More Sportssoccer1 on 112th man3-5-2 formation4-1-4-1 formation4-2-3-1 formation4-2-4 formation4-3-3 formation4-4-2 formation4-5-1 formationaggregate scorefifa world cupassociation footballatlanta united fcchicago firecolorado rapidscolumbus crew scdc unitedendlinefc cincinnatifc dallasfootball versus soccerfourth officialgdhistoryhouston dynamohow does scoring work in soccer?soccer or footballIs Soccer An Olympic Sport?la galaxylearnlos angeles fcminnesota united fcmls promotion and relegationmls soccer club processmontreal impactnew england revolutionnew york city fcnew york red bullsoffsidesorlando city scphiladelphia unionportland timbersreal salt lakesan jose earthquakesseattle sounders fcslide tackle1-2-7 formation1012 on 12-3-5 formation3 on 24-3-2-1 formation4-4-1-1 formation4-6-0 formation5-4-1 formationadded timeadvantage ruleafrica cup of nationsarticlesattacking halfattacking midfielderattacking thirdaway goals ruleback pass ruleback tacklebasicsboundary rulesbreakawaybundesligabylinecap tiedcaptaincdmcenter circlecenter forwardcenter spotcenterbackclean sheetclearclock rulescoin toss rulescomposurecornercorner flagcorner kickscrosscut the angledead ball rulesdefenderdefender typesdefensedefensemandefensive halfdefensive midfielderdefensive thirddefensive walldeflectiondesignated player ruledrawdribblerdribblingengland premier leagueenglish football associationequalizerequipment listextra timefcfield componentsfield dimensionsfield of playfifafinal whistleflopsfootworkformationsforwardfoulsfreekickfullbackgame clock rulesgame lengthgame typesgoal areagoal kickgoal linegoal line technologygoalkeepergolden goalhalftime ruleshat trickhead refereeholding midfielderinstep kick and passinterceptintermissionkickoffleagueslinesmanlingolinkmanman to manmiddle thirdmidfieldmidfield anchormidfield linemidfielderfranchise relocationmls teams listnear postneutral groundoffenseoffensive strategyoffensive halfofficials and refereesout of boundsoutside backpass typepassing rulespenatly arcpenalty areapenalty boxpenalty cardspenalty kickpenalty shootoutpenalty shotpenalty spotpenalty takerperiodpitchpitch invasionpitch linesplayer positionpoacherspossessionpostred cardrefereerelegationrulesscoring rulesset pieceshapeshootingshooting techniqueshootout rulesshort handedshot typessidelinesquad rotation systemstoppage timestopperstrikersubstitution rulessummarysweepertacklethe fieldthirds of the fieldthrow instimeoutstop cornertouchlinetournaments listtransfer windowturnovertwo legged tietwo way midfielderuefa champions leagueunited states national teamunsportsmanlike conductvar instant replaywingeryellow cardsporting kansas citystreet soccertop 10 rulesthree lions (football's coming home)top 10 brandstop 5 ranked mens players of all timetop womens playerstoronto fcvancouver whitecapsrules of soccerWhat Is Considered A Foul In Soccer?footballsoccer in america
  1. soccer
  2. offsides

Offsides In Soccer

Table of Contents

Soccer Offside Rule

You might have heard it when you were playing in a soccer match, or you might have heard it being called on TV during a match- offside. The offside rule is the one foul you'll often hear the most about, as calling it requires the officials to measure fractions of inches quickly, often breaking up scoring opportunities with the call. Let's learn about this rule below.

Soccer Offside

Offside Explained

An offside play in soccer is when the ball is played to a player who, at the time the pass was delivered, was in an offside position. An offside position is when a player is behind the last defender of the opposing team. An offside position means that any part of their body was beyond the furthest part of the last defender's body.

If there are not at least two defenders between the offensive player and the goal, then the player is offsides. The goalkeeper counts as one of the defenders. However, there are no offsides on corner kicks, or throw ins, or goal kicks. Goals scored after an offsides call do not count.

Why is there the offside rule?

The rule of offsides is used in soccer to prevent offensive players from hovering and lingering in the area near their goal. Having a player in this position puts the player in an advantage to score easily, as his teammate can clear the ball down the field without any other defenders being near the goal but the goalie. The concept of offsides is often referred to as "cherry picking" in other sports.


The linesman is the official who determines an offside ruling. You can see them running up and down the field on the sidelines with a flag determining if a play needs to be stopped for offsides.

The linesman will signal an offsides by blowing a whistle and standing at the offside position along the touchline with their flag held out horizontal. This marks where the offside took place.

Avoiding Offsides

Defenders can try to put their opponents in an offsides position by moving far up the field, causing the last opposing player to follow him like cat and mouse.

However, players can actively avoid offsides by periodically checking that there are at least two defenders behind him at all times. The tricky part is determining when the ball is played past the offensive player and the defenders. The offensive player can chase after it if he was not offsides when it was played.

What is passive offside in soccer?

Passive offside is when it is in an offside position, but won't be called for the foul because the ball was not passed to them. Players can get back onsides prior to the ball being passed to them to avoid being called for offsides.

soccer passive offside


Sports Rules and RegulationsSoccer Articles