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Question Number: 30842

Law 15 - The Throw In 10/1/2016

RE: Competetive High School

Richard Duncan of Frostburg, MD USA asks...

I have seen several instances where the throw in never enters the field of play and the ball is awarded to the opposing team as a throw in. Since the throw in is a way to start play, how does the ball change possession when it never entered the field of play and therefore play was not started. Same as if the kickoff ( at least for now)goes backward first and the kicking team is allowed to re-kick.

Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Richard,

In FIFA instances where the throw does not enter the field, if the throw is taken incorrectly it is still awarded to the other team.
Bear in mind that the lines form part of the field of play - so if the ball swerves so that any sliver of the ball is above the line at all, even slightly, then goes completely out, the ball has then entered and left the field. So it's a throw in to the other team - but from where the ball then left play!
Can be difficult to tell as a referee so you would give them the benefit of the doubt unless you're sure. As an AR, just signal the appropriate direction - the referee will ask if they want clarification.
But assuming the throw was taken correctly and the ball doesn't move above the line at all, it's a retake in FIFA games.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Richard
NFHS soccer has a different approach to FIFA on throw ins that fail to enter the field of play. In NFHS games the TI is turned over when it fails to enter the FOP on all occasions whereas in FIFA the TI has to be incorrectly taken such as a raised foot or a foot clearly over the line for a turnover. I personally like the NFHS rules as it puts the onus on the thrower to put the ball clearly in play rather than the riskier throw of down the line.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Richard,
under FIFA an incorrectly taken throw in is awarded to the opposing team whether or not it enters the FOP. ONLY a correctly taken throw in that does NOT enter the FOP or hits the ground outside the touchline and enters is allowed to be retaken.

I rather prefer the high school method which states simply if you fail to get the ball in play correctly or incorrectly, you lose possession and the throw in is awarded to the opposition.

I could point out that most often it is easy to find fault in throw in mechanics SHOULD it become necessary. Granted we are often very lenient in permitting some sad versions to continue as ok but it is a SIMPLE way to restart play with a throw in. I have very little compassion for those who do it incorrectly or sloppily unless it is the wee ones where we try to educate rather then have them emulate the things they see too often on TV.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

It is good to hear from Frostburg. I lived and refereed there for two years in the late 90's. I had many interesting games there including a bear coming on to the Field. It is a great place to live and very scenic. To answer your question, you are correct about the rule. As stated in NFHS Rule 15-1-5, 'if, on the throw-in, the ball fails to enter the field of play before it touches the ground, the ball is awarded to the opponent at the spot of the infraction.' The reason for this rule is to prevent legal delays. Teams can no longer legally delay the game by making throw-ins that do not go in-bounds and then getting another throw-in, while, as is the case in high school, the clock is running. Teams in the lead with a short time remaining were using the throw-in to run the clock out. Please remember that FIFA rules are made for the top level games where teams have great ball control and there are few throw-ins compared to the number of throw-ins in a high school game. Thus, this rule keeps the ball in play longer and there are few throw-ins that now do not go inbounds compared to when the rule was the same as the FIFA rule. I hope you have a great season and a winter without much snow.

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