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Yellow card shown in a handball match.

A penalty card is used in many sports as a means of warning, reprimanding or penalising a player, coach or team official. Penalty cards are most commonly used by referees or umpires to indicate that a player has committed an offence. The referee will hold the card above his or her head while looking or pointing towards the player that has committed the offence. The colour and/or shape of the card used by the official indicates the type or seriousness of the offence and the level of punishment that is to be applied.

Contents

History and origin

The idea of using language-neutral coloured cards to communicate a referee's intentions originated with British football referee Ken Aston.[1] Aston had been appointed to the FIFA Referees' Committee and was responsible for all referees at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. In the quarter finals, England met Argentina at Wembley Stadium. After the match, newspaper reports stated that referee Rudolf Kreitlein had cautioned both Bobby and Jack Charlton. The referee had not made his decision clear during the game, and England manager Alf Ramsey approached FIFA for post-match clarification. This incident started Aston thinking about ways to make a referee's decisions clearer to both players and spectators. Aston realised that a colour coding scheme based on the same principle as used on traffic lights (yellow - caution, red - stop) would traverse language barriers and clarify whether a player had been cautioned or expelled.[1] As a result, yellow cards to indicate a caution and red cards to indicate an expulsion were used for the first time in the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. The use of penalty cards has since been adopted and expanded by several sporting codes, with each sport adapting the idea to its specific set of rules or laws.

Commonly used penalty cards

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Yellow card

A yellow card is used in several sports. It most commonly indicates a warning or a temporary suspension.

A yellow card is used in many different sporting codes. Its meaning differs among sports, however it most commonly indicates a caution given to a player regarding his or her conduct, or indicates a temporary suspension. Examples include:

  • Association football: A yellow card is shown by the referee to indicate that a player has been officially cautioned.[2] The player's details are then recorded by the referee in a small notebook; hence a caution is also known as a "booking". A player who has been cautioned may continue playing in the game, however a player who receives a second caution in a match is sent off (shown the yellow card again, and then a red card (see below)), meaning that he must leave the field immediately and take no further part in the game. The player may not be replaced by a substitute. Law 12 of the Laws of the Game (which are set by the International Football Association Board and used by FIFA) lists the types of offences and misconduct that may result in a caution. It also states that "only a player, substitute or substituted player" can be cautioned.[2] The seven reasons for a caution are:
  1. Unsporting behaviour
  2. Dissent by word or action
  3. Persistently infringing the laws of the game
  4. Delaying the restart of play
  5. Failing to respect the required distance of a corner kick or free kick
  6. Entering or re-entering the field of play without the referee’s permission
  7. Deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission
  • Bandy: A yellow card indicates a warning given to an entire team for technical fouls such as errors in the execution of goal-throws or free strokes, or the obstruction of a player without ball.[3] Subsequent technical fouls by the same team result in a five minute penalty indicated by a white card.
  • Canoe polo: A yellow card indicates a player has received two minute temporary suspension.[4] A yellow card can be awarded for a deliberate and/or dangerous foul that prevents the scoring of a near certain goal, dangerous illegal play that is deliberate or repeated, foul or abusive language, continuously disputing a referee's decisions or receiving a third green card for any reason.
  • Equestrian sports: Yellow cards may be issued during FEI sanctioned events for abuse of a horse or incorrect behavior towards an official.[5] Abuse of the horse may include riding an obviously lame horse, riding an exhausted horse, excessive use of whip and/or spurs, and dangerous riding. Riders may choose to not accept issued cards, but doing so may lead to a disciplinary hearing. A rider receiving a yellow card can be disqualified from the event and subsequently fined or suspended.[5]
  • Fencing: A yellow card indicates a warning to a fencer and is valid for the remainder of the bout.[6] In some cases, an annulment of any hit scored by the fencer at fault may also occur. Yellow cards are awarded for Group 1 offences such as making bodily contact with the opposing fencer (in foil or sabre), leaving the piste without permission, or refusing to obey the referee. A yellow card can also be awarded when, at the first call by the referee, a fencer does not present himself on the piste ready to fence. Any person not on the piste who disturbs the good order of the competition may also receive a yellow card on the first infringement.[6]
  • Field hockey: A yellow card indicates a temporary suspension. The length of the suspension is determined by the umpire, but in accordance with International Hockey Federation rules is a minimum of 5 minutes playing time.[7] It is possible for a player to receive two yellow cards for different offences during the same match, however the period of suspension must be significantly longer with each yellow card. When an offence for which a yellow card has been awarded is repeated, the yellow card must not be used again and a more severe penalty must be awarded. There must also be a clear difference between the duration of a yellow card suspension for a minor offence and the duration for a major offence. The yellow card can be shown to a specific player or to the captain for misconduct by the entire team.[7] In this case, the captain is temporarily suspended.
  • Handball: A yellow card indicates a warning and can be given to a player or team official for unsportsmanlike conduct, or to a player whose actions are mainly or exclusively directed at the opponent and not at the ball. IHF rules also allow referees to use discretion to award a yellow card outside of these situations.[8]
  • Racewalking: A yellow card indicates a competitor's foot fails to be on the ground when the rear leg is being raised, or the front leg is not straightened when it makes contact with the ground. [9 ]
  • Rugby league: Yellow cards are not usually used in rugby league in the southern hemisphere with referees indicating a 10 minute suspension by raising both arms straight out with fingers spread (to indicate 10 minutes).
  • Rugby union: According to the laws of the game published by the International Rugby Board (IRB), during international matches, any player who commits an offence under Law 10 - Foul Play may be shown a yellow card and suspended from the game for 10 minutes.[10] Offences include obstruction, unfair play, repeated infringements, dangerous play and misconduct which is prejudicial to the game. Receiving a yellow card is known colloquially as being sent to the "sin bin". A player receiving a second yellow card in a game will also be shown a red card (see below) meaning that he or she has been sent-off and will be unable to take part in the remainder of the match.
  • Volleyball: A yellow card can be used in diffent ways to indicate several penalties. A player or team staff member can be shown a yellow card for the first instance of rude conduct and the referee may also penalise a team for delaying the game by pointing to the wrist using a yellow card.[11] Both offences result in a loss of rally. A yellow card can also be used together with a red card to indicate a participant has been disqualified and can take no further part in the match.[11] In the NCAA, red and yellow cards in the same hand indicate that the player must sit out the rest of that game, while red and yellow cards held apart indicate that the participant is disqualified and must leave the playing and spectator areas.
  • Water polo: Given to entire bench as warning for disrespectful conduct from the coach, individual players, or the entire bench. Following the issuance of a yellow card, further incidents will result in a red card and the expulsion of individual players and coaches

Red card

A red card is used in several sports. It most commonly indicates a serious offence and can often mean that a player has been expelled from the game.
A red card shown in a handball match.

A red card is used in several different sporting codes. Its meaning differs among sports, however it most commonly indicates a serious offence and often results in a player being permanently suspended from the game (also "sent off", "ejected", "given the marching orders" or "expelled" from the game, often to significant personal embarrassment). Examples include:

  • Association football: A red card is shown by a referee to signify that a player has been sent off.[2] A player who has been sent off is required to leave the field of play immediately and must take no further part in the game. The player who has been sent off cannot be replaced during the game; their team must continue the game with one player fewer. Only players, substitutes and substituted players may receive a red card. Law 12 of the Laws of the Game lists the categories of misconduct for which a player may be sent off. These are:
  1. Serious foul play (a violent foul)
  2. Violent conduct (any other act of violence)
  3. Spitting at anyone
  4. A deliberate handling offense to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by any player other than a goalkeeper in his own penalty area
  5. Committing an offence that denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (informally known as a professional foul)
  6. Using offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures
  7. Receiving a second caution (yellow card) in one game
  • Bandy: A red card indicates a player has been excluded for the remainder of the match and cannot be substituted.[3] Red card offences include directly attacking an opponent or using abusive language. A coach or substitute may also be penalised with a red card. In this situation, a player currently on the rink also serves a ten minute penalty, resulting in the number of players being reduced by one.
  • Canoe polo: A red card indicates a player has been sent off for the remainder of the match can cannot be substituted.[4] A red card can be awarded if a personal attack on a player occurs, repeated foul or abusive language, or when the award of a yellow card is disputed or has not had the desired effect of causing the player to control their play or attitude. A red card is also awarded when a player has received a second yellow card for any reason.
  • Fencing: A red card is used to indicate that a fencer has committed an offence that warrants a penalty hit to be awarded to the opponent.[6] Second and subsequent Group 1 offences, all Group 2 offences and first Group 3 offences are penalised with a red card.[6] A red card may also be awarded when, at the second call by the referee, a fencer does not present himself on the piste ready to fence.
  • Field hockey: A red card results in a player being permanently suspended from the game. The player cannot take any further part in the game and cannot be substituted. Unlike other penalty cards in field hockey, the red card is never given to the captain for team misconduct. In addition to their colour, red cards in field hockey are often circular in shape.[7]
  • Handball: A red card indicates a disqualification of a player who has committed an offence such unsportsmanlike conduct, serious foul play or receiving a third two minute suspension.[8] A red card prevents a player from playing in the remainder of the match and as a result reduces the number of players that are available to a team. A red card also carries a two minute suspension for the team, meaning that a team cannot replace the disqualified player until the two minute team suspension has expired.[8]
  • Mixed martial arts promotion PRIDE: A red card is issued as punishment and results in a 10% deduction of the guilty fighter's fight purse (only used when fights are conducted under PRIDE's Bushido rules).
  • Racewalking: A red card indicates that a competitor's foot failed to be on the ground when the rear leg is being raised, or the front leg is not straightened when it makes contact with the ground. A judge would issue a yellow card for the first infraction committed by a competitor, and if the same judge detects a second infraction from the same infraction a red card is issued. Three red cards, from three different judges, will result in a competitor’s disqualification.[9 ]
  • Rugby union: A red card is used to indicate that a player has been sent off and can take no further part in the game.[10] During international matches, any player who commits an offence under Law 10 - Foul Play may be shown a red card. Red cards are normally issued for serious offences. Any player receiving a second yellow card in a game will automatically be shown a red card.
  • Volleyball: A red card is used to indicate the expulsion of a player or team official and can be issued by the referee for the second instance of rude conduct or the first instance of offensive conduct.[11] Expelled players must leave the playing area and remain in the penalty area for the remainder of the set. If an expelled player cannot be legally substituted, their team loses the set.[11] A red card shown together with a yellow card indicates a participant has been disqualified and can take no further part in the match.[11] In the NCAA, red and yellow cards in the same hand indicate that the player must sit out the rest of that game, while red and yellow cards held apart indicate that the participant is disqualified and must leave the playing and spectator areas.
  • Water polo: A red card is issued to a coach and/or player(s) on the bench for a second incident of misconduct after receiving a yellow card, or immediately in cases of severe misconduct (i.e. verbal abuse of referee or desk official).

Other types of penalty cards

Green card

In field hockey, a triangular-shaped green card indicates an official warning.

A green card is used in some sports to indicate an official warning to a player who has committed a minor offence that does not warrant a more serious sanction.

  • Canoe polo: A green card indicates an official warning that can be applied to an individual player or a whole team.[4] A green card can be awarded for deliberate unsporting behavior or unnecessary verbal communication to the referee.
  • Field hockey: A green card indicates an official warning when a minor offence has occurred. A second green card for the same player will result in a yellow card (5 minute suspension). In this case, the referee will show a green card, followed by a yellow card. When an offence for which a green card has been awarded is repeated, a yellow card should be awarded. A green card can be given to a specific player or to the captain as a warning to the entire team. Cards shown to the captain as a warning to the team are treated separate from cards shown to the captain as a player. In addition to their colour, green cards in field hockey are often triangular in shape.[7]

White card

In bandy, a white card indicates a five minute penalty while a blue card indicates a ten minute penalty.

A white card is used in bandy to indicate a five minute timed penalty given to a player.[3] The offending player must leave the playing area and wait on a penalty bench near the centre line until the penalty has expired. During the 5 minute period the player may not be replaced, although he or she may be replaced with a different player when the penalty has expired. Offences that can warrant a white card include trying to hinder the opponents from executing a free-stroke, illegal substitution or repeated illegal but non-violent attacks on an opponent.

Blue card

A blue card is used in bandy to indicate a ten minute timed penalty given to a player.[3] The offending player must leave the playing area and wait on a penalty bench near the centre line until the penalty has expired. During the 10 minute period the player may not be replaced, although he or she may be replaced with a different player when the penalty has expired. A blue card is typically shown for offences that are more serious than those warranting a white card including attacking an opponent in a violent or dangerous way, causing advantage by intentionally stopping the ball with a high stick or protesting a referee's decision.

Black card

A black card is used in fencing and is issued by the director for severe rule infractions.[6] A second instance of a Group 3 offence, and all Group 4 offences including deliberate brutality, refusal to fence or refusal to salute can be punished with a black card.[6] When the black card is issued, the offending fencer is excluded from the remainder of the competition and may be suspended from further tournaments. In the official record of the tournament, his or her name is replaced with the words "FENCER EXCLUDED".[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Ken Aston - the inventor of yellow and red cards". fifa.com. http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/developing/refereeing/news/newsid=80623.html/. Retrieved June 7 2008.  
  2. ^ a b c "Laws of the Game". fifa.com. http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/lawsofthegame.html/. Retrieved June 6 2008.  
  3. ^ a b c d "Bandy - Rules of Play". internationalbandy.com. http://www.internationalbandy.com/. Retrieved June 10 2008.  
  4. ^ a b c "International Canoe Polo - Rules of Play". canoepolonz.org.nz. http://www.canoepolonz.org.nz/default.asp?Page=2996. Retrieved June 12 2008.  
  5. ^ a b "FEI General Regulations". fei.org. http://www.fei.org/Rules/Documents/GeneralRegulations_22ndedition_effective1June2007.pdf. Retrieved September 17 2008.  
  6. ^ a b c d e f "FIE Competition Rules". britishfencing.com. http://www.britishfencing.com/British_Fencing.asp?PageID=183. Retrieved June 11 2008.  
  7. ^ a b c d "Rules of Hockey 2007/8". fihockey.org. http://www.fihockey.org/. Retrieved June 6 2008.  
  8. ^ a b c "International Handball Federation - Rules of the Game 2005". ihf.info. http://www.ihf.info/. Retrieved June 8 2008.  
  9. ^ a b What is Olympic Race Walking?
  10. ^ a b "International Rugby Board - Laws of the Game". irb.com. http://www.irb.com/lawregulations/laws/index.html/. Retrieved June 8 2008.  
  11. ^ a b c d e "FIVB - Official Volleyball Rules 2005". fivb.org. http://www.fivb.org/TheGame/Rules.htm/. Retrieved June 16 2008.  
  12. ^ "Fencing For Parents". U.S. Fencing - The Official Website of the U.S. Fencing Association. http://www.usfencing.org/usfa/content/view/1273/111/. Retrieved 2008-08-14.  

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