Offside: static defence

Sometimes it’s hard to explain the basics of the offside rule to children, so this training session helps them to learn by showing it to them in action. Getting players to learn where and when they are offside can be a tricky business but this session can help them understand.

Set up

Use the penalty area of your pitch coned off at the width of the penalty area and create an offside line of cones just outside the area. You also need two cones five yards from the line of offside. We’ve used nine players including a keeper and two servers.

How to play it

Have three players lined up on each cone, a goalkeeper and two servers at the side. Each player takes a turn to run at the line of cones, do a skill to get past it and shoot from outside the penalty area. The attacker must then react quickly to get back onside, before making another run to hit a first time shot from a pass by the server on the opposite side. The attacker then joins the opposite queue ready for the next turn. Play until every player has worked both sides.


This shows players they can stay onside by dribbling the ball past the last defender but if they haven’t got a ball they must be onside when it is played. It helps kids understand if you show them the rule in action.

    1. The game starts with an attacker dribbling a ball to the offside line and using a skill to get into the attacking area
    2. The attacker must shoot from outside the penalty area and try to beat the keeper

    3. As soon as he has taken a shot he must get back onside and react to a ball played by the server
    4. The server should play a ball into the penalty area when the attacker gets back onside

    5. The attacker must shoot with his first touch to try and beat the goalkeeper
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