Best Soccer Referee Cards

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Even though soccer referee cards are small pieces of plastic, there’s more to choosing them than you might think.

What cards does a soccer referee need?

Soccer referees, of course, need a red card and a yellow card. The red card means a player has been sent off, and the yellow card is a warning for a serious offense.

Some soccer leagues use a blue card. In indoor soccer, a blue card is a two-minute penalty and is less severe than a yellow card.

In some high school soccer, a blue card replaces the red card for lower-level red card offenses. High school uses a blue card to distinguish between technical offenses with less serious penalties and serious offenses that come with fines and suspensions.

Some referees carry a white card to write on. You won’t see a referee show this card to players unless the referee forgets a yellow or red card and uses the white card as a sub.

Depending on the league, you may also need various forms for after the game.

Which cards should referees use?

Red and yellow cards usually only cost a few dollars, and there are many different options available. Neon cards are more widely used than traffic light red and yellow, especially in higher-level games.

Official Sports’ neon cards tend to easily get scuffed or marked and are difficult to impossible to clean. European manufacturers, such as B&D, usually have better durability.

What about write on cards?

Write-on cards are a popular alternative for referees. Referees use them to avoid needing a paper sheet for each game and to avoid problems when it rains.

Write-on cards come in both sets of red and yellow or as a separate white card. If you write on a white card, you can use a traditional yellow and red card.

If you use yellow and red write-on cards, it’s important to be careful about how you pull them out and hold them so players don’t think you’re giving a card when you aren’t. This is really important when you’re recording a controversial goal.

Should youth soccer referees carry cards?

While cards are less common in younger age games, all referees should carry cards on them in every soccer game. You never know when a player (or coach) will commit a serious offense that you have to card.

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