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Disciplinary Proceedures for all Soccerpitch Leagues

After consultation with County FA's and to follow suit with the national 'Respect the Referee' campaign, Soccerpitch have decided to clarify and introduce the following disciplinary measures to clamp down on the following offences, which will result in an increase of blue cards (three minute sin-bins) and red cards.

Please read all of the proceedures beow. It is the team manager's responsibility to make sure all players are aware of the new guidelines.

Please make sure you are up to date with all the Rules, particularly the ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS on using un-registered players and non-show of teams (at the TOP of the rules page)

- Please note Soccerpitch want to make all players experience of playing as enjoyable as possible so please follow the new guidelines to ensure all matches are played in the right spirit and pass without any difficulties.

- We thank you in advance for your co-operation.

Referee/Staff offences 

  • Bad language aimed to officials – however small it may be, this will not be tolerated
  • Excessive questioning of the referee‘s decision
  • All referee’s have been informed to blue card and send off players at their discretion if they feel they are being abused in any way
  • Players are not to excessively shout at matchday staff to obtain a match ball when it has gone out of play
 Playing offences

  • Overall poor behaviour
  • Foul play
  • Bad language to opposing players
  • Kicking the ball away
  • Encroaching on free-kicks
  • Not retreating the full three yards on all dead ball situations
  • Time wasting
  • Any conflicts between players will result in both players being punished
  • No jewellery allowed except a taped wedding ring
  • Shinpads must be worn at all times
  • No boots with any studs or moulds (allowed only on 3G) to be worn, astro trainers and normal trainers only
  • Teams should not wear black or dark blue kits – if your team is presently wearing these colours you will need to change this asap – contact us to discuss this

Reminder of specific rules 

· Goal kicks are to be taken by kicking the ball from a dead ball position within the goal box and the ball must leave the box

· To clarify a shot that strikes the bar or a back-board at outdoor venues and then goes above head height will be deemed a foul. An indirect free kick is to be taken from where it was last touched by a player

· Goalkeepers can over-arm throw the ball or drop kick providing it does not go above head height

· To reinforce if the goalkeeper saves outside the box and the ball goes above head height he has made himself an outfield player and this is a foul


Red cards administered in small-sided football for offences, which would normally carry a suspension of less than 35 days are the responsibility of SOCCERPITCH to deal with according to the County FA’s recommended tariff of suspensions.

Suspension for offences of less than 35 days apply to small-sided football and 11-a-side football.

SOCCERPITCH are responsible for and deal with the following tariff of suspensions for less serious offences that would normally carry a suspension of less than 35 days.

Offence Penalty (to be administered by Soccerpitch)
Receiving a second ‘blue card’ in the same match 1 Match suspension  
Denying a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity  1 Match suspension  
Use of offensive, insulting or abusive gestures 2 Match suspension 

Attempting to kick or strike another player

Violent Conduct

Serious Foul Play

3 Match suspension 


If a player is suspended from 11-a-side for less than 35 days this suspension only applies to 11-a-side football.

County FA’s deal with all offences that would normally carry a thirty five day suspension or above:

· Serious Foul Play

·  Kicking or striking another player

· Use of offensive or insulting or abusive language or gestures directed at match officials

·  Spitting

· Head butting

· Assault

· Refusing to leave the field of play when ordered

· Causing a match to be abandoned

· Any offences where the offender has also acted in a discriminatory manner for reasons of ethnic origin, colour, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability

County FA disciplinary action arising from such offences applies to both 11-a-side and small-sided football.  

As County FA’s will only be dealing with serious offences that carry a suspension of 35 days and above, County FA’s will not take into consideration any disciplinary action that SOCCERPITCH may have taken on their own initiative. SOCCERPITCH will administer a ‘match’ suspension system whereas a County FA will employ a ‘suspension period’ as disciplinary action will apply to all categories of football.

Issuing of Cautions and Introduction of ‘Timed Suspensions’

In small-sided football yellow cards and associated cautions are no longer employed. Referees will employ a blue card for a cautionable offence. The issuing of a blue card indicates that the recipient will serve an immediate ‘timed suspension’ (‘sin bin’) of 3 minutes. 

The options for disciplining offenders are therefore as follows 

1.  Player shown a blue card is temporarily suspended from play

2.  Player issued with a second blue card is permanently excluded from play

3. Player issued with a red card is permanently excluded from play. The release of players from a temporary suspension will be at the direction of the referee. 

Viability of a match  

If in a Small Sided Game (5 or 6-a-side) one team is permanently reduced by more than two players the match shall be abandoned. This does not apply if a team has players that are only temporarily excluded. 

Personal Liability for Disciplinary Offences  

If a player is fined and leaves the club (i.e. no longer plays for the team) the individual should retain responsibility for the payment of a fine, rather than his former team, and should be suspended from all forms of football until the fine is paid.