A typical feature of rugby is that referees can show a player a yellow card and send him to the so-called “sin bank”.
The less severe of the two card-based penalties in rugby: a player who receives a yellow card leaves the field for ten minutes and is then allowed to return.
During their time in the “trash can,” their team cannot replace the person who received the temporary ban.
Yellow cards have been around for almost three decades, but were originally used to warn players.
Australian James Holbeck became the first player to receive a ten-minute binning during a Tri-Nations match against South Africa in 1997.
There is no set guideline as to what constitutes a technical offense worthy of a yellow card or not, for repeated offenses, whether by an individual or a team, and whether the act was cynical or not is often used by referees, to assess whether a yellow card is required.
The criteria for dangerous play are clearer: the more serious the offense, the higher the sanction, including a red card.
If a penalty try is awarded, the conceding team must be shown a yellow card if the player who committed the offense can be identified.
The disciplinary procedure has been revised for this year’s Rugby World Cup.
Incidents of foul play that clearly reach the threshold for a yellow card are now reviewed by the on-field referee, who shows a yellow card to the player who committed the offense.
The Foul Play Review Officer (FRPO), stationed in a bunker in Paris during the tournament, will then have eight minutes to decide whether the incident merits an upgrade to red.
If so, the player will be sent off and will no longer be able to take part in the game. If no, the player returns after serving his ten minutes off the field.
If a player is shown two yellow cards during the same game, regardless of what they were for, he will automatically be sent off.
A person who receives three yellow cards during the course of a season or tournament must appear before a disciplinary committee.