I have never found an answer to this simple question, in the rules of Association Football, nor from any "experts" (who usually do not even understand what the question is about).

Suppose a player is in offside position, the ball is played by a teammate, but the offside player "freezes" and shows they are not participating in the game. So they are not in offside offence.

Then, the play continues, and the player at some point, "unfreezes" and actively participates. This happens all the time.

Question is: at what point in time, is the player allowed to "unfreeze", without being penalized for the offside that they were previously?

Obviously, the answer cannot be, "wait a second and then you can play". So this is a real question, when are they allowed to play?

Is the answer "the player must first get off offside position, that is, either get behind the second-last opponent, or get behind the ball, or get behind the halfway line, and once they do that, they can quickly, for example, turn around and participate run back towards the goal" ?

Maybe that is the answer. But if that is so, then there is the second question:

Why is it not mentioned at all in the rules of the game, and why do the players not seem to follow this rule precisely? That is, they don't seem to quickly run as fast as they can past the secon-last and quickly turn around and run back?

Thank you.

  • Offside position is clearly defined in LOTG. A player is either in or not in OSP by meeting or not meeting three conditions as stated there.
    – Nij
    Apr 24 '20 at 2:04
  • Yes... the "accepted answer" is not clear to me. But the second answer is good. Thank you! Apr 24 '20 at 10:39

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