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Question Number: 28665

Law 15 - Throw In 8/18/2014

RE: Adult

Steve of Maidstone, Kent UK asks...

If a player steals ground at a throw in, what is the correct course of action for the ref? I've seen the ref blow before the throw and wave the player back, blow after the throw and order the throw to be taken further back and also to award a foul throw to the opposition. Then out of interest, is it OK for a throw to be taken further back so that the ball can then be thrown to the goalkeeper?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steve
Like you we have all seen retakes with the player moved back and we have seen turnovers for an incorrectly taken throw in. Many times the referee takes the lead from the teams on this. If they are not complaining he might let the yards slide or go with a retake.
I was on the line in a game yesterday and the referee asked for a retake on a ''steal'' of some 8/10 yards. I think I would have turned it over had I been in the centre.
I also think that referees are less tolerant when the player continues to take yards when he has already been warned. Those situations are likely to see a turnover. I saw a colleague recently ask a player to move back which he did but then came forward again. Game stopped and the ball turned over. No problem with that again in the game.
As regards going back towards the player's own goal that should also not be allowed. The throw in should be taken from where the ball left the field of play. A player can gain an advantage by creating more space by going back say 10 / 15 yards. Many times that is not called as player believe it is allowed.
I noticed in the Newcastle United V Manchester City game Martin Atkinson asked a Man City player to go into the corner where the ball had left the field of play to take a TI. The player had come out from the corner by some 10 yards which clearly was an advantage had it been allowed. Interestingly Newcastle did not seem to complain.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The laws require that the throw-in occur where the ball left the field. Traditionally, the thrower is given a meter. No thrower should be allowed to advance 10 meters or more up the line.

The wise referee will hold up the throw and move the player to the correct location - - just as the referee would do for a free kick taken in the wrong place. If the players ignore the warning or constantly test the referee on a throw-in, the laws provide a punishment for taking the throw-in from the wrong location. The other team is awarded a throw-in (at the correct location). It is a rare, but effective, way to end the tactic.

Sometimes, the location really doesn't matter to the players or the game, and the infringement can be ignored. As when the defending team is playing the ball back toward the keeper and all of the attackers have retreated to the halfway line. Again, it is very similar to ignoring the exact location of a free kick when the kick is taken from the defender's penalty area and the opponents have all retreated to midfield.

I once attended an international friendly where the referee awarded a throw-in to the other team in this situation. The TV audience probably thought it a bit harsh. But, from the stands we could hear the referee twice tell the player "move back." The player should not have ignored him.

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Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy

Location of a TI as primarily a trivial thing. Often the ball ends up with the wrong team anyway. The Laws require the TI to be taken within a yard of where the ball left the field but in practice this happens very rarely. And to answer your second question, the Laws do not differentiate whether it was up or down the field where the ball went out.
A wise referee tries to prevent the TI being taken from the wrong place. However, once he or she directs the player to the right spot, if not heeded the TI goes to the other team.
So that's the Law: one yard. In practice if it's close enough, let it go. If it's grossly wrong and the throw is taken, the team should lose the throw.
Free kicks should be taken where the foul occoured. Again, that rarely happens in the unimportant parts of the field and close enough is good enough.
One warning: once the ref insists on the exact location, the players will constantly ask (mock??) the referee where the exact location is. Could get annoying.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Stevem
throw ins are a recent addition to the game, used to be kick ins a long while ago . lol It is a simple restart to get the game going again. The throw in is supposed to occur with a yard or so of where it exited the touchline. Depending on which part of the field and which side has the throw in a referee can be discretionary in latitude to imposing a blade of grass restart. Yet a quick throw can release a scoring opportunity or attacking threat. To permit a throw in from far away where it exited as expedient if it unfairly disadvantages the opposing team is unfair,. A loss of possession in my opinion is the easiest way to get your point across as referee for a team to take the throw closer to the point it exited. The laws are clear and only an obtuse player tries to cheat when the referee is clearly signalling the restart location. I point to the restart location and say the colour of the team whose throw it is. Players accept some leeway however, a smart referee does not allow match altering injustices to go unopposed. A trivial or trifling event can become a catastrophe if a referee does not intercede, when the doubt in doubtful, is not in the act itself, but in not acting to prevent it!

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