In learning the ins and outs of a sport, one must also know which actions will result in a penalty. Recently some of you have asked about yellow cards, red cards, and black cards. While it is my hope that none of you will incur such penalties, there is the possibility that some will occur. So we should all become familiar with what is good, what is acceptable, what may be tolerated, and what is absolutely an offense.
The following is a link to the USFA’s Penalty Chart which lays out what exactly will yield you a yellow card, a red card, or a black card. This chart is the guiding document for all offenses and will be applied at every formal competition you attend. On a personal note, at local meets and tournaments, directors or referees tend to be a bit more forgiving on some of the minor offenses, usually giving a verbal warning prior to issuing a card. Please do not take this as an absolute–each director has his or her own tolerance level, so do not assume that you can or will “get away with” anything.
I had considered recreating this chart for all of you on our site, but the USFA chart is quite clear and easy to follow. Included in the chart are links to the applicable paragraphs of the rule book for further clarification. I encourage each of you go get familiar with this chart. As always, if you have any questions, just let me know.