What Is The Off-Side Rule In Football?

Off-Side Rule

Football is the greatest sport on earth. Soccer is played in every country and at a lot of different levels. The Laws of the Football are the same for all football all over the world from the FIFA World Cup™ Final right through to a game between young children in very a remote village.

That the same Laws operate in every match in every single confederation, country,  town as well as village all over the world is a significant strength which must  be protected. This is also an opportunity which needs to be harnessed for the  good of football everywhere.

Football needs to have Laws which make sure that the game is kept ‘fair’ as a vital foundation for the beauty of the ‘beautiful game’ is its fairness. This is an extremely important feature of the  ‘spirit’ of the game. The best football matches are those where the referee is not often needed as the players play with respect for each other, the match officials and the Laws.

An Explanation Of The Off-Side Rule

In football, one of the most consistent stoppages in play is as a result from the violation made a player being established to be “offside”.  The infraction is very common. Once the rule is explained, it is quite easy to be spotted.

The key to having a good understanding what the offside rule is in football is to understand why it was first brought in. The purpose of the law in football is to prevent what is colloquially termed as ‘goal-hanging’ or ‘cherry-picking’.

This tactic (which is still used in informal games in school playgrounds as well as  across the world’s recreational pitches) includes the striker constantly being stationed near the opposition goal while waiting for a long ball forward. Games that do not have an offside rule, therefore, degenerate into each team hitting long balls to their striker, which is not very entertaining for spectators.

Being In An Offside Is Not An Offence Per Se

Being in an offside situation is not an offence in itself but the moment that the player in the offside position plays the ball – or attempts to play the football – then they will be seen as “actively involved in play”. This is when the offence takes place.

A player may also be flagged offside if the ball is played to them from their own half and the player is standing in the opposing half the moment the ball is played.

What Is The Offside Trap?

The offside trap is a playing style which was originally pioneered by Arsenal FC in the very early 20th century. It is when the defenders of a football team move up field in a line as a unit only moments prior to the opposition playing a through ball. This, in theory, should make sure that the attacker isolated and offside. However, it is a risky tactic and one which could go badly wrong if it is not implemented correctly.

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