Yellow Card - Caution and Red Card - Ejection for Coach’s

GSYSL will now allow cards to be shown to coaches, if you issue a caution or send-off to them. This provides the referee will a tool to clearly inform coaches. Again, referees may now show the appropriate card when cautioning or sending off a coach.

Referees will be instructed that they have the option to issue/show cards to coaches for the following offenses: issue/show a Yellow Card – Caution for Dissent. and issue/show a Red Card – Ejection for a 2nd Yellow Card (Dissent) or Straight Red Card for Offensive, Insulting or Abusive Language and/or Gestures whenever Coaches display such irresponsible behavior from their bench area.

Guidance on Issuing of Yellow/Red Cards

Players, substitutes or substituted players Any information regarding cards issued to players, substitutes or substituted players shall be recorded on the first page of the USSF Referee Report form, as is the usual method of reporting.

A coach or bench personnel (not a player, substitute, or substituted player) that is deemed to be displaying irresponsible behavior may be shown a yellow or red card. The referee must ensure prior to the start of the game that this game is under the auspices of a league that allows this deviation from USSF/FIFA Laws of the Game.
  • Coaches or bench personnel warned (yellow) or dismissed (red) shall have the information regarding the type of card and the words irresponsible behavior recorded on a supplemental report form (second page)
  • In addition, the information will need to be submitted on the YC/RC/Coach Ejection Report
  • As always, if a coach displays irresponsible behavior and they are warned or dismissed, there needs to be description of what was said and/or done both by the coach and the referee on the supplemental report as well.

Suggested process to application

  • Be sure you have reviewed the YC/Caution and RC/Ejection as it NOW applies to coach's in GSYSL
  • Be sure to apply: Ask, Tell, Remove.

  1. Ask to coach to refrain (either by means of your voice or a calming motion with your hands)
  2. Tell the coach by issuing a YC/Caution
  3. Remove the coach by issuing a 2nd YC and a RC ....or a straight RC

You can go right to Remove if need be, but you should normally use the three steps, if possible.

You must file a USSF Supplemental Report. The reason given for the YC or RC: Irresponsible Behavior for Bench Personnel.

Methodology of Displaying Cards

Whenever a player, substitute or substituted player, and now coach, is shown any card, the display of the card needs to be in the general vicinity of the person to whom it is issued and it must be clear to whom the card has been issued.

Game Restart

When a game is stopped for the sole purpose of issuing a yellow or red card to a coach or bench person, the proper restart is a dropped ball at the point the ball was when the game was stopped.If the game has already been stopped, and then the card is shown, the correct restart would be based upon the reason for the stoppage of play.


  • Coach's who are ejected or are under suspension must leave and/or remain completely away (defined as a distance of at least 100 yards) from the playing site or complex where his or her team is playing a game for the entire length of his or her suspension.
  • Such a person may not communicate with his or her team by any means – including, but not limited to, relaying of information through a third party or by electronic means – during the period beginning one-half hour prior to the scheduled start time or at any time during the game, including during the half-time interval.
  • Failure to abide by this rule may result in additional disciplinary action.
  • All Cautions and Ejections will be posted on the “Disciplinary Report” on the Referee Page of the GSYSL web site

Coach’s issued two (2) yellow cards in a season or one (1) red card will be subject to a three (3) game suspension Referees are reminded that this policy of showing a yellow or red card to a coach is limited to GSYSL league play only.  This policy should not be applied to other competitive events (such as tournament or other competitive leagues or events unless stipulated by the specific rules of competition pertaining to that event

Dealing with an Ejected Player or Coach

If a player is sent off, the league requires the following procedure to be used:

  1. No youth player shall be ordered by the referee to leave the premises.
  2. The player may remain on the bench area provided they remove their jersey, put on warm-up jacket or similar action while on the bench. The coaches shall be informed the player may not act in an inappropriate manner for the remainder of the match.
  3. A player may not go to the spectator side of the field
  4. A player may leave the vicinity of the field area. In this situation, the age level of the players must be considered. The safety of the player is the first concern even in a send off situation.
  5. During a tournament situation, a designated location under the supervision of tournament staff may be designated for players to sit after being sent off. In this situation, a tournament official or coach should escort the player to the designated location.
  6. If the player continues to act in an inappropriate manner, you have the authority to ask the coach to control the player in question or terminate the match. In either of these situations, the behavior must be reported via USSF Referee Report to the league and the SRA

When dealing with coaches, the “ask, tell, dismiss” guidelines recommended by US Soccer National Referee Office shall be followed.

If you dismiss a coach in a situation where there is no assistant coach available at the game, be aware of the fact that the coach is alone and in the “tell” phase clearly communicate if you are forced to remove the coach, the game must be terminated “as there must be a rostered coach on the bench side of the field for the game to continue”.

There is no exception to this policy of US Youth Soccer and Granite State Soccer League.

In either case if you are unsure as to how to proceed. You can contact the following people for guidance:
  • Byron Phinney – League Chair – 386-986-7315
  • Paul Lessard - League Vice Chair – 603-289-6841
  • Steve Lewis – League Assignor – 916-877-5391

© 2012 Granite State Youth Soccer League
All rights reserved.
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Pelham, NH 03076