Important Changes to Sin Bin Procedure for the 2024/25 Season

These changes apply to Step 5 and below, Women’s Tier 3 and below, and include all cup competitions within these leagues.

West Riding FA is excited to announce crucial updates to the Sin Bin procedure that will take effect for the 2024/25 season.

These changes apply to Step 5 and below, Women’s Tier 3 and below, and include all cup competitions within these leagues. This initiative aims to bolster the RESPECT programme, reduce dissent, and enhance the match experience for everyone involved.


In March 2017, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) approved a discretionary system for national associations to implement temporary dismissals (sin bins) for either all cautions or selected cautions. The FA has opted to use sin bins specifically for dissent, intending to support the RESPECT programme and improve overall match conduct.

The Law

According to Law 12, dissent by word or action is an offense punishable by a caution. A player guilty of dissent will be temporarily dismissed and must serve time in the sin bin.

This does not apply to substitutes or coaching staff.

Match Day Process

1. Issuing the Sin Bin: When a player shows dissent, the referee will signal by issuing a yellow card and pointing to the touchline. The player must immediately go to the designated sin bin area.

2. Duration:

o 10 minutes for matches of 90 minutes.
o 8 minutes for other matches.

3. Designated Area: Players should ideally go to the technical area with their own team members, but there is no fixed area mandated.

4. Timing: The sin bin period begins once play restarts. The referee will account for any lost time. Players can only re-enter the game at a stoppage of play, with the referee's final decision being paramount.

5. Substitutions: A player in the sin bin cannot be substituted until the sin bin period has expired. If a player commits another cautionable or sending-off offense while in the sin bin, they are dismissed and cannot be replaced.

6. Incomplete Sin Bin Periods: If the sin bin period is not completed by the end of the first half, it continues into the second half or extra time. If the sin bin period remains incomplete by the end of extra time, the player can participate in penalty kicks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can a temporarily dismissed player warm up? A: Yes, to avoid injuries, temporarily dismissed players can warm up as long as they comply with competition rules.

Q: What happens if the team is reduced to less than 7 players due to sin bin dismissals? A: The match will be abandoned according to Law 3.

Q: Can a goalkeeper be sent to the sin bin? A: Yes, goalkeepers can be temporarily dismissed. The team must have a goalkeeper, so special procedures will apply.

Q: What if a substitute shows dissent? A: They will receive a yellow card for dissent, which will be reported as a C2 caution.

Q: How will referees track the time for multiple sin bin dismissals? A: Referees will note the time of each yellow card and monitor the return times accordingly.

Q: What if the dissent caution is the player's second yellow card? A: The player will be shown a second yellow card and dismissed. The team will play with one fewer player for the remainder of the game.