Referee issues a yellow card.

Temporary Dismissals (Sin Bins)

In accordance with the Laws of the Game as determined by International Football Association Board (IFAB), The FA has sanctioned the mandatory use of Temporary Dismissals (Sin Bins) for dissent offences only.

Following a very successful two year trial period, Sin Bins will become mandatory across all leagues within the country at Step 7 and below. There are also ongoing talks as to whether this will be extended to leagues operating at Step 5 & 6 of the footballing pyramid, however this has not yet been confirmed.

This change will have a direct impact on referees, players, clubs and leagues throughout North Riding. The following information will allow you to understand the process of Sin Bins and how they will operate on a match day.

History & Authority

IFAB are responsible for the Laws of the Game which govern all formats of football worldwide and as such, national Football Associations are responsible for ensuring that these are correctly implemented. In March 2017, IFAB approved for national associations to have the discretion to use Sin Bins for either all cautions or selected cautions.

The FA opted to conduct a pilot on the use of Sin Bins for Dissent offences only in order to support the RESPECT programme. In addition, during the 2016/17 season, there were 73,500 cautions for Dissent nationwide (25% of all cautions) and the aim of the use of Sin Bins is to decrease Dissent and improve the match day experience for all participants

Pilot & Results

Temporary Dismissals were first trialled across 31 leagues in the country during the 2017/18 season and following a survey, the results are as follows:-

• 38% reduction in dissent offences across all leagues
• 72% of players wanted to continue with Sin Bins
• 77% of managers/coaches wanted to continue with Sin Bins
• 84% of referees wanted to continue with Sin Bins

Following the results of the survey it was determined that the trial would continue with an additional 61 leagues for the 2018/19 season before coming mandatory for all leagues at Step 7 and below for the 2019/20 season.

Matchday Process

In order to ensure that you have a full understanding as to how the Sin Bin process will be implemented during a game, please refer to the below information:-


• Applies only to active players only (those on the field of play)
• Does not apply to substitutes and coaching staff


• The referee will take the name of the offending player
• A yellow card will be issued and shown
• Referee to point to the touchline where the player must go (there will be no specific Sin Bin area)


• Sin Bin to last for 10 minutes in matches of a 90 minute duration
• Sin bin to last for 8 minutes in all other matches
• The Sin Bin period only commences when the referee restarts play
• Referee will include any lost time (i.e injury delay)
• Referee is the sole arbitrator of time and as to when the player can return (permission can be given when the ball is in play)

Offending Player

• Cannot be substituted until the Sin Bin period has expired
• Can take part in a penalty shootout – even if the Sin Bin period has not expired (i.e. end of extra time)
• Must be in the Sin Bin for active playing time (i.e. Sin Bin to continue into 2nd half if required)
• Defined as being in the Sin Bin from the moment they are cautioned for Dissent (even if play has not yet restarted)
• Any player who has been Temporarily Dismissed and commits a further yellow or red card offence whilst in the Sin Bin cannot take any further part in the game and cannot be substituted

On-Field Sanctions

As of the 2019/20 season, all Dissent cautions must be dealt with via the Sin Bin process whereas cautions for all other offences (Unsporting Behaviour, Persistent Infringement etc.) will remain unaffected. Repeat offenders will be sanctioned as per the guidelines below.

If a temporary dismissed player:

• Commits another Yellow Card offence or Red Card offence during the sin bin period, they cannot take any further part in the game and cannot be substituted
• Commits a non-dissent caution at any time on the field of play in addition to the sin bin period will continue to play
• Commits a 2nd Dissent caution (and no other offences) will receive a 2nd period in the sin bin. At the end of that period, the player can take no further part in the game but can be substituted (providing that the team concerned has not used all of their permitted substitutes)
• Commits a 2nd dissent offence and has already had a non-dissent caution will take no further part in the game and cannot be substituted

The below chart will give you a step by step process of the on-field sanctions that a referee must take:

Caution Offence 1 Caution Offence 2 Caution Offence 3 On Field Sanction
Dissent  Sin Bin 
Dissent  Non Dissent  Sin Bin, caution recorded (no send off) 
Dissent  Non Dissent Caution  Non Dissent Caution  Sin Bin, send off for S7 (second caution)
Dissent  Dissent  Sin Bin x2, unable to re-join, but CAN be substituted after 2nd Sin Bin if not all subs used 
Dissent  Non Dissent Caution  Dissent  Sin Bin, caution recorded, Sin Bin, unable to re-join and CANNOT be substituted 
Non Dissent Caution  Dissent  Caution recorded, Sin Bin 
Non Dissent Caution  Dissent  Non Dissent Caution  Caution recorded, Sin Bin, send off for S7 (second caution) 
Non Dissent Caution  Dissent  Dissent  Caution recorded, Sin Bin, Sin Bin - unable to re-join and CANNOT be substituted after 2nd Sin Bin 


Guest logins are available on the brand-new North Riding FA Referee Education Centre – perfect for players, coaches, team managers, club secretaries and leagues.

To access modules on temporary dismissals and Laws of the Game amendments for 2019/20, please follow the links below.



You’ll need to click ‘login as guest’ to access them when asked.

Get in Touch

Conor Ledgeway

Referee Development Officer

01642 717770 (Option 3)
(9am - 5pm Monday - Friday)


Yes – We want the player to avoid injury and the purpose of the Sin Bin is to remove the offender from play

For any match which lasts for a duration of 90 minutes, the offending player will be placed in the Sin Bin for 10 minutes. For all other matches, the time in the Sin Bin will be 8 minutes. It is important to remember that the time served in the Sin Bin must be active playing time and the referee will therefore include any lost time (i.e. injury delay)

As long as the referee follows the correct procedure then there should be no issues. Referees will need to note down the time of issuing the Sin Bin

The Sin Bins will be used for ALL  NRCFA cup competitions except the Senior Cup as this stage (awaiting confirmation)

If it is the player’s second sin bin and they are not permitted to return, the game will be abandoned.