Wednesday, June 21, 2006
WTF is the Offside Rule?
In which V is on a quest for knowledge. And, seriously, WTF?

If Team Awesome is to become the greatest soccer team of all time, we must achieve a complete understanding of the rules. Soccer For Dummies is helping us make considerable progress. However, this whole offisde thing escapes us. Here is what Soccer For Dummies has to say about the offside rule:
A player is offside when he or she is nearer to his or her opponent's goal than both the ball and the second-to-last opponent, when the ball is played. A player is not offside if he or she is not in his or her own half of the field or level with the last defender.

Excuse me, WHAT? And this is Soccer For Dummies, people. FOR DUMMIES. Never mind Soccer For Reasonably Intelligent Young Ladies With An Unquenchable Thirst For Soccer Knowledge.

I read this to M earlier in hopes that he, being British and therefore surely possessing an instinctual understanding of such matters, would be able to explain it to me. I read it to him four times. Slowly. We tried for ages to work it out. So... you have to have someone between you and the goal? Apart from the goalkeeper, or does he count? Who is the second-to-last opponent? What is the nature of mankind's existential angst?

We don't know. We aren't close to knowing. I feel strongly that the offside rule is best explained via illustrations and not words. Surely the internet can provide. Only time (and Google) will tell.