Offside Rule: Pros & Cons


In Soccer or European football, the offside rule is one of the hot button issue during games. A game can be decided by that rule if it is not correctly applied.

Let’s start by explaining that rule: A player is in an offside position if he is closer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last defender (which is usually the last outfield player), but only if the player is on his opponent’s half of the pitch. “Offside position” is a matter of fact, whereas committing an “offside offence” occurs when a player is “actively involved” and is subject to the interpretation of the referee. Goals scored after committing an offside offence are nullified if caught by the referee.


As you can see from that definition above, that rule is not simplistic and even the top rated referees get it wrong sometimes. The question is : Is it really necessary to have the offside rule? Who needs the offside rule? IS the game more or less fun without the offside rule?

In professional soccer, that rule is part of the DNA of the game. Its existence is not debatable, but is it really necessary to have it in amateur soccer ?

I’ll say no. As an amateur soccer league player, owner  and as a former soccer referee, I have noticed that the offside rule creates nothing but troubles. The game is constantly interrupted because of bickering about the call or non call of offside. Referees are abused whether they call it or not. Players engage in fights and insults because of that rule and at the end of the day it makes the game less fun. There are fewer goals scored when that rule is strictly applied.

Amateur soccer is supposed to be fun and that rule takes that away.


After cancelling the offside rule in my amateur soccer league, our games became so much fun. Players score more goals and enjoy the games more. All the bickering and fights and referee abuses have stopped.

To conclude, I think amateur soccer leagues don’t need the offside rule. Professional soccer leagues can keep using that rule but it must be enforced with video replay to help the referees call it correctly.