Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

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
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
Panel Login

Question Number: 16889

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/25/2007

RE: Cal South, PDL Lancaster Rattlers Under 18

Mary Callender of Lancaster , CA USA asks...

What is the procedure for REFS actually showing the yellow card to the offending player, MUST he show to the offending player, can he just show to the Captain and informing the Captian of the player by indicating the offending players jersey #?

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

No. If a caution is issued the yellow card must be shown unless play has ended and all players are off the field of play but still under the referee's authority

Read other questions answered by Referee Keith Contarino

View Referee Keith Contarino profile

Answer provided by Referee Gil Weber

Let's add a clarification to Referee Contarino's answer. Under normal circumstances the referee is to display the card (either yellow or red) to the player as part of the caution or send-off procedure. The player receiving the card has the right to know that he has been disciplined, and his teammates and coaches (and, certainly, the assistant referees and 4th official) also should understand so that there are no surprises later in the match. However, there are circumstances when it is impractical/impossible to display the card to the offender. In such cases the referee is to display the card and to inform the player's captain of the disciplinary action.

For example, in the 1994 World Cup (I think it was '94), Tab Ramos of the US was knocked unconscious by an elbow from Brazil's Leonardo. Ramos was to be cautioned for a foul that precipitated Leonardo's retaliation, but Ramos had to be stretchered off the field for treatment. The referee displayed the yellow card and informed Tony Meola, the US captain, that Ramos had been cautioned.

Read other questions answered by Referee Gil Weber

View Referee Gil Weber profile

Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

It appears Gil has beaten me to tell the same story of the USA v. Brazil game in 1994. Though, my reccolection is that the referee never actually "showed" Meola a caution instead he just told Meola that Ramos had been booked. Same difference though.

Read other questions answered by Referee Steve Montanino

View Referee Steve Montanino profile

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Note here: the referee has displayed the card, a requirement to signify there has been a disciplinary sanction, to THE captain. The captain is singular not the committee of captains we usually meet on Saturday or Sunday in the youth leagues. Just another reason for the team to have A captain.

Before the requirement for the card to be shown the referee communicated to the captain that a disciplinary sanction was taken and he was expected to inform the necessary folks on his side. The addition of cards did simplify many things but this one was complicated.


Read other questions answered by Referee Chuck Fleischer

View Referee Chuck Fleischer profile

Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

Well I'm being told through back channels that the card WAS shown to Meola, and even though I don't recall it that way, let's assume that this is what happenend because it actually makes more sense and is more consistent with the language of the laws.

Read other questions answered by Referee Steve Montanino

View Referee Steve Montanino profile

Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

The guilty player must be shown the card. There is no other way.

Read other questions answered by Referee Ben Mueller

View Referee Ben Mueller profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 16889
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

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.