The Yarra Junior Football League (YJFL) is taking a proactive stance against umpire abuse and poor sideline behaviour by introducing a new White Card Rule which will help maintain a safe and respectful environment for all participants, including players, coaches, umpires, and spectators.
Based on an initiative introduced by AFL Queensland in 2022, the White Card Rule will be implemented across all YJFL competitions and will feature three phases.
Phase 1 (warning) – white card presented to offending club’s coaching box.
Phase 2 (second warning) – white card presented to offending club’s coaching box. Free kick and 25m penalty paid to opposition.
Phase 3 (dismissal) – coach from offending club will be removed from the game with no further participation allowed for the remainder of the match. Free kick and 25m penalty paid to opposition.
The White Card will only be issued to the offending team’s coaching box.
Supporters and club officials, in other areas of the ground, will not be issues with a White Card but are still required to abide by the code and conduct for spectators.
"We believe that the introduction of the white card rule will send a clear message that umpire abuse and poor sideline behaviour will not be tolerated in our league," said YJFL CEO, Aaron Bailey.
"We are committed to creating a positive and inclusive environment where everyone can enjoy the game of football, and this rule is a step towards achieving that goal."
The introduction of the White Card Rule is part of the YJFL's ongoing efforts to promote fair play and respect towards umpires and other participants in community football. The league encourages all its members to uphold the values of respect, integrity, and inclusivity.
For further information about the White Card Rule and other Rules and By-Law updates for the 2023 season, visit https://www.yarrajfl.org.au/rules-by-laws.