Probably a Stupid Football (Soccer) Question...

It’s legal AFAIK. Think of it as a series of very short autopasses - he’s just using his head, which is OK.

With foot-to-foot autopasses, or when you’re running with the ball, it’s easier to “snatch” it before you know you’re not going to break your head from trying to steal it. But the legality of the situation is the same.

I don’t think ‘head dribbling’ is an undefendable tactic. In fact, I thought it was defended well in the second-to-last part of the clip: The defender just stood there, and let the attacker run into him, which certainly wasn’t a foul on the defence (of course the attacker fell down screaming to try and draw a foul, but it shouldn’t have been called)

The previous part of the clip was just a stupid foul by the defense, and not necessary to stop him.

Of course that’s a foul, Quercus - he was playing the man and not the ball.

A player is also not called offsides if they are behind the ball. So, once the defense run past the mob, only the ‘guards’ in front are only in the offsides position. If they immediatly stop running, the guy in the middle would have a break-away on goal (as the rest of the defense has run away) and nobody would be offsides, as they are all behind the ball. They can’t be called offsides immediatly as they are not having the ball played to them, and are not yet interphereing with the shot/goalkeeper (as long as they move behind the ball before a shot or before the dribbler gets to close to goal)

The whole reason they’re there is to be involved in the play by giving the shooter a clear path, right? The rule says nothing about waiting for a pass–what it says is that an offside player can’t become involved in the play in any way.

The point is surely moot as this would be refereed as impeding, but even if not, this tactic would be ineffective; all a defender has to do is stand in the way of the slow-moving formation - he’s under no obligation to get out of the way, and may not be shoved aside.

And similarly:

If all the defender did was stand in the way, and the head-juggler ran into him, that’s his own fault.

Maybe, maybe not. According to FIFA:

A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:
interfering with play or
interfering with an opponent or
gaining an advantage by being in that position.

So, if the defense steps up, the guard players (those in front of the ball) are in an offsides position, the ball is being touched by a teammate, but they are really no longer interfereing with play or opponent or having anymore advantage as the defense has left them alone.

As long as the front guards stop and get behind the ball before they can interfere or distract the keeper on a shot or breakaway, I don’t think you can call them offsides.

The best way for the defense to set up this offsides trap is to back in close to the goal before suddenly stepping up, therefore the guards will be immediately shielding the keeper and can be called offsides.

Its all about the timing and location on the field.

I think the defense could just stand in one place to block the progress of the circle down the field. If the players in the ring push down/run over the defenders, it’s a foul.

On a related note, it’s actually illegal in basketball for players on the same team to form a wall, ring, or whatever if they’re interlocked in some way–arms or legs.

There are a lot of possible offences at a ‘line-out’ :eek: - I’m pretty sure that once the ball has been touched by one side, the other side must be allowed to tackle (or burst through the defenders).

Certainly the rolling maul appears to be obstruction.
Usually from a lineout one side catches the ball and drives forward, smuggling the ball backwards to their player at the back. The opposition are not allowed to run around the side and tackle the player with the ball, nor collapse the maul. They can only push back.
I’ve seen this tactic successfully used a lot by Leicester Tigers. Neil Back was the appropriately-named player with the ball.

You didn’t mention the scrum. Until the ball comes out the back, the scrum continues. I once saw Saracens push a junior side 40 metres straight down the pitch using this tactic!

When I was playing soccer in my youth (11years oldish), I always thought it would be a good strategy to have one of the black players grow an afro with a soccerball shaped crater in the top. Then you could just have the keeper put the ball in there and let him run to the other end of the pitch. No one every wanted to try it.

You can’t set a moving screen, anyway (I should know–I was the Designated Screener on my high school team, and I was damn good at it, thankyouverymuch); having a wall that sat around completely with arms linked would almost be a disadvantage anyway.

OK, I can see where it would help. But it’s too easy to get around them and too difficult to set up.

It may be difficult to get the ball out of his hair with much accuracy afterwards.

That’s also illegal in American football. Forming a defending wall is not against the rules, but they can’t interlock. If they do, it’s a flying wedge and that was outlawed about a century ago.

Yes, I was only citing an instance of when it’s legal for a wall of bodies to exist. They must be suitably spaced out at the beginning of the set-piece and they cannot actively block off the non-possessing side - but they aren’t offending merely by being in the way.

Exactly right. Bath used to be great exponents of it too. Of course if all the defenders quit the maul then it doesn’t exist as an entity any more - the definition of it requires the participation of the ball-carrier plus at least one player from each side; two tacklers and a ball-carrier do not a maul make, and they can bring him to ground if they like, but once there is a supporting player for the ball-carrier, the tackle itself is over. Once the maul is a maul no longer, there are no special privileges for anyone in front of the ball-carrier.

Yes, and that sometimes happens even at international level, but I was only citing instances where the ball is carried - which it may not be in a scrum.

Since the OP appears to have been answered, I hope nobody minds a slight hijack:

Say you’re up 1-0, and you bring the ball back near your own goalie. And then all the rest of you move upfield from it, while it sits maybe ten or twenty feet from your goal. And then the lot of you just stand there. Can the opposition walk past all of you to kick the ball without being offsides?

Yes, you cannot be offsides if the ball is in front of you, otherwise how could you ever make your way to the goal?

Yes, you’re not offside if the ball was last touched by the opposition.

(Football uses the singular form… whereas in cricket “innings” is considered singular.)

The wording of the rule includes the caveat that you have to be between the ball and the goal to be called offside, meaning the other team can and will go get that ball and pretty much have a guaranteed goal.