Throw In Soccer Definition

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Throw in soccer definition – If you’ve ever watched a soccer game, you’ve almost certainly seen a player stand at the side of the pitch, with the ball behind his or her head, ready to throw it back into play.

Below, Football Terms explains what a soccer throw-in is, why it’s important, and how to execute it properly. Let’s begin with a definition of throw-ins in soccer and how the referee awards one to the correct team.

Throw in soccer definition

When the ball goes off the pitch via either touchline, the game is restarted with a throw-in. The referee awards a throw-in to the team that didn’t touch the ball last. A throw-in is the only time that outfield soccer players are permitted to touch the ball with their hands. We take a look at everything you need to know about a soccer throw-in below.

Throw In Soccer Definition

How does the referee decide who throws the ball?

The referee awards a throw-in when the ball leaves the field via one of the touchlines. In other words, when the ball goes out of play to the side of the field, not behind the goal. When the ball goes behind the goal, a goal kick or corner is awarded.

When a team kicks or heads the ball out of play, a throw-in is awarded to the other team. The referee signifies which team gets possession by holding out his or her arm in the direction that they’re attacking.

Once the referee has awarded the team a throw-in, it’s entirely up to the team to decide who takes it. Often, it’s the player closest to the ball when it goes out. However, if a team has a throw-in set play specialist in their team, they will give the ball to that person to restart the game.

Where are throw-ins taken from?

Throw-ins are taken from the exact place on the touchline where the ball goes out of play. Whether it’s in the corner, at the halfway line, or in line with the penalty area, a throw-in should be taken from as close to the point that the ball went out of play as possible.

Sometimes in a match, players will try and gain an advantage over their opponents by taking a throw-in from a different spot, usually further towards the opposition goal than where the ball actually left the field.

It’s up to the referee and the assistants to ensure that throw-ins are taken from the correct spot. If a player takes a foul throw-in, then the ball is given to the other team, as explained below.

What is a foul throw in soccer?

A foul throw in soccer can occur for several reasons, including:

  • The throw-in is taken from the wrong place
  • The player taking the throw-in steps onto the field before releasing the ball
  • The player throws the ball down toward the field
  • The player doesn’t throw the ball from behind his or her head
  • The player lifts up his or her back leg when throwing the ball onto the field

It’s up to the referee to spot a foul throw occurring, but often, it’s not a rule that is strictly enforced in soccer. This frustrates a lot of players, as foul throws regularly occur, but the referee doesn’t always decide to penalize it for whatever reason.

You can read up on what constitutes a foul throw by taking a look at Law 15 of the Laws of the Game, as written by the English Football Association.

Can any player take a throw-in?

Any player on the field is permitted to take a throw-in, even the goalkeeper. However, it’s most commonly the full-backs who take the throw-ins, as they’re often the best placed to restart the game.

However, if a team has a throw-in specialist in their lineup, he or she will be given the ball to restart the match. Some teams form all sorts of intriguing set plays from throw-ins, be it long throws or other ingenious ways of getting the ball back on the field.

It makes sense to give the ball to someone who has a decent throw, as not every soccer player is good with their hands.

Are you allowed to score a goal from a throw-in?

You’re not allowed to score a goal directly from a throw-in. So, if you were to pick the ball up and launch it from your position directly into the goal, it wouldn’t count.

However, if you throw the ball towards the goal and another player touches it – either on purpose or by accident – before it lands in the goal, then the goal counts.

It’s for this reason that long throw specialists are so dangerous, as they can generate incredible trajectory on the ball. When they launch the soccer ball into the penalty area, anything can happen, and sometimes an attacker will help the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net.

How do you take a soccer throw-in properly?

Throw-ins are one of the first skills you learn when you start practicing soccer. Here are the basics you need to know:

  • You need to hold the soccer ball in both hands before raising them directly behind your head, so the ball is essentially behind your head.
  • Keep both feet planted firmly on the floor. If you’re planning a run-up, you will need to plant both feet before you release the ball.
  • At the point of release, the ball must fly straight or in an upwards trajectory. You’re not permitted to throw the ball directly down toward the pitch.
  • You must have both hands on the ball when you release it back into play. If you only hold the ball in one hand, you will commit a foul throw.

While there are various techniques you can employ to take throw-in drill soccer, the simple steps above will ensure you restart play without committing a foul. If you don’t know how to take a throw-in, it’s a good idea to practice out on the training field before a match.

Is a throw-in the only time soccer players can use their hands?

Yes, taking a throw-in is the only time during a soccer game that outfield players are permitted to use their hands. Of course, the goalkeeper can touch the ball with his or her hands in the penalty area, but outfielders – defenders, midfielders, and attackers – can only touch the ball with their hands when they’re taking a throw-in.

If an outfield player touches the soccer ball with their hands at any other time during the game, they give away a foul and may even receive a yellow or red card, depending on where the offense takes place on the field.

While most handball incidents are purely accidental, others are deliberate attempts to try and prevent the ball from heading to its intended target. But the handball rule is so controversial it requires an entire article in itself!

Recap: Throw in the soccer definition

Soccer throw-ins are a big part of the game and occur regularly. Any time the ball goes out of play via the touchline (the sides of the pitch), play is restarted with a throw-in.

While they’re not overly difficult to execute, players often commit foul throws, which results in the ball being handed to the other team.

Hopefully, you now have all the information you need to take a soccer throw-in properly and can restart the match without giving possession away.

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