COLUMN: Sin-Bins? Good For the Game?

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There are quite a few rules and regulations that have been introduced by the FA or through FIFA that have divided opinion in recent years.

The positive ones for me is the goalline technology for high level matches, although obviously we`re not going to see it lower down the levels in my lifetime.

The increase of the use of substitutes – I can use all five in my under-18 matches on a roll on, roll off basis, which increases the number of players getting involved is another positive move.

And the pass back to the keeper ruling which came at the right time for me personally as I made a career out of backpasses!

The ruling has meant that keepers have to be more proficient with their feet nowadays and, when scouting a keeper, instead of simply watching how they catch, dive and talk etc., it`s equally as important how they distribute the ball with their feet.

A really irritating rule is the one whereby a player has to leave the field after receiving treatment.

I find that immensely annoying and admit to having occasionally told lads to get up and defend a corner or free-kick before they go down wanting treatment – especially if it`s a key defender!

And that can`t be right as you`re probably only increasing the possibility of making the injury worse.

It was introduced to speed up the game, but for me it hasn`t done that. The player still has to receive treatment on the field of play and the game has to be stopped while treatment is given, so where has it speeded up the game? And then you have the added annoyance of trying to catch the referee`s attention so that the player can come back on!

Another new ruling being trialled this coming season at various levels is the introduction of 10 minute `sin bins` for dissent instead of issuing yellow cards.

I understand quite a number of leagues – my own being one – wanted to enter the trial, but were prevented from doing so by their respective county FA`s.

Now, am I being cynical by thinking the county FA`s reluctance to allow the trial is financially based?!

Think about it. Each booking currently carries a £10 fine. Sin bins would mean no fine.

Okay, so it`s only currently for dissent, but dissent is the offence which has the biggest number of bookings per season nationally.

Over a season, that means quite a drop in income for county FA`s!

I think it would be a great idea, and would ultimately reduce the amount of dissent in the game.

Just imagine how annoyed you`d be as a manager or spectator if your best player was taken off the pitch at a crucial time in the match.

Not only would you be losing your best player for 10 minutes, but you`d be down to ten-men as well.

Instant punishment – and the extra bonus of saving on all that paper work too!

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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