Rule 11 The Offside page receives the most monthly hits on Understanding soccer, averaging 2-3 times the next page. The ratio increase to 4-6 times greater on Saturdays during US soccer season. One possible explanation is that parents watching youth soccer games would like to better understand the rule.
Although Understanding Soccer continues to review its Offside page, it is hoped that blog discussions will add to a greater understanding of Rule 11.
The basic rule is simple: An attacking player is offside if there are less than two defenders between him/her and the goal at the time the ball is played in. They must be involved in the play.
Involvement in Play: This seems to cause considerable misunderstanding.
If a player is in an offside position, but not involved in the play, it is not an offside. Often fans, particularly parents at youth soccer games, scream offside when there was a player that beat the ball in. It is confusing to them when no call is made because the referee did not consider the player in the attack.
There are many other nuances to the offside rule, so fire away with your questions and comments.