Referee Articles

Following a controversy sparked in international competition by this particular technique of doing a throw-in, the Chairman of the Referees Committee of CONMEBOL, Dr. Carlos Alarcón, sent me some information to review from the Laws of the Game. This was in light of what happened to this player who did a somersault style “flip throw in” during the Under 20 Women’s World Cup in Chile. Her somersault occurred before the throw in during the final match of the tournament won by the U.S., with English referee Alexandra Ihringova in charge.

By Tadeo Alvarez, Revista Arbitros

The Flip Throw-in"

A very unique throw-in
Whenever Leah took a throw in, fans rose from their seats so as not

to miss her spectacular somersault.  "This is not a trick to show-off,

but a very effective technique that helps us score goals.

It is a powerful throw, making it almost like a corner kick which is

more effective and dangerous. It wouldn’t work as well if I didn’t have

such great team mates in the area, "says Leah, who added that she’s

never been fallen while performing it. None of her team mates had tried it she admitted since “It’s a little dangerous.”


Some things to consider

Dr. Alarcón says that after analyzing the technique, there is not a breach of the laws of the game.  He also shared with me his analysis which he sent to an instructor who asked about it. “According to the  2008/2009, Laws,  Throw-in Law 15 requires only the following five points to be legal; be facing the field,  with both feet or part of them on the touchline or behind it, using both hands , throwing the ball from behind and above the head, and making  the throw in  from the place where it left the field.


No requirement to stand

Oddly enough, contrary to popular belief, the law does not require the player to stand when throwing in the ball. Her technique actually involves throwing in the ball from a crouching position, part of a fluid motion as the ball leaves her hands.  The instructions on the interpretation of the laws and guidelines for referees on page 127, refer only to a throw in which is not in accordance with the correct procedure. Therefore the technique is legal if Law 15 is followed.


To further clarify this, FIFA has not objected to this throw in technique, which has already been previously used by male players.