Can You Score From A Throw-In In Soccer?

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A hundred and fifty years ago, the steam engine was the hottest thing ever.  No wonder Charles Dickens was the pre-incarnation of the Rolling Stones.

Dinosaurs were already extinct, and birds were already splendid, pish-posh. Football was football everywhere but hardly the football of today or even soccer. 

No, people were perfectly happy to kick a football. So, back then, the first modern football rules started to appear everywhere. And a throw-in became a thing, rule-wise.

Today, history readily gives an answer to all questions about football rules. So when we ask, “Gosh, golly, can I score from a throw-in?” there is an answer.

Scoring from a Throw-in  

No, you can’t score from a throw-in, and it’s more than just a rule. Sure, the chances of actually throwing the ball so far and scoring past a pro goalie are itty-bitty. And isn’t using hands against football rules anyway?

Funnier still: what if a goalie catches the thrown-in ball, then throws it all the way to the other goalie? And what if that other goalie decides that it’s a bother and lets it through? It’s a goal, then, volleyball-style.

But besides scoring directly — or weirdly — as long as the ball is in play, what’s to stop you? Some soccer pros can throw it 50 yards right into the penalty area, so there are ways to play a throw-in well, even if by bending the mind of your opponent, Jedi-mind-trick-wise. To see how let’s get down to basics.

Basics of Throwing In

The basics come from history. Back when the first rules appeared, ’tis was simple. The throw-in was not unlike a lineout in rugby or even a ball out of bounds in football. That’s just what happens when the ball leaves the field from the sides.

Let’s start with what the field was like in the past: it was a lawn in a garden somewhere at best. At worst, well, it was a mess, which is still the way for some types of football. Disagree?

Consider the swamp football or, brace yourself, the crab football. That’s where people gathered to play something that didn’t yet have rules, so they came up with some.

When the ball leaves the field, it’s useless to debate philosophy — just throw it back. But where? Today’s football says it’s just a dead ball, so the down ends. Rugby says let’s just hurt each other some more.

And soccer, back when there was little difference between the three, was just like that. On a rugged-cragged field, what was the best way to bring the ball back into play?

To put it simply, it’s about fairness: let everyone have an equal chance of getting it. So the ball had to be bounced against the ground, and whoever was lucky was lucky. But time passed, cash piled up, fields for pro games became special venues, and the rules changed.

Rules for Throwing In

Today, the rules are very simple, “Throw it already!” But with so much cash in the game, the rules were bound to become overly prim. So you have to keep your feet on the ground.

On the other hand, keeping your foot on a tree or on a cloud seems far more interesting; we can see that. Down on earth, however, you keep both legs on the ground to prevent cheating.

See, if you grab a football and start spinning around like a stone thrower — that’s an Olympic sport — things happen. You’re able to throw really far, and that’s not very good for business, the sports kind. 

So the rules make sure you can only throw really close. But they don’t stop at the legs, no. Both hands have to be on the ball, and the ball should be thrown from behind the head, they say.

They must really know how to party, I think. And then, if the fun was not enough, you have to stand facing the field. So, one wonders how they did it if all that explaining had to be put into the rules.

Proper Technique for Executing a Throw-in

Boring people do it like that: both feet on the ground, both hands hold the ball, and throw from behind the head. And this is how the rock stars do it. First, they run like fire! Then they lunge for the ground and do a rollover.

And then, because it just wasn’t enough, there they go: they lunge again. But now they stand on their arms and keep the arms on the ball. Then they flip over hence the flip-over throw-in technology, patent-pending, and throw the ball. 

Frankly, the last bit does seem boring on paper since they follow all the rules. But the overall technique is good and makes them throw extra far, as long as they don’t hurt themselves. Besides hurting themselves, more troubles await unwary throwers.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Throwing In

Basically, doing it against the rules or being careless; that’s it. One thing that happens most often is just plain carelessness: players just lose the ball. Seriously, it just falls out of their hands, but then, they’re not basketball pros, which brings us to the most overlooked opportunity.

It glaringly screams and screamingly glares at every soccer coach. Get a basketball player on the field; it’s that simple. 

They are huge, towering; they’ll throw it left, they’ll throw it right, day and night. Best of all, the average basketball pro is much more civilized than your average soccer brat. But until some team does hire a basketball player, it’s all down to tips and tricks.

Tips and Tricks for Successful Throw-Ins   

How do you get to Broadway as a ball thrower-inner? Practice. Aside from that, there is a number of tricks to make it fun and worth your time. 

First, look left and throw right you confuse your opponent that way. Second, you guessed it, look right and throw left. Moving on to edgy business, throw it against your opponent — yes, you actually can.

But you can’t do that in a bad, mean way, with a grin. No, you have to be cheerful and friendly, and it’s fine. This is not a silly joke; it’s actually in the rules.

Advantages of Using a Throw-in to Set Up an Attack and Score Goals

Counterattacks. Period. All the advantage comes from the fact that the throw-in is awarded against the team that lost the ball. So the ball changes hands sorry, that’s “legs.”

In that instant, the game turns around and changes course. The attackers of a minute ago become the defenders and vice versa, which brings us to the theory and practice of planning and scheming.

How to Strategically Position Players on the Field Before the Throw-in  

Just position yourself running toward your rivals’ goal, and don’t be silly. The entire point of a throw-in in the modern game is to counterattack after your opponent has made a mistake. It’s their fault; just use it. It’s neither metaphysics nor meta-soccers.


So it’s settled: get a basketball pro to do throw-ins in soccer. I promise: everyone will become at least twice as happy. Until then, it’s the boring old rule-following. In the past, a throw-in was just meant to return the ball to the game with the same intent as in rugby or football now.

Today, when a team loses a ball, a throw-in is awarded against them since it was their mistake. Then, the other team rushes, their eyes full of bright hope, to mount a counterattack.

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