The New Offside Rule For 2015 Explained…
September 25, 2015
Football’s offside law has been a major bone of contention for generations, especially given the authorities unwillingness to embrace video replays as a way of informing their decisions. It has become a particularly challenging issue in recent times, as the law has changed and evolved to make considerations for whether or not a player in an offside position is directly interfering with play when a ball is played forward. Are you confused yet? If so, let us explain the most recent changes in layman’s terms…
The New Offside law Explained
In simple terms, the new law is different in that players in an offside position that make a play for the ball will now be sanctioned, regardless of whether they ultimately touch the ball or not. Although this seems slightly vague and arguably more complicated than the existing law as it stands, it prevents players in an offside position from distracting an opposition defender or impairing their ability to play the ball. Prior to this change, forwards could stand in an offside position and be deemed as not interfering with play so long as they did not touch the ball.
In practical terms, this would prevent forwards from standing directly within a goal keepers eye-line if they have assumed an offside position. They would also not be able to make a motion towards the ball, or effect an action that draws the attention of a defender. This would have led the sanctioning of several goals scored last year, including one from a Scottish Cup game between St. Johnstone and Ross County where an offside player made a deliberate attempt to play the ball but made no contact.
How Impactful will the new Law be?
This should be seen a positive change, as it provides a greater sense of equilibrium between attack and defence. Although there remains some confusion amid the decision the allow several contentious goals this season (such as Daley Blind’s strike against Liverpool which saw Marouane Fellaini standing in an offside position and in the eye-line of goal keeper Simon Mignolet) the law change will prevent forwards from seeking an unfair advantage by distracting or indirectly interfering with play in an around the attacking third.
So while defenders can breathe a sigh of relief, forwards will need to think carefully when timing their runs and looking to penetrate an opposition’s defensive line.