The following posts have been tagged with "soccer offside"...

Soccer Corner Kick

(aka Corners). A corner kick in soccer is a method of restarting play. When the ball goes out of bounds over the soccer end line (aka the ‘Goal Line’) and was last touched by the defending team, the attacking team inbounds it from the nearest corner by kicking it in from the Soccer Field Corner Arc (note: this doesn’t apply if a goal was scored). Defenders must stay 6 yards back if U-8, 8 yards if U-10 & 10 yards back if U-12 or older. (If they don’t, they might get a soccer yellow card). The ball may be placed anywhere inside the Corner Arc or on the Corner Arc lines. There are 2 types of corners: a “Long Corner in soccer” and a “soccer Short Corner“. A player is not offside if he receives the ball from a Corner Kick. The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves. A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick. The kicker may not play the ball a second time until it has touched another player. (See “Short Corner” & “Soccer Long Corner“, and “Soccer Offside Rule“).

Below is what the official FIFA rules say about Corner Kicks:

A corner kick is a method of restarting play.

A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick, but only against the opposing team.

A corner kick is awarded when the entire ball, having last touched a player of the defending team, passes over the goal line, either on the ground or in the air, and a soccer goal is not scored in accordance with Law 10. Law 10 is “The Method of Scoring” and basically says that a goal is scored when the entire ball — not just part of the ball — passes over the goal line, between the goal posts and under the crossbar, provided there wasn’t a foul or a law broken in the process of scoring the goal (an example of when a goal would be disallowed is if the team scoring the goal was “offside“). Click here to see a diagram of a soccer field.


  • The ball is placed inside the corner arc at the nearest corner flagpost.
  • The corner flagpost is not moved.
  • Opponents remain at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the corner arc until the ball is in play.
  • The ball is kicked by a player of the attacking team.
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves.
  • The kicker does not play the ball a second time until it has touched another player.

Soccer Restraining Line

The farthest an attacking soccer player can legally “Push Up” without being “Offside”. See “Offside Rule (Simplified)” for the definition. For example, Anson Dorrance plays an aggressive style of attack and has said that when his opponent has the soccer ball, he likes to have his Forwards play on the edge of the restraining line.

Soccer Push Up

Read “Should You Push Up When You Attack’ Or Should You Defend Deep’” The term “push up” refers to fullbacks or midfielders moving forward toward the halfway line. In certain formations and if your soccer team has speed and stamina, you should “push up” when you attack or any time the soccer ball is near the other team’s Penalty Box, even if the other team has the soccer ball, so you can support your attack or put pressure on the soccer ball. To build an attack (especially on a large field) it is an advantage to have everyone, including the defenders, shift with the soccer ball. This allows your soccer team to keep “shape” so there is “support”. Moving the fullbacks up also has the advantage of keeping the other soccer team away from your goal because they will be “offside” if they go past the last defender before the soccer ball passes him. This keeps the attackers out of scoring range, but defenders must be quick to fall back if the soccer ball gets past them. This is why some soccer teams use a “Sweeper”. A Sweeper is a very fast soccer player with good endurance who is not afraid to make contact to stop the soccer ball & clear it. The Sweeper will play slightly behind the fullbacks or as a Center Fullback with a “Stopper’ in front of him. (The Stopper doesn’t have to be as fast, but must be tough and able to stop the ball). The Sweeper will run down any through balls or breakaways and kick the soccer ball out of bounds over the side line to slow down the other soccer team’s attack so your soccer team will have time to recover. If your fullbacks are slow and you want to push them up when you attack, consider using a Sweeper. Another alternative is a 3-2-2-3 formation, as described in “Formations” and “Attacking Plan”.

Once a soccer team is “pushed up”, the FB’s won’t automatically fall back when they lose the soccer ball but may stay pushed up to apply pressure & try to steal the soccer ball back. This is kind of like a defensive “press” in basketball & it is hard to dribble thru these FB’s when they are pushed up. The way to break thru & beat the “press” is by playing “through balls“, “give & go’s” & “passing to yourself“. If your opponent’s FB’s are pushed up, it creates the opportunity for a fastbreak counterattack. In recreational soccer it is best to not push up if you play on a long field and the other soccer teams Forwards are faster than your Fullbacks. An alternative is to use a formation that creates more depth, such as a 3-2-3-2 and to “defend deep”. This is described in detail in “Formations” and “Attacking Plan”. (See “Attacking Plan“, “High Line“, “Last Defender“, “Through Ball” “Pass To Yourself“, “Give & Go“, “Formations“, “Defending Deep“, “Styles of Play“, “Sweeper“, “Stopper” & “Defending to Win“).

Soccer Played

(e.g., “at the instant the soccer ball is played” or “after the soccer ball has been played”). Refers to a pass or kick & not to dribbling & not to a soccer player without the soccer ball. The term “played” is critical to the definition of “offside”. (See “Late Tackle” & “Offside“).

Soccer Offside Rule (Simplified)

If “offside” is called in your age bracket, you can teach this simple version: You are not offside if you are doing any of the following:

  1. Are in your own half of the soccer field (your half is the half your goalkeeper is on). Or,
  • Are even with or behind the soccer ball. Or,
  • Don’t go past the “Second Last Defender” (The goalkeeper is usually, but not always, the last defender; this might be the case if the goalkeeper is out of goal). Or,
  • Receive the soccer ball direct from a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in. (But you can be offside if you receive it direct on a “free kick”). Or,
  • Are the ballhandler (the ballhandler can be closer to the goal than the soccer ball if he has his back to the goal).
  • The penalty for Offside is that an Indirect Free Kick is awarded to the opposing soccer team to be taken from the place where the offside occurred.

    When my forwards “push up” without the soccer ball, I tell them to stay 2 steps behind the Last Defender (not counting the goalkeeper) so they are less likely to be caught offside or to be accidentally called offside. (See “Played” & “Offside Rule, Detailed“).

    Soccer Offside Rule (Detailed)

    What makes the offside rule especially complicated is that a soccer player can be in an “offside position” without being offside. Two things are necessary to be “offside”:

    1st – The soccer player must be in an “offside position” at the moment the ball is “played” by a soccer teammate. To be in an “offside position”, a soccer player must be on the opponent’s half of the field & closer to the opponent’s goal line than both the soccer ball & the second-last defender. A soccer player is not in an offside position if he is on his own half of the field (i.e. the half his goalkeeper is on), or even with the second-to-last defender or the last 2 defenders. (The goalkeeper is usually the last defender, or one of the last two, but he might not be; the rules just refer to the last 2 defenders & don’t mention the goalkeeper). This is often difficult to call. (For example, if a soccer player is even with the Second Last Defender & thereby in an “onside position” but runs past the Second Last Defender a split second after his teammate makes a through pass. In this example, the soccer player is not offside because he was in an onside position at the moment the soccer ball was played.)

    2nd – The player must be involved in “active play” by either:

    • gaining an advantage by being in an offside position, or
  • interfering with play, or
  • interfering with an opponent
  • For example, if a soccer player is in an “offside position” but not involved in the play, he would not be “offside”. This can be a tough call & can be very judgmental. For example, what if the “onball attacker” is to the right of the goal but a teammate is in an “offside position” to the left of the goal’ You can argue that the teammate wasn’t involved in the play, but you can also argue that he distracted the goalkeeper because the goalkeeper had to worry about the possibility of a crossing pass & therefore the attacking team “gained an advantage by being in an offside position”, in which case the teammate was “offside”. In this case, the Referee’s decision might depend on whether he felt the Goalkeeper was influenced by the player in the offside position. Obviously, it is a very subjective decision.

    The penalty for Offside is that an Indirect Free Kick is awarded to the opposing soccer team to be taken from the place where the offside occurred.

    I suggest this: don’t argue with the referee over these calls. It’s a very tough call and it’s easy to miss these calls. (Even the best Linesmen in the world miss these calls). I suggest teaching your attackers to stay 2 steps behind the “Last Defender” and, if they don’t have the soccer ball but are running with a teammate who has the soccer ball, to stay 3 steps behind the soccer ball so they are less likely to be called offside. (The linesman’s sight angle can sometimes make an attacker look like he’s in an offside position when he’s actually even with the Last Defender or with the soccer ball).

    Special Cases Where Offside Is Not Called: A soccer player is not offside if he receives the soccer ball directly from a goal kick, throw-in or corner kick, even if he is in an offside position; however, once touched, the offside rule starts and if it is then played to a soccer player in an “offside position”, offside may be called. (Note that the offside rule does apply on “free kicks”). A soccer player is also not offside if he passes the soccer ball backward, even if doing so leaves him in an “offside position”. However, if he is in an offside position and the soccer ball is played returned to him by a teammate (e.g., a wall pass), then he can be called offside.