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Question Number: 23313

Law 15 - Throw In 5/16/2010

RE: Competitive Under 10

Scott of Hainesport, NJ United States asks...

Had a game yesterday. Throw-in rule was questioned. We had a player throwing the ball in from the sideline, but only had one foot stationary behind the touch line. The other foot was in the field of play. We thought it was a bad throw and the ref actually said as long as one foot in on or behind the line it is a legal throw. Has this rule changed ? I understood that BOTH feet had to be on or behind the line. Even being on the line is sometimes questioned. I teach the kids to keep both behind the line, though I thought as I mentioned you can be touching the line as long as the foot is not over the line in any way. Second part to the question is how long the feet have to be touching the ground after the throw. Sometime you get alot of momentum and your motion alone makes you step after the throw. Is the rule that both feet have to be on the ground at the time of RELEASE or also the follow thru ? Thanks in advance for your response.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Scott
Both feet must be touching the ground on or behind the line for the throw in to be legal. A foot clearly over the line on the field of play is an incorrectly taken throw in and the throw in is then taken by the opponents. Also the player must have both feet on the ground either on or behind the line at the moment of release. If the player's momentum take him forward after releasing the ball that is not a breach of the Law. One of the most common mistakes at underage is running / walking while taking the throw in and clearly at release one foot has to be in air which is not allowed.
At underage many refs allow a good deal of latitude on Law 15 and coaches should respect that. They will learn the finer points of the Law as they progress.

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Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy

Scott, Law 15 requires both feet to be on the ground, and both feet have to touch part of the line or be one yard within the line, off the field of play. The Law has not changed in this regard.
As soon as the ball leaves the thrower hands, he can do cartwheels if he likes. The throw has been completed.
At U10 most refs will allow another throw after quickly explaining what the player did wrong. But the referee's statement that one foot can be completely over the line is incorrect.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

As long as the heel of the front foot remains on the line, then the throw in is legal - this means most of the front foot can be on the field.

When the referee is viewing this from the middle of the pitch somewhere, it may be difficult to tell if the heel is on the line or a few inches in front.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

At the time of release both feet must be on the line or outside of the line. Any part of the foot touching any part of the line counts

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Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 23313
Read other Q & A regarding Law 15 - Throw In

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 27079

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