Soccer Tutorial: What is a Throw-in?

Throw-in is literally throwing of the football into the field of play after it goes out of the pitch sidelines during a soccer game.

But this throw-in can be somewhat confusing for a novice fan while watching a football game of the Azkals or a Philippines Football League match. Even the soccer players themselves are confused as well. I will tell you shortly why.

When the soccer ball goes out of the sidelines, the opposing team will do the throw-in. The possessor of the ball should correctly throw the ball into his or her teammate, because the opposing players will compete to take position for it.

It’s similar with basketball, when the ball goes out line, it’s called “out of bounds”, then the other team takes position of the ball, first by passing it to his or her teammate.

Why the throw-in can be confusing?

While watching a soccer game, a spectator without deep knowledge about the laws of the game would surely get baffled why a player who does the throw-in got whistled by the referee. Even a few soccer players haven’t learned the “proper” way of throwing the ball in.

Some experienced footballers gets called out by the strict referees. There is literally, a “proper posture” when throwing the ball in. So when a violating thrower makes a mistake, the ball is awarded to the other team.

What’s the proper throw-in?

1. Both hands are holding the ball.
2. Should start holding the ball from behind, then above the head and finishes at the front.
3. Both feet should be on the ground at the time the ball is thrown. Be it in standing position or walking position, as long as both feet or any part of the feet are placed on the ground (see image below).

When throw-in doesn’t apply

When the ball goes out of the line behind the goal. If the attacking team kicks the ball out of the line behind the goal or goalkeeper, it will result to a goalkick. If the defending team kicks the ball out of the line behind the goal, it will result to a corner kick.

Flip throw
If you see someone doing a “tumbling” throw-in, where the soccer player runs or prepares to accelerate, then plants the ball on the ground and throws the ball in. This type of unusual throw-in is allowed, as long as both feet are on the ground at the time the ball is thrown. See the video below.

Visit FIFA’s official document on the throw-in.


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