The Football Association are to trial the use of sin-bins in a number of leagues at step seven and below in the non-league pyramid next season.




The FA will introduce what it calls “temporary dismissals” but they will only apply to yellow cards shown for dissent.

Players cautioned for dissent will be asked to leave the pitch for ten minutes.

Over 1,000 clubs across the country were contacted by the FA over the weekend, as they looked to assess the number of clubs that would be interested in taking part in the trial.

It is understood that the clubs taking part in the trial will not be subject to the usual £10 fine they receive for players that are shown a yellow card during a game.

The move comes as part of the Football Association’s commitment to prevent referees being subjected to dissent during the game.

Non-League Daily has had it confirmed that only clubs that use the Football Association’s ‘Whole Game System’ to register players will take part, as the FA look to monitor the system throughout the non-league pyramid.

One source at a step seven league in the North East that is not taking part believes that the trial should be carried out at a higher level of the pyramid.

They said “I agree with the trial in principle but I think it is being carried out at the wrong level.

“At our level it is so difficult for referees to control administration during the game.  Who will keep check on the time?  What if an opposing side scores if the time runs over?

“I think the trial should be carried out at National League level where they have fourth officials that can monitor the time.  He can inform the referee, who can then focus on the game.

“We don’t have fourth officials at our level so it is added pressure”

Those concerns were matched by former Premier League and international referee Keith Hackett, who believes that the introduction of sin-bins promoted “weak refereeing”.

“I frankly do not see this working” said Hackett.

“I suggest that the Sin Bin will be a rectangular mark on the ground outside the field of play.

“You dismiss first one player of one team and then a member of the opposition so we need two sin bins.

“We also see in recent games referees applying yellow cards in succession in a very short time span.

“I assume that if the player is sent to the sin bin that this replaces the yellow card and no other sanction is applied like a fine

“I also assume that a player who has been in the Sin Bin and commits another offence will receive a red card

“Now we have the supervision of the Sin Bin and the administration of time.  Then many of our grassroots games operate without assistant referees.

“Sin bins are a step too far and the promotion of weak refereeing”

However, John Topping, secretary of the Durham County FA, confirmed that a number of their leagues will take part in the trial and is fully supportive of the idea.

He said “If selected by The FA we will be trialling in our selected DCFA leagues for under 14,15,16,18,23 and Women’s league next season.

“The sin bin is to be used only for dissent offence at present, and this will allow the referee to send a player to the sin bin to cool down (he or she cannot be replaced) for a time period.  If a player receives two sin bin offences in a game then he or she is dismissed as what happens now. This would also save the team having to pay a £10 administration fee and therefore help teams financially.

“Step seven and below was chosen) Because some step seven leagues have other divisions within their structure that are not part of the National League System.

“There will obviously be some teething problems such as those involving referees knowing how long a player has been in the sin bin, but that is the reason for the pilot”

Further details of the trial and the clubs involved are yet to be announced.

Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)


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