Yellow Card

Sin Bins

(Temporary Dismissals)

  • Temporary dismissals - also known as "sin bins" - have been introduced throughout grassroots football, and are in operation in the Jersey FA Combination League
  • Player dissent results in a temporary dismissal from the pitch. In adult football, this is for a ten minute period
  • The introduction of sin bins follows a successful pilot in leagues across England (and in Jersey), which saw a 38% reduction in dissent

The FA introduced sin bins across all levels of grassroots football from the start of the 2019/20 season and on this page you will find a range of useful information and resources.

The mandatory rule change was implemented up to Step 5 of the National League System and Tier 3 and below in women's football. Sin bins of 10 minutes are issued by referees as a sanction for dissent in adult football, and apply to all levels of grassroots football. Shorter sin bins apply across youth football.

The FA successfully piloted sin bins during the 2017/18 season, and then extended this to a total of 31 leagues throughout the 2018/19 season as part of its commitment to improve the match day experience for all. After gathering positive feedback from players, referees and coaches, sin bins were rolled out across all leagues at grassroots level in a bid to increase participation and to continue improving match day experiences.

Results during the trial period showed a 38% total reduction in dissent across all leagues. Meanwhile, 72% of players, 77% of managers and coaches, and 84% of referees said they wanted to continue with sin bins after the trial period.

Sin bins are indicated by the referee showing a yellow card and clearly pointing to the touchline. This results in a temporary dismissal from the pitch during which time the player is not allowed to be substituted or involved in the game in any way. 

Unlike cautions, which will continue to be issued for unsporting behaviour and other offences, players will not be required to pay the £12 administration fee for a single temporary dismissal. A second temporary dismissal in a match will result in an exclusion from the game.

To read answers to a series of Frequently Asked Questioned, please click here (FA website) or download the infographic below.

Get in touch


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Useful downloads


Interactive Sin Bin TraininG Module

Player, club official, match official, spectator? Learn how Sin Bins work and how they are changing grassroots football for the better, using the FA's interactive training module...