Sin Bins

(Temporary Dismissals)


  • Temporary dismissals – also known as ‘sin bins’ –  will be introduced across all levels of grassroots 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 FA has announced that temporary dismissals, also known as sin bins, will be introduced 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 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.


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.

Get In Touch

Martin Peters

Referee Development Officer


01458 832 359 Option 4

07908 171 282

Sin Bin Matrix

Interactive Sin Bin Training Module

Player? Club Official? Match Official? Spectator? Learn how Sin Bins will change grassroots football using the FAs interactive training module.

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
- Mike Sullivan, Referee