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What does it mean to be in the referee's notebook first, and why would someone else follow them into the referee's notebook after that?

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The referee makes records important information about the match in a notebook to act as the official record of the match. This includes goals, but in this context also cautions - a player receiving a caution can be (unofficially) described as "going into the referee's notebook", and a second player receiving a caution can be described as "following the first player into the referee's notebook".

In case it's not obvious, this is also the derivation of a caution being described as a "booking".

  • A possible context could be a player being booked, her teammate arguing with the referee and the teammate being booked for dissent. That fits the question well as the two players would get a yellow card in a short time and following from a single incident. – James K Oct 24 '17 at 18:28

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