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Question Number: 31985

Law 15 - The Throw In 11/3/2017

RE: Select Under 15

Jake Zulewski of Appleton, Wisconsin USA asks...

An offensive player left the field of play to chase down a ball that was kicked out of bounds along the touch line. He tossed the ball to his teammate who proceeded to take a legal throw in. The ball was thrown to the corner of the field where no offensive or defensive players were positioned. The player who fetched the ball that was out of play then appeared from off the field to make a play on the ball. Is there anything illegal with this throw in? Did the player who fetched the ball need permission to re-enter the field of play?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jake,
technically no, the player who exited to retrieve the ball as part of the natural process or restarting has been given de facto, ( "in practice or actuality, but not officially established."permission) by the referee to leave and re-enter at the same time given play does NOT begin UNTIL the ball re-enters the FOP
Yet I see in the question a hint of impropriety where his retrieval of the ball & long toss to his team mate to where the throw in is to be taken and his further down field re-entry point created a possible advantageous result?
The LOTG do state that if a player exits solely for tactical advantage it is cautionable to re-enter without permission. Here we have a natural stoppage with an explainable absence necessary to begin play. Do we punish the quick action thinking of the attackers to take advantage of a slow reacting defense?

I hold the opinion that if the player upon retrieving the ball made no effort to come back on, but quietly drifted farther down field and only came on after the throw in had already put the ball in play that the tactical nature of this ploy could be considered as unethical. I would have to observe his reactions and movements as clearly indicating deceit otherwise defenders better defend quicker, play on.


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jake
I read nothing wrong here. The ball has to be retrieved to restart the game so the player is entitled to leave the field to do that. As he threw the ball to a team mate to take the throw in there is also nothing wrong and as the player is allowed to run on to the field to re-nenter all is okay.
The opponents have to switch on and mark up. It is like a corner kick with two attackers going out to the corner for the restart. Defenders need to switch on and for two defenders to go out to mark up. Same applies here with a throw in.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jake,
A player who leaves the field to retrieve the ball for a throw-in has done nothing wrong and having left, he is obviously then going to re-enter the field at some point. So long as this is done reasonably quickly and without some obvious attempt at subterfuge I see nothing wrong with the player then receiving a throw-in from the team mate they tossed the ball to. The player does not need explicit permission from the referee to re-enter the field, any more than he needed explicit permission to go and retrieve the ball.

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