Referees across Wales have detailed that they are leaving the game due to the verbal and physical they have received.
This reason for departure from the game has resulted in there not being enough active Referees in Welsh football to be able to provide a Referee at every grassroots game in Wales, which has a detrimental impact on the enjoyment of players, coaches, team officials and spectators who are all essential to Welsh football.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) and Area Associations are therefore introducing initiatives which will aim to reduce incidents of abuse and consequently increase the number of active Referees and improve discipline in the country.
Several grassroots football leagues in Wales are currently trialing Temporary Dismissals, commonly known as ‘Sin Bins’, in a bid to reduce dissent towards match officials.
The ‘Sin Bin’ Trial will allow the FAW and Area Associations to assess the impact of ‘Sin Bins’ on Dissent and Abuse towards match officials in the trial leagues, to therefore assess whether the introduction of ‘Sin Bins’ would be an appropriate measure for grassroots football across Wales.
FAW CEO, Noel Mooney, said: “Our mission is to make football the most inclusive, accessible and successful sport in all parts of Wales. The ‘Sin Bin’ 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.”
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. By introducing ‘Sin Bins’, 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.”
How do ‘Sin Bins’ work?
If an on-pitch player commits a Dissent offence, they will be shown a Yellow Card by the Referee and pointed towards their own team’s technical area.
The player will then be dismissed from the game for a minimum of 10 minutes and will only be allowed to return when the Referee decides they can.
If a player commits any other offence while in the Sin Bin, they will not be allowed to return to the game at all.
Where are Sin Bins being Trialed?
The Sin Bin trial is in place for the 2023/24 Season, in at least one division in every area of Wales and for all of the following competitions:
MMP Central Wales Football League (North & South)
MMP Central Wales Football League Challenge Cup
Autocentre Gwent Premier League (All Divisions)
Gwent Premier League County Motors League Cup
North East Wales
North East Wales Football League Reserve Division
North East Wales Football League Reserve Cup
North Wales Coast
North Wales Coast East Football League Premier Division
North Wales Coast East Football League Cookson Cup
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance League (All Divisions)
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance League W John Owen Cup
Macron West Wales Premier League
Macron West Wales Premier League Cup
The FAW is committed to ensuring football is for everyone, where everyone can feel respected and supported across the game in Wales.
To further support the FAW’s vision for Welsh football and its culture, the FAW have created ‘PAWB Values’, a campaign which highlights the FAW’s core values of ‘Respect, Excellence and Family”
The FAW’s guiding principles form the acronym ‘REF’ and this iteration of the #PAWBValues campaign highlights the importance of respecting everyone across the Welsh football family to support the development of excellence.
These three key principles are in place to guide all aspects of the FAW’s work and are values which are key to growing and developing the game in Wales and will continue to feature prominently across the FAW’s upcoming initiatives.