Law 15 - The Throw-In
- 01/17/2006 – Regarding Law 15 (Throw-in) Enforcing the Minimum Distance
- A US Soccer Memorandum that provides clarification on the enforcement of the 2-yard minimum distance required on throw-ins.
- 11/22/2002 – Throw-In to Keeper by Teammate
- A US Soccer Memorandum clarifying situations in which goal keeper handling of a throw-in from a teammate can present several contentious issues that referees must be prepared to handle.
A trend has been noticed whereby teams are advancing the ball on throw-ins to obtain a more advanced attacking position or to waste time. Referees and ARs should work in unison to prevent undue advancement of the ball on throw-ins and to minimize delays caused by such actions. It is common practice for defenders to run up the field with the ball to gain 10 or more yards and put their team in a more advantageous position. The practice is also becoming more common in the attacking third of the field as teams have throw-in specialists who can direct the ball into the penalty area as though it were a corner kick.
Referees and ARs need to raise their awareness and take preventative measures to ensure the restart is taken within a yard or so of where it exited the field. Consider enacting the following preventative steps:
- Indicate the restart location – early and often: The referee should indicate the position of the restart both visually and verbally. Verbally ask the players to comply. Visually show the players the restart location. The closer to the attacking half, the more important referee intervention becomes. Additionally, ARs can also indicate the location of the restart; however, this must not be done at the expense of a correct position.
- Tell the players – use the whistle: If the players are not complying with your consistent requests, use the whistle to indicate the location.
- Award the throw in to the other team: Once you have asked the players to comply and then warned them with the whistle, you are empowered to call an illegal throw-in if it is taken from the wrong location.
Once again, use preventative measures and, if they fail, you may send a stronger message by awarding the throw-in to the opposition from the location the original throw-in should have taken place. Remember, it is not an illegal throw-in until the ball is thrown and enters the field of play.