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there are other clearcut (i.e. clearly measurable with tv replays unlike pushes and so on) offences which are judged incorrectly more often than offside calls. the most obvious one is the goalkeeper holding the ball for more than six seconds. this is probably not called over 99% of the time with the non-calls favouring defence over offence and slowing the game down. yet this isn't even controversial. the reason? commentators never pick up on it. imagine if every time the goalie picked up the ball a little clock came on the screen (like the shot clokc in basketball), and the ref failed to blow up when the clock had reached eight or nine seconds....OUTRAGE!

so the problem is that replays show that the asst has screwed up (as assts we both know that we get it right much more often than spectators who only look for offside a couple of seconds after the ball has been passed and many players who lamentably do the same thing). however the problem is also the solution. let a ref (not the one doing the running) watch the replays and vet the calls in some way. i reckon this would have a positive effect on the game without completely changing the dynamics in the way getting rid of offside would.

doing this through an nfl type appeals process would be interesting because it would demonstrate how little clue caoches have of what is actually going on the field, i.e. they would keep us entertained by appealing at the wrong times assuming the absence of big screens in stadia.

ideally assistants would be told not to flag for tight calls they weren't sure of and to refer them to the video ref if they led to an advantage to the attacking team (to be checked at the next stoppage). assts who reguarly flagged and turned out to be wrong could then be weeded out from the higher levels.

perhaps we could try your no offside rule for a year in the mls since you americans are obsessed with the lack of scoring. i reckon makes the game more exciting: it gives lesser teams more chance of beating better teams and therefore there are more close games. i think you would find the game would be all about obstructing the goalie's view and hoofing the ball into the box. skill would be out the window, and england would probably be favourites for the world cup!

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