In soccer/football, a warning given out by the referee to a player for a clearly dangerous or intentionally extra-legal play. The player's name and number are written in the game book by the referee (hence the phrase "being booked"), and an approximately 3" x 4" yellow plastic card is displayed above the referee's head, with the referee facing in the direction of the player being carded.

A player may continue playing after receiving one yellow card; a second yellow card within a single match invokes an automatic red card, meaning ejection. In some leagues, an accumulation of a certain number of yellow cards over a given number of matches can result in suspension for future matches, even if no red was received in any particular match.

The yellow card has a somewhat different meaning for fencing than it does for soccer.

In fencing, a yellow card is an official warning--not a "penalty" per se. The fencer who receives the yellow card is not penalized in any way other than the receiving of the card. If the fencer repeats that same offense (or any other offense that would warrant a yellow card) during the same bout, he will then receive a red card. Yellow cards do not carry over from bout to bout.

Yellow cards are only given for the less serious offenses--others carry with them the penalty of red card or black card for the first offence, with no yellow card given at all.

The most common things a fencer can do to earn a yellow card include falling down, weapons and equipment not working or conforming to regulations, turning his back on the opponent, causing contact (corps a corps) with the other fencer], and refusal to obey the referee.

See the Fencing Penalty Chart for more info.
Yellow Book = Y = yellow wire

yellow card n.

See green card.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

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