Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 28919

Law 15 - Throw In 10/28/2014

RE: Rec Under 14

Yo Mama of Ridgefield, WASHINGTON United States asks...


I have been enjoying your site for a few years now.

Recently I was AR at my daughter's game(due to a shortage of refs) on the coaches' side. Our center was a teenage boy. Her coach was very rude and disruptive through the entire length of the game and I observed him shouting insults and other dissenting comments (including swear words) repeatedly whenever he did not get his way. I had not previously realized how much of a problem this is, nor was I able to dissuade him from it.

Anyhow we were taking a throw-in, the ball came above the touch line and went back out. I signaled for the other ream to throw in.

Coach threw a fit and yelled at the ref (he was near us at the time) and told him very forcefully that the ball had not come in and we should redo the throw-in. The ref obeyed him and granted us a redo, then coach gave me a smug look and gloated for several minutes, saying how great it was that he was right and I was obviously wrong. He claimed that the other coach agreed with him but I did not hear anything like that.

This was all quite humiliating for me to have my flag overruled by a coach as well as the other things. I don't see how a procedure like that could possibly be considered proper in soccer. I believe our center would not stand up to him because he was intimidated.

Would you please give us your best advice in regard to dealing appropriately with this kind of situation.

Would you also please clarify the throw-in thing, I thought that since it came above the touch line it was on the field then went back out, and should therefore be thrown in by the other team.

Your attention is appreciated.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Welcome to the world of officiating and I'm delighted that you enjoy the site.
Anyway when the throw in was made it more than likely broke the plane of the touchline which meant that the ball was in play. As the ball left the field of play again the throw in is turned over which is the correct decision and signal you gave. In these situations I rarely if ever go with a retake as I have the simple view that the player standing on the line with the ball more than likely breaks the plane of the line at the moment the ball is released from above the head.
Now as you say a young official was intimidated into making the *wrong* decision based on the fact that if the ball did not break the plain of the line it is a retake and explaining his behaviour to a disciplinary committee.
The game can be passionate at times and that is part of its allure. I have no problem with frustration at say the award of a penalty kick in the 90th minute but when it steps across in constant haranguing and abuse on minor calls such as a throw in that is simply abuse. Young officials do not have the required skills to deal with these types of individuals and get bullied / abused in the manner described. it is the reason why some many walk away from the game and why there is a shortage of match officials. Certainly a strong official would take none of this nonsense and the coach would find himself watching the game from the car park.
As regards the coachs behaviour it is shameful and a poor example to young players. Clubs should take the lead here and censure this type of conduct rather than waiting for a strong official to act. I recently abandoned a game because of an outburst by a coach about a minor call. As there needed to be two nominated adults present his removal meant that the game could not continue.
Anyway thank you for your candid comments which reflects what many officials have to put up with on a weekly basis. The game can do without it and so can the development of the young players

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Yo Mama,
Glad to have you as a regular! I only wish I could solve your dilemma! sigh!

I can lend you a shoulder and words of support, but you require action!
Youth referees are indeed subject to intimidation and abuse, which is why 90% drop out eventually. Older adults that referee in their later years, like older players or parents, tend to be less intimidated but still they too drop out or refuse to participate in leagues that DO NOTHING to hold those who abuse accountable!

Those of us who volunteer are often confronted by other volunteers whose behaviour at times unsettles our moral compasses. I do realize we are at times unable to see ourselves as others might when we are in our version of our world of right and wrong. Still, I can say without fear of being too pious , my self righteous indignation is certainly aggravated concerning the disgusting conduct of the coach in question. When a league or association has weak resolve or flawed procedures in dealing with on field behaviour by those under its charter one could likely conclude this organization has an obviously ineffective or non existent, ZERO TOLERANCE ABUSE POLICY!
Under the auspices of standing up for the good of his team it appears the league has allowed a bully to hold sway over the youth under his direction.

Failing to show good judgment contravenes the accountability of legitimate actions, abusive actions can not be defended. A coach, a position of which I have been privileged to hold from from time to time, has a responsibility as a leader is to support his team appropriately. I call it going to bat for your players! It can inspire, loyalty, trust, credibility, commitment, and morale in a team. It should show that you are focused on your team's well-being and interests, rather than on yourself. Unfortunately this particular troll, ends up looking foolish, because in my opinion, he does not recognize his complicity in failing to understand youth soccer organization's values and mission. I have no idea if his players are on board with or are cowed by his behaviour or whether they are uncomfortable with their coach's but reluctant to speak out, as intimidated as the referee perhaps? To so fully display a peacock array of genuinely unethical behaviour, manipulation and contempt is disrespectful to everything the RESPECT program has endeavoured to create within the beautiful game.

League officials must step up to take appropriate steps to make sure that the problem of unaccountability doesn't happen again. This involves reviewing processes and procedures, making sure that the resources and policies needed to avoid problems or at least discipline and hold accountability in the future can be effectively implemented.

Conflict is an uncomfortable situation, most of us shy away from the unsettling emotions! Confrontation, anger, disgust, shame for being scared or general apathy of not caring! I have no idea how your association handles their on field issues? How they record or report conduct? Whether someone is monitoring the younger referees and mentoring or assessing their matches? How they manage information or confront actual perpetrators in a forum or meeting? Whether or not there is a Fair Play contract those participating are required to sign before embarking on a volunteer or paid coaching position?
Since the referee did not dismiss the coach I suppose it is unlikely he will report the coach in his match report! sigh!
I do not suppose a quality video in the drop box of the league president is going to show up, so a letter or letters detailing the incidents might be a way to start. A phone call asking those in charge what it is they want to hear and how they wish to proceed? Often a single match incident gets tossed in the wind but an avalanche of many matches snowballing the same thing, is what is required for effective change! Try to be as unbiased as you can, factual and use the EMOTIONAL impact the actions created to make your most valid points. As a parent, my child could likely not be permitted to play on that particular team if this coach was allowed such latitude in behaviour!

Yo, to clarify the throw in issue.

A throw in is a simple method to quickly restart play, if it is done incorrectly, it is awarded to the opposing team under all rules or laws!
There is always a remote chance, a correctly taken throw might not enter the FOP.

Under FIFA LOTG if the throw in is done correctly (as to procedurally following proper mechanics (feet on ground, hands over head, face field etc..) and the ball DOES NOT ENTER THE FOP, it does say to retake! Under USA high school rules, it says other team gets the throw in.

You are 100% correct, if a throw in is done CORRECTLY it is almost an impossibility for that ball not to come into contact with the touchline, even fractionally, putting it back into active play status.

I ask that a referee or AR imagine the 5 inch touchline as a wall of 5 inch water extending skyward! If ANY portion of the ball can get wet, that ball is on the field, in play! If the ball became damp on its outer curve, but for an instant, it was in play! If it then swerves and leaves the field of play on a throw in, it becomes the other teams throw!

From our Pitch to your Pitch in the Spirit of Fair Play

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

I am afraid that there is only one solution. Coaches who behave irresponsibly must be dismissed. 90 percent of the coaches are outstanding individuals. The remainder are jerks.
The jerks won't change. They cannot be persuaded. They must be dismissed.

The game needs referees like that teenage center to develop. What happens when coaches are allowed to be irresponsible is that those referees quit. Who wants that trouble? It's bad for the game. Its bad for the players. It's also bad for the rest of the coaches who understand what is good for the game.

So, the recommended technique works when used. The referee asks the coach to behave. The referees tells the coach that his or her conduct is unacceptable. The referee dismissed the coach. Ask. Tell. Dismiss.

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 28919
Read other Q & A regarding Law 15 - Throw In

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.