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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 24042

Law 15 - Throw In 9/29/2010

RE: High School

bob of waimea, hi usa asks...

If the player throws the ball on a throw in and releases it following all the proper protocol...and it does not touch the ground until it lands completely out of bounds near a touch line. Would you probably deem that ball 'not in play' and therefore allow a rethrow by the same team. USSF rules say yes and NFHS rules say no. What do you think?

Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino


You must follow the code of rules or laws for the league you are refereeing in.

If you're refereeing a high school game played under the NFHS rules, then a properly taken throw-in that does not enter the field of play, is sanctioned as an illegal throw-in and the throw-in is awarded to the other team.

Under FIFA laws (USSF) presuming the properly taken throw-in never enters the field of play, then the correct restart is to have the throw-in retaken by the same team.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Bear in mind that often a throw in taken next to the line will actually travel down the line a little before swinging back out; the moment any part of the ball is above the line it's considered in play.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Referees may have an opinion on which rule they prefer, but I agree with Ref Montanino. You enforce the rules established for the match to which you were assigned.

As I understand it, the NFHS high school rule sought to address players wasting time by making improper throw-ins. IMO, the referee can end that tactic by stopping the clock (NFHS) or adding time (TLOG) and/or cautioning the thrower for delaying the restart of play (both rules). I prefer the approach under TLOG.

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