Card System for Misconduct – Discussion

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In FHSAA-sanctioned soccer games, a three-tier system of misconduct and corresponding sanction replaces the two-tier system familiar to most referees. It is important to note that as this is an FHSAA mandated rule modification, no reference to it can be found in the NFHS rule book.

A summary of the three tier system follows:

MisconductCard ShownSanctionReport Required
Entering or leaving the field without permission; persistent infringement; dissent; incidental use of profanity; use of electronic communication devices to communicate with on-field players; unsporting conduct, including DOGSO by foul inside the penalty area with attempt to play the ball; (first offense)YellowPlayers must the leave field and may be substitutedNo
A player who commits a second violation of any of the misconduct listed aboveYellow, then BlueDisqualification. Player may not be replacedNo
A coach or bench personnel who commits a second violation of any of the misconduct listed aboveYellow, then RedDisqualification. Adults must leave the stadiumYes
A player who commits any delayed, excessive or prolonged act(s) by which a player(s) attempts to focus attention upon himself/herself and/or prohibits a timely restart of the gameBlueDisqualification. Player may not be replacedNo
Denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity (DOGSO) by handling; DOGSO by foul outside of the penalty area; DOGSO by foul inside the penalty area with no attempt to play the ballBlueDisqualification. Player may not be replacedNo
Use of tobacco products; violent conduct; taunting; serious foul play, specifically “any play in which the player commits one of the offenses punishable with a direct free kick (or penalty kick if the offense takes place by a defender in the penalty area) and uses disproportionate and unnecessary force against an opponent while playing for the ball”; spitting; insulting/abusive language; leaving the team area to take part in a fightRedDisqualification. Player may not be replacedYes

Note that coaches and bench personnel cannot be shown a blue card. Coaches can only receive yellow or red cards.

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