Sin Bins Introduced

Temporary dismissals (Sin Bins) are coming into the game from 2019/20

Following a successful two-year pilot period, The FA have sanctioned the use of Temporary Dismissals (more commonly known as ‘Sin Bins’) for dissent offences in grassroots football from 1st July 2019.

For the start of the 2019/20 season, in accordance with the laws of the game as determined by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), Sin Bins will become mandatory across all leagues within the country at Step 5 of the FA National League System and below. This includes all Adult and Youth leagues within Cumberland.

This change will have a direct impact on referees, players, clubs and leagues throughout Cumberland and, as such, essential training sessions have been arranged to allow participants to understand the process of Sin Bins and how they will operate on a matchday.

Why a sin-bin?

A behavioural matter as opposed to a football matter, the aim of the match day sanction of a temporary dismissal, or ‘Sin Bin’ as it is more commonly known, is to improve both the behaviour of individual players and to enhance the overall match day experience for all involved.

With the official introduction of this process, The FA has committed that the £10 admin fee for a Dissent caution will be removed and instead, replaced with the player being required to serve a Sin Bin during the match as an ‘immediate punishment'.

All cautions for Dissent must be dealt with by the Sin Bin process. The Sin Bin is a 10 minute time out for all 90 minute games, and 8 minutes for all games less than 90 minutes.

Dissent, defined as a challenge to the authority of the official(s) through the use of language and/or action, has been specifically chosen in an attempt to improve the behaviour, atmosphere and experience for all involved in this level of the game.

From July 1st 2019, all cases of Dissent during matches at the levels above, including pre-season friendlies, must be dealt with by using the Sin Bin process.

It is important to highlight that if something that is said that is insulting, abusive or offensive; whilst it is still classed as Dissent, it can also be deemed a red card offence.

What Is Dissent?

‘Dissent’ is a challenge to the referees authority, whether this be using inappropriate language and/or gestures or other verbal offences.

Sarcastic clapping or comment of a referee’s decision and throwing the ball down after a decision are examples of dissent by action or comment.

What Happens Now?


With the launch of this new initiative, we are running two webex sessions for League Officials, Club Officials and Managers/Coaches, Referees, Players and Spectators within Cumberland FA.

We highly recommend that the above roles log into the webex as this will be key to the success and understanding of this process as we move forward to the new season.

To support the rural nature of the county and to give more people access to the training, the webex will allow  a greater number of individuals to access the support.

An Introduction to Sin-Bins Workshop 1 (Aimed at Adult Football)
Date: Thursday 1 August 2019
Time: 7 – 8pm
Where: From the comfort of your own home through webex
Click to access the webex link
Password: Sinbins

An Introduction to Sin-Bins Workshop 2 (Aimed at Youth Football)
Date: Thursday 5 September 2019
Time: 7 – 8pm
Where: From the comfort of your own home through webex
Click to access the webex link
Password: Sinbins2

If you are unable to log in on ‘the night’ then you will be able to watch at a later date as the training will be recorded.

This is a real great opportunity to challenge dissent and attitude towards match officials. The key for this to successfully implementing this process will be consistency.

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

• The referee will record the name of the offending player
• A yellow card will be issued
• The referee will point towards the touchline where the player will join their coaching team and substitutes (there is no specific Sin Bin area)

• The Sin Bin period only commences when the referee restarts play
• The referee will include any lost time (i.e injury delay)
• The 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). In practice, this will work in a similar way to how a player is invited to return to the field of play following treatment of an injury

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 the second half or into extra-time 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 commits a further yellow or red card offence whilst in the Sin Bin will not be able to 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) remain unchanged. Repeat offenders will be sanctioned as per the guidelines below.
• Any player who commits a further yellow or red card offence whilst in the Sin Bin will not be able to take any further part in the game and cannot be substituted
• Any player who receives a non-dissent yellow card at any time on the field of play after serving an initial sin bin period can continue to play
• Any player who receives a Second dissent sanction after serving an initial Sin Bin period will receive a Second Sin Bin period. At the end of that period, the player can take no further part in the game, but can be substituted providing the team concerned has not used all of their permitted substitutes
• Any player who receives a Second dissent sanction and has already had a non-dissent caution will take no further part in the game and cannot be substituted

Download the Sin Bin Matrix