That is true. I believe it is covered under the “hold the ball with both hands” rule. I’m not sure how it is worded in any official rule-book, but I’ve seen more than my share of illegal throws due to one hand throwing the ball and one hand just touching it.
Incidentally, I’m wondering if **Paintcharge **and I have ever played with or against each other. How many soccer players from Maine who played in the 80s who also saw some dude do a flip-throw can there be?
The problem with this maneuver is that while you’re doing your windup and your flip, your target or the defender may have moved. And you have to pick your target pretty early, before you even begin going forward. Throw in a bit of inaccuracy from the maneuver itself, and you’ve managed to offset whatever gain you get from the flip.
And, as others have pointed out, sheer distance or sheer force is rarely the aim of a throw-in.
From the Laws of the Game in 1983: “Law XV. - Thrown In … The thrower shall use both hands and shall deliver the ball from behind and over his head. …”
Thus, for the last 26 years, the law has been the same. I believe that the law has been substantially the same for a lot longer than that.
The “no spin” concept is what I call a “folk rule” (similar to a “folk etymology”). Someone gets an idea about what a rule is supposed to be accomplishing, then grafts onto the rule’s language some interpretation that attempts to implement this purpose. The idea spreads, because lots of people take what someone in authority says without questioning it. In America, this happens CONSTANTLY in soccer because the vast majority of people learning the laws don’t know the game, really. This includes coaches at beginning clinics, players in youth leagues, and, sadly, referees being taught by USSF Referee Instructors.
When I learned to referee in 1989, from a USSF clinic held in Santa Cruz, CA, I was dutifully taught the language of Law XV. I was tested according to the plain language. However, I was told by the instructor, as he discussed the law, that using both hands meant that no sideways spin could result. If sideways spin resulted, then the player had actually thrown the ball with one hand, and the other hand had merely “guided” the throw. Subsequent referee clinics confirmed this concept. It wasn’t until about 1995 or 1996, when I was talking to a much higher level official that I got my nose rubbed in the plain language of the rule, and was told that this interpretation was not supported by the law, nor by anything FIFA had ever done.
So I’m not shocked that you were told that, but it has never actually been the rule.
As indicated, unless the player does not utilize the second hand in any way, a throw in that is delivered from behind and over the head will be legal. And truth be told, the one-handed throw is only a problem if the ball is thrown to the side of the head. Try throwing with just one hand directly over your head and see what happens.
A lot of times, players in a hurry throw more around the head than over it. That foul throw is very common in youth play.
FIFA mandates only a 2 yd. distance between the opponent and the sideline where the throw in is being taken. I haven’t seen the video in a while, but I believe the player in question isn’t really violating that rule. Nor does he jump up and attempt to block the throw in, a cautionable offense.
ETA: Well, strike that, he’s right on top of the sideline. But the way that throw is made, I’m not sure he wouldn’t have gotten nailed if he’d been 2 yds back. :eek:
Aaron Gunnarsson, who plays for Coventry City in England’s Championship, has a killer long throw. Very often he ends up rearranging the advertising hoardings so he can get his run up in.
In fact, his long throw is amongst the best I have seen. Unlike many that cast it at quite an angle, thus getting distance through the time it takes to drop, he throws it in quite shallow and at high speed.
Very dodgy distance mobile phone camera example here (the goal was from injury time against Newcastle in the Carling Cup, but unfortunately decent footage tends to get taken down from YouTube rather quickly):