How to Write on a Yellow Card

Written by scott levin
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How to Write on a Yellow Card
Referees hand out yellow cards to caution soccer players. (Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Referees use yellow cards to assert their authority on a soccer field and warn unruly players who get out of line. Traditionally, officials would show the yellow card to the player, pull out the game report and record the necessary information. However, write-on yellow and red cards have recently become more prominent. These allow referees to show the card and simply flip them over to quickly record the information and get the game restarted. Switching to the write-on method is a relatively easy process.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Yellow card
  • Dry-erase and permanent marker

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  1. 1

    Purchase a yellow card with a glossy or laminated surface. Yellow cards with an information table on them can be found at many soccer shops or online vendors.

  2. 2

    Pack the yellow card with a dry-erase or permanent marker in the front pocket of your referee shirt.

  3. 3

    When needed, show the yellow card to the guilty player and write the pertinent information (player jersey number, time, offence) on the back.

    How to Write on a Yellow Card
    Always show the yellow card first before writing down the needed information. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images)
  4. 4

    Transfer the information from the yellow card to the game report and turn the report in to the proper authority.

  5. 5

    Erase the information from the yellow card in preparation for the next game. For dry-erase, water will be sufficient to clean the card. A permanent marker will require rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to be erased from the yellow card.

Tips and warnings

  • Dry-erase markers clean easily, but they can also rub off or smudge while in your pocket or if sweated upon. Make sure you do not lose any important information regarding the yellow card.
  • Always carry a backup marker in case the primary one runs out of ink.
  • Referees at the highest level use write-on yellow cards, but many started writing directly on the game report. It really is a matter of personal preference.
  • Do not erase the information on the card until you copy it down to the game report.
  • Some write-on yellow cards also have templates for recording goals and red cards.
  • Make sure your writing is legible. During games, you need to be able to identify players with two yellow cards who need to be ejected.
  • While there will likely be no problem, check with your referee's association to see if they have a policy regarding write-on yellow cards.

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