Cumberland FA Referees

Guidance on Temporary Dismissals (Sin-Bins)

To assist Cumberland FA leagues and clubs with understanding their use, we have put together the following guidance

Following a successful two-year pilot period, the FA sanctioned the use of temporary dismissals (more commonly known as ‘sin bins’) for dissent offences in grassroots football.

To assist Cumberland FA leagues and clubs with understanding their use, we have put together the following guidance:

The period of time in a Sin Bin is 10 minutes for all matches of 90 minutes and 8 minutes for all other matches. 

There is no ‘designated area’: just back with the management and subs

Period starts when play restarts

Referee includes any lost time

Where neutral assistants are appointed, they assist with time keeping

Referee has the final decision on when the player can return to play

Does not need to be a stoppage in play – referee will only allow player to return away from current action

A player in the Sin Bin cannot be substituted until the period has expired and not at all if all substitutes have been used

If the period has not expired at the end of the 1st half, it continues during the 2nd half (or extra time)

If it has not expired at the end of extra time and there are kicks from the penalty mark – the player can still participate

Visit the FA Sin Bin Online Guide ( for a free Sin Bin training module.

Scott Taylor, Cumberland FA Referee Development Officer, said: “Temporary Dismissals (Sin-Bins) were introduced by The FA and have been in place for a while now in our Cumberland FA leagues and applies to clubs at Step 5 and below. The aim is to decrease dissent and improve the match day experience and to support the RESPECT programme. We have put together a handy information guide to highlight how the process works and participants, but especially our CFA Referees, should take the free FA online Sin Bin training module to freshen up their knowledge.”


Q. Will the Referee working on their own be able to control the Sin Bin Period?

A. Yes, if they follow the correct procedure

Q. Can a Temporary Dismissed player warm up?

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

Q.  What happens if the Team go down to less than 7 players as a result of a Temporary Dismissal?

A. If at any time a team goes under 7 players for any reason – the game will be abandoned

TAKE THE free Sin Bin training module