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Question Number: 14826

Law 15 - Throw In 2/11/2007

RE: Competitive College

Ronan Byrne of Cork, Ireland asks...

I was wondering if you could clarify the issue of a foul throw in. The refs in my league keep pulling people for this but you never see any of the refs in the top leagues using this rule. Could you let me know if such a rule exists and define what a foul throw in is. Thank you

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

From Law 15

At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower:
faces the field of play;
has part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground outside the touch line
uses both hands
delivers the ball from behind and over his head

Any of these things not done properly, it's a foul throw.

The reason you rarely see this called is that most referees at higher levels of play view infringements of Law 15 as "trifling" and allow the game to proceed

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

The newer referee is TECHNICALLY challanged to grasp the law in its absolutes and finds solace in seeing something he can easily find fault with as opposed to creating great foul recognition and man management skills with come only from making mistakes.
Personally I encourage good mechanics and will repeat certain things to the younger players as well as overlook the trifling variations of a poor throw versus an excellent one.
ONLY if the throw in is horribly transparent to all it was a mess, from the wrong spot and the thrower's team was benifiting from the FOUL throw must we intervene all else is we could but do we NEED too?
We could allow a player to take a throw with one foot just inside the FOP as he lifted his heel almost imperceptably ,that same player next time has both feet inside the field of play as he runs into the field we could stop have a talk and awarded the throw to the other team.

NOTE IF you are asked in law terms on a test paper a foul throw can not be overlooked! Within the context of dynamic play you can sell trivial or define the bending as doubtfull and as a fact of play it becomes uncontestable just be sure you know when and where to draw that line.

Look to FIFA q&A 6. After an incorrectly taken throw-in, the ball goes directly to an opponent.
Is play allowed to continue by applying the advantage clause?
No. A player of the opposing team retakes the throw-in.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

When my sons were playing U12, their coach required them to do pushups for foul throws. One day we were watching a game on TV and a foul throw was called. They began laughing and wondered if the player had to do his pushups at the next practice. So from time to time it does happen at the advanced levels.

I am inclined to be more strict with the younger players who are learning the game. Learning proper throw-ins is part of that education. As the players get older, it has to be pretty blatantly bad before I make a call.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

This could be because the players at the top levels of football know how to do a proper throw-in and the referee just doesn't have to interfere. When I look at a thrower return the ball to play I see degrees of correctness and why the player threw it the way he did. A bad throw-in to throw the ball a long distance gets pulled up, one the same just to get the ball back to play is just ugly and I let things continue.


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