‘Sin Bins’ to be introduced in two North Wales football leagues next season

By N Beech

Report by Dave Jones of Grassroots North Wales

Sin Bins’ are to be trialed in two North Wales senior football grassroots leagues next season in a move to reduce instances of dissent and abuse towards match officials.

The tier 4 North Wales Coast East Premier Division and North East Wales Reserve League will be two of six leagues across the country to introduce Temporary Dismissals.
During the trial, on-field players will be shown a Blue Card for Dissent and must leave the pitch for a 10-minute period. Sanctions for all offences other than Dissent by on-feld players will remain unchanged.

A similar system has operated in rugby league and rugby union for a number of years.

The decision to implement the Temporary Dismissals trial was approved by the Football Association of Wales’ Community Game Board following consultation with representatives of the six Welsh Area Associations and discussion with the English Football Association where the system has been in place for several seasons at grassroots level.

The leagues, clubs, coaches, players and referees involved in the trial will receive training on Temporary Dismissals before the start of the 2023/2024 Season.

The leagues chosen for the trial are:

Central Wales Football League
Gwent Premier League
North Wales Coast East Premier Division
North East Wales Reserve League
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance League
Macron West Wales Premier League

The FAW will monitor the impact of Temporary Dismissals on instances of dissent and abuse towards match officials throughout the season to determine whether the policy should be rolled out across all grassroots football in Wales.

Noel Mooney, CEO of the FAW said: “Our mission is to make football the most inclusive, accessible and successful sport in all parts of Wales. The Temporary Dismissals trial will help us achieve our aim by encouraging fair and respectful behaviour in grassroots football which will only increase participation and strengthen the game as a whole.”

Commenting on the Temporary Dismissals trial, chairman of the FAW Community Game Board Mark Adams said: “We have an ambitious plan to increase the number of match officials across Wales to service the incredible growth of grassroots football. However, dissent and abuse towards match officials has been identified as a key reason for referees leaving the game.

“A similar Temporary Dismissals trial period in England saw a 38% reduction in cautions for dissent. By introducing Temporary Dismissals, we hope to reduce dissent and abuse towards match officials and therefore increase the number of referees available to help develop grassroots football in Wales.”

Lee Evans, FAW National Match Officials Manager added: “Temporary Dismissals empower match officials by enabling them to take stronger action to prevent dissent in games. Once players realise they will be off the pitch for ten minutes they will be less likely to give dissent.

“In England, teams now often take it upon themselves to self-police dissent to avoid the disadvantage of losing a player temporarily. Over the long-term Temporary Dismissals will therefore not only benefit referees but also benefit players as they learn to avoid accumulating needless cautions and suspensions.”

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