Sin Bins (Temporary Dismissal)



  • Temporary dismissals – also known as ‘sin bins’ –  were introduced across all levels of grassroots football in 2019/20
  • 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 FA introduced temporary dismissals, also known as sin bins, across all levels of grassroots football from the start of the 2019/20 season and on this page you will find a range of useful information and resources about the change.

The mandatory rule change was 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 have now been rolled out across all leagues at grassroots level in a bid to increase participation and to continue improving match day experiences.


Results during the trial period showed a 38% total reduction in dissent across all 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.


Are you a club official? A match official? A player? Spend 5 minutes to complete the online interactive training module to ensure you know the rules around the new sin bins! 

support images for referees and clubs . . .

Referee Matrix

Sin Bins in Youth Football

Sin Bin Infographic