Persistent Infringement Card on Offsides Multipule Times

Well as promised I would follow up on persistent infringement yellow card for offsides multipule times…

It was commented on in this blog by a reader that they didn’t understand how a yellow was not given to a forward for FC Dallas in last Sunday’s game agains Denver for being offsides 5 times during the game.  I am assuming the logic behind this is that if the guy had come in for a hard tackle which was called 5 times we would expect to see a card.  Well to be honest I had never heard this before so I thought I had research it a little and see if a referee could really give a yellow for PI on offsides….

I took three approaches to this to see what was the beleif on this was.  First I emailed over to “Ask a soccer referee” asking them about the how legitimate this would be.  2nd I emailed a couple friends who are state officials here in Idaho.  3rd I recived more comments on this blog from “CSR“.

1st lets go my buddies responce.  I found this interesting because he does start to justify it even though he does circle the wagons and say it would still be slicing your own throat in a game....

Hi Alex,   The correct answer to this question is complicated.  First of all, I am not an official spokesman of USSF, so anything I say is subject to fallibility.  In my opinion:  1.  You COULD give the caution for persistent infringement, since the offender has persistently infringed the laws of the game.  2.  The spirit of the game tells me a caution is inappropriate in this case, unless it can be determined that the player is committing the offenses as a form of dissent or other cautionable offense.  3.  It depends on the level and skill of the players.  4.  I would not give a caution for PI in this case, unless there were extenuating circumstances.  I did not see the film, but it would be very strange to give a caution in this case as you described it.

Let me know what askasoccerref says.  Was the attacker doing it on purpose for some reason?  “

2nd lets go to CSR’s comment

 “I think you would be hard-pressed to justify a caution for PI if the only offenses are offside infringements. Indeed, from USSF’s Week 9 “Lessons Learned” they discuss PI thusly – “To disrupt play and ruin the entertainment value of a game, players persistently/repeatedly foul opponents. Such conduct often causes the frustration level of opponents to rise and, therefore, the intensity level of the game to increase. This can lead to dissent and retaliation. Recognizing players who persistently/repeatedly foul opponents is critical to game control.” 
The game control aspect is big to me….Does this yellow card help control the game?  CSR goes on to say…
“Considering offside is one of the least severe of any foul and a player generally needs quite a bit of time to be whistled for several offside infringements, I can’t imagine a scenario where showing the yellow card for PI makes sense if the only infringements involved are offside.”
OK so what does “Ask a soccer referee” say…..(let’s note they are actually speaking on behalf of USSF, the governing body over the officials for MLS as it says on their website, I highly recommend to everyone to go spend sometime on their site it is well done by some high level oficials “As of February 23, 2000, all replies to technical questions posted in this column will have been coordinated with and approved by the U. S. Soccer Federation’s National Program for Referee Development.”)
So below is my email to them and Jim Allen’s response. 


Here is the answer to your question:

 Jim Allen

USSF National Instructor Staff

 Name: alex

Question: Persistent Infringment & Offsides-

 On Sunday I watched the FC Dallas vs. Denver Rapids where one forward got called offsides 5 times. I read online where someone was calling for a yellow for “persistent infringement of offsides”. I have never heard of this and I can’t find anywhere that I could justify a yellow for persistent infringement for being offsides.

 I also would have to ask myself if I thought this yellow would help the game.

 Please let me know if a yellow can be given here?

 USSF answer (June 4, 2008):

It is perfectly legal to be in an offside position.  The person who posted the suggestion you saw online is probably the person who asked us the very same question almost five years ago about high school soccer, to which we replied on October 23, 2003:

No, there is no such rule in soccer, whether at the high school level or in the . . . worldwide game of soccer.  . . .  Persistent infringement applies to any and all infringements of Law 12 and to some infringements of Law 14.”

 I think the biggest thing here is that it does not infringe law 12 or 14.

 One last thing that should be noted about the FC Dallas/ Denver Game last Sunday where this comment came out of is that Denver was running an offside trap which goal was to catch Dallas offside.  We rarely see a defense try to attract persistent hard fouls.   

 A couple small notes about this before I conclude this long post…I really appreciate the post and the comments about persistent infringement.  I am not trying to beat up someone’s comment here I simply wanted to learn and share form the comment.  I simply didn’t know if PI would apply here so I investigated.  I REALLY APPRECIATE THE COMMENTS. Keep them up


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One Response to “Persistent Infringement Card on Offsides Multipule Times”

  1. CSR Says:

    I think the key with cautioning for PI is to ask yourself – is there behavior going on which I need to step in and stop in order to prevent further repetition, escalation and/or retaliation?

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