What should be done in football but won’t be… part 2 – Sin Bins

This is such a mind-bogglingly simple idea to implement that I cannot for the life of me understand why it has not been adopted. Both codes of rugby use it very successfully and every which way you look at it, it works.

Being clear about which transgressions result in a sin-binning is key. For me, it’s all about letting a player calm down a little and reduce the risk of a red card. It’s also about on-the-spot punishment. So, swearing and handbags between players are where it should begin. I also feel a late, cynical tackle is another area. All these offences are yellow card jobs and the ref should still issue the card. The player heads to the Bin for 10 minutes and returns, we hope, with a clearer head.

And in addition to letting peace be restored and to maintaining eleven v eleven when the Bin time is done, there is another, really useful effect. It means the player is punished during the match in which he is playing. If one of the oppo hacks down my flying winger and gets a yellow card, I don’t care at all that he will be suspended in two games time when his team plays some other outfit. I want the effect of his crime to be felt then and there. A mouth full of expletives or a crude challenge in midfield should be punished by a few minutes in the Bin. My team gets a short term advantage, like in rugby, ice hockey etc yet the game is not spoiled over the whole of its remaining course.

Like I say, you have to be careful what constitutes a binning offence but aside from that, can anyone see any downside whatever to this?

Next – Retrospective punishment using video evidence

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4 Responses to “What should be done in football but won’t be… part 2 – Sin Bins”

  1. Ariel says:

    Absolutely right mate.

  2. Darren Nash says:

    Only one, James:

    Let’s say a defender makes a last ditch tackle, gets the ball, but the opposing forward makes a meal of it. The ref sees a desperate tackle and a striker going down and decides that the defender has hacked the forward (but, of course, he hasn’t). Now, under the system we currently have, there’s time for the ref to view the video and recind the yellow card – no crime, no punishment (with apologies to Dostoevsky). Under a sin bin system, the defender’s team play with ten men for ten minutes when they’ve committed no offence.

    Mind you, there are miscarriages of justice as it is – and many more of them – so I’d still say it’s a good idea to introduce a sin bin – but you did ask if anyone could see a downside!

  3. JamesB says:

    Good point. I guess it needs to be joined up with policies on teams appealing decisions during matches (I’ll post on that separately), and having a third ref looking at the contentious stuff like in cricket (that too).

  4. Ed Lines says:

    Excellent points about the sin bin. Rugby League and Rugby Union use the bin to great effect and football could do well to follow their example.

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• August 8th, 2007 • Posted in Football, Sport Tech • Comments: 4