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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 30471

Law 17 - Corner Kick 6/1/2016

RE: Select / competitive Under 11

David Kysela of Rocky River, Ohio United States asks...

Throw in. Player legally throws the ball (feet down, behind head) two scenarios:

1. ball never hits the side line (stays OB during the process of hitting and rolling out) and thus does not go into play. Re throw or other team throw?

2. ball hits any portion of the side line and then goes out of play. Re throw or other team throw?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
If the ball crosses the plane of the touchline at a throw in then it is deemed to be in play. If it subsequently leave the FOP again it is a throw in to the opponents from where it crossed back over the line. If the ball touches the outside of the line before entering the field of play the throw in is retaken.
So in scenario one it is a retake while in scenario two the throw in is taken from where it left the FOP by the opponents.

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


In USSF the ball must enter play for the restart to change. In your scenarios above, since the ball never entered play in number 1, it would be a re-throw for the same team at the same location. In the second scenario, the ball broke the plane and therefore entered play. Since it was last touched by team A, possession is now given to the team B where the ball wen back into touch.

If this were high school, then both scenarios would result in a change of possession.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi David,

1) If any sliver of the ball is above the line at any point, it's in play. Presuming that never happens and the ball remains wholly outside the field, then the throw is retaken - but only if the throw was taken correctly! Otherwise, the other team still gets the throw

2) Throw to the other team where the ball went back out. Again, this presumes the throw was taken correctly.

As a referee it can be difficult to tell if the ball has swerved in and back out, so the referee will usually presume it remained wholly out. This has lead to a misconception of this - if the referee is in position to be able to tell (or there's a neutral AR) then they will be able to see if it needs to go the other way, and this is often met with surprise.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

I just want to mention that the throw-in rule is different in both high school and college. In both situations that you describe, the ball would be given to the opponents of the thrower for a throw-in. In the first situation the opponents would get the throw-in from the previous throw-in spot and in the second situation from where the ball went out of play. One reason for this high school and college rule is because the clock is running during the throw-in and a team could legally delay the game by not getting the throw-in in bounds and then get to retake the throw in as the rule in non-high school and college games. Thanks for this question. It is very important for coaches, players and referees to know about these rule differences.

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