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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 30525

Law 15 - Throw In 6/19/2016

RE: Club Based Ref Adult

Warren Mackie of Auckland, New Zealand asks...

During the throw in is it illegal to spin the ball? I constantly have players asking for a foul throw when the ball spins in the air, most of the time this is just a result of the wind or a slight spin on the ball when it leaves the hands which i believe is ok, but sometimes you see a player deliberately spin it to get more distance on the throw. I always thought this was illegal but I can't see anything in the FIFA Laws to say it is.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Warren
The Laws of the Game up until 2008 stated that a player *uses both hands* at a throw in. If only one hand was *used* that was deemed an incorrectly taken throw in. Some referees were of the opinion that spin on the ball was a tell tale sign of the use of one hand. Spin was never part of the wording although the wording was amended to *holds the ball with both hands* in 2008 to eliminate any possible confusion about using both hands.
Now the new wording from 1st June 2016 states that the player ** throw the ball with both hands from behind and over the head from the point where it left the field of play**
So spin does not make it illegal although there may be remnants of the legacy spin issue that may not have not gone away which is highlighted by your question.

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Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy


The Laws require that both hands are to be used for a throw in. Always has been. You are quite correct in saying there is nothing in the Laws that talks about 'spin'.
Spin comes from using one hand more than the other. But nonetheless, if both hands were used, it is legal.
Throw ins are such an unimportant part of the game - many throw ins go to the wrong team - and extremely rarely are they called in big games. Spin away, as long as both hands are used!

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