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FA introduces rugby-style sin bins for grassroots football as referee dissent tackled

The Football Association has today announced temporary dismissals will be mandatory at all levels of grassroots football next season.

This means any player who shows any form of dissent to the referee, such as shouting or sarcastically clapping, will leave the pitch for 10 minutes. 

It will be indicated by a yellow card and a point to the touchline, a method used in rugby for several years for dangerous play and dissent.

The FA has made efforts to stop referees receiving abuse from players on the pitch. 

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Stars at the top level of football have been criticised for their treatment of the officials. 

And the issue is also big at the lower levels, with Sunday league football going viral on YouTube for some fights. 

But the organisation believes a method where players can calm down and come back will benefit the game.

Mark Bullingham, The FA’s CEO, said: “The introduction of sin bins is a positive step for grassroots football.



This is how temporary dismissals will work according to new FA laws at grassroots level (Pic: FA)

“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.”

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The FA are introducing ‘sin bins’ at grassroots level next season to reduce referee dissent (Pic: GETTY)

The FA have also released an interactive video which show the decision processes involved with temporary dismissals. 

A player will can receive a sin-bin for one of four reasons: 

  • Shouting at the referee
  • Questioning the referee’s ability
  • Slamming the ball to the ground
  • Sarcastically clapping a decision

Referee shows temporary dismissal

Referees will show a yellow card and point to the stands for a 10 minute break (Pic: FA)

They can return to the pitch after a period of 10 minutes in the sin bin. 

But they could still receive a yellow card or a second sin bin, after which they cannot receive any more. 

If an incident occurs after a yellow card, it will quickly turn red for the players. 

And the system has already been well received at grassroots level. 

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The FA saw a 38% decrease in dissent towards the referees in a trial period (Pic: GETTY)

A trial period showed a 38% reduction in dissent towards referees. 

Feedback also showed 72% of players, 77% of managers and coaches, and 84% of referees said they wanted to continue with sin bins.

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. 

County FAs will offer training to referees while all participating club secretaries and players will receive a guide

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