Gear Review: Custom Cards write on cards

Durable, superior laminate finish that can be written on with pencil, can be customized with your name, very reasonably priced. Highest rating.

Our journey through game information recording systems continues today with a look at write-on cards from Custom Cards. Custom Cards is an Internet-based company run by referee Larry Cooper in Collinsville, IL. Larry produces a variety of write on cards, available in multiple sizes. The “custom” moniker is used because they can print custom text (e.g., your name) on your cards before they are laminated.

Before we dive into the individual cards, what makes all of these cards unique is the laminate material used on the cards. The material, which is relatively thick, has a unique matte finish that you can write on with virtually any writing instrument. Of course, permanent markers work well, but the real joy in using these cards is that pencil actually works quite well. The instructions included with the cards point out that using pencil will extend the life of the cards, when the user employs a quality gum eraser to clean it after each match.

I really like the matte finish on these cards, for a couple of different reasons. First, I prefer to use pencil when possible. I like the smaller form factor of pencils, and I never have to worry about getting marker on my hands or uniform. Second, the matte finish is much easier to see in bright sunlight. Cards with a glossy finish reflect light and can sometimes be hard to read when used in direct sunlight.

Now, let’s take a look at each product. First up are the Yellow and Red Card Set. These are available in three sizes, the Standard (3 1/2” by 5 1/8”, $5), the Pro Elite (3 5/8” by 5 3/4”, $6) and Petite (3 1/4” by 4 3/4”, $5). Apart from size, these card sets are identical to one another.

The laminate corners are nicely rounded so that they won’t poke you while they are in your pocket. The back of each card is blank and has a glossy laminate finish. The colors are appropriate versions of yellow and red, not some flourescent version that doesn’t look quite right.

Each card has space to record 6 misconduct events per team, and eight goals per team with time, or 16 goals per team without the time. The space at the top of each card is reserved for any custom printing requested during the ordering process. The cards are thick enough that you can write on them comfortably, without feeling like a piece of cardboard.

My personal favorite is the Game Record Card ($3). I prefer to use my old yellow and red cards from the 70s – I still haven’t found a set of cards that are as thick and comfortable as these. So, I use a separate card to record information, and the Game Record Card is perfect for this task. I really like the portrait orientation (I’ve seen some other write on cards that are landscape and this bugs me), and, again, the fact that I can write on it with pencil.

Another cool feature of this card is that it is two-sided; great for back-to-back games!

Like the Yellow and Red Card Sets, the Game Record Card features spaces for 8 goals plus time, or 16 goals without time, per team. It has places to record 10 instances of misconduct, and all of the basic match data, such as date, time, referee crew, etc. This is very handy because I use my smartphone to snap a photo of it after the match is over (more on that in a future blog).

Custom Cards also offers a few other specialty cards, including a card for recording kicks from the mark (the Kicks From The Penalty Mark card, $2.50), an NCAA substitution tracking card (NCAA Substitution Card, $2.50) that could also be used for other competitions such as Super Y where subs must be tracked, a luggage/bag tag (Personalized Bag Tag, $2.50), and even a Rugby Yellow/Red Set ($5.50).

All of these cards are incredibly utilitarian, durable, and to top things off, very reasonably priced. Combine this with great customer service and you’ve got an unbeatable combination. Custom Cards wins my highest recommendation: a 5 whistle rating.

To order, click here.

One response to “Gear Review: Custom Cards write on cards”

  1. Just a few questions regarding the game record cards:

    Are they strong enough to be written on without a backing (such as a wallet)?

    How well does the writing hold up in wet conditions?

    Thank you.


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