The Throw-In Rules You Might Not Know about Soccer

The Throw-In Rules You Might Not Know about Soccer

Soccer: The Throw-In Rules You Might Not Know

 Soccer Ball - Ohio Fitness Garage

Whether you are a parent of a child just getting into soccer and need to know the rules to watch or teach your young soccer star or are just getting into the game itself, here are some rules on the throw-in that you might not know.


  • A goal cannot be scored on a throw-in. If the ball goes into the goal un-touched, there will be either a goal kick or a corner kick awarded. If the throw-in goes into the opponent’s goal—it will be a goal kick, if it goes into the throwing team’s goal—it will be a corner kick for the other team.
  • If a throw-in goes to the same-team goalkeeper, the goalie is not allowed to pick up the ball with his or her hands and must control it like a field player.
  • The player throwing the ball back into play has to have both feet on the ground and completely behind the touchline and both hands on the ball (unless a physical impairment doesn't allow it) when throwing it in.
  • The ball has to be thrown in from the point where it went out of bounds. The referee can help dictate this point by hand-indication but can award the throw-in to the other team if the player goes too far down the line.
  • The ball has to be delivered in a continuous motion and has to go from all the way behind the head to the front.


Rules aren't necessarily just restricted to the team who is throwing the ball in, either, there are rules that are related to the other players on the field—whether they are the opponents or on the same team.


  • The opponent that is nearest to the thrower has to be at least two yards away from the spot of the throw-in. They are also not allowed to do anything to impede or interfere with the throw—like jumping, waving their arms around or anything else. Doing so can result in a yellow card or a warning from the referee.
  • If the person throwing the ball in doesn't get the ball into play, the ball is then turned over to the opponent for a throw-in from the other team at the same exact spot.
  • Of course, depending on the age and the league, there can be specific rules allocated to certain age groups about retaking the throw-in or giving it directly to the other team. With younger players (U-6/U-8) you might see that the refs are a bit more lenient with players when it comes to rule-breaking or re-taking the throw-in so that they can develop the right skill for the future.
  • The thrower who is throwing the ball in is not allowed to touch the ball until another player touches it before.

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