Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 29346

Law 15 - Throw In 4/23/2015

Jason of Wylie, TX US asks...

How strict should we be when it comes to throw-in procedures? More specifically with a foot coming up during the throw. It seems like I see a lot of refs in my area being over critical with this. To the point of telling me during the pre-game 'I'll watch the ball, you watch the feet.'.
And then proceed to call every little infraction.

My view on this is that in most cases it's trifling and makes no real difference. So wether I'm the CR or AR I'll give both teams a free pass on this the first time or two with maybe a quick 'Watch your feet next time.'. Now if it keeps happening I'll call it because they had been warned and I will call it everytime from that point on.

Just wondering what your thoughts are on something like this.


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jason
Two answers here. It is the ARs role to assist the referee and follow the instructions he has been given during the pre match discussion. Now I might seek some clarity around what he considers to be a foot fault.
When on my own I decide what is trifling or not at a throw in. Once I set the bar I am consistent from there on. Certainly a raised foot will be difficult to pass up on whereas something that might be minor or look odd will as you say get a free pass.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

If the thrower breaks the law regarding throw ins, then it should be called. If it is questionable or doubtful, then no call should be made. If in question, I always give the benefit of the doubt to the thrower. The main goal on a throw in is getting the ball back in play. If I see a raised foot at the moment of release, then I will call it. Remember though a raised foot after the player releases the ball is ok.

Read other questions answered by Referee Ben Mueller

View Referee Ben Mueller profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jason,
admittedly unless I see them take a running jump with a one handed baseball throw I tend to be very liberal on the throw in restart. I suggest one take greater issue

with WHERE the throw occurs then HOW it is performed as to it being of an UNFAIR nature. Preventing the cheating of advancing way up the touch line from a restart

location some 10 to 20 yards back down the field. ESPECIALLY as the referee is personaly POINTING out the restart location.

If acting CR, I truly request my ARs not be overly concerned with throw in foot position and a ball directly over the head is good enough. (IT IS OK TO STEP ON THE

BOUNDRY LINES FOLKS!) not to worry, as long as the restart location is correct. If the players are standing inside the field of play, get them to move back. If they

take a run unless they wind up a discernasble distance into the actual field, an inch or too doesnt matter, several feet hard to ignore! However,if the throw in is

marginal and the other team intercepts the need to restart and award the throw in the other way is not so vital! True, while advantage on incorrect restarts is not a

viable option, turning a blind eye to a trifling misstep is hardly a critical incident decision. I tell them if I am concerned I could verbally tell the player to be

more carefull which is code for he is pushing the limit go ahead and make the next call if he persists.

As an AR while I will take the directive of my CR I am usually left to my own devices. IF asked for input I will offer some but I try to allow the CR his or her due,

no matter that I often have 40 years of experiance on them. No CR wants a take charge AR, just a suportive one! Same as no AR like a dicatorial CR even if as AR we

tolerate our role and recognize the fact it is His Match His Decision His Reputation at stake! Match time is not the time to take issues with who is to blame for hurt

feelings. Assessments, post game disscussions, training and effective mentorship should be in place to solve issues!

In some respects I compare the need to find fault to a PK where slight encroachment is ignored as having any impact even though technically illegal. Usually it is when

a player tries to gain some sort of advantage off a quick throw in, is where issues lie, as to being performed correctly. Bouncing it off an opponent wich if done

carefully is fine, can occassionally create some frenzied reactions. I tend to think our verbally reminding the wee ones and even u 14s and under, calmly

reiterating, 'Feet on the ground. Hands over the head!' and occasinaly 'Please stand outside the field.' is consistant with the ideaology of working with the coaches

to promote good habits and understanding.

In raining/ cold or slippery conditions one could realize the fumbling fingers can lose grip and create some interesting throw ins, some of which could be halted and

redone. The raised foot and release of the ball is one that irritates others far more than me yet ...IF blatant... and the stork position is taken well before the ball

is released, just BECAUSE it is so easily seen, by EVERYONE!, they tend to get anxious if you do not also recognize it! Way too many referee are ever so quick to call

an incorrectly taken throw in but fail to improve at their comprehension of foul recognition for the trips, tackles, pushes and shoves of rapid on field play actions

where split second decision making is required.

Referees intially tend to grasp the black and white issues of throw ins because as a restart it has a slow motion proceedure that is easily identified. If we take

offside as an example, when offside is a static, no players in motion the ball is kicked , then they move, it is far easier to determine correct decisions from a

standing still position. Try formulating a correct decision when players are racing up and down the pitch at 20 miles an hour in oppossing directions as the ball is

travelly 3 times as fast and you see why even those at the elite level get the decisions incorrect!

My take is the throw in is a simple way of restarting the game. Plenty of other decisions to occupy your thoughts with considerable more impact! Thus keep it simple!


Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 29346
Read other Q & A regarding Law 15 - Throw In

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The free opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members. While there is no charge for asking the questions, donation to maintain the site are welcomed! <>