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Some questions have been asked about our yellow card count.  You can see the current count in the varsity summary button on the stats page.  The policy was created at the 2014 IHSA Soccer Advisory Committee meeting and it is outlined in the current 2016-17 Soccer State Association Adoptions.  Here is the policy as it currently stands:

8.  Caution Count: Yellow cards received during regular season or tournament competition must be counted. Once a coach or player has accumulated five yellow cards, they are suspended for the next game. Once the coach or player accumulates three additional yellow cards, they are suspended for the next two games; three more – they are suspended three games, etc. These are minimum penalties.


a.  All yellow cards must be reported by the official to the IHSA and the member school as currently practiced with all ejection reports. Schools are responsible to keep track of all yellow cards issued to their coaches and players. A yellow/red card form is available online through the IHSA Schools Center and the IHSA soccer webpage for schools to download during the season. Coaches are encouraged to complete the form and submit it to their Athletic Director after each game.

b.  At the start of the IHSA tournament series, a coach or player will begin the tournament with a clean slate if they have accumulated four or fewer yellow cards during the regular season.

c.  If a coach or player enters the tournament series having accumulated five or more yellow cards during the season, their yellow card count continues. Once the individual accumulates 8 total cards they are suspended for two games; 11 yellows they are suspended for three games, etc.

d.  Officials who submit a yellow card report or an ejection report through the Officials Center do not need to send a separate report to the school. Schools are able to immediately see the yellow card or ejection report on their Schools Center.

e.  Officials who submit a yellow card report or an ejection report via fax to the IHSA need to send a separate report to the school.

f.  Schools or coaches who do not receive a special report electronically or by fax within 48 hours of the contest must send the officials name and ID number to the IHSA office for follow up. Officials who do not submit yellow/red cards will be contacted by the IHSA and may face sanctions.


1. Once the game restarts cards cannot be rescinded after being issued, therefore all yellow and red cards MUST be reported to the school and the IHSA.

2. All yellow cards received are included in the yellow card count, regardless of how many the players or coach receives in a single game. For example: If a player receives a caution during the game and then receives a subsequent straight red during the same game, that player’s yellow card count will be charged for one and the red card count shall be charged for one.

3. Team Caution Count – Any Varsity team during the regular season that receives a total of 25 or more yellow cards will be prohibited from participating in the IHSA State Tournament series beginning with the 2014-15 State Tournaments. The team count includes: Yellow cards issued to players, coaches and all bench personnel

9.  Straight Red Card Count: Straight red cards received by a player or coach are to be tracked by the school and the IHSA. Recipients of a straight red card will have the following consequences:
1st straight red card = 1 game suspension (current practice);
2nd straight red card = 2 game suspension for recipient;
3rd straight red card = 3 game suspension for recipient etc.
The straight red card(s) count accumulated during the regular season will continue through the state series.
Some observations and notes:
  1. The limit of 24 refers to “cautions” (yellow cards) only.  A red card has its own built-in penalty and is not counted in the team limit.
  2. A straight red card, as mentioned above, is also known as a hard red card.  This is when a player receives a red card for a single incident on the field.  A yellow/red, as mentioned in the policy, refers to what is generally known as a soft red card.  That is that two yellows in a single game will cause ejection from the game (soft red).  This would count as two yellow cards for both the player and the team.  The player would be required to sit out the next game, per the IHSA rules, as if he had received a hard red card, but it would not count against the player as a straight red card.
  3. The accumulated total of yellow cards for the regular season is wiped clean at the beginning of the “state series”, which is regional play.  This includes the team totals and the individual yellow card count for any player with 4 or fewer yellow cards.  Currently, we have no players with 4 or more yellow cards.  The straight red card total does NOT reset, but is carried into the state series.
  4. Team policy is currently that any player receiving a yellow card for dissent will be required to sit out the following game.

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