Wednesday, December 6, 2023
EducationPlay of the Week

Play of the Week 18: Law 15 – The Throw-In

By PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer

At our recent assistant referee camp we discussed an AR’s responsibility at throw-in restarts and agreed that, in general, ARs did not seem to be checking for foul throws.

The question was raised: what is the priority – is it checking for foul throws or focusing on second last defender/fouls?

Following discussions in groups it was unanimously decided that ARs should be checking for foul throws due to the following main reasons:

– It only takes one occasion for a foul throw to be missed and a goal to result for it to be a worthwhile practice

– A player cannot be offside directly from a throw-in

– It only takes a split second to gaze down before you return to concentrating infield

The Throw-In Law is specific:


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
– Holds the ball with both hands
– Delivers the ball from behind and over his head
– Delivers the ball from the point where it left the field of play

It makes sense for the referee to monitor the thrower’s arms, and the AR the feet.

In Friday night’s game between Houston Dynamo and Chicago Fire, AR Frank Anderson signaled for two foul throws, at 45:50 in the first half (clip 1) and 45:15 in the second half (clip 2), which is very rare, but personally I was delighted to see it.

Clip 1 – first-hallf foul throw:


Clip 2 – second-half foul throw:


In both instances you can see the thrower lifts his leg as he takes the throw, and so does not have part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground outside the touch line.

Anderson clearly gestured the nature of the offense to ‘sell’ his decisions and, while both players seemed surprised, they did not protest.

If Anderson had not carried out his basic duties by ensuring that the law was adhered to and if either of these foul throws had been allowed to take place and resulted in a goal, there would have been justifiable complaints.

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