Opposing player was blocking my view while I was goalkeeping

So I was playing goalkeeper in a soccer game with around 20 other friends over the weekend and I noticed that one player on the opposing team was constantly hovering around 2-3 yards in front of me, often between my line of vision and where the ball was at any moment, and it was hampering my goalkeeping very much. At one point a striker was getting ready to blast the ball into my net and I could not see when he was going to kick it or where the ball was going to go. Moreover, a few times he was so close to me that I could not run about freely (i.e., to go snag a ball) without knocking him over in the process.
I don’t think he was intentionally doing this, but it got me to thinking, is this a legal tactic in soccer? Because it was very effective and I could not defend the goal effectively at all with this big vision obstacle in front of me. There’s no time limit in soccer’s goal box like basketball’s 3-second limit in the paint, so how long can a striker roam about in the box with the specific intent of hampering the opposing goalkeeper from seeing things or moving about effectively?

Isn’t he in an offside position?

Assuming he’s offside, I believe it can be considered an offside foul if he’s interfering with you or your vision.

Yes, but he wasn’t receiving passes.

But is it OK (at the higher level, i.e., FIFA rules,) for a team to send a player to loiter in the opposing goalbox, for no purpose other than to obstruct and hinder the keeper?

Who was the NHL player (Sean Avery?) who would wave his stick in front of the goalie’s eyes. I think they made a rule change to address it?

(slightly off-topic, slightly on)

The proper call on this is “offside”. This was in fact called on the US in a 2006 World Cup game against Italy(?).

Yep, it was Avery.

If the player is clearly obstructing an opposing player’s vision and they are in an offside position, then the referee should award an indirect free kick against them.

The basic principle is that the second a player who is an offside position starts clearly interfering with the play directly or indirectly then the offside should be called.

This is a common tactic in hockey, and perhaps where the player learned to do it.

The foul of offside should be called if, when a player is in the offside position, he/she is

• interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate or
• interfering with an opponent by:
• preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or
• challenging an opponent for the ball or
• clearly attempting to play a ball which is close to him when this action
impacts on an opponent or
• making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an
or opponent to play the ball

So, you can see, the player was committing the foul of offside. The result should be an indirect free kick for you, each time. If he persists in doing this, he should be cautioned; if he still continues, he gets a second yellow card and is then shown a red card and sent off the field of play.

This is the correct answer.

Ah OK, thanks! I had thought that a player can be as offsides as he wants as long as he does not touch a ball passed to him.

At least in hockey the goalie can retaliate by slapping your ankles with his stick.

Maybe you can explain this. I was trying to explain to someone why it was not offside. Iniesta is in an off-side position, but not involved in the play, so no off-side. Torres attempts to pass the ball to him, while he (Iniesta) is in an offside position… Ball is intercepted by Van Der Vaart…Iniesta gets back into onside position…and Spain win the World Cup.

As I was trying to explain to my friend, the if the pass to Iniesta had reached him without touching Van Der Vaart; offside, AIUI. But, he says that as the ball ws passed to Iniesta when he was offside, shouldn’t it be off-side, since he is involved in the play and he is at an advantage from being offside. I still believe that its onside, but I’ll admit my explanations have been less than satisfactory.

It’s sometimes a judgement call whether there was an advantage, and generally if the offensive player didn’t touch the ball, referees err on the side of not calling a penalty.
I understand the argument that Iniesta got an advantage by being offside, but on the other hand there’s the argument that he didn’t get any advantage: had he been a couple feet back, so in an onside position, Van Der Vaart would almost certainly still have played the ball and things would have unfolded exactly the same way.
So, the referee had a perfectly good reason for not calling a penalty, and IMHO, that’s the way the vast majority of referees would call it.

And to the OP: even if he wasn’t in an offside position, if an opponent is deliberately getting in your way when he’s not playing the ball, that’s a foul. Especially blocking a goalkeeper, that would be an easy insta-call for any referee. If this was a casual pick-up game with people who aren’t experienced players, explain to the guy that this is not basketball, and screens and picks are not legal, especially on the goalkeeper, and he needs to stay our of your way.

I’ve never heard of that, and I can’t imagine it being common. Any time the puck crossed the blue line, offside would be called. The puck would be blown dead before it could get into the net or before the player touched it.

Further, it means the defending team is down a player. You’re granting your opponents a power play.

It’s a common tactic in hockey when your team has possession of the puck in the offensive zone. There is of course no point in screening the goaltender otherwise.

Plus offsides in ice hockey doesn’t lead to a penalty.

Screening is VERY common in hockey.


… as Bill Shankly would have said, if a player is not trying to influence the game, why the hell are they on the pitch?

If he is close enough to the goaltender, he’ll potentially get checked, maybe knocked in his ass by the goalie. Can/do soccer goaltenders make contact with an opponent who is in their box?