How Far Back Must Defenders Be on a Soccer Throw-in?
Hi Michael,An opponent must stay at least 2 meters from the thrower and can be given a yellow card for standing closer than 2 meters (note that this rule probably won't be enforced at very young ages). Also, an opponent is guilty of unsporting behavior and should be given a yellow card if he unfairly distracts or impedes the thrower (e.g., by jumping around, shouting or making gestures to intentionally distract the thrower, or by jumping in front of the thrower).
If your team is U-8 or older, you should hope the defenders crowd close to the thrower because you can simply throw over them. There are some tips about throw-in tactics on Premium, but basically, read Coaching Rule # 3 (when your team is on defense have your players mark behind an opponent so your players can't be thrown over) and on offense, throw over the opposing defenders if they stand close (have one of your players who can make the longest throw in take it) and have your players stand behind the defenders and be ready to run to win the ball (teach them in practice where it will be thrown to). Have the thrower throw down the line if in the Defensive or Middle Third and toward your goal when on the Attacking Third of the field.