Temporary dismissals being rolled out across grassroots football

Hampshire FA
Sin bins to be introduced across grassroots football from 2019/20 season



  • Temporary dismissals – also known as ‘sin bins’ –will be introduced across all levels of grassroots in Hampshire 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 Hampshire 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.

Please click here see a video highlighting how Sin Bins will be implemented as punishment for dissent

Please also download a quick visual guide to Sin Bins here

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."

Neil Cassar, Hampshire FA CEO said: “Following a very successful two year trial period, sin bins are now mandatory across Hampshire in the 19/20 season, taking a giant step forward for grassroots football as a whole. Dissent is a behavioral matter as opposed to a football matter.

At Hampshire FA we believe this campaign is a great opportunity to challenge the attitude towards match officials, and create an on-going positive match day experience for all involved ”.


 Graphic detailing how you find yourself in the sin bin

 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.

Mike Sullivan, 57
Referee – Kent County League Premier and Oprington and Bromley leagues.

“Following the introduction of temporary dismissals, dissent dropped sharply and behaviour towards referees notably improved. In the games I have officiated, it is clear players are taking the sin bin rule seriously as I have never had to sin bin more than one player. Once the players understand that the onus is on them to stay out of the sin bin and that their actions have consequences on the pitch, the impact is extremely clear. The reaction from the players and managers in my league has been fantastic.

“The temporary dismissal rules gives us as referees another tool to impact discipline in the game at grassroots football and help cut out dissent. I referee as I enjoy the game and want to be involved, the introduction of sin bins improved the matchday experience for everyone involved - including referees.”

Jon White, 28
Player - Beckenham Manor [Orpington & Bromley Division Two], Kent

“There were a couple of occasions last season when our team was reduced to 10 men due to temporary dismissals. It disrupts your game plan and I remember one game we conceded two goals during that time. Off the back of that, some of the teammates had words with the dissenting player and he didn’t open his mouth for the rest of the season. It created a self-policing atmosphere in the dressing room where certain players have taken it on their shoulders to let other players know what the deal is and prevent a needless sin bin.

“I think there was a resistance from some teams initially, but they soon realised the positive impact of the rule change in reducing dissent. From my perspective, a temporary dismissal is far more costly than the previous rule of a yellow carded player incurring a £10 fine. With the introduction of sin bins, this is a bigger deterrent in disrespectful behaviour towards the referee.  I think it’s definitely the way forward for cutting out dissent within the game.”

For more information, head to