Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 32916

Character, Attitude and Control 12/12/2018

RE: Under 11

Ismael of Fallbroom, California U.S. asks...

Can I give a player a yellow card if the keep telling me what to mark and what I marked wrong?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Ismael,
As a referee, you certainly have the authority to caution a player for something that you consider to be dissent and constantly questioning your decisions could easily qualify as dissent.

However I wonder if there might not be another way to handle it, especially given the age of the player (you say this is U11). In the first instance, I think I would warn the player that their behaviour is unacceptable and that if they continue, they could be getting themselves into hot water.

If the player persists despite the warning or if the behaviour is particularly extreme, then you could go to a caution but I don't think it should necessarily be your initial reaction.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Ismael,
especially at the youth level we really should be working in concert within our leagues & soccer associations , the managers, coaches & parents to educate and foster an atmosphere of respect and fair play. I like to point out to the coaches if a belligerent or rude or inconsiderate player is causing issues on the FOP be it directed at me or in general.

One might think as a confident referee we can exert a defined respectful countenance without appearing as a bully or unsympathetic oligarch yet peer pressure aside, tempers & attitudes are not always easy to manage. Rudeness by a child, while no spanking is allowed, card play is certainly permitted! Then too a dead eyes calm response stated in very somber undertones can bring forth a respectable apology if within the social bonds of a game one young player can recognize they overstepped their mark.

Coach it it would be such a shame if I had to resort to cards to make a point!
But player so & so has decided to take issue with how this game is being refereed. Cards are an OPTION but not necessarily a necessity to get your point across or effectively end the young players inappropriate actions

If the player's actions are meritorious of being shown a yellow card for speaking dissent or actionable ungentlemanly conduct then the idea that there are consequences for actions is on display and whether they can accept or grasp the seriousness may well be something you have no control over except to say, Sorry son, not on my watch!

Given teams can substitute easily & have a sit down chat with a malcontent player this is a decent way for universal condemnation of a crappy attitude. Of course it speaks to the team and coach as to their level of culpability in managing or teaching kids the concepts of respect & fair play. I have seen coaches & parents with insolent or poor attitudes which of course the kids parrot!
But that becomes a man management issue far in excess of a misinformed youth as to match protocols.


Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ismael
There are two schools of thought here at Under 12 and below. One is that cards should be issued the same as older age groups while the other is that referees should use other methods such as working with the coaches, speaking sternly with the players to teach the proper attitude. Obviously cards can be used and should be used for serious offences such as serious foul play, violent conduct etc. For dissent it rarely is true dissent at Under 11 yet perhaps immaturity
My method is to not to use cards and in fact I have seen cards being treated as trophies by very young players among their team mates.
Sometimes the young player is just a chatterbox who has an opinion on things which is poorly informed.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32916
Read other Q & A regarding Character, Attitude and Control

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.