Sin Bins Update

Football Association Provide ‘Sin Bins’ Guidance

Temporary Dismissals Introduced in Essex from 2019/20

Temporary dismissals, also known as ‘Sin Bins’, will be introduced across all levels of grassroots football in Essex from the start of the 2019/20 season following a successful pilot phase which saw a 38% reduction in dissent.

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 ten 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 2017/18, extending this in 2018/19 as part of a commitment to improve the matchday 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 improve 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.”

Brendan Walshe, Essex County FA Chief Executive, said: “Feedback from the sin bin pilots, some of which took place in Essex leagues, has been very positive and we’re always keen to explore opportunities to increase participation and improve the matchday experience for all. It is our aim to reduce dissent in grassroots football, and sin bins play a huge part in this.”

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.

We've been training clubs and referees during the summer, while The FA have 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

Sin Bins Update

Sin Bins Update

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