Behind the Whistle with Simon Powell
From the UK to USA, Powell calls it like he sees it.

DC Stoddert is pleased to continue with the second issue of "Behind the Whistle", a new interview series with men and women who referee Recreational matches on Soccer Saturdays throughout the fall and spring seasons. This week's issue profiles Simon Powell, a passionate Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter and U.S. Soccer-certified referee.

Offside? Yes or No?
Walt Anderson weighs in on the offside rule and how it can change a game


Is the offside ruling on the field new to you? If so, here are a few tips, courtesy of Walt Anderson, Stoddert's Referee Director, to help members understand an offside ruling and what the referee is looking for when this moment in a game occurs.

Offside is one of the rules of soccer, codified in FIFA Law 11 of the Laws of the Game. The law states that players in an offside position, when the ball is touched or played by a teammate, may not become actively involved in the play. A player is in an offside position when he or she is in the opponents' half of the field and closer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last opponent (usually, but not necessarily always, the last defensive player in front of the goalkeeper).

Being in an offside position is not an offense in itself; at the moment the ball touches or is played by the player's team, the player must also be "actively involved in the play" in the opinion of the referee, in order for an offense to occur. When the offside offence occurs, the referee stops play and awards an indirect free kick to the defending team from the position of the offending player.


For the violation to be called by the referee, the player in the Offside position must become involved in play. This occurs when:

1. The ball is passed to the attacking player by a teammate, the attacker runs to the ball, or both;             

2. The attacking player interferes with an opponent by getting in the way of the goalkeeper or blocks the keeper’s view;

3. The attacking player receives the ball from a shot that bounced off the crossbar, one of the goalposts, or was deflected by a defender.


There is no violation if a player in an Offside position receives the ball directly from a throw-in, or a corner kick, or a goal kick. Directly, in this context, means that no one else has touched the ball.

The restart for an Offside call is an Indirect Free Kick from where the player was judged to be offside.

This is a basic look at Offside, not an exhaustive one.  There are nuances to Offside that I have not introduced here. If you are interested in learning more, please contact me at



Walt Anderson

Director of Referees

Restarting the Game
Referee Director Walt Anderson weighs in on the Laws of the Game

This week, let’s look at a few of the basics of the rules of soccer, formally know as “The Laws of the Game”.