WORCESTER City will enlist the help of a referee during pre-season to prepare for the use of sin bins for dissent throughout the Midland Football League (MFL) in 2019-20.

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Successful trials over the past two seasons in grassroots football saw plans to introduce it as high as step seven of the National League System – the level Worcester Raiders play at – next season.

However, the Football Association (FA) has contacted clubs and leagues at the two levels above to say that it will be used in all step five and six leagues as well. The Premier Division which City compete in is at step five.

Based on the plan for step seven and below released by the FA in July 2018, 10-minute sin bins will replace bookings for dissent with no £10 administration charge that accompanies standard yellow cards.

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The sin bins would be for dissent only. Other cautions and red cards remain unaffected and dissent deemed by the referee to involve behaviour that is insulting, abusive or offensive would still result in a player being sent off in line with existing rules.

Referees will show a yellow card and point to the technical area to signal a sin bin.

Players receiving a second sin bin in one game play no further part but may be substituted at the end of the second 10-minute period provided they have not been booked for a separate offence and their team has at least one substitution left to use.

Players with two sin bins and a separate booking are effectively sent off.

Sin bins carry over from the first to second halves and from full-time into extra-time but omitted players can take part in penalty shoot-outs with no banned time running over into future fixtures.

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“I have a few reservations, I think it will cloud the issue and make people more hostile,” said City manager John Snape.

“We will be bringing in a local referee during pre-season to highlight the rule changes, what officials will deem acceptable and unacceptable across the season.

“The inconsistency will play a big part, though, it can be game changing as we probably see already.

“My current view is that this will make things harder for referees but it is something I will look into more deeply to gain a full understanding, it has only just come through so we will need time to digest it properly.

“Maybe we need a fourth official on the side that talks to whoever is in the sin bin to make clear why he’s there before he goes back on. I think that would be a proactive approach.”

City host Boldmere St Michaels in the MFL on Saturday (3pm).

Title-chasing Worcester Raiders, who will also come under the new sin bin regulations irrespective of whether they win promotion this season, entertain Sikh Hunters in West Midlands (Regional) League Division One on Saturday (3pm).