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The Laws of Soccer 101: Offsides

The 11th Law of the Game deals with the “offside position”, which is nowhere nearly as dirty as it sounds when it is put it in quotation marks like that. Offsides is a hotly debated rule of soccer, and one many lovers of the attack typically detest.

Now, being in an “offside position” (which occurs when a player is nearer to his opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second to last opponent) is not technically illegal per se.

In fact, a player cannot even be called for offsides if he is on his own side of the field. So when the heck is he “offsides”? Well, only when he is in the offsides position and (1) interferes with the play, (2) interferes with an opponent, or (3) gains an advantage due to his position (i.e. “cherry picks”, which sounds dirty with or without the quotation marks).  

So, here is your quiz question: A player cannot be called offsides if he receives the ball directly from which of the following?

A. A Goal Kick.

B. A Throw-In.

C. A Corner Kick.

D. All of the Above.

It’s (D). That’s (D) as in dummy, and you are a dummy if you haven’t caught on to the fact the answer is always (D). But, as we have seen, the offsides rules are not as simple as my pop quiz question. In fact, the 11th Law of the Game is one of the most well-known but least understood. The penalty results in an indirect free kick, but those are so confusing, they sometimes feel like a kick to the nuts.

Sorry about that visual image, guys. Anyways, come back soon to learn about the 12 Law of the Game, Fouls and Misconduct, or what I like to call “what actually occurs when someone kicks you in the nuts.”