Sin Bins - There must be an app for that?

This year the English Football Association is rolling out Sin Bins across grassroots football, which includes:

  1. All men’s leagues in the pyramid from Step 5 and below

  2. All women’s leagues in the pyramid from Tier 5 and below

  3. All youth leagues and Sunday leagues too


The FA are allowed to implement the changes after IFAB (the body responsible for the Laws of the Game) added ‘Temporary Dismissals’ to the Laws of the Game in 2017. In the Laws of the Game, Football Associations around the world are able to adopt Temporary Dismissals (Sin-Bins) in grassroots football and can implement one of two systems, System A (all cautions result in a Sin Bin) or System B (selected cautions result in a Sin Bin).

The English FA chose to adopt System B (for dissent cautions) to help improve player behaviour on pitch and have piloted the procedure on 92 leagues over the last two seasons.

In anticipation to a nationwide roll out you may have seen there’s been a whole host of training put on by County FA’s up and down the country to clubs, players and referees. On this page you’ll see the familiar chart of possible outcomes Sin Bins now introduce in matches, it must leave you thinking - surely there’s an app for that? Well, we’re glad to say there is. Read on to see how REFSIX handles Sin Bins for referees up and down the country.

When creating a game

Before you use REFSIX on a match you create a game on the REFSIX mobile app. When creating a game simply select Temporary Dismissals from the dropdown and enter the amount of minutes a sin bin should last for (10 minutes for adult, 8 for youth).

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Giving a temporary dismissal in the game

Giving a sin bin in a game is effortless and takes a matter of seconds. Simply swipe to the team options menu, select the player number, select dissent and confirm the temporary dismissal. This will show a confirmation message that the player’s temporary dismissal timer has started.

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The app is fully aware of all of the different considerations you’ll need in matches including:

  • A confirmation message will appear if a player gets another card whilst in the sin bin saying the player should not be able to return to the field.

  • If there is an injury during the sin bin time and you stop the watch as a referee, this time is added on to the temporary dismissal.

  • The timer pauses when you end the first half and commences again when the second half is started (the same with going in to Extra Time periods too).

  • A player is allowed to take part in Kicks from the Penalty mark after Extra Time even if they are still in the sin bin.

  • If a player is in the sin bin the app will not allow that player to be subbed or score a goal.

    The outcomes

After the player has spent the allotted time in the sin bin the app will flash up a confirmation message and provide you with information if the player can continue or not, or can be subbed or not.

The REFSIX app has been used by 1000s of referees up and down the country and many have been using our sin bin feature during the last pilot season since we added it in August 2018. It’s available for any referee to use for free, simply head to the AppStore or PlayStore and search for REFSIX or click the links below:

I have an iPhone

I have an Android Phone

Hassan Rajwani