The FA Discipline Guide


Players should be familiar with the fact that they must abide by the Laws of Association Football and that the Match Officials enforce these Laws. The consequences of breaches of the Laws of Association Football are cautions, dismissal from the field of play and possible charges from the County FA.

Participants are likely to be less familiar with the wide range of disciplinary procedures and to assist this The FA has developed guidance to summarise the County Disciplinary Procedures at Step 5 and below.

Essential Information For Clubs at Step 5 and below 2018-19

The Essential Information For Clubs at Step 5 and below 2018-19 is now available – This is an online interactive reference guide to aid Leagues, Clubs and Players throughout the season.

You can access the handbook by clicking on the following link:  Essential Information For Clubs at Step 5 and below 2018-19

The handbook will be a useful guide to explain the disciplinary process and details the changes that have taken place over the last few years – including match based discipline, the expansion of the temporary dismissal trials (sin bins), sanction guidelines, competition specific cautions, mandatory minimum sanctions and changes to referee reporting. This year’s guide also includes videos and resources that will go into greater depth to explain the disciplinary process.


  • Introduction from Mark Ives, Disciplinary Manager
  • Expansion of Temporary Dismissals Pilot (Sin Bins)
  • What is the best way to check the number of cards a Player has received or whether they are suspended?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring Players are not suspended before they play?
  • Wrongful Dismissals
  • What steps is The FA Taking to improve handling of discrimination cases?
  • Reporting Discrimination - Grassroots Players and Supporters 
  • Player Insurance
  • Why do County FA's issue fines in youth football?
  • Sharing your ideas to improve grassroots football


  • Board of Appeal
  • Guide to the Appeals process
  • Standard Code of Rules Template
  • Standard Code of Rules Youth
  • Reporting Discrimination booklets for grassroots players and supporters
  • Sanction Guidelines 

There is also a Leagues section to provide guidance for administrators regarding the Powers and Duties of the League.

The FA Handbook 2018-19

Please click on this link for the electronic version of The FA Handbook 2018/2019.

Any Rules and Regulations published in the electronic Handbook will now be in force, unless otherwise stated.

We draw your particular attention to the new Disciplinary Regulations which have been subject to a comprehensive review.

Please note the electronic version of the Handbook has a number of features, including a search facility and the ability to generate a pdf of any section.