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Q: Offsides Rule in Soccer ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Offsides Rule in Soccer
Category: Sports and Recreation > Team Sports
Asked by: curiousgeorge-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 10 Apr 2002 11:03 PDT
Expires: 17 Apr 2002 11:03 PDT
Question ID: 4
When was the offsides rule instituted in international soccer?
Subject: Re: Offsides Rule in Soccer
Answered By: drdavid-ga on 10 Apr 2002 12:16 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
The answer seems to be that it has been there from the first international game 
in 1872.

The site 
gives some early history of the game.

The "Cambridge Rules" of 1848 are described as follows:

"The original Cambridge code no longer survives, but a revised version from the 
mid-1850's does. It describes a game very similar to modern soccer. Holding, 
tripping, and pushing opposing players were all prohibited. A player could use 
his hands only to stop the ball or to catch it and immediately kick it. The 
goal consisted of two flagposts with a horizontal string stretched between 
them. And, perhaps most important, a new offsides rule was established. In most 
earlier versions of football, no player who was ahead of the ball on attack 
could interfere with the play in any way. The new rule allowed such a player to 
receive a kicked "forward pass" and even try a kick himself, so long as there 
were at least three opponents between himself and the goal."

This actually predates the first international game which occurred between 
England and Scotland in 1872 ( If you 
don't consider that game "international," then perhaps, the first international 
game occurred in 1904 between Belgium and France 
As far as I can tell from several sites describing the history of international 
soccer, there is no evidence that the offsides rule has not been present from 
the beginning. It seems to have been an integral part of the game long before 
international competition began despite ever-present controversies over the 
interpretation of the rule.

For further reading on international soccer history see the above links and:
curiousgeorge-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
So now I know who to blame...

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