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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35588

Law 15 - The Throw In 6/20/2024

RE: Recreation Adult

Brian Lutke of Whistler, BC Canada asks...

Throw Ins:
I can't find any language in Law 15 that states how the "release" of the ball is dictated. Some players throw the ball directly downwards (i.e. late release) and others release very slowly... both of which look goofy but they've adhered to all other aspects (facing target, both feet on ground, ball above and behind head, etc). Just the releases look goofy. At what point does 'goofy-looking' become a foul throw?
Many thanks,

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Brian,
it does seem odd, that given the throw in is supposed to be designed to get the ball back into play quickly and efficiently there seems to be many fallacies and myths as to how this simple procedure is accomplished.
Here are a few myths/fallacies!
No spin on the ball is allowed
The ball must be thrown with equal force.
Feet must be behind the touch lines.

Here are a few things not well understood.

I suggest you consider the touchlines/boundary lines as 5 inches walls of water straight up into the sky as far as the ball could go, if the ball is the tiniest bit wet that ball is inside that portion of the field. Upon delivery the hands of thrower could still in effect be holding the ball upon its entry into the FOP but that is OK as long as the throw in was done correctly.

The ball is returned and released at the point of where it exited into touch.
Referee points to the spot!
The opposition are required to be 2 meters away from that point so as not to interfere with the throw.
Failure to do so is an INDFK and caution.
The problem is it does not have to be 2 metres out towards midfield, it can be down or up field from the entry point. This CREATES issues WHEN the thrower CREEPS up from the actually entry point closing distance. This :creeping: might be the best reason to be firm and punish the failure to not listen to put the ball into play from the CORRECT spot as an incorrect throw-in reversing ball control to the opposition for a throw-in. The flip throw and deliberately hammering it at the opponent requires careful considerations for intent as well as procedures followed! These are not retaken but free kicks from point of contact and the culprits responsible attacker cautioned USB or even potential send off VC for the thrower depending on the circumstances.

My opinion enforce the spot of the throw in 100% unless it has zero bearing on play! Examples a defender from well in the defending 3rd back to his keeper with no opponent is diffrent than releasing a fast attack with a shot lob from 5 yards where it should be!

The ball is throw in using BOTH hands & over the head!
Teach kids it is best to rest the ball on the back of the neck makes it OBVIOUS not a shot put from on top of the head or forehead . NOTHING in the LOTG require it be equal force, you just can not lob it like a keeper hand grenade. Flat palm one side, the other a bit in behind is FINE! Many one handed or one arm dudes play the game, so do not look to prevent them from taking the odd throw in as long as they do not sling it sideways. The ball must travel over the head, sideways twists can look a bit weird but as long a the ball travels as indicated it is fine! A pump fake turn is fine as they are facing the FOP

The release point is not fixed to an exact location! The arms are extended over the head level with the face flung hard out and away or just a palm flick finger toss placing the ball back into active play, be it an inch from the touchline or a lofted ball into the middle of the goal. The ball can be release at any point while the ball is traveling overhead. Remember the feet can COME UP off the ground ONCE the ball is released. If the ball travels down field paralleling the line, if the ball contacts the touchline or breaks the plane & swings back into touch, it is a LOSS of the throw, NOT a retake.

The SPIKE is when the ball is carried in and not released into the FOP more into the ground but to do this the hands are 100% holding onto the ball inside the FOP. While not considered deliberate handing it is not considered as correct procedure and is a loss of possession re-throw for the opposition. I think it should be called most of the time! Can it be ignored? Is it trifling or doubtful? Well it could be trifling more than doubtful but again at youth, depending on circumstances we might just grimace, ugly as hell but borderline legal.

Both feet on the ground on or behind the touchlines!
Although the feet can be ON the touchline & INSIDE the FOP (field of play)you can not raise that foot off the touchline and stand on your toes to where you are not standing on the touchlines inside the FOP! You can raise your feet AFTER the ball is released.

This is -DIFFERENT- than a ball in or out of play! Only a portion, the slightest curve of the ball so much as makes contact or overhangs the plane with the 5 inch touchline, that ball is IN play on the FOP even if most of it seems to be into touch

The toe drag creates issues, as it can bounce up off the ground, so too is a back foot rising quickly, on the lean forward, but just after the ball was in the process of release. Timing here is crucial and plenty of trifling or doubtful wave offs at the youth level especially.

Another thing to consider is SLIPPERY conditions where the thrower kind of looses control but it was sort of performed correctly. Kind of like a free kick where the kicker takes a run and slips but kicks the ball anyway. TECHNICALLY and LEGALY the ball is in play . We do not reward mistakes or poor play yet realistically there will be times to retake or regroup as well as just let her rip as a nothing burger given there was no unfairness or unsporting play involved!

In summary youth one MIGHT offer a redo on weirdness IF the coaches and league are into the referee acting as a instructor. You would be surprised at youth coaches intent on maximizing ANY youth mistake on procedures as if their team has it nailed and punishing the other team is where it is at! As a neutral official it should not frost the coaches ears to say to the younger players. Right their laddie, behind and over your head, feet on the ground give er a go! To the older or adults and higher leagues, a more direct approach, not on my watch approach, if they try to gain an advantage creeping and tossing the ball about as if the years & level they play at did not teach them anything!
Set the example for accountability!
Your Match! Your Decision! Your Reputation!
Be Firm! Be Fair! Be Reasonable!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brian
The simple answer is when the referee says so
The game has a great deal of tacit knowledge in its Laws and implementation of same.
Law 15 simply tells us that the thrower throws the ball with both hands from behind and over the head.

So as the language is loose we are left to determine what is legal or not based on what we perceive to be legal based on out tacit knowledge.
A late release will look like a spike which most referees will call and the early release is more likely to be allowed as it will look somewhat okay with less likelihood of not being called.

The key for me is consistency and more than likely for me goofy gets called as an incorrectly taken throw in. One such early call will smarten up the taking of throw ins from that point onwards.

I always felt that the reason for the throw method was to keep players apart at that restart and somewhat distant from the thrower.
Have a look at this video
That for me was most definitely incorrectly taken and a turnover. The referee on the day allowed it. No complaints from the opponents who got on with play. At grassroots this will attract shouts of *Foul Throw*

In summary my advice is that if looks goofy then call it. At lower age groups I tend to be more relaxed.

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