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Question Number: 33377

Law 15 - The Throw In 5/22/2019

RE: Select Under 19

Jerod Sutton of Beavercreek, Ohio USA asks...

On a throw-in, when has the ball entered the field of play? I understand the ball must have been released by the thrower, but is it in play when it first touches the touchline, or the imaginary line going up from the touchline, or does the entire ball need to cross the outside of the touchline, or does the entire ball need to cross the inside of the touchline to be in play?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jerod
As soon as any part of the ball touches the plane of the touchline it is in play.
The reasoning behind that is that all of the ball must be over all of the line to be out of play so by definition if part of the ball in on the line on the way back in it is in play. The exact same ball position on the line could not be in play and also out of play!
The challenge can be to determine that in the air. As an AR I err on the side of it is in play on tight ones. It has to be obvious to me that it was nowhere near the touchline to not have entered and therefore not in play.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jerod,
You nailed it in your first thought Contact is sufficient. I frequently imagine the touchline or goal line as a 5 inch wall of water extending straight up into the sky, if any portion of the ball is the TINIEST bit wet, it is IN play!

The throw in is indeed a simple method for getting the ball back into play. The LOTG dictate that it occur from where it exited the FOP and to that effect the opponent must be 2 yards away given the thrower can stand on the line itself . The hands could actually be grasping the ball as it is already in play except we do not count it until the hands release that ball otherwise a DFK for deliberate handling lol. Proper restart point, allow for room to release, do not let them run up the line for more distance and once the ball is released then its live in play even if it was already wet.

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