HomeSoccerWhat Is Offsides in Soccer?

What Is Offsides in Soccer?

Offsides is a rule in soccer that was made by the Football Association in the 1800s to stop players from getting too close to the other team’s goal to score. 

Without an offside rule, balls could be kicked straight to teammates in front of the opposition goal area, making it too easy to score. The offside rules allow players to use more strategy and skill in a game.

What Does It Mean to Be Offside?

When you are considered offside in soccer, it means that you are on the opponent’s side of the field, and you either do not have the ball or two opposing team players between the goal and you. It does not mean you are violating the game’s rules if you are in an offside position. 

When you are in an offside position and try to play the ball, you are considered to be actively participating in play, which is when you technically violate the rules. 

Being offside is fine until you try to or actually play the ball. In professional soccer, being offside would be too easy of a way for professional soccer players to get paid and make an interesting and exciting game.

Changes to the Offside Rules of Soccer

Formerly, the offside rules stated that the attacking players were forbidden from standing in front of the ball once the ball was kicked forward. Throughout the history of the offside rules, many changes, modifications, and adjustments have made soccer more enjoyable for players and spectators. 

An offside rule states that a soccer player is considered offside if they clearly attempt to play the ball, have an impact on an opposing player, are close to the ball, or obviously to try to impact the opponent. 

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is responsible for changing these rules. They state that offside players must stay in place and allow the game to continue until they can move into a position considered onside.  

Offside Position Vs Offside Offense

Understanding that even if you are in an offside position does not mean you will receive a penalty. When learning the fundamentals of soccer, coaches often teach players that it is acceptable to stand offside but unacceptable to be offside and involve yourself in the game. Generally, those in offside positions should keep in mind that:

  • An offside position is determined when a teammate touches the ball. Therefore, you can legally go after the pass if you are not offside when your teammate passes the ball. 
  • The penalty is for the opposing team to take a free kick.
  • Referees often have a difficult time calling an offside offense. Standing at one angle can make an offside offense seem different than if the referee was standing at a different angle. 

Exceptions to Be Legally Offside

  • Referees will not call you offside when you are in an offside position, and the opposing team kicks the ball to you
  • You cannot be offside during a goal kick, corner kick, or a throw-in
  • Even if you are in an offside position, you will not be called offside if you do not participate in the pass/game

Final Thoughts

With the offside rule in soccer, players close to the opposition goal would have more easy scoring opportunities throughout the entire soccer game. The offside rule prevents goal hanging and allows the game of soccer to be more exciting, skillful, and strategic. 

Abu Bakar
Abu Bakar
Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.


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