Trying to learn the Offside rule. From what I gather Offside is when an offensive player gets behind the defense and takes a pass from another player. So, why doesn't the defense just stop around midfield so the offense can't take a pass past that point. Just Curious!
Some parts of the rule that might contribute towards an answer for your question are:
An attacking player can't be offside in his own half, so a defence won't ever push up beyond the halfway line for the purpose of playing an offside trap.
Also the offside is determined when a pass is first played, so the higher a defence pushes up - the more space in behind them there is to drop a pass. Defences are particularly vulnerable to this against quick attackers.
A player is only offside if a pass is played towards the opposition goal(/forwards), so if a defence is pushed up high and an attacker dribbles past them he can pass backwards/sideways to a fellow attacker.
Thats just the basics. There's a lot more to the rule including some subjectivity. Link for more information: The FA's Law 11: Offside
While holding a high defensive line can be an effective tactic, it can also be exploited.
A high defensive line leaves a lot of open space behind the defense for an attacking team to exploit. In order to take advantage of this space, the attacking team might use any number of tactics to bypass the defense without being ruled offside.
- Perhaps the most obvious method is for a fast attacking player to dribble past the defense and out-run them, potentially creating a one-on-one opportunity against the goalkeeper.
- Another method is for one player to pass/kick the ball beyond the defense, and for another player to run in behind the defense immediately after the ball is kicked.
- A third method is to take advantage of the fact that the offside rule doesn't apply when the ball is received directly from a throw-in or goal kick.
NOTE: These methods can be optimized by finding open channels of space between defenders, giving the attacking player an advantage due to the angle, starting position and timing of their run.
These and other tactics can force defenders out of position, opening up new options for the attacking team. As a side-effect, defenders could become fatigued from covering a larger area of the field. If individual defenders don't respond as quickly as others, the defensive line could be compromised, exposing more space behind the defense.
Once the attacking team gets behind the defense, they can legally pass the ball horizontally or backward. As they approach the goal, any remaining defenders or the goalkeeper will have to choose a defensive position, potentially leaving other attacking players open to receive a pass and/or creating a goal-scoring opportunity.
In summary, a high defensive line can leave a team vulnerable. While it might be effective under certain circumstances, it is certainly not a tactical silver bullet.
In short, the only time a player is offside is when the player is in front of everyone on the other team excluding the goalie, and then is attempted a pass to the offside player. This would result in a free kick for the defense. If a player just carries the ball past the defense, there is no offsides. What cancels an offsides is when the ball is also past the last defender. Therefore, if there are two offense in front of the whole other team, they can pass to each other and not be offsides.