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Question Number: 28906

Law 15 - Throw In 10/26/2014

RE: Rec Under 15

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro, California Sacratomato asks...

A player on the red team makes a throw in. The ball lands on the line and a small part is still touching out of bounds. The ball is mostly inbounds, and travels along the line down the touch line. A player from the the other team picks up the ball thinking the throw in now reverted to her team. What should have been called? I went to the rule book immediately after the game (law 15)but did not find any language that specifies that the ball has to be 100% over the line.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
The ball in in play and as it has not the the field of play the only decision can be a direct free kick for deliberate handling.

The rationale for it being in play is that once the ball is touching the plane of the line or on the line it has to be considered in play.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi George,

The part of the Law that's relevant is the part that says 'boundary lines form part of the area they enclose'.

Therefore, the line is part of the field. So the moment any part of the ball is above the line, it's in the field.

While the law doesn't make specific mention to a ball entering the field, it does state it's only out when it has wholly crossed the boundary line. So from that, while any part of the ball is still above the line, it's still in play. Logically we then assume it's the same the other way - the moment any part of the ball re-enters the field (including the boundary line), it's in play.

Deliberate handling would be the correct decision here.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Law 15 says, 'The ball is in play when it enters the field of play.' Since the lines are part of the field, once the ball breaks the outer plane of the line, it is in play. The other player didn't let the ball go back out of play (it might have rolled back out, but we don't know) before handling it. Deliberate handling, direct free kick restart. They won't like it, but that's the Law.

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