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Question Number: 29496

Law 15 - Throw In 6/22/2015

RE: Youth to adult, comp and rec.

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

The Canada-Swiss womens' WC game got me wondering about a tactic to stop the thrower from walking the ball down the sideline, as the Swiss were often doing in that game.

We know the defender has to give the thrower 2 yards of space -- but 2 yards from where?

'Delivers the ball from the point where it left the field of play.'

I looked but couldn't find the expectation for the throw to be within one yard of where it went out. I believe I've seen it as within one yard -- but can't find it in The Law.

My question: if I've seen that a player or team likes to steal an extra 5 or 10 yards before the throw, could I as a defender simply stand off the field, in their path, to draw attention to the infraction? (Or keep one foot in the field, to satisfy the requirement of not leaving the field without permission.)

I would, of course, be mindful of where the ball had gone out and give slightly more than the required two yards.

Having a word with a ref would be more direct, of course, but sometimes they aren't near the play, especially in single-official games.

As a ref, I often point to the spot where the throw needs to be taken. Others don't bother.

Is an AR within their rights to enforce the location?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
At the highest level players are rarely bothered about throw in location unless it involves a team with a long throw expert. Most teams don't want to push that far up field on a defensive throw in nor commit a defender to positioning a player to limit the steal yards. It also works both ways in that when it is going the other way the same applies. I would safely say that TI can be up to 10 yards from the correct location at the Pro level particularly on the half that does not have an AR present
Now at parks level it is a different matter and teams constantly complain about stealing yards so the referee has to act to enforce the correct location of the TIs.
The Law states that the throw in is taken from where the ball left the field of play. Most advice including the ATR recognises that it is not possible to determine that exact spot so a little latitude of a yard or so is considered acceptable.
As an AR I speak with the thrower, I point out a spot and then remind the thrower. When it gets beyond the half way line the AR does not have the same influence or impact hence the yard steals.
My advice is not to sweat the small stuff. Unless I hear *where is he going ref* or *how many more yards refs* I am not going to get involved too much in a few yards up the line. In fact I am more likely to pull up a throw in taken way back from the location in the other half due to no pressure on the ball and loads of space for the receiver. Many players think that they can GK back as far as they wish as they are not gaining yards.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Barry,
interesting tactic to set up partially up field at two meters partially off the field then see if the thrower will run into or around you? Truthfully never seen it done but it goes to motive and effect or what's the reasoning and is it too unfair? Also opponents tend to mark who is usually receiving the ball as a priority so setting still there might not be a good tactical spot then again, who can say? Not sure how each referee would interpret this? As a general principle I think referees might want the player completely on the fOP but according to the LOTG being partially out is classified as being totally in. As a reasonable defensive posture or by cutting the distance so close to the exact spot , perhaps force a distance restriction to be applied for not respecting proper distance or delaying the restart? Speaking for myself since I point and in fact often as a single official state "throw in (the jersey colour) ball" and when I point use the words, " Right there (colour)" at the restart location if a defender set themselves up a minimum of 2 meters away, standing partially on the touchline I see no immediate justification to interfere with that decision. The thrower might be less than enthusiastic or try to take the throw further back away from the touchline. I think we need to see it to fully grasp what we might realistically do, given we allow some latitude as to the exact spot. If the defender was to move completely off the FOP into the path of the thrower no doubt that is a cautionable action.
AR's should be instructed by their CR to watch for other obvious infringements and not get to caught up in the location as the referee can PLAINLY see the restart location given the referee should POINT to the spot of the throw in.
You will find the yard or two mentioned as leeway in advice to the LOTG rather than in the wording, which in of itself is clear, from where the ball exited the FOP.
You are correct it is hard to fault an opponent who sets up 2 yards from where the ball exited then have the thrower suddenly be in his face because he has moved up the touchline. As my colleagues no doubt reiterate we are not a blade of grass fussy here , we are concerned within certain parameters just as in offside or free kick restarts. Generally the closer to goal by the attacking team the greater the necessity to adhere to stricter guidelines.


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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

Referees need to manage this. It needs to be taken from 1 yard of where ball left field. Referees have many tools in their toolkit to make sure this happens. ARs can help too. The defender needs to be on the field and cannot step off unless it is part of the normal purse of play.

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