Can You Be Offside On A Goal Kick? 

When it comes to soccer, don’t be disheartened if you’re struggling to wrap your head around the offside rule. Most people do. It’s a pretty complicated rule as it is, but when you then combine it with the fact that it is occasionally suspended it can become really mindboggling. 

And though it is a real headscratcher, it’s something that you’ll need to learn if you want to properly understand the game. That’s where I come in. Throughout this article, I’ll delve a little more into the hows and whys but the answer to this question is no. 

Can You Be Offside On A Goal Kick 

A player won’t be considered offside providing that they directly receive the ball from a goal kick(see also: Can You Be Offside On A Corner Kick?).  Directly is the important word here.

As long as the player is the only player to have touched the ball after the goal kick is played then you will not be offside. Even if the player has beaten the very last defender of the opposing team. 

What Is A Goal Kick? 

So, before we delve into the ins and outs of the offside rule, let’s clear up what a goal kick is defined as. Sometimes individuals get a little confused and assume that any kick played by the goalkeeper is a goal kick, but this isn’t the case. 

When a ball goes past the goal line, but not in the goal, at the fault of the opposing team the defensive team will be awarded a goal kick. So for example, if the attacking team shoots and misses, the defending team will then get a goal kick. 

This is where they can take an unopposed kick from within the goal area. It’s how the game is restarted once the ball goes out of play. And actually, any player can take the goal kick not just the keeper. 

But these are the only conditions for a goal kick. The keeper retrieving the ball, for example saving the ball by catching it in his hands, and then kicking the ball back out into the field is not a goal kick.

It is only a goal kick when the entire ball has passed the goal line and last came off an opposing player. 

Keep in mind that when a goal kick is played, the main purpose of the play is to get the ball out of their half of the pitch and into the opposing team’s half so that they can start an attack and start to score – this will help you later when we discuss why there is no offside from a goal kick. 

What Is Offside?

To understand why you are not offside from a goal kick, it is also important to understand the rules of offside. While I won’t go into full detail, I will give a general overview of what it means to be offside. 

Essentially, if a player is in the opposing side’s half of a pitch, there must be at least two opposing players in front of the attacking player when the ball is passed. For example, the goalkeeper and at least one defender. 

The player can make runs past and score against these players once they have obtained the ball. But from the moment that ball is initially passed their entire body, including their head body, and feet must be behind those two opposing players. 

If they are in front of these players when the ball is first played then they will be in the offside position, play will be stopped, and the opposing team will get the ball. 

Can You Be Offside On A Goal Kick  (1)

Why There Is No Offside From A Goal Kick?

So, why is the offside rule suspended for a moment during a goal kick? Well, it’s to prevent the opposing team from cutting off pretty much any available pass. 

Think of it this way, if the offside (see also: Can You Be Offside From A Throw In? )rule was in place during a goal kick, the opposing team would just stand on the halfway line. That way when the keeper kicks the ball into their attacking half, every player would be offside and they would instantly regain possession of the ball. 

This would not be in the best interest of keeping the game going and would result in a disjointed and unentertaining game. If the offside rule was still intact at this point then the whole game would consist of players ensuring that the team could never receive the ball.

The suspension of the rule prevents this from happening. 

It is important to note that the offside rule is reinstated immediately once the ball is touched.

Therefore if the keeper were to kick the ball into the attacking half and a defender was to intercept the ball, all attacking players would then need to get back onside before they could attempt to score a goal. 

Final Thoughts

The offside rule is sure complicated enough without having to try and remember when the offside rule is no longer applicable.

However, it can be helpful to note that the only time that the offside rule isn’t applicable is when the ball has gone out of play and the opposing team could use the rule to ensure that the team wouldn’t be able to pass to another player.

This is why you’ll only find that the offside rule isn’t used during goal kicks, throw-ins, and corners. 

Suspending the rule is put in place to ensure that when the ball goes out of play that the game can restart quickly and efficiently without the opposing team taking advantage of their position to stop the other team from receiving the ball. 

But the main takeaway from this article is that the player will not be offside providing that they directly receive the ball from a goal kick. Hopefully, from reading this article, you also now have a better understanding of exactly why that happens.

Adrian Turner
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