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Question Number: 29837

Law 15 - Throw In 10/20/2015

RE: Rec Under 9

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro, CA Sacratomato asks...

Is there a trick of the trade when calling a bad throw-in? I referee in a league where the closer I pay attention, the more I fail to see what some of my colleagues are calling. It feels almost as if most are just giving in to obnoxious coaches and calling throw-ins based on style points. I for my part try not to punish the young ones for having awkward mechanics which has been leading to some interesting conversations with coaches after the matches.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi George,
No tricks per say but your approach to remind others that the throw in is a simple method of restarting is the best I can think of! The trifling or doubtful aspects of this restart are many. Alhought if I state BLUE throw in and point to the correct spot but it is done incorrectly, to where it can not be ignored. I blow the whistle and restate it for RED throw in, point to the correct spot it is to be taken from

At the min match level I have often reiterated i.e. BLUE throw, right there!', point to where and say, 'Remember feet on the ground hands over your head.' Then the pats on the back, Good job, bit ugly but ok ! I tend to hold the opinion at the youth level we, meaning the coaches and referee, are in a teaching mode to allow play to flow. I get at the u12 11 aside we are not quite as vocal or as lenient. But style points is not a reason to find fault that said consistency by you as referee is the evening factor of neutrality based on your current level of understanding and applying the LOTG!

The main two points to be procedurally correct aside from feet on the ground hands over your head
(1)the RIGHT location near where it exited! NO cheating up the line!
(2) it enters the FOP before it hits the ground (this is a retake under FIFA if the ball hit the ground in touch outside the field first but was procedurally correctly )

Things that likely can not be overlooked are
- the ball starting out in front of the head
then shot putted or basketball push pass or extend arms and drop the ball.
- players are on their knees or lying down
-players are facing away from the field and do it backwards
- players run into the field and are well inside the FOP at the restart

Things that are NOT a reason to stop! Play continues!
- one or both feet on the touchline while partially in the field
- turning the body while facing the field
- swivelling the head looking one way throwing the other
- lifting one or both feet once the ball leaves the hands
- the ball is spinning
- both hands are used with one on the side the other behind
- equal force by both hands is not required. (The caveat for the last two points is not to have the ball out on front of your head to start like a shot put or a reach out and drop )
- a throwing of the ball directly in front of you instead of tossing it far out into the field by placing the ball over top of your head rest it on the back of the neck use just the wrists to cock and throw the ball softly but directly in front of you . There is no max distance a throw must travel!
- crouching slightly often after a flip throw.
- the ball travelling outside the boundary lines then entering the FOP ten to 25 yards down field. The throw in must occur where the ball exited the FOP the fact the ball does not technically re-enter at the exact spot is not as important as the throw in itself occurs from that spot!
- ball slips out of the hands into the field

Warning but no solid reason to stop or award the throw the other way at u-10 and under!
(A) The spike! Technically the player has directed the ball downwards rather than release the ball while it is overtop the head
(B) feet slightly inside the boundary lines two feet too much, 2 inches not so much
(d) Foot drags that come up off the ground during release

IMPORTANT to remember!
(a)the ball is in play ( think of the touchlines as an invisible 5 inch wall of water extending into the sky) if ANY part of the ball gets wet it is in play so if it gets wet and goes back into touch it is the other teams throw in it is not a retake

(b)The opponent MUST be at minimum 2 yds. away from the thrower and cannot impede the thrower from releasing the ball


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
Only call those throw ins that are incorrect. Just because a throw looks awkward or different does not mean it is incorrect.
Coaches and teams look for cheap turn over ball when they see an opportunity on a throw in that looks different or unusual. Happens every single week and at all levels. I just say loudly *Nothing wrong there*. At very young ages and in games that are not ultra competitive I will ask for a retake with instructions of say feet on the ground which is the most common error and that happens both ways with the same taker asked to do the retake.
I can assure you this. If the referee was calling everything that was not perfect at Underage I doubt if the game would get restarted and that works both ways.
In a higher level game such as County, State level I will call the incorrectly taken throws early. That can send out a signal to players that TIs need to be done precisely. The challenge with that is the referee then has to be consistent and call them all although at the higher levels one expects it to be done properly anyway.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

'It may have been ugly, but it wasn't illegal.' I've had some success with complaints by using that line. And it's all a matter of degrees on a continuum - what is 'behind and over' the head - how far behind? - etc.

The older and more experienced they get, the less strict I am with the exact mechanics. Maybe it was slightly illegal, but it's trifling. They didn't gain anything from it - in fact, the less than stellar technique might have resulted in the throw being less than optimal. The younger kids need to learn how to do it properly. (And our rec league makes it easier for that, because they have do-overs for the youngest age groups.)

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