Law 12 describes Fouls and Misconduct with Misconduct including Yellow Cards. This month we are going to review what the Law says about Cautions (Yellow Cards).
The LOTG states, “If an offense involves contact it is penalized by a direct free kick or penalty kick… Reckless is when a player acts with disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, an opponent and must be cautioned”. A Direct Free Kick that is deemed RECKLESS is one way for a player to receive a Yellow Card. There are more ways though.
The Laws also state that a player is cautioned if guilty of:
•Delaying a restart of play
•Dissent by word or action
•Entering, re-entering, or deliberately leaving the field of play without the Referee’s permission
•Failing to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a dropped ball, corner kick, free kick, or throw-in.
•Persistent offenses (no specific number or pattern of offenses constitutes “persistent”
The Laws now provide for cautions for Team Officials also. Here are some of the additional details for some of these Mandatory cautions:
Cautions for unsporting behavior. There is a list of different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behavior including:
•Attempts to deceive the Referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled.
•Changes places with the goalkeeper during play without the Referee’s permission
•Commits in a reckless manner a direct free kick offense.
•Handles the ball to interfere with or stop a promising attack.
•Commits a foul which interferes with or stops a promising attack (except for when the Referee awards a Penalty Kick for an offense which was an attempt to play the ball)
•Denies an opponent an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity by an offense which was an attempt to play the ball and the Referee awards a Penalty Kick.
•Handles the ball in an attempt to score a goal or in an unsuccessful attempt to stop a goal.
•Makes unauthorized marks on the field of play.
•Plays the ball when leaving the field of play or after being given permission to leave.
•Shows a lack of respect for the game.
•Uses a deliberate trick to pass the ball to the goalkeeper with the head, chest, knee, etc. to circumvent the Law.
•Verbally distracts an opponent during a play or at a restart.
Celebration of a goal. Soccer is about scoring goals. The Laws outline what is not allowed in a celebration:
•Gesturing or acting in a provocative, derisory, or inflammatory way
•Covering the head or face with a mask or similar item
•Removing the shirt or covering the head with the shirt
Delaying the restart of play. There is a list of different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for delaying the restart of play. When does this happen? When a team is leading by a goal and wants to take time off the clock. In FIFA matches the Referee will add time to compensate for this tactic. At Heartland, we need to be decisive and stop this action because we do not add additional time.
Yes, there are multiple offenses and tactics that will earn a player or a team official a Yellow Card. Two Yellows and you must leave the game. Understanding the Laws of the Game will help all of us better know why the Referee did or did not show the Yellow Card.
Players and team officials have a part to play in delivering Safe and Fair matches. Thank you for letting us share this part of Law 12 for our better appreciation of the beautiful game of soccer.