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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 30216

Law 15 - Throw In 3/24/2016

Bill of Guilford, CT United States asks...

A player is about to take a throw-in.

When he starts his throw, he lowers his head so that his eyes are essentially looking straight down at the ground. He releases the ball thefore behind his head and not over his head.

Is that considered a legal throw-in?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bill
The written word probably does not describe this very well. The key is the position of the hands relative to the head. Many see the ball when it is delivered downwards from behind the head as a *spike* which is as an incorrectly taken throw in.
Personally I think that even if the player has his head down yet he delivers the ball from behind his head in the regular manner with a normal trajectory I would see little wrong with it.
Have a look at this video of the Red TI.
Referee sees little wrong with it as does the opponents while it is clearly taken incorrectly. Red does not deliver the ball from behind his head but from the top of his head.
Best way to view these is that if they are close then perhaps let it slide whereas the ones that clearly are highly questionable then I would pull them up.

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Hi Bill,
a throw in is a simple way to get the ball back into play, it should occur at least NEAR where it exited and there should not be any unfair trickery involved in getting it back into play. The mechanics although basic have undergone some revision as to whether we see the ugly throw as a reason to retake or now give the restart to the other team.
Is the player trying to do something contrary to just getting it back in play? Is he kneeling or squatting attempting to perhaps deceive or take a throw in quickly as he was on the ground to begin with, this is not a real throw in position! Whereas the somersault or acrobatic flip throw in is relatively new to the game and often a semi squat potion is achieved at release but I see it as not a reason to do anything if the feet are on the ground at the release. In cases where youth are trying to get some power they often drop the head while flinging the arms up and over. A player who might be trying to throw long suddenly changes their mind and you get a a shot-put heave or a tiny wrist flick instead of a fully extended massive arm movement. These can look funky but are they a reason to GIVE the ball to the other team? The LOTG asks the player taking the throw-in to follow a set procedure that has a traditional stand and deliver approach. I heartily endorse a proactive support approach by a referee at the youth level to encourage good habits if we can preempt the uncoordinated & careless actions . At the u-little's some encouragement & a retake or two is better than changing the team who restarts.

At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower:
# faces the field of play
# has part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground outside the touch line
# holds the ball with both hands
# delivers the ball from behind and over his head
# delivers the ball from the point where it left the field of play

If the ball touches the ground before entering the field of play, the throw-in is
retaken by the same team from the same position provided that it was taken
in line with the correct procedure. If the throw-in is not taken in line with the
correct procedure, it is retaken by the opposing team;

From our field to your field in the spirit of fairplay

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