Offside penalties over the line?

Since the summer is a slow sports time except for baseball, which Fryer Tuck pays little attention to, Fryer Tuck has decided to address some sports issues that he finds of interest.   Up first is a review of my thoughts on offsides penalties in various sports.

For those who do not know, in soccer an offsides penalty is enforced if at the moment the ball is passed there is less than two opponents (usually the goal keeper and 1 defender) in front of the offensive player receiving the ball.  It may just be me, but that seems like some sort of lame kindergarten rule.  God forbid a offensive player should get a good scoring chance because the poor defender wasn’t able to get back in time because that wouldn’t make the game more exciting.

In hockey, offsides is called when an player from the attacking team is across the opposing team’ blue line before the puck crosses the same blue line.  Like in soccer, all this rule does is take away the opportunity for more breakaway scoring chances and slow the game down, which in turn makes the game less exciting to watch; athough in hockey it is not as bad as soccer since there are many more scoring opporutunities.

A good example of how not having an offsides penalty can improve play, is fastbreaks in basketball.  In basketball some of the most entertaining plays occur when a player is able to sprint ahead of all the other players and use his great athleticism to make a spectacular dunk to humiliate his opponents.

Offsides in football is called when a player from either side of the ball moves across the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped (offensive offsides is called a false start).  Football is the only sport where an offsides penalty should be enforced since not only does being offsides give a player a distinct advantage, but it could also lead to serious injuries if it wasn’t in place.