How to Take a Throw In

The throw in is key to maintaining possession and can be an attacking weapon

Jon Candy/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

The throw in soccer is a method of restarting play once the ball has gone out.

It may be one of the less glamorous skills in soccer, but it is nonetheless important to master. An effective throw in can prove the springboard to a successful attacking move and is an important aspect in maintaining possession.

A team may be awarded up to 25 throw ins in a match (sometimes even more), and if not taken properly, that adds up to a lot of possession squandered.

When a throw in is awarded:

  • The whole of the ball must pass over the touchline, either on the ground or in the air.

  • The throw must be taken from where the ball went out of play.

  • It goes to the team who did not put the ball out of play.

    How to take a throw in:

    When taking a throw in, the feet must be on or behind the touchline, with both remaining on the ground throughout.
  • Stand facing the field, with your feet apart and part of both touching the ground.
  • Place your hands firmly on either side of the ball, with the fingers apart and pointing straight ahead.

    Take the ball behind your head so it is touching your neck. At this point the fingers should be pointing backwards and the elbows should be pointing out to the side.

  • Throw over your head on to the field, bending your back more for power.

    To enhance your throw, remember to:

  • Drag the toes of the rear foot when taking the throw.
  • Point elbows out to the sides.
  • Follow through with the throw.

    How to take an attacking long throw In:

    Some players are capable of throwing the ball at a great distance, and it can prove a major advantage to a team if they have a man capable of launching the ball into the opposition penalty area.

    When taking a long throw in:

  • It is important to get a firm grip of the ball. Some teams arm their ball boys with towels so players can quickly dry the ball (and their sweaty hands!) off to enhance grip.
  • Generate pace by holding the ball in front of you, and in one quick motion, take the ball back behind your head and launch it forward.
  • Take a run up of up to three or four meters, and when you reach the line, stamp down with your plant foot so as to generate power using the knee and foot.

    Foul throw

    If a player commits a foul throw, the referee or linesman will call it and award the throw to the other team.

    A foul throw can be committed by:

  • Lifting one of your feet off the ground before taking the throw
  • Not taking the ball behind your head.
  • Using one hand too much. If a referee or linesman sees that you are attempting to gain an advantage by using one hand to apply spin, the throw may be awarded to the other team.

    If an opponent is not at least two meters away when the throw is taken, it can be taken again.

    The thrower may not touch the ball again until another player has first.