Last updated on December 1st, 2022
There are quite a few set pieces that can be found in football.
However, did you know that you will not be called offside for some of these set pieces, even if you were in an offside position?
So which set pieces will not result in you being in an offside position?
Can you be offside from a set piece?
The only set piece you can be offside from is a free kick. According to the Laws of the Game, you cannot be offside from the other 3 set pieces: a corner kick, goal kick or a throw-in.
Here are the 3 set pieces where you cannot be called offside from:
Can you be offside from a goal kick?
According to the Laws of the Game, you cannot commit an offside offence from a goal kick. Even if you are in an offside position, you will not be called offside by the referee.
This is what the Offside Law mentions about being offside from a set piece:
There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from a goal kick, a throw-in or corner kick.IFAB
You will commit an offside offence if you meet these 2 criteria:
- You are in an offside position when your teammate plays the ball
- You are actively involved in play
When the goalkeeper takes his goal kick, he may be able to kick it all the way into the opponent’s half. Even if you are in an offside position when the ball is kicked, you will not be called offside!
Why can’t you be offside from a goal kick?
This could be due to the way that the offside rule was originally written:
When a player has kicked the ball any one of the same side who is nearer to the opponent’s goal line is out of play and may not touch the ball himself nor in any way whatever prevent any other player from doing so until the ball has been played; but no player is out of play when the ball is kicked from behind the goal line.The FA Laws of 1863
This rule penalised any player who was in front of the ball when the ball was kicked by the teammate. This meant that if a goal kick was taken by the goalkeeper, all of the players would have been offside!
As such, an exception was needed, where a player cannot be called offside from a goal kick.
Aguero goal vs Huddersfield (2018/19)
In this Premier League match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town, Sergio Aguero opened the scoring in a unique way.
The goalkeeper, Ederson, kicked his goal kick all the way to Aguero. Aguero managed to chip the Huddersfield keeper too!
From the beginning of the video, you can see that Aguero was in an offside position when Ederson kicked the ball. However, he was not called offside since Ederson played the ball from a goal kick!
Both players were also involved in another goal that was done in a similar fashion.
You can be called offside if someone else touches the ball
In Aguero’s case, the ball was kicked directly to him. However, you still would be called offside if your teammate touches the ball first!
This may happen when the goalkeeper kicks the ball, and someone heads the ball to you.
In this case, the offside position will be taken at the point when Player ‘2’ plays the ball to you (Player ‘3’).
You will be called offside if you are actively involved in the play!
You can be offside from a goalkeeper’s kick
A goalkeeper may kick the ball to you, but it does not come from a goal kick. In this scenario, you can be called offside!
This is because the ball is already in open play. As such, the goal kick offside rule no longer applies.
One such example is this goal by Ilkay Gundogan (again from another Ederson kick). Ederson kicked the ball from open play to assist Gundogan’s goal.
If Gundogan had been in an offside position when Ederson kicked the ball, he would have been called offside!
Can you be offside from a corner kick?
According to the Laws of the Game, you cannot commit an offside offence from a corner kick. Even if you are in an offside position, you will not be called offside by the referee.
Similar to a goal kick, you cannot be offside from a corner kick.
When you pass the ball from the corner to a teammate, your teammate may be in an offside position.
In the scenario above, Player ‘2’ (yellow) looks to be in an offside position. However, the ball is being played from a corner kick.
As such, your teammate will not be called offside as he is not committing an offence!
You can be in an offside position if you receive the pass back from your teammate
However, this rule only applies to the first pass being played by the corner kick taker.
If you pass the ball to your teammate from a corner, and he passes it back to you, you will be called offside!
If you are in an offside position and are actively involved in play, you will be called offside.
This was the exact scenario that happened in this match between Arsenal and Brighton:
Italy’s corner in the Euros 2020 was called offside
During the Euro 2020 match between Italy and Turkey, a corner kick was called for offside.
In most cases, a player will not be called offside for a corner. However, Berardi was standing behind the goal-line when the ball was being played.
As such, it may be possible that the assistant referee could have called Berardi offside as he was off the pitch. However, his decision has not been explained as of yet, so we will never know the answer!
Can you be offside from a throw-in?
According to the Laws of the Game, you cannot commit an offside offence from a throw-in. Even if you are in an offside position when the throw-in was made, you will not be called offside by the referee.
When your teammate throws the ball into the pitch, you can be in an offside position to receive it.
You can see the scenario below which shows how a goal can be scored from a throw-in!
The player who scored the goal was originally in an offside position. However, an offside offence was not called because his teammate played the ball from a throw-in.
In another situation in this Serie A match, Rafael Leão is in an offside position when the ball was thrown in, but the goal still stood.
The same happened when Gabriel Jesus was in an offside position when he received the throw.
As such, you cannot be in an offside position from a throw-in!
To find out more about throw-ins, you can check out this guide here.
Why is there no offside for a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in?
The Laws of the Game were made in such a way to promote attacking football. The attacking team will be able to make attacking runs without worrying about being in an offside position.
For all of these set pieces, it is hard for you to be a direct threat on goal. As such, it does not really make sense to call offside for these situations.
There are only a few examples where a goal scored is assisted by a goal kick or a throw-in. This is because the keeper or thrower needs to play the ball all the way for the striker to score!
Without the offside offence, you will be able to run around more freely. This helps to make the game more fluid and reduce the number of stoppages as well!
The offside rule does not apply to a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in. These set pieces are not as direct a threat to the goal, compared to a free kick.
As such, you will not commit an offence on any of these set pieces, even if you were in an offside position!
You can find out more about why we need the offside rule here.
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