Send Offs


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CYSA-N Send Off Report HelpPrintable

Nobody likes paperwork. But when a team official is dismissed or you show a red card and send-off a player it is not only important that you promptly and properly complete the paperwork, it is required. It’s part of the job of the referee.

We hope the following information will be helpful to both beginning and experienced referees. One of the frustrating things for those involved in the administration of this sport are send-off reports that are poorly written, don’t provide the information needed and are not on the appropriate form. Both experienced and inexperienced referees create these frustrations.

You are to complete and forward to the appropriate authority a report of any send-off you have in a match within 24 hours of the incident. When you are involved with a tournament, you need to complete the report as soon as the match is completed, if possible. Not only is timeliness important for administrative purposes, but the sooner you complete the report after the incident, the better your memory is of the specifics

Who are the “appropriate authorities”? Typically, it is a PAD Committee, with PAD meaning Protests, Appeals and Discipline. If you have a send-off and don’t know to whom to forward your report, check with the assignor of the match. They should know, and they might also be a good resource for checking your information.

It can be helpful to have blank copies of the CYSA "Referee's Send-Off Report". Most sendoffs in CYSA play are now filed online, but sometimes paper is a necessary backup.

Essentially, there four types of information needed: 

  1. Game and Player Information
  2. Reason for Send-off
  3. Explanation
  4. Name and phone numbers of the referee and assistant referees.

Player Information

The referee is required to list a number of pieces of information, none of which should be difficult to provide. The "Registration # " is on the player pass. In some competitions, the player pass MUST be submitted with the report. This is why you collect the player passes prior to a match -so that if you do need to keep a player pass you have it. After a game during which you have a send-off, consult with your Assistant Referees to assure that the crew of officials agree that the pass you are maintaining and not returning to the manager of the team is indeed the player in question. The information you forward to the Disciplinary Committee includes the report, the player pass (if kept) and the game card (properly completed, of course). Some competitions do this all on line and player passes are not confiscated.


The next section lists the seven Reasons for Send-off listed under Law 12 of the Laws of the Game. If you send-off a player, it must be for one these reasons. Do you know the difference between Serious Foul Play and Violent Conduct? If not, you need to find out. Consult the "Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game" for additional guidance. If you don't have a copy, you can obtain one through the United States Soccer Federation.


The final, and most important section, of the report is the "Explanation" of the situation that created the need for a send-off. What you need to do is paint a picture with your words of why the player was sent-off. You need to include when the event occurred, who was involved, how the violation took place, and what was the aftermath of the occurrence. The Disciplinary Committee relies on the information you provide to determine how many games the player will be suspended. If you give the Committee little or no information to go on, then they will be forced to minimize the suspension.

The "Time of Foul" means the point during the match that the send-off occurred. During what minute of the match was the player sent-off?

It is not your job to recommend how many games you think the player should be suspended. Never indicate your opinion on this matter when you complete a report. If you feel as though the send-off was for a particularly egregious foul, for example, make sure the Committee knows what happened in detail and let the process take its course.

Reread the portion of the law book that applies to send off and use the same words that make up the laws of the game.   Do say 'obvious opportunity to take a shot on goal'.   Don't say "I think the player had a good chance to take on the keeper."   Both may be true, but one is easier for the league to administer.  

Here are samples of what could be included in an explanation on a referee’s report. But make sure that every report you write contains the key elements that are within the following:

Serious Foul Play

“In the 79th minute of play, the Red team was building an attack near midfield. Red player #19 was in possession of the ball at his feet and was looking downfield to distribute the ball. As he was doing so, Blue player #7 (Bob Martinez) tackled Red #19 from behind, with cleats up, making forceful contact with the player’s calf and clearly endangering the safety of the opponent. Play was stopped, and the trainer for the Red team was called onto the field to treat #19. Mr. Martinez was shown the red card and sent-off for Serious Foul Play under the provisions of Law 12. Mr. Martinez did not leave the field of play immediately. Rather, he remained on the field for thirty to forty seconds, haranguing the referee concerning the red card. After being restrained by his teammates, he did finally leave the field without further incident. Red player #19 was assisted from the field with an apparent injury to his left calf. After a substitute entered the field to replace the injured player, play was restarted with a direct free kick for the Red team at the spot of the foul.”

Foul or Abusive Language

"In the 43 minute of the game a foul was called against the home team. Home team Player #51 (Henry Fernandez Registration ID number DD290C) was upset and disagreed with the call. He said "No mames guey" in Spanish right in front of me. I am fluent in Spanish and a native of Mexico. This phrase is a very insulting and offensive slang term conveying, "Why you do this to us you dirty, stupid idiot." I indicated that the restart was to be postponed and I isolated Player #51 from the rest of the players and showed him a red card and told him that he was being sent off for using abusive language and told him to leave the field. Player #51 immediately left the field with no further comments or incident. The match was restarted with a DFK for the away team.

At the end of the game player #51 approached me, apologized and requested to have the Red Card reversed because he was so sorry. I told him that once displayed a red card cannot be erased, but that I would include his apology in the report."

Second Caution

"In the 15th minute of the match, red #5 was cautioned and shown a yellow card for a tactical foul that broke up a promising attack. Red #5 was the last defender and the blue forward was about to break free and have a lot of space approaching goal. Red #5 grabbed the jersey of the blue forward and pulled the attacking player to the ground. 

In the 78th minute, I awarded a DFK for blue around 25 yards from the red goal. The blue attackers placed the ball at the spot of the foul and gave every indication that were getting ready to take a quick free kick and continue their attack. Red #5 picked up the ball and tossed it over the touch line into the stands. I cautioned Red #5 and displayed a yellow card for delaying the restart. I then showed Red #5 a red card. He left the field with no incident. I restarted the match with a DFK for blue."


"In the 89th minute with the score 1-1 red team was preparing to take a corner kick. The blue team had player #4 (full back defender) on the far post. The red corner kick was a beautiful in-swinger and appeared that the ball was going to go in the top far corner of the goal without touching any players. Blue #4 reached up with both arms and deflected the ball over the crossbar. I blew the whistle and awarded a penalty kick. I then consulted with my AR and the AR agreed that the ball would have gone into goal if it had not been handled by blue #4. I then showed blue #4 a red card and told the player that he was being sent off for handling the ball to prevent a goal. The game was restarted with a penalty kick. I added time to allow the penalty kick to be taken and ended the game after the penalty was successfully converted."


"In the 35th minute with the score 0-0, red team was attacking.   The ball was turned over and the blue team played a long ball downfield.   Blue #10 was running onto the ball and was about 40 yards from goal sprinting down the center of the field.  The red center back, #2 was also sprinting to catch up with play.   Blue #10 had the ball at his feet and was  in clear possession of the ball.   There were no other red players with  the exception of the goal keeper that could influence the play before Blue #10 had an obvious chance to take a shot on goal.  Red #2 grabbed the jersey and pulled Blue #10 to the ground.   As the ball was in possession of Blue #10, and but for the foul by Red #2, Blue #10 would have a clear and obvious 1 on 1 with the red keeper, I blew the whistle and awarded a DFK.   I also sent off Red #2 and showed him a red card.   Red #2 tried to argue that the foul was not excessive force.   I explained that he was being sent off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity.   Red #2 left the field and the game was restarted with a DFK by the blue team."

Violent Conduct

"During most of the match the away green team coach was obviously upset with his team's play and with the calls made by the officiating crew.   At half time, AR1 informed me that he found the situation in the technical area uncomfortable.  We agreed to address the coach's behavior if it continued in the second half.   Around the 50th minute, the coach started yelling regarding a foul call on the far touch line.   I delayed the restart and approached the coach who was near AR1.   I told the coach, 'Sir that is enough.   Please allow us to officiate the game and please make no further comments.   Please consider this as a warning.'   The game was restarted with a DFK for the foul.    A few minutes later, the coach again yelled something like 'give me a break', when a foul decision was made against his team.   I gave the coach a hard stare and he reacted and sat down.   The score was 0-0.   Next at the 75th minute, the green team was penalized for offside on a through ball.   The green coach now directed his wrath at AR1.  The coach was within a few feet of AR1 and I could hear his comments from across the field.   The comments were along the lines of, 'you have got to be kidding me' and 'how can you not recognize that there was no offside'.    I held up the IFK restart and advised the coach that there will no more of this type of behavior in this game.   I showed the coach the yellow card.   In the 88th minute, the game was still 0-0 and I awarded a PK for a handball offense by a green defender in the penalty area.   The green coach was livid.   He yelled.  He hurled a clipboard onto the field and then kicked a water bottle 10 yards onto the field.   I did not approach the coach but simply displayed a red card and pointed to the parking lot.   I held up the restart till the coach was no longer visible.   The coach grabbed a bag, and slowly left the area.   After the game, some spectators reported to me that the coach was saying unflattering comments as he left the pitch area.    The game was restarted with the PK and I added 4 minutes of time to the second half to allow for the time lost while the coach left the field and pitch area."


"In the 89th minute with the score 1-1 red team was awarded a DFK just outside the penalty area.    Both teams were milling around, posturing for position near the penalty spot  while I was moving back the wall.   I heard a commotion among the players and saw several blue players restraining a teammate, Blue #6.   The red players were similarly restraining Red #18.  One of the red players said something like, 'he can't do that' to me.    I did not see the incident.    My AR had raised the flag.    I indicated to the red team to wait for my whistle and backpedaled to the touch line.   My AR said, 'I just saw blue #6 hock a loogy at a red player.  I think #18.'  I asked, 'are you sure about the blue player number?'   My AR responded, '100%'.    I approached the milling players and asked Blue #6 to approach me, which he did.   I told him that he was being sent off for spitting and showed him the red card.   He left the field without comment or incident and the match restarted with a DFK for the red team.      

Are you able to visualize the event after reading this explanation? That is the purpose of the report, and should be your goal every time you have to issue a send-off. Also, if there is offensive, insulting or abusive language involved in your send-off, you need to specifically spell out what language was used and to whom it was directed. This, again, is important to the disciplinary committee.

Referee Team contact information

Names, phone numbers, email addresses are needed from the referee, assistant referees, club linesmen, 4th officials if the committee needs to contact you for more information or even just confirmation of details.

Team Staff dismissal

At the bottom of Game and Player Information is a box you can check as to whether the send-off is a player or a coach.  CYSA allows you to use this report form for the dismissal of a coach, even though it should be labeled as an "incident report" and not a "send-off". The important issue, however, is that if this does involve a coach that you provide the scope and type of information needed by a disciplinary committee to appropriately deal with irresponsible behavior by team officials.  

In conclusion

None of us enjoy sending off players. But when you do, it is very important that they be dealt with appropriately and that his or her punishment is commensurate with the type and nature of the offense. That's why we have reports. And it is your job as a referee to do the best job possible in completing those reports. MAKE SURE THAT WHAT YOU WRITE IS LEGIBLE!!! None of this will matter if the committee can't read your writing.

In the event of a player sent-off or team official dismissal, know if you should keep the Player's or Official's pass. Know where to send it or how to file a report on line.  If necessary, You can fill out a report on this website and print it out.

Players serving a suspension due to an earlier send off may have a consequences form for you to sign indicating that they did not play in a game.