Misconduct memo

Please read this entire memo on misconduct. It is important that all referees are consistent when issuing yellow/red cards.

Law 12 identifies the seven categories for which a player may be cautioned and shown the yellow card along with the seven categories for which a player may be sent off and shown a red card. Below is a simplified list of yellow and red card offenses. Referees should read Part B of Law 12 in the “Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game” book.

When to Punish Misconduct:
Law 5 empowers the referee to take “disciplinary action against players guilty of cautionable (yellow card) and sending-off (red card) offenses. The referee is not obligated to take this action immediately for yellow cards, but can do so when the ball next goes out of play.”

When a referee sees a cautionable misconduct on the field (could be on the bench by a player), he/she shall either stop play for the foul or misconduct and issue the appropriate card or continue play. If play is continued, the referee must then issue the card at the next stoppage and not wait until a later time in the game to issue the card. Make sure the “punishment fits the crime”. Play must be stopped for a red card offense.

Yellow card (caution) offenses:

  1. Guilty of Unsporting Behavior
  2. Dissent by words or action
  3. Persistent Infringement of the laws
  4. Delays the Restart of play
  5. Fails to Respect required Distance
  6. Enters field Without Permission
  7. Deliberately Leaves the field Without Permission

*If play is stopped to caution a player, the referee will give an indirect free kick to the opposing team unless the offense included a foul calling for a direct free kick.

Red Card (Send Off) offenses:

  1. Guilty of Serious Foul Play
  2. Guilty of Violent Conduct
  3. Spits at an opponent or others
  4. Denies a Goal by Handling the ball
  5. Denies a Goal by a Foul
  6. Uses Offensive, insulting or Abusive Language
  7. Receives a Second Caution in the same match

ALL referees should read the “Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game” book! This book will help you become a better referee, will help you when you take recertification tests, and help you make the correct call using correct procedures.

Have a great season,

Adel Cabral
State Director of Instruction

About SRA

Steven Mauricio is the State Referee Administrator
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