Ref4Me

Newcastle Arsenal

Kes

I'll Decide ...
Level 5 Referee
In that case the law means that the point of release of the ball must both behind and over the head. That is very difficult to judge

It's also very difficult, nigh on impossible to do physically - certainly if you're trying to gain any distance from the throw, which is where your assertion falls down. 😉
 
The Referee Store

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
Law 15 says that "at the moment of delivering the ball, the player must ....... throw the ball ... from behind and over the head....."

I take "the moment of delivering the ball" to mean the moment at which the ball is released. After all, the previous part of the law refers to the position of the feet and I think we would all agree that this only applies at the point of release.

In that case the law means that the point of release of the ball must both behind and over the head. That is very difficult to judge but where release is in front of the head the initial trajectory of the ball will be downwards which is easier to detect and usually leads to opposition shouts for a foul throw.

At Prem level most throws are correctly taken and for me this one really stuck out. So no problem with it being given. They are pros and they should know the laws!

I
I know the way the laws are written leave a lot to be desired AND will definitely not have been thought about to the level I am about to go into but...

I think you are confused by the word moment and seeing that as the precise point of delivery. The word Moment means "a brief period of time" so what the law isn't saying is at the exact point the ball is delivered because as you say that is a physical impossibility.

So what I understand the law to mean, and what the English language used when swapping the word for its Oxford dictionary meaning is "the brief period of time of delivering the ball the player must throw the ball from behind and over the head."
 

Max2

Well-Known Member
Level 3 Referee
I think you just “know” a foul throw when you see one, rather than over-analysing the technicality of it. What does the match expect, etc?
 

ggroves.2

---
Level 7 Referee
At Prem level most throws are correctly taken and for me this one really stuck out


Although you could argue we can’t see the left foot, the position of it when it comes back into shot suggests that it was on the ground at all times.

I think throwing it down, in how I saw it be described as a ‘spike’ movement, it stands out and I agree that that this was probably why it ended up being called.

Do we know if it was flagged by the assistant or referee?

Does seem like it was legal, but it’s that sidewards release almost that seems to cause problems.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
So you want the VAR can of worms opened for those end of season decisions which decide outcomes.... Aston Villa have just scored a goal form a black and white foul throw.
Clear and Obvious based on fact
FWIW... the Arsenal foul throw was not a foul throw so no idea what the debate above is all about
But VAR may just have failed Burnley and sent them down. Do I believe that? No... but that's what the kinda nonsense that's used to justify the curse on the game
 
Last edited:

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
So you want the VAR can of worms opened for those end of season decisions which decide outcomes.... Aston Villa have just scored a goal form a black and white foul throw.
Clear and Obvious based on fact
FWIW... the Arsenal foul throw was not a foul throw so no idea what the debate above is all about
But VAR may just have failed Burnley and sent them down. Do I believe that? No... but that's what the kinda nonsense that's used to justify the curse on the game

Indeed, the Villa one was a clear foul throw as the taker was on the pitch when it was taken.

They can also feel aggrieved as the handball VAR check was almost identical to the one that went against them at the weekend, yet no review recommended. And to cap it off, Lowton's red card was very harsh yet VAR decided not to get involved. Burnley are going to feel very hard done by.
 

ggroves.2

---
Level 7 Referee
Jumped on the Sky highlights and it doesn’t show the actual foul throw interestingly, so I can’t tell how much it impacted the phase of play, but if it steers clear of media attention I’ll be surprised. Besides that I do think VAR is still a work in progress and will take a few more seasons of small changes to get it to work well on the PL, where as many as possible are satisified
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
VAR can't get involved on incorrect restarts except penalties.
I know, and it shouldn't need to anyway when a throw-in taker is clearly stood on the pitch, the officials should be seeing that real time.

VAR could and should have got the handball right though, and I definitely think there were grounds to recommend a review for Lowton's red card. And this is the problem with VAR in this country, inconsistency. When two almost identical handling offences occur within a few days, both understandably missed by the on-pitch officials, how can one be given as a penalty and the other not? What should happen, and what does happen in other countries, is PGMOL should come out after the games and explain any VAR decisions, even if that means saying they were wrong. They won't, because the PGMOL leadership is ineffective, weak and invisible. Until that changes VAR will continue to be problematic in England, the same officials manage to use VAR fine in Europe, so it has to be down to how they are managed here.
 

ChasObserverRefDeveloper

Regular Contributor
Indeed, the Villa one was a clear foul throw as the taker was on the pitch when it was taken.

They can also feel aggrieved as the handball VAR check was almost identical to the one that went against them at the weekend, yet no review recommended. And to cap it off, Lowton's red card was very harsh yet VAR decided not to get involved. Burnley are going to feel very hard done by.
"Foot on the pitch" is an interesting one; as an Observer I have made the point at several matches in recent weeks that the referee is watching the thrower's hands, but the AR is concentrating on the dropping zone/offside line, so no-one is checking the thrower's feet.
This used to be a standard part of the pre-match instructions but seems to have gone out of favour.
Not the most important part of officiating - until a vital goal results!
 

ggroves.2

---
Level 7 Referee
I know, and it shouldn't need to anyway when a throw-in taker is clearly stood on the pitch, the officials should be seeing that real time.

VAR could and should have got the handball right though, and I definitely think there were grounds to recommend a review for Lowton's red card. And this is the problem with VAR in this country, inconsistency. When two almost identical handling offences occur within a few days, both understandably missed by the on-pitch officials, how can one be given as a penalty and the other not? What should happen, and what does happen in other countries, is PGMOL should come out after the games and explain any VAR decisions, even if that means saying they were wrong. They won't, because the PGMOL leadership is ineffective, weak and invisible. Until that changes VAR will continue to be problematic in England, the same officials manage to use VAR fine in Europe, so it has to be down to how they are managed here.
I think the point you make extends beyond VAR, as there are elements of reffing in Europe that seem to be done more consistently and effectively than it is in the UK. Whilst I don’t like the idea of post-match referee interviews, I think that’s invasive, I do believe that refs should have a chance to talk about their decisions if they want to at a later date, and PGMOL need a platform to justify their officials decisions. I guess it will come when the leadership changes. As you saw in Howard Webb’s biography, he wanted to have a platform to discuss both during and after his career, and was restricted both times, but then it may bring referees impartiality into question (at least that’s the argument those blocking it may make)
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
I think the point you make extends beyond VAR, as there are elements of reffing in Europe that seem to be done more consistently and effectively than it is in the UK. Whilst I don’t like the idea of post-match referee interviews, I think that’s invasive, I do believe that refs should have a chance to talk about their decisions if they want to at a later date, and PGMOL need a platform to justify their officials decisions. I guess it will come when the leadership changes. As you saw in Howard Webb’s biography, he wanted to have a platform to discuss both during and after his career, and was restricted both times, but then it may bring referees impartiality into question (at least that’s the argument those blocking it may make)
There's a lot of censorship. You'll never hear an EPL footballer talk good or bad about VAR... That say's a lot
Fortunately, although the Mods may consider censoring my strong opinions on the subject of VAR, I'm still fairly vocal 🐈
 

PaulB

New Member
Level 5 Referee
I think that most of us on this thread think that the current law is at the very least badly written. And I think that “football expects” a throw-in propelled in downwards direction - a “spike” throw - to be penalized even if the current law does not make this totally clear.

So let’s try and agree what we think the law should say that best reflects how we interpret it, and what the players we normally encounter expect.

To get things going, I suggest that the following clause could be added to the current law:

- the ball must be thrown so that at some point in its trajectory and before it touches the ground or another player it must reach a point higher than the point at which it was released.

Do you agree that this is how we do and should interpret the current law? And if so, can we improve on the suggested wording?
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
I think that most of us on this thread think that the current law is at the very least badly written. And I think that “football expects” a throw-in propelled in downwards direction - a “spike” throw - to be penalized even if the current law does not make this totally clear.

So let’s try and agree what we think the law should say that best reflects how we interpret it, and what the players we normally encounter expect.

To get things going, I suggest that the following clause could be added to the current law:

- the ball must be thrown so that at some point in its trajectory and before it touches the ground or another player it must reach a point higher than the point at which it was released.

Do you agree that this is how we do and should interpret the current law? And if so, can we improve on the suggested wording?
Or we could just stop wrongly penalising legal throw ins... And then if the law makers want that particular type of throw to be a foul they can legislate as such

It amazes me how people are able to see into the minds of the law makers and assume they mean something completely different to what is written.

Football expects what football is shown, so when football is shown the wrong thing, they expect wrong decisions.
 

PaulB

New Member
Level 5 Referee
Let’s have a look at the development of the throw-in law. The development of the laws can shape “what football expects.”

The key developments of the law are:

1863
  • The throw-in is taken from where the ball crossed the touch line.
  • The first player to reach the ball throws it in
  • The ball is thrown (i.e. not dropped)
  • The throw must be at right angles to the touchline
1866
  • The thrower may not play the ball again until it has been played by another player
1871
  • The ball must travel at least 6 yards
1877
  • The ball could now be thrown in any direction. This was then explicitly stated in the laws until 1997.
1883
This was when the law introduced several new provisions which make it recognizable today. “The thrower, facing the field of play, shall hold the ball above his head and throw it with both hands.”
  • “facing the field of play” outlaws a backwards throw over the head
  • “held above the head” outlaws underarm throws
  • “with both hands” means that the ball cannot be bowled, goalkeeper style, thus limiting the distance of the throw.
  • The 6-yard stipulation was removed
1889
  • The throw-in is now awarded to the opposite side to that which kicked it out.
1939
  • The law was reworded slightly and the phrase “at the moment of delivering the ball” was first used. “The thrower shall deliver the ball … from over his head.”
1952
  • There was no change to the law, but the following IFAB decision was recorded in the 1952 edition of the Universal Guide, a publication designed to bring uniformity to interpretation of the laws across the globe:
    "Law 15 states that 'the thrower shall deliver the ball from over his head.' This implies that the throwing movement shall commence from a position over the head. Some officials have a mistaken impression that this phrase means that the ball must leave the hands when overhead. This is a physical impossibility unless the hands are checked in this position. A natural throwing movement starting from over the head will always result in the ball leaving the hands when they are some slight distance in front of the vertical plane of the body. A player satisfies the conditions of throwing if he starts the throw from over his head and the movement is continuous until the point of release."
  • So this law has been generating controversy for at least 70 years! Unfortunately the decision does not clarify anything: is any point of release allowed, or is it limited to “some slight distance in front of … the body” and if so, how slight?
1965
  • the law was amended, in line with the proposal of an IFAB Committee of Study, to “The thrower shall deliver the ball from behind and over his head” (my italics). I cannot find the reason why. Was it to ensure that the ball was not thrown downwards? Or possibly to make it quite clear that basketball-style throws (start with hands in front of the chest and extend them to a release point above the head) were not allowed?

Although the laws were re-written in 1997, the key parts of the text have since remained essentially the same.

Where does this leave us and is it important?!

Well, I think it is important. For whatever reason “football expects” and footballers certainly strongly and almost universally expect the ball not to be thrown obviously downwards whether or not the law clearly says this. The insistence in the Laws that the ball is thrown and not dropped, together with references to delivery from over the head, may have given rise to this expectation. Or not. How a throw is taken may in most cases be tactically irrelevant, but like a moving ball at a free kick it is visible to all and generates resentment if inconsistently applied. And as it is such a common restart with around 50 per match there are plenty of opportunities for inconsistency and thereby damage to match control.

The current law is badly written in that it can legitimately be read to mean either extreme: either the ball must be flicked from behind the head in which case it loops up in the air, or any release point is allowed even one that propels the ball directly downwards. IFAB acknowledged the problem 70 years ago but the law is still confusing, and is in need of clarification.

Please take this in the positive spirit in which it is intended, and let's see if we can suggest an improvement to refine and improve the law!
 

Peter Grove

RefChat Addict
In sorry, but as far as I'm aware there's at least one error in the timeline above. The change to the throw being awarded to the opposite side to that which kicked it out came in 1873, not 1889.

See full text of the 1873 Laws on the link below.

Laws of the Game (1873)

The notes listing the changes from the previous edition state:

Law 5: replace "the first player who touches it shall throw it" with "a player of the opposite side to that which has kicked it out shall throw it" (proposed by Nottingham Forest FC, as amended).
 

Peter Grove

RefChat Addict
To get things going, I suggest that the following clause could be added to the current law:

- the ball must be thrown so that at some point in its trajectory and before it touches the ground or another player it must reach a point higher than the point at which it was released.

Do you agree that this is how we do and should interpret the current law? And if so, can we improve on the suggested wording?
No, I don't agree with that. I've seen plenty of perfectly legal throws, which no-one would ever (or should ever) question where the ball starts off going more or less parallel to the ground on release before eventually starting to fall towards the ground.

For instance, when a player is going for a long throw and putting a lot of effort into it, this sometimes happens if the release point comes fractionally later than they perhaps intended.

A lot of Rory Delap's famous longs throws had an incredibly flat trajectory -something that was often mentioned by the match commentators. If you look at the clip below, on the very first throw, although the ball probably does get slightly above the release point immediately after leaving his hands, it's not by much. The throw starting at 1m 20s is very similar. I would say that on both of those, the ball hardly gets much above head height at any point during its trajectory (head height being below the release point, which of course is above head height).


And as I say, even a fractional delay in the release mechanics would probably result in a throw that starts off parallel to the ground, but might still travel 20-30 yards.

I've also seen throws where the player is tossing the ball to a teammate about 10 or 15 yards away and wants that player to be able to volley the ball first time up the pitch. For that kind of throw the ball could easily travel in a slightly downwards direction right from the moment of release but again nobody would ever think of calling this kind of throw illegal - nor should they.

However under your proposal such throws would be illegal.
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
Having watched the handball fiasco of the past several years, I really hope that IFAB doesn’t try to “fix“ TIs.

But seriously, the times when a TI call matters and is debatable or so rare, it really doesn’t warrant messing with. There is a bit of grey zone in everything that has any subjective element. The odds of making the TI law appreciably better are pretty small.
 
Top