Card count in junior football

Jus Wanted to ask a question about giving cards in youth football. I have done 6 youth games (5 offside) so far and have issues 1 yellow card. Do many refs issue cards for this age group and would that be considered quite high?

Thanks for any help.

Ciley Myrus

RefChat Addict
As above, we play 11s from u13 here (with offside) so 1 yellow in 5 games is low
Its kinda saying that in 5 games there was just one tackle worthy of a card and/or just one act of dissent worthy of a card?

Which imo , is low
I agree, in my mind, you are doing fine. As far as the dissent goes in this level some very stern warnings go a long way to let the kids know what kind of a referee you are and what you expect out of them. If they choose to ignore your previous warnings than let the cards flow freely when needed. I tend to let a lot of the cautionable offenses go in the younger divisions with very stern warnings, especially when the yellow cards are very warranted. This most often solves the problem but if it does not then the yellow cards will need to be shown.


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The games i do are 90% U13s and U14s.

Ive not given many myself but have had to send quite a few parents away.

Id say one or two yellows every five games is about average for me.
I can only do 11/12 and 13s due to age and in about 25 games have shown 4 yellows one at u11 1 at U12 and 2 and U13 and they have been yellow cards at any level of the game. I find at 11s and12s are more accepting of me cautioning them than at U13

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
I wasn't the biggest booker in junior football, my reputation generally preceded me and they were generally behaved.
I did send the same lad off 3 times, he was a habitual off the ball offender who made a career of paying fines and suspensions at 14-15-16.
Lovely lad off the pitch, now works in banking in Holland as he was my sons best mate, that didn't help him though in me shifting him!!!
I think that if he'd of made adult football with the same antics he'd of come a cropper well before a referee was involved,,, He'd of met his match very quickly!!

Tino Best

RefChat Addict
I rarely do anything under U15s. High card count. Alot of teams see me and say keep your mouths shut you know what he is like.


RefChat Addict
5 junior games this season, 1 yellow card. No parents removed yet either.

Only issue I had was one manager who came on to the field at half because he thought he'd been threatened by a 15 year old. In a nutshell a player said "I'll do him". He was refering to marking the opposition best player and he'd been saying it like this all game. The coach thought he said it to him. He came on the pitch fuming and didn't believe my explanation so I told him to listen to that player in the 2nd half. At the end of the game we had a laugh about it. All my other junior games have been pleasant affairs. There's hope yet


Well-Known Member
Youngest I've sent off is u11 and last Sunday I sent 2 u16 players off both for Violent conduct. From u15 I ref them as I would adults in fact I'm probably a bit more strict on the dissent with them than I am with OA football. It all depends on your style and tolerance levels I suppose.

Tino Best

RefChat Addict
13s and upwards they know the game and do not need teaching, and probably at 9 aside as well. By trying to educate means that when they move to OA that means they are in for a huge shock. I average over 2 cards a game and i tend to do 2 youth to one OA. Also by educating it means it makes it more difficult for this weeks ref compared to last weeks ref. SF you would happily pull out a yellow in the first minute of an OA game if required why would you educate at youth? I am not talking about mini soccer but certainly at 11 aside. I can see being a bit more lenient at 9 aside but certain offences have to be dealt with correctly. I also understand at youth level that sometimes talent(or lack of it) can be the reason for an offence but if something is SFP or VC we have to do what is correct. Cards shouldn't be a last resort we wouldn't do that in OA.

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
I have carded at Junior and even an u8.
That said, at that age it’s rarely intentional dirty fouls, things may be mistimed or clumsy but I don’t think hardly any have learned the darker arts just yet. Cards should always be a last resort at any age.

Tino Best

RefChat Addict
U8. Wow I bet that went down well but it must have been needed to do it at that age. I thought you meant cards as last resort just at youth leve

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
U8. Wow I bet that went down well but it must have been needed to do it at that age. I thought you meant cards as last resort just at youth leve
Oversize U8 deliberately kicking lumps out of little cherubs, 3 verbal warnings including taking him to his coach for a word, next tackle he blatantly upends a striker into the next field. He will be a good contributor to the County FA I’d bet now he’s a few years older. No choice, education wasn’t working,