Soccer Throw-in

How is a soccer throw-in done? Know the rules and techniques in making a good, long throw-in.

If the ball goes over the side, the game will be restarted by throwing the ball back into play. This way of resuming play is known as the throw-in, and is done only when the ball goes out of bounds on the touchline. 

Your opponents will do the throw-in if you were the last one to touch the ball before it went out. Conversely, if your opponents touched the ball last, your team will be the one to throw the ball back in.

For you to make a good and valid throw-in, you must know the rules (A), violations (B), and steps in doing it (C). It is also interesting to know about players who are famous for their throw-in abilities (D) and the longest throw-in ever made (E).

A. Throw-in rules

When the ball goes over the side of the playing field, the area known as touchline, the assistant referee immediately raises his flag to signal that a throw-in must be made. Most leagues follow the FIFA rules for a throw-in:


B. Soccer throw-in violations

A player must make the throw-in on the spot where the ball went out of bounds. If he does it elsewhere, the throw-in will be awarded to the opposing team.

If the thrower raises one foot off the ground or throws the ball with one hand, the game will be restarted with a throw-in for the opposing team.

If the thrower touches the ball before it is played by anyone else, the game will be stopped and an indirect free kick is awarded to the opponents. If he touches the ball with his hands, the penalty would be a direct free kick.

An opponent who stays too close to the thrower or distracts the thrower in inappropriate manners will be cautioned with a soccer yellow card.

C. How to do a throw-in

There are two common ways of doing a throw-in. The first one is done standing or stationary. Here are the steps:


For longer throw-ins, many professional footballers do a short run before releasing the ball. The momentum gained from running increases the throw-in power. This is how a running throw is done:


Aside from standing and running throw-in, there is another type of throw that involves a somersault. It is called a handspring throw-in and is rarely used because of the difficulty of performing it.

To do a handspring throw-in, a player runs towards the sideline, performs a front flip with both hands holding the ball, and launches the ball the moment both feet touch the ground. The thrower must make sure that he stays outside the field after doing the somersault.

D. Players famous for their throw-ins

There are two footballers who stand out among others because of their throw-in skills: Rory Delap and Leah Lynn Gabriela Fortune. Delap plays as midfielder in the Premier League and is known to make throw-ins that go over 40 meters.

Fortune is famous for her handspring throw-ins. The spring she gets from her front flips allows her to throw the ball for 28 meters or more. Fortune is a former gymnast while Delap was a javelin champion in his youth.


E. Longest throw-in ever

The longer throw-in in football was done in January 2010 by a PE teacher in West Yorkshire, England. Danny Brooks set the record by throwing the ball for a total distance of 49.78 meters, which is nearly half the length of a soccer pitch.

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