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Question Number: 32985

Law 15 - The Throw In 1/14/2019

RE: College

Warren of Wellington, New zealand asks...

Can you throw in onto either one of
your own or an opponent's back if they are close, and thus quickly regaining the ball from the rebound ?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Warren,
I don't see any problem if the ball is thrown against a team mate (unless it was done as an act of violent conduct, which would be a highly unusual situation). For a ball thrown at an opponent it depends on how exactly this was done. The Laws of the Game state as follows:

''If a player, while correctly taking a throw-in, intentionally throws the ball at an opponent in order to play the ball again but neither in a careless nor a reckless manner nor using excessive force, the referee allows play to continue.''

There was a famous incident some years back when a bit of quick thinking by Dean Saunders of Sheffield United led to him scoring a goal by using this technique.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Warren,
You certainly can - I believe the additional advice to the Laws of the Game used to have this exact scenario.
As long as the force used isn't over the top then it's fine - referee is going to take a dim view of the ball being thrown into the head or face - a red card and direct free kick is certainly possible.
I had a debate on a referee forum about this scenario recently. Some argued that they'd find a way to disallow it given it's against the spirit of the game if a quick attack comes off it - the referee could, for instance, consider it careless striking and just award a free kick, though they're more likely to make up a throw-in offence. I argued strongly against that - I only raise that to point out that a number of referees might not agree with the position we provide.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Warren
At one time this was not possible and it was seen as unsporting and not in the spirit if the game. As a young teenager I fell foul of this in one of my first adult games. It was common to do this in street games yet in formal games it was not allowed although it was not expressly stated in the Laws. I remember the referee taking my name and restarting with an IDFK when I did it in a game.
However the advice in the Law was amended formally in 2007 to expressly allow this as quoted by Referee Grove. The Saunders incident as mentioned by him happened in 1998 so the restriction was not universally applied.
So as long as it is not done in a reckless or aggressive manner it is allowed
Here it is done in a Manchester United game
Personally I am of the opinion that the ball was not thrown correctly and it should not have been allowed in that example. The ball was not brought behind the head nor was it thrown

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Warren,
as it was never stated it could not be done there were some who arbitrarily decided it was USB by the nature of their interpretation of it being against the spirit of the game itself. The LOTG stepped in with an actual position which was stated as it was legal as long as there was no VC attached to how it was done. A deliberate toss into the face or private area or done with such force meant to injure not just get the ball into play is a red card for VC. But a forceful throw, that can be intercepted by an opponent is not the same as if it was deliberately done.

In the video below note the defender was CLOSER than two meters to the point of the throw in location and he paid a heavy price. An opponent who unfairly distracts or impedes the thrower (including moving closer than 2 m (2 yds) to the place where the throw-in is to be taken) is cautioned for unsporting behavior and if the throw-in has been taken an indirect free kick is awarded. Here they did a do over, not an INDFK. I saw no yellow card caution being awarded nor was the thrower held accountable as an act of VC although there were shouts or appeals for such. One might have thought the lad was in la la land for a bit but to his credit seemed to shake it off. That said is the flip throw performed illegally? There are many who disagree with the procedure as he is squatted not standing.


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