Ref4Me

Low Card Count

So far I’ve only been doing youth games and haven’t done too many (started last season so everything’s been interrupted, once I get a string of games together and build confidence I might consider a change)

Still I feel my card count is very low. As in, it’s 0. After 20 games. I know youth football has a very low rate of yellows from my time playing (I saw 7 yellows and no reds in 13 years of playing from U6 to U18) but the standard of refereeing tended to be quite poor in terms of tolerance. The yellows were probably reds (and still didn’t tend to be submitted into the league) and a yellow card offence wouldn’t be booked.

I didn’t give too much thought into it, but reading on here has made me question whether it’s enough. I know every games different but not a single yellow card offence in 20 games? Has anyone else experienced this in youth football? Is this just the way it works? Am I just incredibly lucky? Too lenient? I know it’s hard to judge without watching me, just give me a general idea of what you’d expect at this level if you can. Thanks very much
 
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Anubis

RefChat Addict
lets call it 1800 mins of competitive football
lets cal it, 20 times 26 players per match, 520 players
lets call it 2 coaches per team per game 80 coaches

thats a lot of match play and players for not one to commit one bookable challenge, commit sanctionable dissent, or even a technical mandatory caution.

it might indeed be a mix of well behaved teams, along with refereeing in tandem with the game provided.

it does figure wise seem low though, Even yesterday i covered a u14 academy game as a call off and had two maybes late on, which i chose to talk rather than caution, They were yellows in their own right, in a diff game with a diff referee

main thing as a new referee is you continue to enjoy, and if presented with a cardable offence, you take it.

but yes in black and white , given thats all we other than you, can go on, imo, its pretty low to have 0 in 20

edit, am talking full pitch u13 and upwards
 
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socal lurker

RefChat Addict
Impossible to say. If most of those games were U18, it is surprising to me. If most of those games were U10, not surprising at all. In my experience, cautions at 12U and below are quite rare. At 14U, I'd say occaisonal--I'd guess I give one every 8-10 games or so. At 16s and higher, the cards come much more frequently.

But I don't think the frequency is so much the key, but thinking about the games. Do you consider after the game, "gee, I probably should have carded for xyz." The errors most new refs give is failing to give cards rather than giving cards they shouldn't have. Generally speaking, you're likely to have a feel that you might have missed a caution--either just that nagging feeling, or because future events in the game help you see it.
 

Ibrahimbalogun1111

Site Lurker
Level 9 Referee
It could just be because youth football is known to have more careless challenges than reckless ones. You don't see many under 8's attempting a malicious or dangerous tackle that often, so maybe it's just that you've had games with well-behaved players and coaches, which you should see as a good thing.
 

Justylove

Premium Member
Premium Member
Level 4 Referee
There's 3 potential answers here:

1) You've not had games where you've needed to use your cards (as others have said, in youth football, especially at younger ages, you're unlikely to have too many, as you get to older age groups, the likelihood goes up)
2) You're struggling to differentiate between careless, reckless and excessive force in challenges, meaning that you're not identifying offences correctly
3) You've identified offences, but haven't applied the right sanction.


If you look back at those games, are there any incidents where you think that you could have needed a card?

Only you will know which one of those applies. If it's 1) then don't sweat it, if it's either 2) or 3) then you know what you need to develop.
 

James P

Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
So far I’ve only been doing youth games and haven’t done too many (started last season so everything’s been interrupted, once I get a string of games together and build confidence I might consider a change)

Still I feel my card count is very low. As in, it’s 0. After 20 games. I know youth football has a very low rate of yellows from my time playing (I saw 7 yellows and no reds in 13 years of playing from U6 to U18) but the standard of refereeing tended to be quite poor in terms of tolerance. The yellows were probably reds (and still didn’t tend to be submitted into the league) and a yellow card offence wouldn’t be booked.

I didn’t give too much thought into it, but reading on here has made me question whether it’s enough. I know every games different but not a single yellow card offence in 20 games? Has anyone else experienced this in youth football? Is this just the way it works? Am I just incredibly lucky? Too lenient? I know it’s hard to judge without watching me, just give me a general idea of what you’d expect at this level if you can. Thanks very much
For reference, I've done 12 games so far this season (10 at U15 and one at U14 and U16) and I've given 3 yellows, one of which was a sin bin, and two reds.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
Very difficult to say without having seen your games. I normally average 2 or 3 cautions a game at grass roots level, but I went 12 adult Sunday league games in succession without a single card. I wasn't doing anything different, just the way the cookie crumbled, and of course game 13 all hell broke loose and there were more cards than Clintons.
 

RobOda

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
Has anyone else experienced this in youth football? Is this just the way it works? Am I just incredibly lucky? Too lenient?

Never had a SPA caution in all that time? No Persistent Infringement? No DOSGO-Pens?

I feel at U16 level it's unusual to get many reckless challenges, but 20 games without a single SPA offence? Not saying you're missing them or anything, just food for thought because, as everyone has said, we haven't seen your games so can't really say. :)
 

ladbroke8745

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Never had a SPA caution in all that time? No Persistent Infringement? No DOSGO-Pens?

I feel at U16 level it's unusual to get many reckless challenges, but 20 games without a single SPA offence? Not saying you're missing them or anything, just food for thought because, as everyone has said, we haven't seen your games so can't really say. :)
I had 5 reckless in my one game yesterday. 5 yellows issued - to 4 different players.
The one player sent off, was given a very public telling off for his involvement in two players coming together to argue a foul on said sent off player that he is walking a very thin line and won't accept anymore misdemeanours from him. 10 minutes later... bye.
One of the reckless ones given was more of an orange. First "proper" foul of the game, as in crunching take no prisoners type. If this challenge had happened after the others I may have gone straight red as temp of game would have warranted. But at the time yellow seemed justified. He was the one that walked later.
 

Joshref

Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
It really depends on the age group. I only saw 10 yellows and 1 red in my 11 years of playing, but similar to you that was more the standard of reffing, all the yellow card offences I’d have probably shown red for in a game.

I have reffed 44 games from U6 to U16. I’ve shown 3 cards. My most reffed age group is U12s (13) followed by U11s (12) which are the two age groups I’ve shown cards at!

I have never seen a yellow card administered at an U11 or U12 game by someone other than me. The majority of refs at that age group though are just parents with a whistle, they unlikely have cards in their pockets. We as qualified reds are far more likely to show a card.

If you’re reffing U-16 upwards, I imagine it’s different. Tbh, even U13-U15 will see a few. U10-U12 though, doesn’t tend to see so many bookable offences. There’s not a load of fouls (C3 unlikely) and they tend to be careless rather than reckless. C6 and C7 don’t tend to happen and C4 and C5 are rare cos kids that age don’t tend to have the awareness for it.

All of those can happen though, at any age group. The two you’re most likely to encounter are USB and dissent. For dissent, I’m still yet to sin bin. A tough warning at that age group does a lot as long as it’s low level. If it’s obvious dissent get them in the bin. Managers I’ve never had a problem with. Coaches and spectators are the only adults that are nightmares. Spectators still seem convinced at that age group that little Tommy playing in U12 Div 6 is Man Uniteds next superstar. Low level U-16 was so much more enjoyable in terms of spectators, they’re always lovey.

As for coaches, there’s 2 I can think of that I probably should’ve shown a yellow to for dissent. I got away with them both, the warning was enough to shut them up. One of them I can make excuses for not booking, the other one I can’t. I remain convinced he called me a “****ing joke” after an admittedly wrong offside call but it was under his breath, I was far away, no one else seemed to notice, and I couldn’t prove whether he was saying it at me or his player for being offside.

A minute after that, he sarcastically shouted “offside” after his player knocked the ball back on the halfway line to another player. Had a word with him, CALLED FOR AN IDFK, AND STILL DIDNT CAUTION. Bugs to me to this day that ***** got away with a yellow. I believe he’s no longer involved with junior football though so yay?

As for players though, at that age group and level most stuff doesn’t happen. My 3 bookings have come from 2 off the ball incidents and one where the player made two bad challenges in the space of 45 seconds.

Sorry to go off track, just assuring you that it’s not the end of the world, my record isn’t great either for cards. Age group plays a part, but so does level of players. I played at the lower levels hence the lack of cards. Our A Team used to see 10 cards a game in Div 1 from U15 upwards, let alone 10 in 11 years! If you’re reffing U18 Div 1 games then I’d be surprised by a lack of cards. If you’re reffing U10 Div 7, different story.
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
16 middles.
64 yellows and 5 reds
Granted this is senior football
Includes 3 friendlies and also yellows Inc.. Sin bins (x4) and manager misconduct.
I may start tracking those separately next season.

WRT OP every game is different so it's hard to say without seeing the game if it's a low card count or not.
 
Thanks for the responses everyone. It tends to be low level lower age group games I do so I think that makes sense. I’ll keep you all updated when I finally get that yellow card out. Cannot wait. Has given me idea for a new thread discussion has this
 
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