Can You Be Offside On A Corner Kick?

The objective of soccer is pretty clear. Defend your own goal and don’t let the other team score, attack their goal and try to score. Whoever scores the most wins. See, nice and easy.

Things start to become a little more complex when you start to account for all the different rules that are part of the game though. 

Can You Be Offside On A Corner Kick

And while there are a few head-scratching rules to wrap your head around, there is non more perplexing and difficult to understand than the offside rule.

So if you’re new to soccer and you’re a little confused about whether a player is onside or offside, don’t despair, even the most soccer-crazy fans can be unsure from time to time. 

The rules of offside get even harder to understand when you take into consideration the times when the rule is suspended. It’s never for long, usually only one kick of the ball, but there are times where you won’t be offside.

And a corner kick is one of them. Throughout this article, we’re going to go over everything you’ll need to know about a corner kick and the offside (see also: Can You Be Offside On A Goal Kick? )rule. 

What Is A Corner Kick? 

Corner kicks are a pretty exciting part of football, it gives the player an opportunity to send the ball right into the penalty area. And this can on many occasions lead to a goal. But what actually is a corner kick? 

At either end of the field, when the defender kicks the ball over the goal line without a goal being scored, it will go to a corner kick.

So say the attacking striker has taken a shot and the goal keeper has deflected the ball out of play past the goal line, it would then go to a corner kick. 

Here, from the corner of the pitch, an attacking player can kick the ball back into the pitch and resume play. They can opt for a short corner where they pass the ball close by, or they can kick the ball intowards the penalty box and hope that another attacking player scores a goal. 

What Is Offside? 

So, what does it mean to be offside? I won’t go into all the ins and outs of the rule, but the general rule is that there must be at least two defending players in front of the attacking team when the ball is first played to them. 

This includes the hands, body, and feet. So even if the attacking player has just one foot infront of the two defending players he would be deemed offside. It is always worth mentioning that the goal keeper also counts as one of the defending players. 

This is the case providing that the player is closer to the opponents goal line than the ball itself. 

Once the ball has been passed, the player can then continue to run and beat the last defender, however, they must be behind them up until the ball leaves the foot of the attacking team member. 

Can You Be Offside On A Corner Kick (1)

Why You Can’t Be Offside From A Corner Kick?

Remember how we just said that the player has to be closer to the goal line than the ball for the offside rule to be intact?

Well, when you take a corner kick, the ball is essentially being kicked from the goal so it is not possible for players to be closer to the goal line than the ball. And because of this it is not possible to be offside from a corner kick. 

Therefore when a corner kick is taken, attacking players don’t really need to worry about their positioning for that moment.

However, it is imperative that they are still aware of their surroundings as once the ball has been played, they may need to come back onside to score. I’ll explain why that is now. 

Once The Kicks Been Taken

Now, providing that the player directly receives the ball from the corner kick, they will not be offside(see also: Can You Be Offside From A Throw In? ). However, once the ball is back in play and has been touched, offside immediately reinstates again. 

So, say a corner kick is taken and an attacking player instantly headers the ball into the goal, there’s no issue, no offside, and the team has scored a goal. 

But, if a corner kick is taken and a defending player deflected the ball, and an attacking player who was in front of the last defender then headed the ball into the back of the net, the goal wouldn’t count.

This is because once the defender has that first touch, offside has been reinstated and all attacking players must ensure they are in the correct position before touching the ball again. 

Final Thoughts

Offside is a tricky thing to understand. And don’t let it discourage you if you’re struggling with it because lots of people find it confusing. And hey, you’ll even see players in matches arguing over whether they were or were not on or offside.

The calls can be pretty tight and that is why many plays have to be checked through VAR. 

However, from this article, you should hopefully have learned a little more about corner kicks, the offside rule, and that you cannot be offside when a corner kick is taken.

You should also have a deeper understanding of why you cannot be offside from a corner, as well as what happens after those few seconds after the ball is played. 

An easy way to think about it is, if after the corner an attacking player instantly receives the ball, they’ll be onside. However, if the ball in intercepted by the defending team after a corner, the attacking team will need to ensure that they are back onside before they can affect active play. 

The suspension of the offside rule only lasts as long as the kick itself, as soon as the ball has been received by any player the offside rule will be reinstated after that first touch of play.
Adrian Turner
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