Sins bins could be introduced into English football as early as next season says FA referee Wayne Millin.
The referee plies his trade in the fifth tier of the women’s game, the league in which Forest Green Rovers play, and indicates that this could be brought into the league on a trial basis next year.
At this level of the women’s game there is already one rule which slightly differs to the highest level as the allow “rolling substitutions”.
This introduction of sin bins at this level would be a good test to see whether it will work going forward.
The introduction could see a slow but radical change to the rules of football in England. Instead of getting a yellow card, players will have to sit out for a few minutes which mean that a team will be playing with 10 men for a short period of time.
This would act in a similar way to rugby as Millin explains: “Next season I’m sure that this level and below, sin bins will come in for dissent so anyone who backchats the ref can go and do ten minutes in the sin bin.
“That’s across the board both male and female. I’m not sure what level it stops at but I know it’s across the country.
“At the moment there’s a couple of leagues doing it as an experiment, I run one of them, and it works a treat.
“It penalises the player and the team for those ten minutes because in that time a goal can be scored.
Millin does indicate that there could be teething problems initially especially when, at this level, there is only one official assigned to each match.
“It’s hard to manage yourself if you’ve got four or five in the sin bin. Luckily that hasn’t happened yet.”
Forest Green Ladies manager Craig Darkin also had his say on the potential rule change:
“They’ve been on about this for a couple of seasons now. Obviously they use it in rugby. We need to have consistency.
“One week we’re playing with one referee who is ok with a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge and the next you can’t touch the other player. How does that then reflect in terms of the sin bin?”
Another pressing issue at this level is referee abuse and Darkin feels strongly that something has to change in this department and soon.
He said: “The greater good is this game. I saw on twitter the other day pictures of a referee who got beaten up. It’s not acceptable.
— Connor Laing (@connorlaing3) 27 November 2018
“People come to these games thinking they know everything about football but they don’t put the time or effort in.
“Kids coming through the system see their coaches doing it and they will do it.”
Assistant manager Jordan Hutchinson has a theory as to why there is such a lack of support for these referees.
He explains: “It’s down to the funding. You’re running up and down the line, everything thing that can get said will get said.”