Referee Female

Amendments to Red Card Reporting

The way Red Card offences are reported by referees is changing from next season


Currently Referees across the game at all levels when dismissing a player from the field of play are required to write a detailed report of the offence when reporting the dismissal.


The purpose of this report is largely historic and relates to when Players were able to appeal a dismissal and attend a Personal hearing to challenge the report. The move at grassroots level from term based discipline to match based discipline prevented personal hearings for red card offences and was replaced with the wrongful dismissal process.


The requirement to report the detail of the dismissal is not necessary for the Wrongful Dismissal process that now applies at all levels of the game and in fact contributes to confusion as to the purpose of that process.


The ability to claim a Wrongful Dismissal applies where a Club can demonstrate that the decision to send off a player for the offence committed was obviously wrong.


Clubs often concentrate their submissions on perceived errors in the detail of the report rather than whether the decision to send off for the offence was or was not correct. The onus is on the Club to show that the referee was obviously wrong in the dismissal offence and where they cannot satisfy that burden any claim should fail.


It has therefore been agreed to amend the reporting process with effect from the start of the 2018/19 season to operate the same as reporting yellow card offences. This change will apply at all levels of the game.


Therefore the referee is only required to report the red card offences as laid out in the laws of the game as follows:


S1. Serious Foul Play

S2. Violent Conduct

S3. Spits at an Opponent or any other person

S4. Denying the opposing player an obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball

S5. Denies the opposing player an obvious goal scoring opportunity by an offence punishable by a free kick or penalty kick

S6. Uses Offensive, insulting or abusive language

S7. Receives a second caution in the same match (This offence also requires the referee to report the caution offence for each caution)


Offences of S2 – Violent conduct will be categorised further with the following categories:

  • S2 – Violent Conduct - Head to Head contact
  • S2 – Violent Conduct - Elbowing
  • S2 – Violent Conduct - Kicking
  • S2 – Violent Conduct - Stamping
  • S2 – Violent Conduct – Striking
  • S2 – Violent Conduct – Biting
  • S2 – Violent Conduct – Other Unspecified Behaviour*


(* A free text field to capture other Unspecified Behaviour will be available if this option is selected).