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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 30509

Law 15 - Throw In 6/14/2016

RE: Adult

Bill Green of Bebington, UK asks...

When I was a lad, a throw in had to be taken from the point where the ball crossed the line. Nowadays that seems to be the starting point for a run of anything up to 10 yards before launching the ball. Has there been a change in the laws or are refs just ignoring it?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

That provision is still in the Laws:

'At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower must:
• face the field of play
•  have part of each foot on the touchline or on the ground outside the touchline
•  throw the ball with both hands from behind and over the head from the point where it left the field of play '

But in many cases the exact position is difficult to determine. So unless a player is really pushing the distance, or is trying to get an advantage by moving, refs will let it go as trifling. Get the ball into play.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bill
The Law has not changed and you are correct. What has changed is the players attitude to the location of the throw in. Many Pro teams are rarely bothered about the stealing of yards in either direction. In fact some probably prefer it as it means less area to cover or close down plus it works both ways. The only time that teams at the Pro level complain is when there is a long throw expert. Teams used to question the location on Stoke City throw ins when it used the long throw tactic. So when teams do not complain or are bothered referees just go with the flow and allow it. Probably there are a few token questioning of the location. In the Portugal v Iceland game I saw the referee request a Portuguese player to move further into the corner on an attacking throw in. One of the few times I have seen it questioned to any great extent.
Interestingly though at lower levels of the game it is questioned more due to the advantage gained. In the games that I am involved in player moan constantly about TI locations and as a result it is enforced more strongly.

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