Soccer - "Flip" Throw-In

I was watching a little womens college soccer this morning, Notre Dame against Marquette. There is a girl on Notre Dame team that does a “flip” throw-in as an inbound play. She can really launch the ball using the angular momemtum of a flip. Halfway across the field.

admittedlly, I don’t watch much soccer, let alone womens soccer, but I have never seen this play before. Is it common? It is one heckuva a technique.

Before there are any snarky comments about me watching womens soccer, I was channel surfing after getting sick of the NFL pre-game shows, and just so happened that the flip throw-in was in action.

Example. (Unsuccessful attempt starts at about 0:16, successful throw at 1:03.)

I know relatively little about soccer, but I’ve wondered why I’ve never seen this used at the higher levels. Against the rules in some way? Not beneficial with more skilled ball handlers?

I’ve never seen it in any of the European competitions, or in international football; all I seem to remember is maybe one player for some African side doing it. It’s not against the rules per se, although the rules require that the ball touches the neck before it gets thrown - I’m not sure how possible it is to combine that with doing a flip. The reason that it’s not done often is presumably that it is not very accurate (risks losing possession) , that it is not necessary (regular throwing can get the ball to enough places in the pitch to be useful*) and that it seems to have an insanely high chance of players injuring themselves - which is something to be avoided especially when players are making hundreds of thousands of euros a week.

  • Although sometimes they become especially and exceptionally effective: one of the sides in the English premier league (Hull ?) had a player last year who could throw the ball so far from the side of the field that it landed right in front of the goal, which effectively made a throw-in a corner kick. I seem to remember them scoring their first 10 or so goals just out of situations like this.

ETA: VarlosZ: there are very many cool tricksthat you never ever see in the highest levels of football, because they may be cool but they’re not useful.

This is my favourite by noted nutter Rene Higuita in a friendly against England:

This is incorrect. There’s no such requirement that the ball touched your neck.

First of all, this post contains an error.

The ball need not touch the back of the neck during the throw in. The rule is very succinct:

Thus, the flip throw does not violate the law in any way. When made, the players feet are on the ground, the player is using both hands on the ball, and the ball comes from behind and over the head.

There are a number of “folk” myths about the throw in perpetuated in the United States. Sadly, many of these myths are generated/perpetuated by the referees in this country. One typical myth: the ball cannot have “spin” on it, or “sideways spin” on it. The theory is that spin reflects the player having used one hand more than the other in delivering the ball. But, of course, careful reading of the law doesn’t indicate both hands must be used equally. I suspect whoever taught you to touch the back of the neck with the ball did so on the theory that that was synonymous with throwing the ball from behind the head. Also possible is that you learned that (or your progeny did) as a way to be certain not to violate the rule.

As to why the flip throw is not regularly used:

  1. at many pitches in Europe, especially England, there isn’t enough room. They tend to put the stands and/or the dasher boards right next to the sidelines, precluding the needed space for the run-up to a flip.

  2. The throw cannot be easily controlled for accuracy. If you watch video of people attempting the throw, it often creates a flat trajectory which is difficult to control upon receipt. A more arcing trajectory is more useful, most of the time.

  3. Most teams have a player who can put the ball deep into the penalty area from the last third of the field without using the flip throw. While they may not all be as successful as Rory Delap (who plays for the Potters of Stoke City, not Hull), they are a potent weapon when used correctly.

  4. I suppose there may be some chance of injury, especially when the throw is attempted on wet pitches, though I doubt this has much to do with the absence of the throw at high levels of the game.

Duly noted. I stand corrected

I’m not from the States - this is what I remember from playing football in the Netherlands - particularly the part about the ball being thrown from over and above the head, which usually means (but need not mean, I’ll grant) from the neck.

Also, if I’m paying a guy 5 million dollars a years I don’t want him trying this kind of stuff and getting injured.

While I was playing (80s in Maine) there were a few guys who did the flip throw in. The high school athletic governing body outlawed it because they were afraid of injuries.

NFHS does not currently outlaw this throw in the high school rules. Individual states might have added rules on the subject, though they are supposed to adhere to the NFHS rulebook.

I don’t get this. There is nothing inherently dangerous about the manouver. Gymnasts ang cheerleaders do far more dangerous things every day. It’s a freaking handspring.

With a little less control as there is a ball there, and cheer people practice it a dang sight more.

I had someone on my U16 team who did it a few times. Quit after he botched the rotation and landed hard enough to knock the wind out of him. Got him pulled from the rest of the half with a “told you so” from the coach. Though it was a pretty big advantage at that level, where most throws are pretty short.

There’s also 5) Unless you are very precise with the flip, you run the risk of stepping over the touchline in making the throw, thus conceding the ball to the other team (not to mention looking pretty dumb in doing so).

Very unlikely. You simply start back far enough you aren’t within 2 feet of the touchline at the time of the throw.

Unless there’s limited room in which to perform the throw, which is often the case, as you have noted.

Oh come on, can you seriously not see that balancing yourself for just a moment ON A BALL, at speed, when you’re not a cheerleader or a gymnast but a football player (who don’t generally practice this type of stuff) might be a risky enterprise, especially when compared to standing on your legs and, after holding the ball over and above your head, throwing it back on to the pitch?

Why would you pick that particular clip? Watching that kid take the ball in the face is just painful.

To show why more people don’t do it? Duh? :wink:

Did the law used to require something about both hands used equally, or symmetrically or something? I thought I remembered learning that many years ago (and was in a refereeing household, so wouldn’t have just taken what some random coach said).

This isn’t some random kid from off the street trying the move - obviously those who try it are capable of doing a handspring, just like a gymnast or a cheerleader. The ball makes a bit of a difference, but if you look at the video posted above, it is snowing, the grass is wet, and the kid has no trouble doing it twice. I’ve spent a lot of time at kids soccer games, and I’ve seen this tried close to 100 times, and I’ve never once seen a kid slip or fall. Some of the throws were bad, but the move was executed flawlessly.