Temporary Dismissals

In 2019, it was announced that The FA Council has agreed for Temporary Dismissals (Sin-Bins) to be introduced for all leagues and clubs at Step 5 and below, following a 2 year pilot.

The aim is to decrease dissent and improve the match day experience and to support the RESPECT programme.

We have put together a handy information guide to highlight how the process works

Pilot Scheme Results

  • 38% reduction in Dissent across all leagues
  • A reduction on dismissals for receiving a 2nd caution in a game and Abusive Language

Survey carried out to obtain feedback from users (1400 users)

  • 72% of Players wanted to continue with Sin Bins
  • 77% of Managers/Coaches wanted to continue with Sin Bins
  • 84% of Referees wanted to continue with Sin Bins

A SKY survey showed that the 1 major change referees requested to be brought in was Sin Bins

Current use has shown that Players self-police Dissent as they wish to play with a full squad.


Q. Will the Referee working on their own be able to control the Sin Bin Period?

A. Yes if they follow the correct Procedure

Q. Can a Temporary Dismissed player warm up?

A. Yes – Want to avoid injury and the purpose of the Sin Bin is to remove from play

Q.  What happens if the Team go down to less than 7 players as a result of a Temporary Dismissal?

A. If at any time a team goes under 7 players for any reason – the game will be abandoned

Match Day Process

Period in Sin Bin is:

  • 10 minutes for all matches of 90 minutes
  • 8 minutes for all other matches
  • 5 minutes for youth matches that are 2 x 25 minutes
  • Remember – No designated area: just back with management and subs

Period starts when play restarts

Referee includes any lost time

Where neutral assistants are appointed they assist with time keeping

  • Referee has the final decision on when the player can return to play
  • Does not need to be a stoppage in play – Referee will only allow player to return away from current action
  • A Player in the Sin Bin cannot be substituted until the period has expired and not at all if all substitutes have been used
  • If the period has not expired at the end of the 1st half, it continues during the 2nd half (or Extra Time)
  • If It has note expired at the end of Extra Time and there are kicks from the penalty mark – the player can participate

Click the link below to access The FA Sin Bin training module

Click here to launch the FA Sin Bin Training Module

Get in touch

Sebastian Stockbridge
Referee Development Officer
T: 0191 3872928 (Option 2 then Option 6)