Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

Can You Be Offside From Your Own Half?


The offside rule in soccer has long been a topic of controversy and interpretation. Fans and players alike often find themselves frustrated by the lack of consistency when it comes to offside calls. But what about being offside from your own half? Let’s dive into the details and clear up any confusion.

You’re Not Offside Until The Ball Is Played

Offside Example

When your team has possession of the ball, you don’t have to worry about being offside. As long as a player has control of the ball, they can move freely without any offside calls. It’s only when a pass is made to a player in a more advanced position that offside becomes a possibility. If the player being passed to is closer to the opponent’s goalline than the second-last opponent, they are considered offside.

When Is An Offside Not An Offside?

Being past the last defender doesn’t automatically make a player offside. The key factor is whether the player is interfering with the play. If they are not blocking opponents or the goalkeeper’s line of sight and not actively involved in the attack, they are not offside. However, if a player in an advanced position suddenly becomes involved in the play, they can be deemed offside.

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Heads, Shoulders, Knees, And Toes

The criteria for being offside have evolved over the years. Previously, a player’s entire body had to be further forward than the second-last player to be offside. Now, any part of a player’s head, body, or feet deemed ahead of the second-last player is considered offside. It may seem insignificant, but an offside call based on a player’s forehead can have a major impact on a team’s goal-scoring opportunity.

You’re Not Offside If You’re In Your Own Half

Being in your own half exempts you from being offside, even if you’re ahead of all opposing players. However, if a player in their own half has any part of their body over the halfway line when the ball is passed to them, they will be deemed offside. This rule has consequences for teams that are trailing and pushing forward. It enables opponents to play long balls over the defense without the risk of offside until the attacking players cross the halfway line.

What Happens When You’re Judged To Be Offside?

Unlike a mistimed tackle that can lead to penalties, being called offside doesn’t result in further punishment for the player. The opposing team is awarded an indirect free kick, but the player who strayed offside faces no additional penalty. However, continually being caught offside can strain the patience of a player’s manager.


While being offside from your own half is usually only relevant during sudden counterattacks, the introduction of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) has made playing closer to the edge even more challenging. With VAR’s ability to analyze plays in detail, even the slightest offside body part can be detected. Fans and players must accept the offside decisions as they come, knowing that being in your own half provides some respite.

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Q: Can you be offside from a corner kick?
A: No, the offside rule does not apply to corner kicks.

Q: Can you be offside from a goal kick?
A: No, the offside rule does not apply to goal kicks.