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Question Number: 32564

Law 15 - The Throw In 7/2/2018

RE: Rec Under 15

Yo Mama of Ridgefield, WA United States asks...


On the first day of fall season I reffed a Girls U-14 in the evening. The visiting team was from another town with which we have had difficulty on the infrequent occasions that we play them.

The visiting fans voiced objections to the home team's throw-ins when they were taken on that side. They complained that the home team player would face one direction then suddenly change to throw in another and in fact they did that, but these spectators claimed that it is not allowed. They were shouting and fussing, saying that the players cannot change their mind about which direction they throw. One of them claimed to know this because he had played soccer before.

In every case the feet were correct and the ball was delivered from behind and over the head.

Having not heard of this objection before, I have consulted both the assignor and the book and have not discovered any stipulation concerning the direction of the throw but that they must be facing the field.

Would you be good enough to address this for us as it requires clarification.

Thank you in advance for your attention.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

There is nothing in the Laws to prevent or penalise this action. As long as both feet are on or behind the line and the ball is thrown from behind the head there is nothing illegal. I am not even sure why this would be questioned other than teams and their supporters trying to influence calls by looking for anything that looks out of the ordinary.?
Feinting at any restart is acceptable so there is absolutely nothing wrong with pretending to go one way and then change?
A few thoughts on this
1. I would certainly not allow spectators to influence my decision making here.
2. I might shout loudly *Nothing wrong* so that players and those close to that side can clearly hear that opinion.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

The throw in is a simple method to restart play, the myths that surround this simple restart are in the imagination of those that have no idea of what they are talking about, there is nothing wrong with a change of direction or a twisting of the upper body , the ball can spin, it can drop directly in front of you, your feet can be on top of the touchline. You are 100% spot on, ignore the doubters even if you attempt to educate, those listening need to be receptive to correct information rather then perpetuate myths and fantasy.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

It is an almost immutable law that a team's supporters will always complain about anything that they they don't like, about their opponent's play. It is an almost equally immutable law that a referee should ignore, virtually without exception, any such complaint. The same is more or less true (though perhaps to a slightly lesser extent) in regard to a coach's complaints about their opponent's play.

The claim that someone knows the laws 'because they played soccer before' is I'm afraid, an incredibly weak one. The majority of players have very little clue about the actual laws of the game - you only have to listen to the ex-players who appear on TV shows (some of whom played professionally for decades) to realise this. Most of the time they spout total nonsense about what the laws are.

The throw-in law has very minimal requirements and if as you say, 'the feet were correct and the ball was delivered from behind and over the head' and they were 'facing the field of play' then there is nothing to be worried about.

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