Law 15 - Offences and sanctions


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An opponent moves closer than 2 m to the point at which the throw-in is taken. The thrower takes the throw-in correctly and avoids the opponent but the ball goes to another opponent. What is the referee's decision? (Sanction if any (and reason)? Restart?)

(those who have been on this forum long enough know most my LOTG questions are loaded :) )
Ok, I'll bite :)

IFK and Caution

I can't see the complexity when the law says ...

An opponent who unfairly distracts or impedes the thrower (including moving closer than 2 m (2 yds) to the place where the throw-in is to be taken) is cautioned for unsporting behaviour and if the throw-in has been taken an indirect free kick is awarded

Waits nervously to be proved wrong :hmmm:


RefChat Addict
Not suggesting either of you are wrong :) . Here is the other angle though. We need to be clear on what offence we are punishing for here. From Law 12 "failing to respect the required distance at a restart" is a 'mandatory' cautionable offence. Unfairly distracting an opponent is mandatory if verbal, if action it is not mandatory but it can be a cautionable offence, ITOOTR.

Now what is the quote from Law 15 suggesting? Being closer than 2 meters is an unfair distraction and therefore USB (one which is not mentioned in the list of USB offences in Law 12)? Or is it suggesting unfair distraction is USB (regardless of being closer than 2 meters), as well as being closer than 2 meters is USB?
In a real game situation, just moving closer than 2 meters is not always a distraction, let alone an unfair one.

Either way there are a couple of poor inconsistencies here. Being closer than required distance for any other restart is not USB but has its own caution code. Secondly the restart for any other offence when the opponent is closer than the required distance is a retake. Why is it a IFK for a TI?

Once again poor wording in the laws leave a lot to be desired.
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Big Cat

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The Laws have too many contributors, evolve with no overall direction and are poorly worded (universally translatable)
They should be based on process flows and checklists, instead of this dreadful text, hidden meaning and laughably inconsistent AOL
I agree with @Big Cat --drafting by committee and addressing individual issues often fails to weave a consistent tapestry of the Laws. This has been a growing issue since the recent great rewrite (ironically intended in part to simplify), as IFAB continues to issue mircorules instead of painting general concepts.


RefChat Addict
Agree with both. But it is an obvious issue as it happens with every major release of the LOTG. Then why is not not being fixed or prevented. Clearly a problem with the process of how it is done.

Every change should go through 'technical writer(s)' who are also subject matter expert (in refereeing). All wording to be made consistent, all gaps/loopholes covered and all ambiguities resolved. Its is common practice for any established large organisation for documents like contracts etc.

It seems to me the new wording in law lack that final 'quality control' step before they get into the production line.