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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34865

Law 15 - The Throw In 2/8/2023

RE: Rec/ Travel High School

Luke of bala cynwyd, PA USA asks...

If they stand on the line does it count?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Luke,
It isn't quite 100% clear what you're referring to but I'm going to hazard a guess that you're referring to foot positioning at a throw-in. That being the case then yes, it is allowed for player to be standing with both feet on the line when they take a throw-in.

The actual wording of Law 15 in this regard says that the thrower must:

'have part of each foot on the touchline or on the ground outside the touchline"

So taking a throw-in while standing on the line is compliant with the requirements in the law.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Luke,
I can only assume that you refer to a throw in.
When taking a throw in a player can stand on the touchline and as long as part of both feet are touching the line that is legal. A player could have most of his feet over the line with his heels only touching the line and that is also legal.
There is no requirement to be behind the line at a throw in just that a player cannot have a foot fully over the line.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Luke,
it is a myth that has never died.
Perhaps because of the Law 1 principle? The lines are part of the field they surround! We call that ball as inside that area of the field if it even barely overhangs the touchlines, the goal lines, the 18 yard PA boundary line, or the 6 yard goal area boundary line .

Just as no goal can occur unless the ball fully crosses the goal line between the posts & under the crossbar it causes people to think that on a throw in, if the player is standing on the touchline, he is inside the FOP and thus the throw in is not taking place, outside the FOP. The significant difference is the throw in is just a way to quickly restart play and for whatever ever reason the law 15 wording indicates that a foot on the touchline is not a big deal. Only if the feet are completely inside the FOP does it warrant a loss of possession. In effect once the ball is outside the touchlines then consider the touchline as part of the non field outside for the restart up until the ball is released from the hands and the BALL itself has impacted with the touchline placing that ball in play. I consider the throw in to be very lax as to its need to find fault. A yard or so from correct spot, where the ball exited the FOP and delivered from behind and over the head


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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

It is always great to get a question from Pennsylvania as that is where I grew up and started my officiating career.

As indicated by the other, I assume you are talking about the throw-in. As indicated in NFHS Rule 15-1-2 and in the diagram below the rule, the feet can behind or on the line. However if one foot is totally in front of the line, this is a violation and a throw-in is awarded to the opposing team from that spot.

It was sad to see that the PIAA Championships were moved from Hershey. They have been there for a long time.

I hope you have a very successful spring season.

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