Off Side Rule


If asked to be linesmen, ask the ref if he/she wishes you to signal off-sides. It is up to the ref to decide if he/she needs your assistance in this regard.

The Offside Rule:

A player is in an offside position if he/she is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent.

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

A player is not in an offside position if:

  • He/she is in his own half of the field of play; or
  • He/she is level with the second last opponent; or
  • He/she is level with the last two opponents.

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 the referee, involved in active play by:

  • interfering with play; or
  • interfering with an opponent; or
  • gaining an advantage by being in that position.

There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:

  • a goal kick
  • a throw-in
  • a corner kick.


For any offside offence, the referee awards an indirect free kick to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.

To view an animation of the off side rule visit

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