What other sports have an offside rule other than football?


In my previous piece for These Football Times, I quoted a New York Times piece about how because in most games, no more than three goals are scored, and the typical margin of victory is a single goal; about how a football match isn’t a statistically sound way to measure which team is the best.

“To a scientist,” the piece argued, “the measurements are too few to draw a statistically reliable conclusion about which team is more skilled.” In it, there was a passage in that article that I did not quote, but that caught my attention: the author John Tierney argued that perhaps changing the rules to allow for looser offside rules would lessen football’s sample size issued, because it would encourage more scoring, thus providing for less room for randomness to impact on a game’s outcome.

I found that idea interesting, because although he’s right about how the game would likely reflect the relative strength of competing teams more accurately if it was a higher scoring sport,...

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The rules of football are officially referred to as the "Laws of the Game". The Laws of the Game are described very precisely (approximately 150 pages) on the FIFA website



There are 17 laws in total, each one briefly summarised below.

Field of Play. The game can be played on either natural or artificial surfaces, the surface must be green and rectangular in shape. The two long sides of the rectangle are called touch lines and the two shorter sides are called goal lines. The field is divided in half by the halfway line.

Ball. Must be spherical, made of leather (or similar) 68-70 cm in circumference and of a certain pressure.

Number of Players. Two teams of no more than 11 players (one of which is the goalkeeper). A game cannot start if either team has less than 7 players.

Equipment. Players must wear a jersey, shorts, stockings, shinguards and footwear.

Referee. The referee ensures the Laws of the Game are respected and...

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Dear Sports Fan,

What is being offside and why does it cause so much screaming in the bar next-door?


Dear Max

Offside rules are about time and space. They are about a line, an event and an order. Although they are probably the most misunderstood, most shouted about, most infuriating rules in sports, they are deceptively simple. Offside rules exist in most of the most-watched sports in the world. Offside is the rule in soccer; it has caused more bloodshed than many major border conflicts or minor religions. It is an important part of hockey, can mean the difference between winning and losing in football, and although it is disguised in basketball, it still has major implications. If you understand the role being offside plays in all of these sports, you will understand a lot about the nature of each game.

In every sport, being offside means that a player is in a position he or she shouldn’t be in when a particular event happens....

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Assistant referee raising flag

A simple video explanation of offside rule

The offside rule is one of the oldest football rules, but is still a much discussed rule. This is because it is difficult for the referee or assistant referee to watch the ball, the player playing the ball and also the attacker who are seeking to receive the ball at the same time.

Offside is an offence committed by the team which has the ball and is punished with an indirect free kick. It is a common misconception that the ball must be played forward for an offside offence to be committed. This is incorrect however, as an offside offence is related to the position of the ball and the player receiving it rather than the direction it is played. If the player is in front of the ball when it is played and has not got at least two defending players closer to the defending goal line than they are, she or he is in an offside position.

But there are some exceptions:

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Source: SportSG File Photo

By Lim Weiyang


The offside rule is possibly the most controversial and least understood of rules in football. For the less experienced footballers and spectators, there will always be looks of bewilderment and surprise when play is stopped at seemingly “random” times.

In actual fact, play was stopped because of an infringement of this rule. In this article, we seek to debunk the myths and lay down the actual conditions and scenarios whereby an offside can be called.

Why do offsides even exist?

The modern day offside rule was implemented in 1990, a time where the laws of the game were amended as part of a general movement by the game's authorities to make the rules more conducive to attacking football and help the game to flow more freely. The implementing of this rule allowed for tactical advancement in the sport, prior to which teams were often playing long passes one after the...

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Well, for the general public, Football is a simpler game, whereas Rugby has the technical side.

But in general, I think its debatable, Football clubs from ametur to professional clubs that are widely spread around the UK and generate opportunities for people with talent.
It also inspires youths that are struggling in education or being a mischief in a street, therefore Football is an opportunity for them because there are so much recreational grounds and grass-root opportunities for them. Its a basic game and helps keep active.

Rugby on the other hand, now that's dependable, people nowadays are saying "football is full of overpaid players and Rugby is too dangerous etc."
But actually, younger generations are too nannied i.e. don't want to hurt themselves in pointless challenges (In actual fact both Football and Rugby are dangerous, their both physical games) or do things that isn't normal that other countries may suffer.
Again, Rugby is spread across the...

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Only check for offside at the instant a teammate touches the ball.

There is no penalty just for being in an offside position. The referee checks an attacker's position


when one of their teammates touches the ball. As soon as an attacker releases a pass, the offside and onside status of each teammate "freezes." Each player will remain officially offside or onside no matter where they move. This only changes when the ball touches another teammate (causing offside to be "calculated" again), or when an opponent makes a deliberate play with the ball (removing all offside statuses).

This is why you often see attackers sprint past defenders as soon as the ball is played. Even if someone is past the defender when she receives the ball, she is still considered onside if she was behind the defenders when the ball was...
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New figures reveal majority of MEN don't know the offside rule in FOOTBALL (soccer)

A survey by the social betting exchange, Bettor.com, has revealed that two in three men in the UK in fact do not know the offside rule.

The poll of 1,000 men reveals that 65% of men were not clear on the rules, as they didn't know that you cannot be offside if you receive the ball directly from a goal kick.

As clearly stated in the Fifa 2010/2011 handbook; "There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from a goal kick".

According to the survey, men in The South East of England were the most clueless, with a whopping 85% not fully understanding the offside rule.

Other regions with a poor knowledge of the offside rule were the North West and the South West, where 76% and 70% of men respectively, did not know what counts as an infringement.

In contrast, Scottish men are the most knowledgeable about football rules with 60% of men north of...

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that was i mexico goal just dis-allowed, i need to know what the Off-side rules Are.

There has to be two players between you and the goal (including the goalkeeper). The Mexican forward was closer to the goal than the Goalkeeper and therefore with only 1 x defender between him and the goal, he was offside.

The Offside Rule and Offside Trap in Football(Soccer)

It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position.

A player is in an offside position if:

* he is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent

A player is not in an offside position if:

* he is in his own half of the field of play
* he is level with the second last opponent
* he is level with the last two opponents

Commiting an Offside Offence
A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of...

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Under the new ruling, which was brought in before the start of the season, Philippe Coutinho's attempt to make contact with the cross meant he should have been flagged for offside.

Gary Neville led the condemnation of football's rule makers on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.

He said: "They c--k around with it every year but they never make it better.

"Coutinho might not have touched the ball, but he moved towards it and attempted to play it. It is a clip of film that will probably be played at the next referees' meeting."

In the ensuing confusion that followed the Belgian's goal, Twitter attempted to get to grips with the changes to the offside law...

That goal was offside, under the Premier League's new rules. Coutinho clearly makes an action towards the ball. Unlucky, Bournemouth

— The Football Ramble (@FootballRamble) August 17, 2015

Pretty sure that's offside under new offside rules...

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By Simon Doyle

The offside rule in football continues to baffle fans, players, managers and referees alike on a regular basis, and changes in the interpretation of the rules have made this even more confusing. Despite this, we'll attempt to clear up the offside rule so you know exactly what it is that makes offside such a controversial issue in football.

It always seems to be the case that people can’t leave simple things alone – and this is certainly the case with the offside rule. Having been changed many times over the years since it was introduced, the offside rule has become a hugely complicated issue.

Even the most ardent football fan would have to do a bit of thinking before explaining what the term ‘offside’ refers to – and would probably have to use the salt and pepper pots or draw a diagram to visually explain the rule to a novice.

And now the offside rule is more complicated than it has ever been, what with the most recent change to the rule –...

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With the new season comes another change to the offside rule, and a welcomed crackdown on players who feign injury.

To add, behaviour in the technical area will be monitored more closely, and the FA have also restricted the number of players allowed to surround match officials.

Here, we give you an overview of all the changes

Change 1 - The offside rule

What's changed? Essentially, if a player has a shot at goal and a team-mate in an offside position makes a play for the ball – even if they do not touch it – the goal will now be disallowed.

EXAMPLE: Juan Mata goal: Man Utd v Stoke City, December 2, 2014

THE SCENARIO: United are leading 2-1 and pressing forward. Juan Mata swings the ball in from the left, Marcos Rojo is in an offside position when the ball is kicked, he leaps well, does not touch the ball, and it slips into the far corner.



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1. Team sport – A team sport includes any sport which involves two or more players working together towards a shared objective. A sport is an activity in which individuals are organized into opposing teams which compete to win. Examples are basketball, volleyball, water polo, handball, lacrosse, cricket, the various forms of football and hockey. Team sports are practiced between opposing teams, where the players interact simultaneously between them to achieve an objective. The objective generally involves teammates facilitating the movement of a ball or similar object in accordance with a set of rules, to score points. For example, track and field among others are also team sports. In other types of team sports there may not be an opposing point scoring, for example, mountaineering. Instead of points scored against an opposing team, the relative difficulty of the walk is the measure of the achievement. For example, motorsport, particularly Formula One. Although previously...

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There is an offside rule in (ice) hockey, which essentially means a player cannot just hang out the attacking 1/3 of the rink and wait for the puck to be passed to him.

There is also an offside rule in rugby which seems to differ a bit with respect to the two major disciplines of the sport (union and league). The difference between offside in football and offside in rugby appears to lie in the reference point to which the position of the player is compared, in rugby that is the ball whereas in football it is the second last defender (including the goalkeeper).

While it's not called "offside", there is a similar rule in basketball, called 3-second-violation. Here you can read a nice summary of the offensive and defensive 3-second violation calls. Note that this rule exists under FIBA regulations (art. 26) as well as NBA regulations (Rule 10, sections 7 &...

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An assistant referee signals for offside by raising his flag

Offside is one of the laws of association football, codified in Law 11 of the Laws of the Game. The law states that players in an offside position, when the ball is touched or played by a teammate, may not become actively involved in the play. A player is in an offside position if any of their body parts with which they can touch the ball during any other part of the play is in the opponents' half of the pitch and closer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last opponent (usually, but not necessarily always, the last defensive player in front of the goalkeeper).[1] Being in an offside position is not an offence in itself; at the moment the ball touches, or is played by, the player's team, the player must also be "actively involved in the play" in the opinion of the referee, in order for an offence to occur.[1] When the offside offence occurs, the referee stops play and awards a indirect...

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The offside rule (you are in an offside position if you are nearer to your opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent while you are in the attacking half of the pitch) is an old rule, I believe the modern concept is from around 1925. Indeed the game has changed, and not everyone is fond of this rule. I don’t agree that it is sneaky, since the rules are perfectly clear. I rather see it as a tool to defend, and remember that offside traps can also fail, then the attacking team will almost always get a free chance.

However, imagine if the rule would be taken away. Both teams would be able to attack freely, and have great difficulties in defending in an organised fashion, which would lead to, most likely, quite boring matches.

The game would be more focused on 1 on 1 situations, so the players would have to use a significantly higher amount of energy, both in attacking and defending. We would see the quality drop at a faster pace, as the players...

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Offside, often pluralized as Offsides in American English, is a rule used by several different team sports regulating aspects of player positioning. It is particularly used in field sports with rules deriving from the various codes of football, such as association football, rugby union and rugby league, and in some other sports e.g. ice hockey, field hockey and bandy.

Offside rules are generally designed to ensure that players play together as a team, and do not consistently position one or a few players near the opponent's goal to try to receive a "Hail Mary pass" for an easy goal without opposing players nearby. However, the application and enforcement of offside rules can be complicated, and can sometimes be confusing for new players as well as for spectators.


The word "offside" comes from a military term for a man trapped behind enemy lines, where he is said to be "off the strength of his side". Offside rules date back to codes of football...

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Stephen Walsh takes a look at the origins of football’s much debated offside rule, a law which was adapted from the early codes of Cambridge University students.

Author’s Note: Over my past few articles with Pundit Arena I have looked at the origins of various sports terms. Ideas for my articles have included curiosities such as Glenn Burke inventing the high five in 1977 with the LA Dodgers and John Alexander Brodie creating the goal net in the 1890’s. In a similar vein, I am now going to tell the story of how the offside rule came into being.

Today we will be looking at how the offside rule was created and subsequently evolved to become the law we know today. This contentious rule is currently law 11 in the FIFA rule book whereby “a person is deemed to be offside when they are between the goal and the last defender before the ball reaches them”.

It was first included in the rules when a group of Cambridge students led by HC Malden met in his Trinity College...

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Like most things in football, the offside rule is pretty simple - but there are a few situations that can make the calmest of managers blow their top.

The 'active' ruling for example. Players can be in an offside position but not be offside. It doesn't quite make sense at first, but let's stick to the basics first.

A player is in an offside position if, when the ball is played by a team-mate, they are nearer to the opposition's goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent.

From the graphic above, the second last opponent determines the line from where the offside area begins and can be anywhere in this half of the pitch.

The referee's assistant will make their decision based on this offside area.

All straightforward so far? This is where the grey areas start to make life a little confusing.

A change to the rule was introduced two years ago, which allows a player to be in an offside position provided they are not...

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The row over remarks made by Sky Sports presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray about female assistant referee Sian Massey centres on the offside rules. But why is the offside law such a benchmark of football knowledge?

If you Google "explaining offside rule to women" you will find a widely circulated "amusing" explanation about two women in a shoeshop, having forgotten their purses, battling for the same pair of shoes.

It might not raise too many smiles among female football fans. But it's a reflection of the widely held belief that the offside rule is something that is not really easily understood by those uninitiated in football.

"It's the old joke about moving HP sauce bottles around the kitchen table," says Jeff Winter, former Premiership referee.

As written in the FA's Laws of the Game, Law 11 on offside is fairly brief at about 200 words.

"A player is in an offside position if he is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and...

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For many kids in the United States, playing football, or baseball is a natural choice as far as a team sport. But for millions of players across the globe, soccer is the better option.


Soccer is the most popular sport in the world in terms of player numbers. According to the 2006 FIFA Big Count, there were 265 million soccer players in the world, 270 million when referees and match officials were included.


With so many registered soccer players across the globe, it's not surprising that soccer has more fans worldwide than any other sport. If you want to become a globally recognized sport star, soccer is a better option than football.


Soccer players don't need to spend large amounts of money on equipment. The two most costly items are soccer cleats and a ball, and neither need be overly expensive. A jersey, shorts and shin guards are the only other requirements. Football players must buy a large number of...

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