Area Discipline

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Area Discipline

Disciplinary matters for which the South Central Area is responsible are dealt with by the Area Disciplinary Panel. 

The Area Disciplinary Panel consists of the Area Disciplinary Administrator and a number of Assistant Area Disciplinary Administrators. The South Central Area Disciplinary Administrator is Mark Rutherford and he can be contacted at discipline@southcentral.hockey

Appeals from the decisions of the Area Disciplinary Panel are determined by the Area Appeal Disciplinary Panel, which is currently chaired by Stephen Downham, Vice Chair of South Central Hockey, vicechair@southcentral.hockey 

On your right hand side you can find a number of documents including the Red Card and MMO regulations which detail the procedures involved.

The Area Disciplinary Panel is principally responsible for dealing with any Red Card that is issued or Match Day Misconduct Offence (MMO) that occurs in a match within the South Central Area’s responsibility.

A Red Card may only be issued for an offence or other misconduct committed during a match and may be issued to any person participating in the match, including players on the pitch, substitutes and team officials (which includes managers, coaches, physiotherapists and doctors who are part of a team’s squad).

An MMO is committed when: 

  • at any time on the day of a match, but excluding the time from the start to the end of the match, a person due to participate or who has participated in the match misconducts themselves in such a way that one of the match umpires decides would have warranted the issue of a Red Card had such misconduct occurred during the match; and
  • on the day of the match the umpire informs the offender or the team captain, a team official or Club Disciplinary Officer of the club for which the offender is to participate or has participated on the day of the relevant match that the offender’s misconduct is to be reported as an MMO.  


If you are issued with a Red Card or informed that you have committed an MMO, you should immediately leave from the pitch and the surrounding area and stay away from that area for the rest of the match and any warm-down period. If you do not do this, it may result in you receiving an increased sanction for the offence.

You must however also cooperate with the umpire by providing any information that they need to report the Red Card or MMO.

The Red Card and MMO Regulations can be found on the right hand side of this page. The Regulations prescribe mandatory minimum periods of suspension for offences in different categories. The mandatory minimum period of suspension for non-violent offences is 16 days. This sanction is imposed automatically and applies from the day of the match. There is no right of appeal against the first 16 days of any suspension.

The suspension prevents you from playing, umpiring or acting, either from the sides of the pitch or on the pitch, as a team coach, a team official or any match official during any hockey match or event, which falls within the jurisdiction of England Hockey. You are not automatically excluded from other hockey activity. If you are in any doubt as to whether you are permitted to take part in an activity, you should contact the Area Disciplinary Administrator.

The Area Disciplinary Panel have the power to impose more serious sanctions. The Regulations provide that, in cases of premeditated or serious offences, including in particular but not exclusively, personal insults to an umpire or match official, the use of a stick, punching or kicking, or group violence, you can expect to receive a substantially more serious sanction than the mandatory minimum suspension periods that are prescribed by the Regulations.

Any Red Card or MMO should be reported to the Area Disciplinary Administrator as soon as possible and in any event within 72 hours of the match. 

The Red Card and MMO Report Form and Guidance to Umpires on Completing the Form can be found on the right hand side of this page. We recommend that all umpires familiarise themselves with these documents, but please contact the Area Disciplinary Administrator if you have questions.

Where umpires have been appointed by the London Hockey Officiating Committee, the umpires should also report Yellow Cards through the Game Management System (GMS).

In the first instance, each club must appoint a Club Disciplinary Officer and provide their contact details to the Area Disciplinary Administrator. These contact details need to be kept up to date so that the Area Disciplinary Panel knows who to contact if a disciplinary issue arises in relation to a player at your club. 

The Club Disciplinary Officer is the first point of contact for the Area Disciplinary Panel. They are responsible for ensuring that the officers of their club and any individual who is the subject of any disciplinary procedure are kept fully informed of any steps taken in the disciplinary process and any sanction imposed on the individual.

Clubs and team captains / coaches are required to cooperate with umpires if a Red Card or MMO is issued. This includes providing any information that the umpire may require to report the offence.

Teams are also expected to report Yellow Cards that are issued during their games when they submit their Match Sheets.

Clubs are also responsible for ensuring that any suspension periods for Red Cards, MMOs or Yellow Cards are observed by their members. Please note that the automatic suspensions provided for under the League Regulations or the Red Card and MMO Regulations take effect automatically whether or not a Penalty Notification has been issued by the Area Disciplinary Panel. 

Suspension breaches are likely to result in a further period of suspension of at least double the period of the original suspension.