Watford player receives a yellow card as he protests a decision


Temporary Dismissals to be introduced across grassroots football in Middlesex.
  • Temporary dismissals – also known as ‘sin bins’ –will be introduced across all levels of grassroots in Middlesex football from next season
  • Player dissent will result in a temporary dismissal from the pitch
  • The decision follows a successful pilot phase, which saw a 38% reduction in dissent


The Football Association [The FA] has today announced that temporary dismissals, also known as sin bins, will be introduced across all levels of grassroots football in Middlesex from the start of the 2019/20 season.


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. 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. 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."


Leigh O'Connor, Middlesex FA CEO, said: "The impact of Sin Bins has been widely discussed over the past few months and is providing a positive impact on the grassroots game. We hope that the full roll out of the initiative will only further this and enhance the referee's experience on a match day. No one deserves to enter the field of play to be abused, and this will give referee's the power to positively impact the game and deter repeat offenders."


Results during the trial period showed a 38% total reduction in dissent across all participating 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 www.TheFA.com/SinBins

How Sin Bins Work

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