The Advent Calendar ‘Offside’ Competition

On Day 15 of our Facebook Advent Calendar, we asked our fans to send us their explanations of the notoriously difficult-to-explain Football Offside Rule.

50p Football Small

With 3 prizes on offer of a London 2012 Olympic Football 50p Brilliant Uncirculated coin for the versions that we found the most amusing, we had a great time judging them! Here are the 3 Winners; we hope you enjoy and learn from these versions as much as we did!


The Shoe Shop explanation  – there were several of these but this one, from Dave Moon, was the earliest one sent in (and apologies for the rather non-pc angle, hope it’s taken in the spirit of fun intended)




This is how I explain it to my wife:

You’re in a shoe shop, second in the queue for the till. Behind the shop assistant on the till is a pair of shoes which you absolutely don’t need and so you are naturally desperate for.  However, the girl in front of you also doesn’t need them and is therefore equally determined to buy them. It would be rude to push in front of the first woman if you had no money to pay for the shoes.

The shop assistant remains at the till waiting. Your friend is trying on another pair of shoes at the back of the shop and sees your dilemma. She prepares to throw her purse to you. If she does so, you can catch the purse, then walk round the other shopper and buy the shoes!

At a pinch, she could throw the purse ahead of the other shopper and “whilst it is in flight” you could nip around the other shopper, catch the purse and buy the shoes! BUT, you must always remember that until the purse has “actually been thrown”, it would be plain wrong for you to be in front of the other shopper and you would be OFFSIDE!

This (slightly edited!) Festive version from Hazel Rea, features reindeer, which guaranteed her a prize!

Lets think about the offside rule in terms of reindeer. reindeer small You are one of the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh – you are  behind Rudolph who is, of course, the lead (and most attractive) reindeer (if it was football it would be David Beckham but let’s not get distracted  – now fanning myself  with a handy envelope at the idea of Beckham wearing antlers). 

So you want to be the reindeer that leads Santa back to the North Pole and gets the treat for the first reindeer back – but you are not allowed to pass Rudolph unless you are carrying a carrot – and you are carrotless (and can’t nip off to Tesco, and if it’s Waitrose you shop in why are you pulling a sleigh in the freezing cold?).  

Prancer wants to help you and he has a carrot so he throws you his carrot.  If you catch the carrot you can overtake Rudolph and lead Santa to the North Pole and get the reward.  Prancer can even throw the carrot ahead of Rudolph and if you can nip round and catch it you can take the lead.  I think I’ll go and have a lie down now (that’s not part of the offside rule …)

And, finally, how could we resist this customised Royal Mint coin collector version from Andrew Coe? Well, it worked, Andrew, congratulations!

The 2014 Premium Proof Coin Set
The 2014 Premium Proof Coin Set

An avid coin collector and a loyal customer of The Royal Mint enters The Royal Mint store (say that there was a physical store) to purchase the 2014 United Kingdom Premium Proof Coin Set. He may be so delighted at his chance to own this wonderful piece of timeless memorabilia, that he has accidentally left his wallet in his car. Thankfully, he drove to The Royal Mint with his girlfriend, who had decided to wait for him in the car.She spotted his wallet in the car, and knowing his desire to own these coins, to add to his treasured collection, she rushed out of the car, wallet in hand, to his aid.

Upon entering through the door of The Royal Mint, as she considers gently throwing his wallet to him, she remembers, from the back of her mind, a rule that many who visit The Royal Mint, and sometimes some of The Royal Mint staff don’t seem to remember or understand, that to throw, even gently, in The Royal Mint shop, there must be a member of staff level to or behind the receiving person, in this case, her boyfriend, in order to ensure that no Royal Mint coinage on display is damaged by careless passing.

She, not wanting to catch her boyfriend offside, glances ahead of him, and she notices that there is a member of staff between her boyfriend and the counter, which is positioned at the back of the shop. She calls to her boyfriend, and looking round, slightly surprised, he sees his girlfriend begin to throw his wallet to him. The member of staff observes this pass. Cautiously, having made the pass successfully, he, along with the member of staff behind the counter, lets out a sigh of relief. She sees her boyfriend, wallet in hand, continue on his way to The Royal Mint counter, and engage with the staff to make his payment and purchase the long awaited and desirable coin collection. 

Absolutely brilliant, all of them, and many thanks for taking part in this bit of festive fun! This competition was the surprise behind the Day 15 window of our Advent Calendar. There are further ones coming up and we hope to have another great response. The Royal Mint's Facebook Advent Calendar

We know we shouldn’t, but here’s a clue – dig around on The Royal Mint website to see if you can come up with the correct answers – Good Luck!

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