To be deemed offside, an attacking player must be at least one foot behind the last defending player on the opposing team’s half of the pitch. An infringement may also occur if a player blocks an opponent’s line of vision or makes a movement that affects the opponent’s position.
During a throw-in, a player cannot be in an offside position. The same applies to corner kicks and free kicks. A player who cuts back the ball is not deemed offside. The penalty for a defensive player who is in an offside position is five yards.
An offside position is also not considered when a player makes a deliberate save with his or her body. The American Heritage Dictionary’s fifth edition defines the game as “a game of physical contact between two teams.”
Originally, the Offside law was designed to prevent players from scoring easy goals from long balls. However, lawmakers changed it to reflect the changing needs of the game and make it more exciting.
The Offside Law was changed in 2005, and now applies to any part of the player’s body that is not in contact with the ball. The new rule also makes it harder for linesmen to tell whether a player is offside by touching the ball.