Can You Be Offside From A Rebound Or Goalkeeper Save

Can You Be Offside From A Rebound Or Goalkeeper Save?

Last updated on December 1st, 2022

There may be certain attacking situations where the keeper makes a good save or the shot hits the bar. When the attacker taps in the ball, sometimes it may be called offside!

How does the offside rule apply in this scenario?

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Can you be offside from a rebound or a goalkeeper save?

The standard offside rules apply when there is a rebound or a goalkeeper save. If you were in an offside position when the ball was played by your teammate, you will be offside if you touched the ball after it rebounded off the post or was saved by the goalkeeper.

This is because your offside position was considered when your teammate first played the ball.

Here is this rule explained further in-depth:

You have to be in an offside position first

To be even considered as offside, you’ll have to be in an offside position first. The IFAB defines the offside position to be one where you are ahead of both the ball and the second-last opponent.

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Here are some things you may want to take note regarding this:

  1. The last 2 opponents need not be the goalkeeper
  2. If you are past the second-last opponent but are behind the ball, you are still onside

Once you are in an offside position, you can be called offside by the referee. However, this depends on whether you make an offside offence or not!

You commit an offside offence when you are involved in play at an offside position

Here is what the IFAB defines an offside offence to be:

A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched* by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play

*The first point of contact of the ‘play’ or ‘touch’ of the ball should be used

What this means is that the offside position is taken at that point in time when your teammate first plays or touches the ball.

You will commit an offside offence if:

  1. You were in an offside position when your teammate played the ball, and
  2. You become involved in active play
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Gaining an advantage is one way of becoming involved in active play

The rule goes on to state the 3 possible ways that you become involved in active play:

  1. Interfering with play
  2. Interfering with your opponent
  3. Gaining an advantage

You gain an advantage after it has been rebounded or saved

The law defines the different scenarios where you can gain an advantage:

  1. The ball has rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent
  2. The ball is deliberately saved by any opponent

What exactly does gaining an advantage mean? Here are the 2 ways that are defined by the Laws of the Game:

  1. A ball that rebounds or is deflected to him off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent having been in an offside position
  2. A ball that rebounds, is deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save by an opponent having been in an offside position

As such, you will commit an offside offence when you meet these criteria:

  1. You are in an offside position when the ball was first played by your teammate
  2. You gained an advantage when the ball either rebounds off the post or is saved by the goalkeeper

On a side note, shots that hit the post are considered not on target!

A goalkeeper save is a deliberate save under IFAB

In Law 11 of the Rules of the Game, IFAB also mentioned this paragraph:

A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball, including by deliberate handball, is not considered to have gained an advantage, unless it was a deliberate save by any opponent. 

A ‘save’ is when a player stops, or attempts to stop, a ball which is going into or very close to the goal with any part of the body except the hands/arms (unless the goalkeeper within the penalty area).

Seems complicated, right? So what does this mean?

If a defender deliberately plays the ball, an attacking player who is in an offside position will not be called offside.

However, if the opponent made a deliberate save (such as a goalkeeper save), then the attacking player in an offside position will be called offside.

Similar to above, this is because the player has been deemed as gaining an advantage.

A rebound does not change your offside position

Even if the ball rebounded, the offside position will still be taken at the time when your teammate first made the play.

The rebound does not change the fact that you were in an offside position at that point in time!

A pictorial depiction

Still confused? Here’s a pictorial diagram to help explain this better:

Let’s say you’re Player ‘2’ (yellow), and your teammate, Player ‘1’, is shooting the ball. Currently, you are in an offside position.

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Your teammate shoots the ball and it may either rebound from the post or the keeper saves it. The ball comes to you.

Since you have gained an advantage for being in an offside position, you would have committed an offside offence. As such, you will be called offside.

Things get interesting if another of your teammate comes into play. Let’s say Player ‘3’ is your other teammate, and he is in an onside position when Player ‘1’ shoots.

Offside From Rebound Or Goalkeeper Save 2

When the ball is saved by the goalie or it rebounds off the post, Player ‘3’ will be considered as onside. However, he may hit the ball against the crossbar again!

This time, you will be called offside depending on your position when Player ‘3’ kicked the ball! This is because Player ‘3’ has made a new play. As such, your offside position will be taken with reference to this play instead.

Offside From Rebound Or Goalkeeper Save 3

In the scenario above, you are considered to be in an onside position. This is because before Player ‘3’ plays the ball, you are onside.

However, if you are still in an offside position when Player ‘3’ shoots the ball, you will be called offside!

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The key learning point here is that your offside position is referenced when your teammate first makes the play. If the ball rebounds or is saved by the goalkeeper, it does not alter your offside position!

Some real-life examples

If you still can’t really understand this rule, here are some real-life examples for you:

#1 Offside before the player shoots the ball

In the situation below, the player who scored the goal was in an offside position when his teammate shot the ball.

He was deemed to have gained an advantage when he was in that offside position. As such, he was ruled offside.

#2 A similar scenario

In this video, it was a 2v1 situation where two strikers were against the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper made the save and the player tapped in the rebound.

If you look closely when the player shot the ball, the player who scored the goal was actually in an offside position!

This is because he was ahead of both the ball and the second-last opponent.

Since he gained an advantage after the ball was saved by the keeper, he should have been called offside.

#3 Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)

In this Serie A match between Lazio and Napoli, Lorenzo Insigne scored a goal from the rebound.

However, since he was in an offside position when the goalkeeper made the save, he was deemed to be committing an offside offence.

Conclusion

When deciding if you’re offside from a rebound or a goalkeeper save, you will have to look at your position at the point when your teammate plays the ball.

When the ball rebounds or is saved by the goalkeeper, it does not alter the fact that you were in an offside position in the first place!

In fact, you will be considered to have ‘gained an advantage‘. As such, you will be considered to be offside!

One way that you will not be in an offside position is if you score a goal from a penalty rebound.

You can find out more about why we need the offside rule here.

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