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Question Number: 33539

Law 15 - The Throw In 7/25/2019

RE: Professional

Hussain Anwer of Muscat, Select state Oman asks...

Can a player throw-in from 2-3 metres far from touch line?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Hussain
As you know Law 15 tells us that the throw in is taken ** from the point where it left the field of play**. Literally that would mean on the touchline. However accepted practice is that discretion of say a 2/3 yards is given by most referees so that can include any direction including back from the touchline.
My experience is that players rarely if ever complain about a TI that is taken away from the touchline from where the ball left the FOP so there is little need for a referee to be picky about the location. The only time a referee should get involved is if the TI is taken from behind a boundary fence or so far back that the opponents do not see the TI being taken or the more likely situation of a distance from where the ball left the FOP

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Hussain,
while it can be permitted as trifling or doubtful it DOES not have to be allowed if the referee HOLDS the opinion it was too advantageous and thus unfair. Technically the throw in is to occur from the point the ball exited the FOP. We generally allow a yard or two up or down but it becomes tricky if the distance back from the exit point along the touchline is based on the retrieval of the ball a hurried throw from distance could enter the FOP a long way from here it actually exited. . The LOTG state as long as the feet are on or behind the line by the thrower so they allow some leeway BUT keep in mind the opposition must be two meters from the thrower, thus 2 meters from the legal exit point. If the exit point is ignored and we allow creep up or down the line or a throw in from a good distance away it creates issues because technically even if the throw in is performed correctly, it has procedural flaws. If the throw-in is too far from the correct exit point the option to award it to the other team is certainly plausible should a referee opine it is unfair.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Hussain,
The law does not address this particular point so it's one of those situations where it's up to the referee to make a decision, as Law 5 states, ''to the best of the referee's ability according to the Laws of the Game and the 'spirit of the game'''

As my colleagues have opined, so long as the player is not too far from the exact position where the ball left the field of play, most referees would allow that - and the question of how far is too far, is up to the opinion of the referee.

It is perhaps interesting to note that there was a change to Law 15 this year, that seems to allow for (and therefore legitimise) the fact that players sometimes take a throw-in some distance back from the line.

The words ''on the touchline'' and ''to be'' were added, so new wording is as follows:

''All opponents must stand at least 2 m (2 yds) from the point on the touchline where the throw-in is to be taken.''

The explanation given by the IFAB is:

''This covers situations where a player takes a throw-in some distance from the touchline.''

Again, what distance is allowable based on the phrase ''some distance'' is entirely up to the referee's best judgement.

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