Red Card Report Guidelines

Make sure you complete these four headings:

The player’s name and Club. His playing position and the date of the match

NB: Do not presume that the number on the players’ shirt corresponds to his name on the team sheet. It is the Officials duty to confirm his/her identity before the player is sent from the field of play and to confirm this again after the match.

Give all the necessary details about the type and level of the match – don’t forget to include the result and whether the game was videoed.

In the ‘Nature of the Offence’ section, tick all the boxes that are applicable and make sure that, if you’ve indicated more than one, these are described .

Finally, on the front of the form make sure you complete your name, address, telephone contact number and the name of your society.


  • What lead up to the incident,
  • what happened during the incident
  • what happened post incident.

You might have a very clear picture in your own mind of what took place. Try therefore to present that clarity to the Committee in the way you write your report. It is therefore essential that the Panel have a clear understanding of the nature of the match. Was the incident a complete one off or was ‘the’ incident an accumulation of previous minor incidents?

NB: It is important that you indicate the nature of the injuries sustained by those involved in the incident, including whether they carried on during the match or had to leave the field of play

Detailed report of the incident

The next section is perhaps the most important. In the top section of this last box you must indicate how far you were from the incident and whether your view was obstructed. Be careful to explain if your view was obstructed in any way how you were able to make your decision. You will also need to state the exact time of the incident and what the score was (having a prompt card on the back of your score card with these points is good practice.)

Now for the incident itself!

“I saw Smith, the Number 7, throw a punch violently at their Number 9. I had no hesitation in sending him off”.

Unfortunately this genuine example didn’t give the Disciplinary Committee Members nearly enough information. Always remember that, in many respects, you will be acting as the ‘chief witness for the prosecution’ and, as such, the clarity of your information is vital. To elaborate on the above example, and as a model for similar foul play incidents, below are some bullet points that would have helped to describe the incident in more detail:

  • Did the punch connect, if so exactly what part of the body? This is particularly important – please describe for instance if it was a blow to the head what part e.g. the punch landed on the left eye of the Number 9
  • Did the force of the punch knock the person to the ground?
  • Did the ‘victim’ require medical treatment?
  • Did the ‘victim’ resume playing?
  • Did the intended ‘victim’ take avoiding action?
  • Was there provocation?
  • Was it in retaliation?
  • Had the offender run some distance to get involved?
  • Did the player apologise at the time, or subsequently for example in the Club House? If so, then mention it.

NB: Don’t forget to sign and date the form if it is a hard copy. The Touch Judge should sign, if officially appointed, and was the one whose report resulted in the player being sent off. Finally, state who the report is copied to. Forms sent to the Disciplinary Committee Secretary by email (preferred) should state “sent by email” in the signature space to explain to readers the absence of an actual signature. It might well be requested at later stage that you provide a copy with your written signature.

Other general points about describing the incident

When describing the incident please avoid using phases such as “I thought I saw the punch landing on …….” You must be sure of what actually happened.

Whilst as indicated above, it is advisable to mention whether a player was apologetic or not, it is not your role at the conclusion of a report to write words such as “in my opinion the sending off is sufficient punishment” or to make any recommendation about sentencing. This is a decision for the members of the Disciplinary Committee and as such your opinion is not material.

Sending in the report

All reports should be submitted to and within 48 hours. Email is now the preferred route and there is no need to be concerned about signing the report.

If the report has been instigated by an appointed Touch Judge from the Society, then he/she must complete and sign the form, which must also be countersigned by the referee.