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When the ball is kicked directly over the touch line?

When the ball is kicked directly over the touch line but does not hit the ground and bends back in field before landing in play, is this in or out?

The ball is not out until it touches the ground or something that is touching the ground (player, fence, tree). This is a useful point as this means that a player who is in touch may bat the ball back into the field of play, so long as they are not in contact with the ground. However the ball is thrown in where it crossed the touchline, not where it went dead.

Thanks Theo. That is what I thought. I had a referee in a recent final tell me that the touchline is like a wall and as soon as the ball crosses it, it is in touch. I was not sure if the Law had been recently changed; but the 'wall' theory is obviously incorrect.

Sorry to join in a bit late on this, but I believe that some clarification is needed. If the ball has crossed the plane of touch, it can be batted back in by a player that is not in contact with the ground PROVIDED that the player next lands in the field of play (not in touch). Essentially, once the ball has crossed the "wall" of touch, it can be brought back only by someone who is not in touch. BUT a player that is standing in touch or jumping and landing in touch CAN bat the ball away from touch BEFORE it reaches the "wall" or plane of touch. So the "wall" approach is important for officials to judge whether the ball had crossed into touch or not before the player tried to knock it back. Clear as mud? Here are the relevant definitions: If the ball crosses the touchline or touch-in-goal line, and is caught by a player who has both feet in the playing area, the ball is not in touch or touch-in-goal. Such a player may knock the ball into the playing area. If a player jumps and catches the ball, both feet must land in the playing area otherwise the ball is in touch or touch-in-goal. A player in touch may kick or knock the ball, but not hold it, provided it has not crossed the plane of the touchline. The plane of the touchline is the vertical space rising immediately above the touchline.

Thanks Scott. I queried my club referee on the same info as in your answer. I was told that once the ball touches anything over the touchline it is out. That would mean that a player must contact the ball before it crosses over the plane of touch for it to remain in play! You're saying it depends on whether the player is in touch or in play rather than whether the ball has crossed the touchline. I can't find the answer in the laws but it sounds as though you are correct.

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