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When Is the Ball Out of Bounds In Soccer?

author image Nadine Smith
Nadine Smith has been writing since 2010. She teaches college writing and ESL courses and has several years experience tutoring all ages in English, ESL and literature. Nadine holds a Master of Arts in English language and literature from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, where she led seminars as a teaching assistant.
When Is the Ball Out of Bounds In Soccer?
A goalie is diving for a ball. Photo Credit: TongRo Images/TongRo Images/Getty Images

A soccer field is rectangular with white painted lines marking its boundaries. When a ball is played completely across one of the outside lines, the ball is out of bounds and play stops completely. There must be visible grass between the ball and the white line for the ball to be considered out of bounds; if the ball is touching the white line, it is still in play.

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The Touch Lines and Goal Lines

When the ball completely crosses the touch line, which runs the length of the field, the ball is out of play and play will restart with a throw-in by the team that didn't play the ball out. The ball is also out of bounds if it completely crosses the goal line -- the shorter boundary line -- without entering the goal. If the defending team kicked or deflected it out, the attacking team starts play with a corner kick. If the attacking team sent it out, the defending team restarts play with a goal kick.

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