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Question Number: 31034

Law 15 - The Throw In 11/17/2016

RE: Rec, Grade 8 USSF Ref Under 13

Mark of San Rafael, CA United States asks...

Proper ThrowIns.

I've been whistling incorrect throwins when players have a toe or more into the actual field of play.

I was watching a pro game the other day and I could swear I saw one of the players put more than just a couple of toes into the actual field of play.

Do pro refs not call poor throw in technique or toes that are into the field of play?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Since that's not a violation, the refs shouldn't call it. The whole foot has to go over the line before it's illegal.

The requirement is that players 'have part of each foot on the touchline or on the ground outside the touchline.'

If the heel is on the touchline, the toe could be on the grass inside the touchline and it would be legal.

And as an aside, the field starts at the outer edge of the touchline, so even if they stay on the line, they are on "the actual field of play".

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Mark,
my suggestion? Please stop doing that! And the answer would be a resounding No! Referees at any level should only call flagrant obvious violations, the toes in the FOP or standing on the touchline is a mythical violation..
Let me ask you what is a proper throw in? Do you think a flip throw is a proper throw? What about one that rotates the body or one that stops with the ball dropping directly by the feet? They all look a bit odd but there is nothing illegal about them as long as the basic ball is delivered with the two handed throw over the head. You realize that during the throw in often the ball enters the FOP and is in fact being deliberately handled before it is released? We ignore that as we ignore that feet are on the touch line, given any part of the foot in contact with the line is ok. WHY? Because the throw in is supposed to be a simple way of restarting the match not an exercise in technical superiority or perfection. We expect the throw in to occur WHERE the ball exited or close to it. I see FAR too much of that being ignored then to worry about toes in the FOP which is NOT illegal at all! Mechanics are part of the restart, relatively simple and often a do over or teachable aspect at the mini youth but the restart LOCATION is far more important as the game progresses. There is a great deal of the doubtful and trifling aspects of this restart that award a pass for some funky throws but unless they are heinous, with the feet are completely inside the FOP and far away from the incorrect spot, just let them play!.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mark
Many in the game believe incorrectly that at a throw in a player cannot have his foot or part thereof over the line, that part of the foot must not be over the line. That is incorrect and a myth that has developed over the years. A player cannot have ALL of his foot over ALL of the line which is an entirely different matter.
To quote Law 15
** At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower must: .....#  have part of each foot on the touchline or on the ground outside the touchline.. **
So a heel is part of the foot and as it is ON the touchline with the rest of the foot beyond the line that meets the Law 15 requirement and it is legal. Sometimes it happens so fast that when the incorrectly taken TI is called no one including the thrower is absolutely sure of the position of the foot and can accept the decision.

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