Competition Rules 2012-2013
GENERAL COMPETITION RULES
The rules detailed below apply to all ESFA competitions except where stated under the heading of any specific competition.
1. THE TROPHY
- The Trophy is the property of the English Schools’ Football Association.
- The Trophy shall be presented to the captain of the winning team immediately after the match, or at the match function should that be held after the match.
- The winning School, College, or Association shall be responsible for suitable engraving and for the maintenance of the Trophy in good order. Arrangements for display of the Trophy must be agreed by Council.
- It shall be the responsibility of the Council Member concerned to ensure the return of the Trophy in time for presentation at the Final.
2. CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES
All entries for National Individual Schools competitions and the Under 13 and Under 15 Inter Association Trophy competitions will close on 31st May each year for the following playing season.
- 11-a-side Competitions
Eighteen mementoes (16 players and 2 team officials) shall be awarded to each School or Association taking part in a final tie. Additional identical mementoes may be purchased by the finalists subject to the approval of the ESFA. Four mementoes shall be awarded to the match officials (referee, two assistant referees and reserve official), officiating at a final tie.
- Small-Sided Competitions
- Each County Champion School / Association (Under 11) will receive a suitable memento. There will be Championship Shields for each team winning an Area Competition (Under 12).
- Certificates or other suitable mementoes will be presented to each player participating in the Regional Competitions (Under 11).
- Mementoes will be awarded to all participants (players, team officials – two per team, and match officials) in the National Finals.
- The entire control and management of the competitions shall be vested in Council, or such committees that shall be appointed by Council.
- The rules of the game shall be those of the International Football Association Board, except as otherwise stated.
- All teams must be under the ultimate control of either
- a practising teacher, recognised as such by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, or
- a retired teacher, or present or past employee of the education service who has received direct approval in writing from the appropriate local or county Schools’ Football Association to undertake such responsibilities.
- A person who has direct approval in writing from the appropriate local or county Schools’ Football Association who:
- has at least a level 1 FA coaching qualification.
- has undergone a (FA CRB) Criminal Records Bureau check – any payment associated with this shall be the responsibility of the local/county Schools’ Football Association.
This information must be registered with the ESFA on the appropriate form and the CRB certificate must be attached to the form. This registration is to be done on a three year basis. Approval may be withdrawn by the ESFA, or the local or County Schools’ Football Association, at any time.
Any other person assisting with or coaching a team must operate in the presence of a person who is qualified under (i) or (ii) above.
- Any official or player representing a School or Association in membership with the Welsh Schools’ FA participating in any of the ESFA national competitions who is reported for misconduct, on or off the field of play, shall be referred to the Council of the Welsh Schools’ FA for appropriate action.
5. THE FIELD OF PLAY
The minimum size of the ground in 11-a-side matches shall be 90 yards by 60 yards. National Competition matches may be played on artificial grass pitches that conform to the FIFA 1 star standard, or the equivalent International Artificial Turf Standard (IATS). This usually refers to 3G pitches and advancements introduced thereafter.
6. THE BALL
The ball shall be size 5 except where stated under a specific competition rule.
‘Repeated’ substitutions are allowed in all competitions up to and including the Under 16 age group. In these age groups, a player who has been substituted during a match becomes a substitute and may, in turn, replace another player at any time subject to the substitution being carried out in accordance with Law 3 of the Laws of the Game.
Teams are permitted to use 5 substitutes from five named players.
Indoor 5-a-side - 3 named substitutes
7-a-side - 3 named substitutes
- All protests shall be in writing and shall be received at the ESFA headquarters within 2 working days of the match concerned.
- No protest relative to the ground, goalposts, or other appurtenances of the game shall be considered unless a protest in writing was made to the referee before the start of the match.
- Any protest shall be signed by the Headteacher / Principal or the relevant Association Secretary as acknowledgment of their approval of its submission.
- The National Competitions Department (NCD) will gather any evidence they wish to have before making their decision.
- A copy of this decision must be relayed to both teams in writing.
- Any appeal against the National Competitions Department (NCD) decision must be made within 2 working days of the receipt of the ruling that the NCD has made.
- The appeal must arrive at the ESFA headquarters by letter, countersigned by the Headteacher / Principal / Association Secretary and accompanied by a School/College/Association cheque for £50. This will be returned if the appeal is upheld.
- The appeal will be considered by members from the ESFA Competitions Committee. The Competitions Committee shall have the power of Council to make all decisions in relation to the organisation, control, and management of any ESFA competition which shall be deemed to be the decision(s) of Council and shall be final and binding on all participants.
9. TARGET DATES
Council shall fix target dates within which all matches shall be played. Failure to keep to those dates may lead to disqualification.
The Competitions Committee, access to which is via the ESFA office, shall have the power to
- Order a match to be played on, or by, the given date
- Grant a reasonable extension to the target date
- Expel any team from the competition.
10. PLAYERS’ ATTIRE
- Where Schools or Associations have similar colours, the home team shall be entitled to retain their colours and the visiting team shall change to colours that provide a satisfactory contrast.
- Teams must not wear shirt advertising of a conflicting interest to that of the competition’s sponsor.
- Players’ shirts shall be numbered.
- Attire worn by players and staff at national finals must only reflect their School, College or Association and not make any reference to other football institutions
- If Council has any doubt over the qualification of a player taking part in any competition, it shall have the power to call upon the player’s Association or School to which he or she belongs to prove that he or she is qualified according to the rules, and failing satisfactory proof the offending School or Association shall be disqualified from the competition. Save for matches in a playing season in the age ranges Under 7, Under 8, Under 9, Under 10, and Under 11, players in a match must be of the same gender.
- A player may only play for the School or College he/she is currently attending and on whose roll he/she appears at the time of the game in which he/she is playing.
- A pupil shall not play for more than one School / Association / County in the same competition during any season, except by permission of Council.
- Pupils under the statutory school leaving age who are not on the roll of a school may apply to the ESFA to participate in representative football for the Local or County Association in which they reside.
- In individual school/college competitions, a maximum of three players who attend the same Academy/Centre of Excellence run by a club that employs contract players can participate in a match.
12. MATCH ARRANGEMENTS
- In the National Rounds of all 11-a-side competitions, extra time of 10 minutes each way (7 minutes at under 12 and 13) shall be played if the match ends in a draw. Should the scores remain equal after the conclusion of extra time, then the result shall be determined by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark (taken in accordance with the recommendations of FIFA and published in the Laws of the Game).
- If, in the opinion of the referee, for circumstances beyond the control of the organisers, scheduled extra time in a match cannot be started or completed, a match shall be deemed to have been completed at the end of normal playing time. Penalties, if scheduled, shall then follow.
- Postponed or abandoned matches in the Individual Schools’ competitions shall be played by the Saturday following the target date. Where schools are not mutually agreed on a date, then the matter will be referred to the Competitions Committee (via the ESFA Office).
- Postponed or abandoned matches in Inter Association or Inter County Competitions shall be played as Council directs.
- In the event of any match being abandoned for any reason stated under Law 5 of The Laws of the Game, Council shall have the power to allow the score at the time of the abandonment to stand and to remove from any competition any team found guilty of causing such abandonment.
- There shall be a half time interval of ten minutes in all 11-a-side matches which can only be altered with the consent of the referee.
- All arrangements for Finals shall be subject to the approval of Council.
13. MATCH OFFICIALS
- The Match Officials shall be appointed as Council shall direct. Their duties shall be accordance with the Laws of the Game as sanctioned and enforced by the International Football Association Board.
- In the event of a referee failing to appear, the teams involved must agree in writing upon one on the ground so that the game shall be conducted in accordance with the rules. The official so acting shall have the powers of a duly appointed referee.
- Match Officials for National Competitions shall be arranged by Council Members in accordance with the rules of the competition
14. MATCH DAYS
Matches will be played on Saturdays, but a match may be played midweek where teams are mutually agreed, or, where on the application of the home team, the Council considers it desirable. In the case of emergency, matches must be played on any date ordered by Council.
Financial assistance to the Competitions is at all times subject to confirmation by the Trustees in accordance with General Rule 10.
- An entry fee may be charged to enter a competition. The amount of such fee will be determined by Council and notified to all participants. Financial arrangements for all competitions (including travelling expenses) will be determined on an annual basis and communicated to all participants in the competitions by 1st October in any playing season.
- 11-a-side Competitions
- For Individual Schools’ Competitions, in all National Rounds up to, but not including the Quarter Finals, the visiting school pays its own travel costs.
- Travelling expenses and accommodation costs, where approved in advance by Council, will be paid from the National Quarter-Finals onwards (and from Round 1 in Inter Association Trophies). The visiting School / Association / County will complete an official Travel Claim Form on behalf of the official party as in Rule 16 below which shall be forwarded to the Council Member concerned within 7 days for certification and onward transmission to the ESFA.
- All matches in Inter Association Trophies, and those from the National Quarter-Finals in the Inter County and Individual Schools competitions onwards, must take place on private, enclosed grounds at which a gate must be taken, except that Council may sanction the use of an unenclosed ground under exceptional circumstances. The home School / Association / County must complete an official balance sheet, which must be forwarded to the Council Member concerned within 21 days. The only charges to be set against the gate are light refreshments, ground costs (where appropriate), match officials expenses, printing, and postage (receipts required).
- Share of Profits
Reference to a Final applies only when the match is hosted by one of the finalists.
- Individual Schools Quarter-Finals: 70% (home), 30% (visiting)
- Inter Association Trophies, Round 3 – Quarter Final: 70% (home), 30% (visiting)
- Individual Schools and Inter Association Trophies Semi-Final & Final: 30% (home), 20% (visiting), 50% (ESFA)
- Inter County Quarter-Finals, Semi-Final & Final: 50% (home), 50% (ESFA)
In a Semi-Final or Final, before any share of profit can be calculated, VAT must be paid by the ESFA. Therefore, the total surplus must accompany the Balance Sheet.
- If the National Quarter-Final, Semi-Final or Final of an Inter County competition results in a financial loss, the County Association concerned may apply to the ESFA for financial assistance. Where a net overall loss has been sustained in the Under 13 or Under 15 Trophy Competitions, an Association has the right to appeal to Council for a full or partial grant to offset such a loss. Council shall have the right to allocate such proportion of the loss as they may consider advisable.
- Small-Sided Competitions
Travelling expenses (at the rate notified by 1st October) are payable for the Area, Regional, and National Finals.
16. OVERNIGHT STAY
In exceptional circumstances where a School / College / Association needs to organise an overnight stay for the Official Party, and such an arrangement is approved by Council (access through the relevant Council Member), assistance towards the cost shall be up to £20 per head. These expenses will not be set against the gate, but will be met by the ESFA.
The official party shall consist of:-
- eight players and two officials (for 5-a-side competitions)
- ten players and two officials (for 7-a-side competitions)
- sixteen players and three officials (for Inter School 11-a-side competitions)
- sixteen players and six officials (for Inter Association / County 11-a-side competitions)
17. ALTERATION OF RULES
These rules may be altered only at a General Meeting of the Association in accordance with the principles laid down in General Rule 15.