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Yellow Cards and Why They Bug Me
Written by BlueRaider on Sunday, 3rd Dec 2023 10:42

Yellow cards really bug me for multiple reasons.

1) The variety of reasons that you can get this punishment are myriad and vary between mildly dangerous foul play and cynical shirt pulls to prevent a counter-attack to much more trivial things like being outskilled and thus slightly mistiming a genuine attempt to get the ball.

2) How much of an impact on a game does a yellow card actually have? It will give a player pause for thought before committing another cynical foul (one for the team), but really it is a marginal benefit for the opposition at best, particularly if a counter-attack has been stopped and all they get is a free-kick often quite a distance from goal.

3) Second yellow cards, these seem to be much harder to come by than a first yellow card, there is very little consistency in refereeing here, which again negates the impact of a first yellow card.

4) Suspensions. Clearly this is pertinent to us and indeed most other teams. First off all, five yellow cards in 19 games doesn't seem too bad to me given the many reasons you can get one and that feels to low to merit a suspension, but the real thing that bugs me here is that the team that 'earnt' the yellow card gets no benefit, and in fact often gets harmed.

For instance Sam Morsy was suspended against Huddersfield and I think two of the bookings leading to this were against Sheffield Wednesday and QPR - these are two of Huddersfield's direct rivals, the wrong teams are getting the benefit all too often.

What can change? Sin bins during the games rather than suspensions? Something stronger than a free-kick for a cynical foul (not necessarily a penalty, maybe a new set piece? Any ideas?

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Nthsuffolkblue added 12:17 - Dec 3
I think the end of point 4 is especially relevant. The impact of a yellow card often is more on a future opponent than the current one. Even a late second yellow card means the sending off impacts the match far less than the following match where a player is then unavailable. I am unsure of a solution to this, though.

Having a second level of card and a sin bin would be an improvement. A green card for a first offence unless it is one of the more serious ones. A yellow card resulting in time off the pitch ranging from 5-45 minutes depending on the severity of the offences. A red card for offences that currently are red card offences (including two yellow cards).

Yellows and reds should still count for suspensions but the thresholds might need to be considered.

jas1972 added 12:19 - Dec 3
I agree with all that. To me, it seems as though the sin bin idea - with two sin bin offences in one game being the same as two yellows are at the moment, a red and a one-game suspension - addresses a number of the complaints. The straight red would still be available and would carry a greater future penalty of two or three game suspensions. A sin bin does benefit the non-offending side as it reduces their number immediately.

Saxonblue74 added 21:42 - Dec 3
The issue with the sin bin idea is the impact it could have on the game. The potential for 10 minute periods of "lockdown" for the team down to 10 (9,8,7....who knows?) could be highly detrimental to the entertainment quality of the game. We all I'm sure remember the frustration of watching 90 minutes of Cheltenham, Lincoln etc parking the bus, anyone fancy long periods of that every time a yellow card is brandished?

tractorboybig added 12:15 - Dec 4
the idea of a sin bin is another joke to kill football


bobble added 10:13 - Dec 6
shirt pulling should be instant red....

Europablue added 09:35 - Dec 7
Some good points, but I don't think there is a great solution for it aside from showing some consistency. Whether we like it or not, a second yellow is different from a first yellow because it changes the match.
It really annoys me when the refereeing body decides to crack down on something at the start of the season, but gives up after a few games. It really damages the integrity of the competition.
This season it was time-wasting. The refs were handing out yellows and adding time for everything in the first three or four matches, but now they have stopped doing it.
The number of cumulative yellow cards for a suspension was not adjusted so in effect yellows were easier to get in the first few matches and now it has gone back to normal.
I am all for a crackdown in the right circumstances, but the rules have to be enforced the same regardless. For example, if they crack down on harassing the ref, a lot of players would be getting yellows until the message was received not to harass the ref, but just because the offense is not occurring as much, does not mean that it won't be punished when it happens in the future.

Whatever changes need to be considered carefully. I would propose making professional fouls (fouling with no attempt to win the ball, just to break up play or stop an attack) punishable with a one-match ban after the match it occurred in. Then again, you can argue that professional fouls are an admirable part of the game.
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