Last updated on October 19th, 2022
The time is running out as your team is attacking the opponent. Everyone is in the opposition half, and the defender from the opposing team clears the ball to your team’s half.
The only player left in the half is the goalkeeper. Will he be able to take the throw-in if the ball goes out of play?
Can a goalkeeper take a throw-in?
A goalkeeper is able to take a throw-in, even with his gloves on. There is no rule that prevents a goalkeeper from taking a throw in. However, this occurrence is usually rare and mainly occurs when the keeper is closest to where the ball goes out of play.
Here is an example of a goalkeeper taking a throw-in in a match.
He was not stopped by the referee and play was allowed to continue. As such, it is perfectly legal for a goalkeeper to take a throw-in!
A goalkeeper cannot score from a throw-in
However, a goalkeeper cannot score from a throw-in. This is similar to the other outfield players.
The reason why they cannot score is due to this due this ruling in Law 12:
It is an offence if a player scores in the opponents’ goal directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeperIFAB
This is the same reason why a goalkeeper cannot score directly by throwing the ball into his opponent’s goal!
Nevertheless, there are still other ways that a goalkeeper can score, such as from a goal kick or a drop kick!
The rules of taking a throw-in
Here are the rules of taking a throw-in, from Law 15 of the IFAB rule book:
At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower must:
- Stand facing the field of play
- Have part of each foot on the touchline or on the ground outside the touchline
- Throw the ball with both hands from behind and over the head from the point where it left the field of play
All opponents must stand at least 2 m from the point on the touchline where the throw-in is to be taken.
The rules do not prevent goalkeepers from taking throw-ins
From the rule above, there is no mention that a goalkeeper cannot take a throw-in. Since he is a player on the pitch as well, he is able to do a throw-in as well.
Some people may think that wearing gloves may give the goalkeeper an advantage since they increase the grip. However, the rule does not mention anything about the goalkeeper’s gloves too.
As such, the goalkeeper does not need to take off his gloves and can just throw the ball immediately!
So long as the throw in fulfils the criteria above, the goalkeeper is able to throw the ball into play.
Goalkeepers rarely take throw-ins
However, this scenario rarely occurs in a game of football. Here are some possible scenarios where a goalkeeper may need to take a throw-in.
#1 The goalkeeper is the only player left in your team’s half
Your team may be one goal down with a few minutes remaining, and your manager has decided to go into an ultra-attacking mode. All of the players will be in the opposition’s half, except for the goalkeeper.
In this scenario, only the goalkeeper will be left in your team’s half. Everyone else will be taking part in the attack.
When the opposing team gets the ball, they will most likely clear the ball into your team’s half.
They will try to clear it as far away from their goal as possible.
Since there is no one left in the half except for the goalkeeper, they will most likely be the player to do the throw-in. This is because time cannot be wasted to wait for another player to do the throw-in.
#2 The goalkeeper plays as a sweeper keeper and is closest to the ball
Some goalkeepers have a new role as a sweeper keeper.
A sweeper keeper is a goalkeeper who plays further up the pitch. He is closer to his backline as he aims to sweep any loose ball and start a quick counter attack when the opportunity rises.
Since sweeper keepers are higher up the pitch, they may be the closest player to the ball when it goes out of play.
To not waste any time as well, the goalkeeper may be the one who takes the throw-in instead of an outfield player.
It is perfectly legal for a goalkeeper to take a throw-in. The rules do not mention any exceptions about goalkeepers taking a throw in.
So long as they are able to do a throw-in properly, there is nothing against goalkeepers doing one!
To find out more about throw-ins, you can check out this guide here.
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