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The FA Introduces 'Sin Bins' Across All Levels Of Grassroots Football From 2019/20 Season

The FA Introduces 'Sin Bins' Across All Levels Of Grassroots Football From 2019/20 Season

Player dissent will result in a temporary dismissal from the pitch.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare

The FA have confirmed that Temporary Dismissals, commonly known as "sin bins", will be introduced nationwide across all levels of grassroots football from the start of the 2019/2020 season.

It has been confirmed that the mandatory rule change will be implemented 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, while 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.

Image: PA
Image: PA

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.

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."

Mark Gearing, manager of St Neots Town Reserves in the Kershaw Premier League, believes the sin bin is a positive step for referees.

"Having experienced temporary dismissals in play first-hand during a two-season long trial, I think the benefits are extremely important. Sin bins allow players to control other players within the team and also permits the managers to control situations when emotions are running high.

"In one match an opposing player was sin binned for dissenting the referee. Until that point it was an evenly balanced match, however, during the dismissal we managed to press on and dominate resulting in us going on and winning the game.

"For the team, it highlighted the importance of having eleven players on the pitch. When sin bins were first introduced, we had four experiences of our players being sin binned. We reiterated the importance of the initiative and we haven't had a single player sin binned since.

"Respect is key within football so sin bins is a positive step for referees to take control of the game - nobody should attend a football match and witness dissent let alone experience it like many referees do. We're a club who pride ourselves on our family supporters and sin bins helps us to create a more positive experience for all."

Image: FA
Image: FA

Results during the trial period last season 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 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.

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

Meanwhile, The FA has also launched an online portal for players, club officials and match officials designed to educate participants on the sin bins process ahead of the new season.

For more information, head to

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Topics: Football News, Sunday League, Football, Sin bin, FA