Are you ready for Sin Bins?
The mandatory rule change applies up to Step 5 of the National League System and Tier 3 and below in women's football. Sin bins of 10 minutes will be issued by referees as a sanction for dissent in adult football, and will apply to all levels of grassroots football. Shorter sin bins will 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 will now be 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 participating 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.
Mark Bullingham, The FA’s Chief Executive Officer, said: "The introduction of sin bins is a positive step for grassroots football. They allow referees to address incidents of dissent quickly and effectively. Dissent is a key part of the game that needs to be tackled, and our pilot phase has proved that sin bins work well. The trial showed a huge impact on behaviour that we want to roll out to the whole game and make it more enjoyable for everyone."
Karl Lingham, Hertfordshire FA Chief Executive, added: “Feedback from the sin bin pilots, some of which took place in Hertfordshire leagues, was extremely positive. Reducing dissent not only supports the Respect programme, it can also help with the retention of referees in the grassroots game.”
Sin bins will be indicated by the referee showing a yellow card and clearly pointing to the touchline. This will result 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 £10 administration fee for a single temporary dismissal. A second temporary dismissal in a match will result in an exclusion from the game.
In readiness for this change, Hertfordshire FA have been working with leagues, clubs and referees across the county to help ensure all are up to speed ready for the start of the season.
Players and club officials who want to find out more can also visit The FA website where there is a wealth of information or download the Sin Bins Infographic for a handy reference guide.
Meanwhile, The FA has also launched an interactive online portal for players, club officials and match officials designed to educate participants on the sin bins process ahead of the new season.