Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 32670

Law 15 - The Throw In 8/26/2018

RE: Under 14

james of cranbourne north, australia asks...


If a ball is thrown in, however crosses the line out of the field of play, then, without touching the ground a player from inside the field of play attempts to retrieve the ball using his foot, but fails and the ball goes off his foot and continues out of the field of play. Who gets the throw. I was told that it is a re-throw because the ball never entered the field of play. what is correct?

Thank you,

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi James,
I'm a little confused by your description. You say the ball is thrown and 'crosses the line out of the field of play.' In order to cross the line and go out, it must logically have crossed the line and gone into play first. So if the ball was in play from the throw and then went out again before the player touched it, the throw would not be retaken. It's only if the ball never came into play (all of the ball always remained completely outside the line) that the throw would be retaken.

Whether the ball touches the ground or not, so long as any part of it is overhanging the line, it is in play. Any touch on the ball by a player after it has already wholly left the field of play, is irrelevant.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi James
Thanks for the question.
If the throw in is taken properly by a player the moment the ball is released at the throw and crosses / touches the plane of the touch line it is in play. If the ball does not touch the ground on the field of play and it is kicked out by another player the restart is a throw in to the opponents of the player who kicked the ball out of play from where the ball last left the FOP. The ball does not have to touch the ground to be in play.
If the ball is thrown up the line but FAILS to enter the field of play by touching or crossing the plane of the line with the ball being played in the air while it is out of play the TI is retaken. The challenge on those is determining the position of the ball from the moment it leave the throwers hands to when it is played. For example if a player takes a throw in up the line on a windy day and the ball crosses the touch line into the FOP but it is blown out over the line again the restart is a TI to the opponents from where the ball left the field of play. The ball was in play but exited again hence the TI to the opponents from where it left the FOP
If the ball is dropped by the thrower rather than thrown the TI is turned over to the opponents for an incorrectly taken TI.
If the ball slips from the throwers hand and falls then the referee would be entitled to allow the TI to be taken again He could also deem that if everything looked okay and the ball was thrown correctly but did not go very far he could simply allow play to continue. I have seen players take a throw in, execute everything correctly and then at the moment of release the ball slips without much purchase and enters the field of play. For me the ball is in play and we continue.
If the ball touches the ground before entering the field of play the throw in is always retaken

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi James,
The ball doesn't need to touch the ground. The moment any sliver of the ball is above the line, it's in play. It doesn't need to cross the line - it doesn't need to even be above the 'field' - as soon as the vertical plane of the line is broken by the ball, it's in play. (although it can be difficult for the ref to tell if this has happened without an AR)

So even when the ball, from a throw, travels above the line then curves out - that's a new throw to the other team from where it went out.

So in your scenario, it's simply a throw in from where the ball left play, same as if the player miscontrolled it and kicked it out during normal play.

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32670
Read other Q & A regarding Law 15 - The Throw In

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.