Can You Be Offside From A Throw In? 

Soccer in general is pretty simple to understand, most of the rules of the game really aren’t all that complicated. That is until you get to the offside rule. This is where things can get a little tricky, and where most people can end up a little stumped. 

That’s where I come in. We’re not going to look at the offside rule as a whole today, but we’re going to get a little more specific. Throughout this article, we’ll take a closer look at how the offside rules come into play when it comes to a throw-in. 

Can You Be Offside From A Throw In 

So, for those of you who don’t know, a throw-in is when the ball has gone out of the boundary lines of the pitch. The fault for the ball going out of play will lie with whoever the ball last touched and therefore a player of the opposing team can throw(see also: How To Throw A Football Far) the ball back into play. 

The question that we are answering today is whether or not a player can be penalized for the offside offense from one of these throw-ins. Don’t worry if you’re not sure exactly what the offside offense is because we will describe this briefly throughout the article. 

The short answer to this question is no. There is no offside offense applicable from a direct throw-in to a player of the same team. This is because doing so would restrict the player from only playing the ball in the opponent’s half of the pitch.

But we’ll delve into more detail about this subject now. 

Why The Offside Rule Doesn’t Apply To Throw-Ins

To truly get to grips with why this rule doesn’t apply, you’ll need to understand two main points. 

  1. What it means to be offside
  2. How that will affect a player throughout a throw-in

Now, I’m not going to delve into all of the nitty-gritty of being offside today, but I will disclose the relevant information to the question at hand so that you can understand why this rule does not apply. 

What It Means To Be Offside?

The first thing to understand is that offside all comes down to the moment that the ball is played, so we’re dealing with mere seconds here. It is from the moment that the ball is touched by the player or leaves their foot.

So you will only be offside if you are in any of the following positions when the ball is played. Once the ball has been played you can then move into these positions without the move being illegal. 

So What Are The Offside Positions? 

  • When any player (including their head, body, or feet) is closer to their opponents’ goal line than the ball and the second-last defender/opponent. This applies as long as any part of the player’s body is in their opponent’s half of the field. 

It can all get a little more perplexing as you try to learn as it is not an offense to be in this position providing that you are not in active play. Essentially it will not be counted as offside if you have no involvement/touch the ball during the play.

It only comes into effect once you become a part of the play. 

What This Means For Throw-Ins

So, following the rules that you’ve just learned above, can you see how that might affect a throw-in?

If this offside rule took effect while a player was in their opponent’s half of the pitch, it would essentially mean that they would not be able to throw the ball forwards to another player on their team.

Can You Be Offside From A Throw In  (1)

It would restrict them to only passing backward which could put the team in jeopardy. 

If we followed the offside rule during throw-ins opposing teammates could simply ensure that they were directly in line with, or just behind any of the throw-ins teammates, and then they would not be able to pass the ball forwards to continue an attack.  

So to prevent this obstruction of play, there is no offside offense when a player directly receives a ball from a throw-in. 

When The Offside Rule Comes Back Into Effect

You may have noticed that I have been very clear that there is not an offense when a player directly receives the ball. This is because from the moment that the ball is touched once it is back in play the offside rule is immediately reinstated. 

So, for example, if the ball is thrown back into play and is intercepted by the opposing team for even just a second, all players must then be onside before the ball can then be passed to them. 

Final Thoughts

The offside rule is certainly a tricky one to get your head around. It is arguably the hardest part of soccer to learn, but I promise that once you get your head around the positions that the players can and cannot be in, it becomes a lot easier. 

The offside rule can become a little more complicated since there are times in play when the rule is suspended, such as the throw-in. This usually comes into effect to allow the play to run more smoothly and to give both teams a fairer chance when it comes to attacking. 

There are only two other instances where the offside rule will be suspended and those are corners and goal kicks(see also: Can You Be Offside On A Corner Kick?).

Don’t worry, we won’t go into that right now, that’s for another time. But just keep in mind that offside is always applicable except for the instances of a throw-in, goal kick, (see also: Can You Be Offside On A Goal Kick? )or corner. 

Hopefully, this article has made understanding the offside rule a little easier. You should now know that the offside rule is not in effect during a throw-in but not only that you should also understand the reasons why it is not in effect. 

Adrian Turner
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