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Question Number: 28897

Law 15 - Throw In 10/24/2014

RE: High School

James Twitchell of Danbury, Connecticut United States asks...

Soccer: My fellow official called a foul throw in and it looked good to me (behind the head, smooth release,facing the field, right spot, feet on the ground) I asked him at half time why the foul? He said the player released the ball below his forehead level and the rules say the ball should be released at forehead or eye level. My opinion was the rules do not talk about release point and I thought he was wrong in his thought. This would be for both FIFA and high school. Thanks Jim

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jim
Thanks for the question. Just as a point on these situations. In a three man crew I ask the ARs to do foot faults only and I do the throwing action.
Now the LotG says delivers the ball from behind and over his head while the NFHS Rules says deliver the ball from behind and over the head in one continuous movement. Much the same really. I personally think that the ball can only be released above the head because if it is held until after that it has to be sharply downwards which is a spike which is generally not allowed.
I suspect the issue here is the description and wording used by your colleague with the TI looking different from the norm to him . I personally think it is difficult to describe what is illegal. If the TI looks close to legal referees should not be penalising it and I think this one could have been led slide as well.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

NFHS rule 15-1-2 says the ball must be delivered from behind and above the head in one continuous motion. There is no mention of the ball delivered from the forehead. The ball does need to be released above the head or it is a violation and the opponents are to be given a throw-in at the spot of the foul.

I hope your season goes well.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

High school (NFHS) rules require that the ball shall be delivered 'from behind and over the head in one continuous movement.' Rule 15-1-2. TLOG Law 15 is similar: 'from behind and over his head.'

While the current version of the USSF Advice to Referees reminds referees to ignore ignore apparently technical violations of Law 15 trifling, I suspect that your partner confused the traditional notion that a 'spike' (throwing the ball straight down near the thrower's feet) was a foul throw, with the reminder that used to be included in earlier versions of the ATR: 'A natural throwing movement starting from behind and over the head will usually result in the ball leaving the hands when they are in front of the vertical plane of the body. The throwing movement must continue to the point of release.'

Frankly, when the ball is thrown in a continuous motion, I defy anyone to discern the exact moment of release. The hands might continue to move downward after the ball has been released.

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