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Are you a Euro Championship widow?

And so with great sadness I announce today that I have become a football widow. I shouldn’t be surprised, this happens every year be it the World Cup, the Euros or even just the Firm games.

No matter how hard I try to look enthused when I am informed that all partaking of TV viewing will need to be in the bedroom, and that our social life will be dictated by the schedule of matches, I never seem to be able to get as excited as the men.

I thought it best to impart what little wisdom I have about the beautiful game to other women, to ensure that over the next month conversations do take place in households, offices are not only filled by the voices of men and that we women prove once again we are the more intelligent sex.

And so below you will find 2 versions of – The OffSide Rule

Firstly I give you the male technical version as provided from Wikipedia. Be warned, do not get alarmed if half way through you nod off, start to contour up your weekly shopping list or even commence filing your nails: all will become clear.

The offside rule is one of the oldest football rules, but is still a much discussed rule. This is because it is difficult for the referee or assistant referee to watch the ball, the player playing the ball and also the attacker who is seeking to receive the ball at the same time.

Offside is an offence committed by the team which has the ball and is punished with an indirect free kick. It is a common misconception that the ball must be played forward for an offside offense to be committed. This is incorrect however, as an offside offense is related to the position of the ball and the player receiving it rather than the direction it is played. If the player is in front of the ball when it is played and has not got at least two defending players closer to the defending goal line than they are, she or he is in an offside position.

But there are some exceptions:

  • A player cannot be in an offside position if in their own half of the field.
  • From a goal-kick, a throw-in or a corner kick it is not possible to be offside.
  • If the ball is played by a member of the opposing team, an attacker cannot be offside.
  • A player who is behind the other teams’ goal line, but not in the goal, is not in an offside position. However it is an offense to leave or re-enter the field of play without permission.
  • If the player is behind the ball when it is played, he or she cannot be offside.
  • An attacker who is exactly in line with the 2nd last defender is not considered to be offside.
  • If a player does not ‘interfere with play’, then it is not an offside offense even if that player is in an offside position. Generally a player who is ‘interfering with play’ is one who plays the ball, attempts to play the ball, or interferes with another player’s ball.

NOW – This version I am about to share with you should make total sense and give you enlightenment to what your husbands, colleagues, shop owners etc. are going on about.

Imagine you are out shopping and have ventured into your favourite clothes shop. You and a friend are making a day of it (whilst him indoors is watching the match).

You finally find THE perfect pair of black trousers – the one thing we can never find.

Your friend wanders off to look at the display of skinny jeans, deciding if they will make her bum look big.

You join the queue by the check out, a rather irate, weary shopper is in front of you and you realise the cashier is wishing to close her till and pop to lunch.

A moment later you realise that your credit card is maxed out, you break into a sweat realising that you may lose these trousers at any moment. The woman in front is rifling through her shopping bags – she can’t find her purse.

In that split second you realise you must take this opportunity, you shout to your friend across the shop (not discreetly, there’s no time for niceties).

The woman in front of you turns around, she realises the situation and ups her search.

Your predicament now is this: you can’t jump in front of her as you don’t have a card to pay with. Your friend could walk over and bring the card but the woman will have found her purse.

Your friend could throw your card across the store to you whilst you stand still.

Your friend could throw the card and at that moment you could dash in front of the woman, grab card and have means to pay for black trousers.

BUT – until your friend has actually thrown the card and it is in the air, you CANNOT start to run in front of the other woman. If you did this it would mean that you were clearly OFFSIDE.

Well, I hope ladies that this has now made everything much clearer, it’s amazing how we can relate most information to situations we are familiar with.

There are a number of female versions of the offside rule but I hope that this one has broken everything down for you.

Just remember – when engaging in conversation now with your other half, colleague etc – don’t explain your knowledge by using the words trousers and credit card; I can guarantee they will have a much harder time understanding it than understanding a referee’s decision.


Charlotte Ball

Charlotte Ball is a leading specialist in enterprise within education, working closely with schools and colleges to create innovative programmes that fit in the national curriculum and provide young people with the skills needed to ensure a positive future. She develops qualifications, helps companies engage with youth and looks at ways to improve the UK justice system, focusing on enterprise and education for young offenders.
She is a regular key note speaker in the UK on business development, enterprise and education for both primary and Higher Education and a strong advocate for STEM.

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