption. Some are given an
official cachet by the USSF National Program for Referee Development.
Such is the case with the paper to which Stag and several others have
referred. The point of view expressed in that paper is echoed in the
USSF position paper (not written by me) published May 14, 1999,
"Sequential Infringements of the Law" (repeated in full below).
Interestingly enough, while scrounging through some old papers in my
filing cabinets yesterday, I found an old copy of
"Schiedsrichter-Zeitung," the German federation's referee
newsletter/magazine from 1992. An article in that magazine went into
great detail about the same subject and came up with the same ruling,
and their ruling is also official: If the offside is recognized, it
makes no difference what happens afterward; the offside, as the first
of two (or more) infringements, rules the restart. Any subsequent
action is punished solely as misconduct and does not rule the restart.
Text of the position paper, "Sequential Infringements of the Law" of
14 May 1999:
Sequential Infringements of the Law
Recent matches in the professional division have highlighted a basic
principle of the Laws of the Game -- that a foul cannot be committed
when the ball is not in play. Reduced to its most simple elements,
this principle assists the referee in deciding what action to take if
an infringement of thge Law occurs after play is stopped. Because
such action cannot be a foul, the referee must deal with it as
misconduct and remember that the restart has already been determined
based on what stopped play in the first place.
This concept, however, depends on understanding when and under what
circumstances the ball is not in play and the role for the assistant
- Law 9 states that the ball is out of play when it leaves the field,
across the touch line or the goal line, or when the referee has
- USSF Advice to Referees (9.1) explains that the referee has stopped
play at the moment the decision is made, not when it is announced by
some signal (e.g., a whistle).
Accordingly, the decision to stop play marks the beginning of the
stoppage and the time between the decision to stop play and the
announcement of the decision is included in the period of stoppage.
Any infringement during this period is therefore misconduct and plays
no part in determining the correct restart.
Particularly with infringements of Law 11 (Offside), however, it is
the assistant referee who is most likely to have given the initial
signal that a violation may have occurred. Under the Laws of the
Game, this information is subject to the decision of the referee. If
the referee accepts the information, then the offside has been called
and is considered to have occurred when the assistant referee gave
the original signal. Anything happening after the assistant
referee's signal must be dealt with as misconduct.
This is exemplified by a situation in which the correct flag signal
for offside by the assistant referee is not initially seen but a
subsequent apparent foul is whistled by the referee. If the referee
becomes aware of the assistant referee signal prior to restarting
play and if the original signal is confirmed by the referee, the
subsequent apparent foul must be handled as misconduct rather than as
a foul and the restart would be an indirect free kick for the defense
(for the offside violation) nomatter what action the referee has
taken regarding the misconduct (caution or sending off).
Of course, these matters need to be included in the pregame briefing
of the officials. Further, keeping the assistant referees in better
view during play will reduce the likelihood of embarrassingly
extended delays in become aware of their signals.
/s/ Alfred Kleinaitis
Manager of Referee Development and Education