NOTE: Information found in this article was cited from the official “Laws of the Game” which can be found on

A throw-in is a method of restarting play in an outdoor soccer game. If your team last touched the ball before it fully crossed over either touch line on the ground or in the air, then a throw-in is awarded to the opposing team.

Players must keep the following rules in mind when taking a throw-in:

  • Face the field of play
  • Part of each foot must be either on the touch line or on the ground outside the touch line
  • Hold the ball with both hands
  • Deliver the ball from behind and over the head
  • Deliver the ball from the point where it left the field of play

After throwing the ball, the player cannot play the ball until it has been touched by another player. Basically, you cannot throw the ball to yourself to begin play. If the player touches the ball before it has been touched by another player, an indirect kick is awarded to the opposing team from the spot where the infringement occurred.

All opponents must stand no less than 2 yards away from the player taking the throw-in. If an opponent unfairly distracts or impedes the player taking the throw-in, the opponent will be cautioned by the referee for unsporting behavior.

Once the ball enters the field, it is considered in play. A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.