FA to introduce sin bins across grass-roots game after successful trial

The trial saw a 40 per cent reduction in dissent against referees - Russell Sach
The trial saw a 40 per cent reduction in dissent against referees - Russell Sach

Sin bins will be introduced by the Football Association across the grass-roots game after a trial in the new law saw a 40 percent reduction in dissent against referees.

A fresh clampdown to help better protect officials from abuse could eventually see the same laws being introduced in the professional game. The mandatory rule change for referees will be implemented up to level five of the National League System - which includes the likes of the Combined Counties Premier Division - and tier three and below in women's football.

Cricket and rugby authorities are also exploring options to better protect officials. The Daily Telegraph last month published a report by academics at the University of Portsmouth which concluded there was “an urgent requirement for the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Rugby Football Union to intervene and attempt to improve the operational landscape”. In cricket, 56.5 per cent of umpires had endured abuse, while 45 per cent said that it ­occurred at least twice a season.

According to the International FA Board (Ifab), sin-bins or "temporary dismissals" can be used in youth, disability and grass-roots football matches for all yellow cards. However, the FA will use them in the English game only for dissent.

The FA trialled the sin-bins in 31 leagues throughout the 2018/19 season. Results during the period showed a 38 percent total reduction in dissent across all leagues. Meanwhile, 72 percent of players, 77 percent of managers and coaches, and 84 percent of referees said they wanted to continue with sin bins after the trial period.

Mark Bullingham, the FA’s Chief Executive Officer, said: "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."

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.