Few Have Flipped Over Soccer's Acrobatic Throw-in

Difficulty, Risk Of Injury Limit Use Of Chesney's Creation

October 27, 1991|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff writer

The flip throw-in play in soccer has its ups and downs.

When doneproperly, it's an effective offensive threat that results in solid scoring opportunities and, often, goals.

South Carroll grad Ron Chesney is credited by several county coaches as the player who introduced the throw at the high school level in Carroll a few years back. This year, at least six high school players have used it.

Now a junior at Western Maryland College, Chesneyand his throw have produced many goals for the Green Terrors.

"It's an effective weapon we use within 30 yards, and we've scored threeor four goals with it," WMC coach Matt Robinson said.

"The key isdoing it correctly," he said. "Ron has good control of it and puts aline drive on the throw, which makes it tough to defend against."

The flip throw comes into play after a ball has gone out of bounds along the sidelines. Primarily used on the offensive third of the field, the flip throw consists of a player along the sideline planting the ball on the ground as the axis for a running somersault.

The player completes the somersault by landing with both feet on the ground while throwing the ball over the head with both hands.

The somersault gives the player added momentum, which results in a longer throw.With the ball closer to the opponent's goal, better scoring opportunities are created.

The throw has its risks, however. Accuracy can be a problem, and, more importantly, there is risk of injury. Weatherand field conditions can play a major role in the the throw's use and effectiveness.

None of the high school coaches who have flip-throwers on their teams allow the move to be used in wet conditions. North Carroll girls co-coach Tom Davidson also makes sure his player hasenough room.

In a girls match played earlier this season in Frederick, South Carroll's Jen Morrissett broke her ankle attempting the acrobatic throw.

"This was my second year throwing it, and I reallydon't think it's that dangerous," Morrissett said. "I did it (broke the ankle) along a trench on the field at Frederick. I could have been just running on the field, and it could have happened."

The throw has been discussed at a national level at rules committee reviews.

Every year, the rules committee reviews all new rules and any old ones that come up on the agenda, said Don Sparks, assistant director of the National Federation of High School Associations.

"(The throw) came up a few years back, but no rule change was suggested," he said. "We've never received a report of an injury. It's not something every other team in the country does."

The committee will next meetin January. So far, the topic of the flip throw is not on the agenda.

High school coaches around the county have different views on the special throw.

"We have three kids capable of throwing it," Liberty boys coach Lee Kestler said.

"Basically, you're getting more of your total body weight with the flip throw, as compared to the standard, flat-footed throw," Kestler said. "We've only scored one goal with it, but we've missed some opportunities."

North Carroll boys coach Ed Powelson has a player who can make the throw but he seldom uses it.

"The reason I don't like it is not because of injury factorbut because he's got to do two things to do it right," Powelson said.

"Not only does he have to do the throw, but he also has to execute the handstand."

South Carroll coach Charles Fazenbaker doesn't have anybody on the team this year using the throw, but he was the junior varsity coach when Chesney was with the Cavs.

"Right now, I wouldn't encourage anybody to learn it," Fazenbaker said. "I have my players using a medicine ball in practice, and a number of them can throw the ball with a regular throw just as far -- with more control."

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