Ejection Rules for Different Sports



Red Cards are used to eject players in soccer

In most sports, it is typical for the referees to have methods that help discipline players and keep their behavior appropriate. One way of doing this is to eject players. An ejection is the removal of a player due to a violation of the specific sport’s rules. The exact violations that lead up to an ejection are different depending on the sport, but common reasons for ejection across all sports include unsportsmanlike conduct, violent acts against other participants, or abuse towards the officials. Three major sports that include these ejection rules are basketball, football, and soccer.

In the NBA (National Basketball Association), players can receive an ejection for receiving too many flagrant fouls or technical fouls in a game. A flagrant foul is defined by unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent. The other team receives two free throws and possession of the ball. Once a player commits a flagrant foul twice in a game, they are ejected from that game. A technical foul is given when a player intentionally swings an elbow at an opposing player or taunts and threatens him. These are a few of the limited reasons technical fouls or flagrant fouls are given. If any of the types of fouls are committed more than once, players may be fined, ejected from that game, and/or suspended from following games.

In the NFL, players should behave themselves in a way that brings honors to the sport. If players endanger other people’s safety, fights, or commit unsportsmanlike conduct, they can be fined or suspended from games. To help prevent players from being punished, the NFL communicates with players and coaches year-round so they understand what the rules are, why they exist, and what happens when they’re broken. Many times, NFL players can be fined for violating the game rules. However, the NFL doesn’t fine players for their own benefit at all, the money goes into programs that support former NFL players. If players commit late-hits, use unsportsmanlike conduct, or get into fights, they can also be ejected from games, and/or suspended from games in the future.

In Soccer, players can be ejected for receiving a “red card”. Receiving a red card means that a player has committed serious misconduct, and will have to leave the field immediately. Soccer fouls are called for any excessive force that may endanger the well-being of another player. The referees decide if fouls deserve red cards. Typically, the first call committed will be called as a “yellow card,” which sort of serves as a warning to not commit further misconduct. However, if a “yellow card” foul seems not serious enough, the referees have the option to increase the punishment to a red card. Use of abusive language that degrades other players, or spitting at other players may be considered an automatic red card (ejection).

Overall sports are intended to be fun activities and forms of exercise, and rules exist to keep players safe and maintain good sportsmanship. They are not intended to take the fun away from the game, but serious misconduct must be punished by rules to discourage players from fighting, violent acts towards other participations, or abuse of the officials.