Worked a match recently in which a throw-in was made nearly straight down and then rebounded to strike an opponent in the face.

As far as I understand the Laws do not address the throw-in which is executed as a spike throw (nearly straight down and which rebounds directly back up) but there is a mention in the ATR although it is not any more clearly defined.

What is the current perspective as to this type of throw? Also what if this throw rebounds and impacts a player – opponent or team mate in the face or chest area?

USSF answer (December 1, 2008):
The reason it is not “more clearly defined” is that everyone should “know” what it is — a ball thrown straight down at the ground. There is, however, a caveat on this: The referee must be sure that this was done deliberately, rather than through an accident or pure lack of skill. If you use that criterion, then you are certain to make the correct decision with regard to a throw that rebounds and impacts a player. I. e., it can range from nothing through delay of the restart to dissent. Usually it is at worst only a simple mistake in not performing the throw-in restart in accordance with the Law.

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