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Question Number: 28725

Law 15 - Throw In 9/13/2014

RE: club Under 15

donnie of needham, ma norfolk asks...

On a throw-in how long do the throwers feet have to stay in contact with the ground. Some refs have said till the ball touches another player and/or the field. Others have said just until it's released?

Thanks Donnie

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Donnie, and thanks for your question.

The laws of the game state:

At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower:
faces the field 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
delivers the ball from the point where it left the field of play

Therefore, the player only needs to have his feet on the ground at the moment the ball is released.

One bad habit I've noticed from some players is to have a continual foot motion as they're releasing the ball, almost not pausing their stride in a manner where their feet are in contact at the moment of release but lifting a moment after as part of their stride. This sort of action can make it difficult for the referee to judge it accurately - the referee shouldn't penalise the thrower unless it's very clear that he's breached the laws, but this sort of action tends to cause problems and is risking the decision of the referee.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

There is no requirement that the thrower remain still until the ball touches another player or the ground. The law requires that some part of both feet touch the ground when the ball is released.

Many issues involving foul throw-ins are trifling or doubtful, and will be ignored by a wise referee.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Don
Not much more to add to my colleagues sage remarks except to reiterate the basis which is, the throw-in is a simple restart designed to get play moving! Excessive delays and wrong locations are of greater importance to match outcome than if a foot lifts from the surface just as the ball is being released. That said the law is the law. Incorrectly performed throw ins are awarded to the opposing team so be sure to tell/teach your players not to give the by the book referee a chance to make that choice.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Donie
Not so. Once the ball is released the player is free to move as he see fit. The challenge here is that some throwers release the ball while running and many referees see that as a foot up at some point during the release.
The throw that will not be questioned is a run, stop with both feet planted and then as soon as the ball has gone that the player moves with a trail foot drag. The focus of both the referee and players will have moved with the ball so the players movement will not be noticed.

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