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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34464

Law 15 - The Throw In 1/2/2022

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...

This question is a follow up to question 34462

One additional question, please.

Advice To Referees says:

The ball is in play on a throw-in when the ball:
1) touches the plane of the touchline and
2) leaves the thrower’s hands.

In our case, point 1) is not taken into account?


Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Petr,

The requirement for the feet to remain on the ground is that they must be there at the time of delivery of the ball.

It would be too difficult to try to work out the exact moment the feet leave versus the moment the ball crosses the plane - so we are only worried about the feet while they're holding the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
As you allude to, the point at which the ball leaves the player's hands and the point at which it enters play are not necessarily one and the same. Sometimes one will precede the other, however they'll often be so close together that it would be impossible for a referee in real time to distinguish between them. But in terms of the feet needing to be on the ground the wording of the law makes it clear that only the moment of the ball leaving the hands is relevant.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr,
If one looks at any throw in it is a pretty fluid motion and it is pretty difficult to discern moment of release and contact with the plane of the touchline particularly when they are almost together.

For our purposes the plane is really only important in the situation where the ball does not enter the field of play at all. If the ball breaks the plane and goes out again the throw in is taken by the opponents from where it crossed over the plane on the way out. If it does not touch or break the plane it is a retake.

As to feet position the key is the moment the ball is released from the hands not when it crosses the plane. A player could be leaning forward with his heels on the line and the ball could break the line before the exact moment of release (if it could be seen clearly). A player could also be stood a couple of yards back from the line and the ball could be released well before it breaks the plane of the line.
The player has to keep both feet on or behind the line until after the moment of release.

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