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Question Number: 28618

Law 15 - Throw In 7/23/2014

RE: Youth recreational and select (travel) Under 19

Charles A. O'Reilly of Vienna, VA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 28613

Given that the referee stated that the player took the thow in 'sitting on the ground with both feet on the ground and outside the pitch' I do not follow why you state that the throw in was illegal. Law 15 requires that the player faces the ´Čeld of play, has part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground outside the
touch line, holds the ball with both hands, delivers the ball from behind and over his head and delivers the ball from the point where it left the ´Čeld of play. It appears that the player, although sitting, complied with Law 15. What am I missing?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Charles,
not every thing to do with soccer is written down in infinitesimal detail , some things just are and have been so for a long time. Like a good joke, even if you have not yet heard it, it still is funny when you do hear it . So too certain aspects of soccer, they remain in effect, no matter if you are not yet aware.

In an effort to simplify the game, FIFA has a short set of 17 Laws which they added some interpretative info to help us along. Their goal was to try and keep soccer easy to understand and play! The USSF has a HUGE document on Referee Advice, as does the United Kingdom FA and many other national associations around the world. All trying to explain the history, nuances and interpret things such as we are discussing to the nth degree.

You are missing the fact I QUOTED DIRECTLY from the advice of the 2006 edition of the IFAB/FIFA Q&A, Law 15, Q&A 7, tells us: 7. Is a player allowed to take a throw-in kneeling or sitting down?
No. A throw-in is only permitted if the correct procedures in the Laws of the Game are followed.

It was then, is now, still not correct, you will just have to take us at out word. The thrower must throw the ball while standing upright!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Charles
One of the great challenges facing the Laws of the Game over the past number of years is that many referees are taking what is written down literally and challenging conventional understanding. The Law book which runs to some 10,000 words does not spell out every detail and we rely on what is deemed to be implicit knowledge, which is not written down or even formally expressed. to guide our understanding of the laws and the game.
We gain that knowledge through access to documents such as the ATR, the former Q&As, attending seminars and simply being around experienced referees.
FIFA has been concerned about this move to literal interpretation for some time and it is expected to publish a Glossary in the near future. This glossary will help to clarify wording in the Laws and to also deal with what is not written.
Now for those referees in the US the ATR states that a throw-in may not be performed from a kneeling position under any circumstances. Are both feet touching the ground? Yes so is that any different from sitting? No one expects a player to be sitting or laying so it does not need to be spelled out.
Outside the US we rely on Association publications, FIFA Circulars, teaching material plus advice from experienced refs. Indeed up until 2009 we had the nice image of the typical TI pose of the standing player with the ball behind his head in Law 15 of the booklet.
So we don't witness players kneeling or sitting while taking a throw in because it is simply not allowed.
But hey referees in their games can allow what they believe to be their correct interpretation of the wording or lack thereof or because they don't know. For instance a referee could allow a goalkeeper to punt a goal kick from the goal area because Law 16 does not expressly state that the ball must be at rest!! It is certainly going to attract much questioning and no one is going to accept the referee's answer that the Law does not expressly state a stationary ball therefore a punt is okay. Try telling a match assessor that he is wrong when he says that "Everyone knows" that a stationary ball is required at a kicked restart so why should a goal kick be any different. The same applies to Law 15. The advice is that a player must be standing to take a throw in correctly.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

He was sitting on the ground. That makes it a foul throw-in everywhere in the world.

The problem with the law book is that the writers want it to be a short list. Stuff that 'everyone knows' gets removed in later editions or moved to appendix's and circulars. (You won't find in the law book that the match ends with a final whistle from the referee.) Interpretations and customs of the game live on even when the words are no longer there. That makes TLOG very different from many rules in other sports.

Referees attend clinics and read papers released by their federations) - often originally released to the federations by FIFA. Mentors and assessors often bring information that is not easily found in a book or a website.

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