In a few months we play offside…

We had a meeting this week at my club, where we were discussing the changes we face in a few months time. My U10s team goes from 7v7 into 9v9 and that means we are facing offside decisions.

So we have to start working on offsides in our training plan. It is a rule that lots of young players find frustrating, because they have never had to play with this rule before.

When it works, the offside trap is one of the best tactics employed to snuff out an attack, not only winning the ball back for the defence but causing huge amounts of frustration to the opposition forwards and their coach. The defenders all step forwards quickly at the same time to leave an attacker high and dry in an offside position. However, if one of the defender is not on the same wavelength or has been distracted by something happening off the pitch, it can leave an attacker clean through on goal.

Players cannot be offside from throw-ins, so attackers can go just about anywhere, dragging opponents out of position and filling the penalty area without fear of defenders stepping up catching them offside. A long throw is similar to a cross and without the worry of offside, it a very effective weapon.

If you want your young players to understand the concept of offside, here is our basic guide…

> Receiving the ball nearer the goal than the second last opponent
Interfering with play

> Receiving the ball directly from a goal kick, a throw-in or a corner
> Running from the player’s own half
> Level with the second last opponent
> Level with or behind the ball
> Not actively involved in play

> For any offside offence, the ref awards an indirect free-kick to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.

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