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Question Number: 32414

Law 15 - The Throw In 4/30/2018

RE: Travel Under 15

Coach John of West Chester, PA USA asks...

Throw-in from above and behind the head; how far back does a player have to bring the ball? We had a player called for improper throw because she didn't bring ball back far enough (ie to her shoulder blades). Seems like a trifling call to me.

Picture of the throw here:

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI John,
for what it s worth I agree but as to trifling, no, it was simply not a requirement that the ball must touch the back of the shoulders that is what I like to call a myth!

If the picture was representative of the throw in beginnings there is NO problem!

Often newer referees are touchy about throw ins as restart simply because they are rather benign in complication Thus they must find someway to confuse us all by making throw in restarts far more complicated than need be. Oh the ball is spinning or it was not all the way over, or they let go too soon or too late.

That said once a referee proves his intentions good or bad you ADAPT as a condition of play! Just like a muddy or dry pitch on a sunny or windy rainy day tactically you do what the referee has requested even if he is wrong to avoid losing the restart over a trifling dispute! Report and monitor but little good comes from arguing decisions during a match. An inclusion of this picture and an explanation of the referees decision making to a decent referee coordinator should get the referee to correct his thinking if the league is one interested in educating those who officiate1 !

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
Many times when an incorrectly taken throw in offence is called it is done so because the throw looks *different* or out of the ordinary.
It can be about the ball being released late rather than who far the ball is taken back. Case in point is the so called spike throw
In the modern game we now see players trying to exert more control over the throw by not taking the ball back over the head. They only take it back to the top of the head and then throw. The laws tells that the ball has to be from behind and over so there is no need for the ball to go all the way to the shoulder blades. On the image shown I see no difficulty with that position yet it might not tell the whole story.
So yes it could have been a trifling call. The only advice that I can give is that if a player is getting regularly called or appealed for an incorrectly taken throw in that player need to look at her action. If it is a once off then all one hopes that it looked different on that particular throw and the referee is consistent throughout.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi John,
There is nothing in the Laws that specifies how far back a player has to bring the ball, when taking a throw-in. The law simply says that the player must:

''throw the ball with both hands from behind and over the head''

It is up to the referee to decide exactly how to interpret these requirements but there is certainly no need for the ball to go all the way back to the shoulder blades, in order to be 'behind the head.'

It's a little difficult to judge based on a still image but assuming the rest of the mechanics were OK, that looks like it was probably a good throw.

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