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Question Number: 33662

Law 15 - The Throw In 9/20/2019

RE: Competitive Under 18

Brenda Alfano of Keizer, Oregon United States asks...

My question is about a throw in. Once the ball goes out of play and the referee awards the throw in to a team, how long do they have to throw the ball in. For instance, There is 2 minutes left in a game and a girl holds the ball on the sidelines instead of throwing it in because she is wasting time. I'm just curious because I've heard lots of different answers and I have seen goalies get yellow cards for not kicking the ball soon enough. We just had a game where a girl did just this and the other team was getting upset but she was told she had up to a minute which I have never heard of before. Thank you!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brenda
The amount of time is not spelt out in the Laws so it is left to the referees discretion as to whether the player is *delaying the restart* or not.
The options open to the referee are to verbally encourage the player to get on with play and /or caution the player and add on the time lost.
My antenna goes up near the end of the game for blatant time wasting tactics. Once the thrower has the ball in hand then I expect it to be dispatched into play within a few seconds. Getting to that point can also be delayed such as walking to retrieve the ball etc. I will encourage the player to get on with play and if the player is being tardy, paying no heed to the hurry up instruction, the card comes out. The issue for me is that the throw in direction does not change, so in many ways the tactic has perhaps frustrated opponents and taken momentum out of the game. Adding on the time plus the caution can help, yet many times the loss of momentum is a bigger loss.
For what it s worth the game is 70/90 minutes. Players rarely focus on time until it matters and then generally it is too late in the dying minutes of the game. Also unfortunately it works both ways. I have seen teams complain about the time taken on restarts and then adopt the same tactics themselves when they get into the same position!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Brenda,
The law does not specify any fixed amount of time for the taking of a throw-in (or any other restart, for that matter). There is certainly no mention of a minute being the acceptable amount. However the law does say that it is a cautionable offence to delay a restart.

The actual text of the law in relation to this states:

''Referees must caution players who delay the restart of play by:
excessively delaying a restart

As with many things in the game, it is up to the referee to decide what constitutes an excessive delay at a restart. The referee will consider various things such as the state of the game at the time, the skill level of the players and the actions of the opponents who may be positioning themselves to intercept the throw-in, thereby making it more difficult for the thrower.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Brenda,
the LOTG are quite EXPLICIT we restart as quickly as possible as long as the referee is aware barring an serious injury . It is in fact an act of USB thus caution show a yellow card if any player delays the restart of play. The referee can also add time that is wasted into the end of the match so these delays do NOT affect the allotted playing time. If you think on it the keeper has only 6 seconds to hold the ball before he must release it from the hands. as a way of looking how valuable playing time is. In the restarts where the ball goes out of play it is of NO coincidence they have extra balls and ball retrieval crews rather than a player go get it to return to play as we do at recreational. A referee will of course adapt the concept of fair based on who gets it, how far, etc.. but there is no excuse for not restarting in a reasonable time once we are back at the throwing or restart point with the ball. In the incident you relate USE it or lose or sister applies. No way she gets a minute to fuss about. A referee should warn get on with it and then caution only if they do not, but in all cases adding the wasted time back on the clock.

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