top of page

Temporary Dismissals – “The Sin Bin”


The idea of a “sin bin” has been a part of some football codes for several years, but for the “beautiful game” (football or “soccer” if you prefer) it has been noticeably absent – at least up until 2018. For the first time in its history, the IFAB (the world game’s rule setting body) introduced the concept of temporary dismissal into our round ball code.

The IFAB ‘s addition of the concept of a “sin bin” has been made with a fairly broad brush stroke, leaving National bodies to select the way in which the new law is to be applied on home soil. There’s not much point talking about the way it will be applied in other countries, the important thing for us is to understand how it will be applied in OUR competition. By “our competition”, I am referring to its application by FFA and, more specifically, in games conducted under the auspices of the Sunshine Coast Churches Soccer Association.

So here it is – how the “sin bin” will work in SCCSA games.


As most people know, a CAUTION (yellow card) is given to players by the match referee who commit a relatively serious offence against the laws of the game – whether that offence is physical, verbal or, in some cases, technical. A caution is a little stronger than an official warning because it goes on the player’s record in the match and then in the broader competition. If a player receives a second caution (yellow card) in a match they also earn the red card and are sent from the field, unable to play again in that match and unable to be replaced by their team.


The Association also keeps a record of the number of yellow cards a player receives during the season and, if a particular limit is reached, then they are suspended from playing for a match.


One of the offences for which a player is likely to be cautioned, is that of dissent. A player must not show dissent from the referee’s decisions either by word or action and if they do so, they can expect to receive a caution (i.e. be shown the yellow card). If they have previously received a yellow card in that match, then the yellow card is shown and is followed immediately by a red card (the player is sent from the field).


A player in any competitive age group (i.e. from u11’s up) who receives a caution for dissent will ALSO serve a temporary suspension (“in the sin bin”) provided, of course, that this is their first yellow card in the match (remember, if it’s their second yellow, it becomes a red card and they are sent off for the duration of the game plus any suspension given by the Association – usually a minimum of one extra match).


So, for example, if a player dissents by telling the referee that it “was a terrible call” or by throwing the ball away in disgust at a free kick being awarded against them, then that player will receive a yellow card PLUS he/she will dismissed temporarily(“sent to the sin bin”). The dismissed player returns to the substitute bench where they wait until they are allowed to return to the field of play. In our competition (i.e. SCCSA games) from u11 – 15/16 games, the temporary dismissal will last 5 minutes, for 17/18 and above (including adult games) the temporary dismissal will last 10 minutes. During this temporary suspension, the player may NOT be replaced (i.e. their team plays one player down). When their suspension time expires, they will be allowed to return to the field of play AFTER receiving a signal from the referee that they may do so. They do not have to wait for a stoppage in play, but MUST receive permission before re-entering the field.


If they are temporarily dismissed close to the end of the first half, the balance of their suspension (i.e. that time not served because the 1st half ended) must be served at the start of the second half. If they receive a temporary suspension close to the end of the second half, the balance of their suspension lapses (i.e. it does NOT carry over to their next game).


If a substitute (i.e. a player waiting “on the bench”) is guilty of dissent, they may also be shown the yellow card and receive a temporary suspension, meaning that they will not be permitted to play until that suspension (5 or 10 minutes) is completed.

bottom of page