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Question Number: 21255

Law 15 - Throw In 5/2/2009

RE: Rec Under 17

Bernard of Denmark, Western Australia Australia asks...


Match Ref was penalising our thrower for moving when throwing. Her action was to drag her trailing foot whilst throwing but otherwise the throw was correct. SHe was facing the pitch, both feet on the ground, feet behind the line and ball released behind the head.

It appeared that the process of dragging (moving)the foot during the throw was the problem. Foot did not leave the ground.

My research into this action has found this not to be a fault. And I have observed similar actions in Pro games eg. Carlos for Real Madrid.

Can you please clarify.

Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

Both feet must be on the ground, off the field of play (which includes being on the line or behind it). The only thing I can think that might be the issue is the referee thought that at some point, that dragging foot came up off the ground.

Personally, getting tooo picky about a throw in becomes trifling and really isn't a 'big enough fish to fry.' Usually throw-ins result in turnovers to the opposing team just over 50% of the time, so it's not a big deal. If it looks like all of the requirements of the law are being met, let them play and get on with it.


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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

This is highly unusual as players are taught at an early age to drag the trail foot to make sure it doesn't leave the ground. This is perfectly legal. As Ref Hoelscher points out many throw-in 'violations' are so trivial in nature that they should be ignored and let play continue

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

The Law merely requires that part of each foot be on the ground, on or behind the touchline. Last I knew, the foot included everything below the ankle - heel, arch, toe, instep, top and bottom. This ref needs some re-education. Please report your issue to the powers that be in your area.

A throw-in is simply a way of getting the ball back into play. The ref should not be so picky to be looking for a few millimeters of air between the last blade of grass and the foot.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Sounds like an inexperienced referee with little or no mentoring was doing your game. Please do report the issue to the referee assignor so it can be addressed without embarrassment with the official. Then, hopefully, there will be no repeat.

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