Competition Rules and Fines
Please remember to keep your handbook updated but if you have any questions or queries, please contact the appropriate management committee member, or if unsure, League Secretary Mrs Elsie Hewitt.
1. (A) In these Rules:
“Affiliated Association” means an Association accorded the status of an Affiliated Association under the rules of The FA.
“AGM” shall mean the annual general meeting held in accordance with the constitution of the Competition.
“Club” means a club for the time being in membership of the Competition.
“Competition” means the Colchester & District Sunday Football League.
“Competition Match” means any match played or to be played under the jurisdiction of the Competition.
“Contract Player” means any Player (other than a Player on a Scholarship) who is eligible to play under a written contract of employment with a Club.
“Deposit” means a sum of money deposited with the Competition as part of the requirements of membership of the Competition.
“Fees Tariff” means a list of fees approved by the Clubs at a general meeting to be levied by the Management Committee for any matters for which fees are payable under the Rules, as set out at Schedule A.
“Fines Tariff” means a list of fines approved by the Clubs at a general meeting to be levied by the Management Committee for any breach of the Rules, as set out at Schedule A.
“Ground” means the ground on which the Club’s Team(s) plays its Competition Matches.
“Management Committee” means in the case of a Competition which is an unincorporated association, the management committee elected to manage the running of the Competition and where the Competition is incorporated it means the Board of Directors appointed in accordance with the articles of association of that company.
“Match Officials” means the referee, the assistant referees and any fourth official appointed to a Competition Match.
“Non Contract Player” means any Player (other than a Player on a Scholarship) who is eligible to play for a Club but has not entered into a written contract of employment.
“Officer” means an individual who is appointed or elected to a position in a Club or Competition which requires that individual to make day to day decisions.
“Participant” shall have the same meaning as set out in the rules of The FA from time to time.
“Player” means any Contract Player, Non Contract Player or other player who plays or who is eligible to play for a Club.
“Playing Season” means the period between the date on which the first competitive fixture in the Competition is played each year until the date on which the last competitive fixture in the Competition is played.
“Rules” means these rules under which the Competition is administered.
“Sanctioning Authority” means the Essex County Football Association Limited.
“Scholarship” means a Scholarship as set out in Rule C 3 (a) (i) of the rules of The FA.
“Season” means the period of time between an AGM and the subsequent AGM.
“Secretary” means such person or persons appointed or elected to carry out the administration of the Competition.
“SGM” means a special general meeting held in accordance with the constitution of the Competition.
“Team” means a team affiliated to a Club, including where a Club provides more than one team in the Competition in accordance with the Rules.
“Team Sheet” means a form provided by the Competition on which the names of the Players taking part in a Competition match are listed.
“The FA” means The Football Association Limited.
“WGS” means the Whole Game System and the procedures for the operation thereof as determined by The FA from time to time.
“written” or “in writing” means the representation or reproduction of words or symbols or other information in a visible form by any method or combination of methods, whether sent or supplied in electronic form or otherwise.
(B) Unless stated otherwise, terms referring to natural persons are applicable to both genders. Any term in the singular applies to the plural and vice-versa.
COMPETITION NAME, CONSTITUTION
2. (A) The Competition will be known as Colchester & District Sunday Football League (or such other name as the Competition may adopt). The Clubs participating in the Competition must be members of the Competition. A Club which ceases to exist, or which ceases to be entitled to play in the Competition for any reason whatsoever shall thereupon automatically cease to be a member of the Competition.
(B) This Competition shall consist of not more than seventy five Clubs approved by the Sanctioning Authority.
(C) The geographical area covered by the Competition membership shall be 15 miles by road from Colchester Town Hall, and also include the town of Harwich.
(D) The administration of the Competition under these Rules will be carried out by the Competition acting (save where otherwise specifically mentioned herein) through the Management Committee in accordance with the rules, regulations and policies of The FA.
(E) All Clubs shall adhere to the Rules. Every Club shall be deemed, as a member of the Competition to have accepted the Rules and to have agreed to abide by the decisions of the Management Committee in relation thereto, subject to the provisions of Rule 7.
(F) The Rules are taken from the Standard Code of Rules (the “Standard Code”) determined by The FA from time to time. In the event of any omissions from the Standard Code then the requirements of the Standard Code shall be deemed to apply to the Competition.
(G) All Clubs must be affiliated to an Affiliated Association and their names and particulars shall be returned annually by the appointed date in a manner prescribed by the Sanctioning Authority and must have a constitution approved by the Sanctioning Authority. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
This Competition shall apply annually for sanction to the Sanctioning Authority and the constituent Teams of Clubs may be grouped in divisions, each not exceeding fourteen in number.
(H) Inclusivity and Non-discrimination
(i) The Competition and each Club must be committed to promoting inclusivity and to eliminating all forms of discrimination and should abide and adhere to The FA Equality Policy and any legislative requirements (to include those contained in the Equality Act 2010).
(ii) This Competition and each Club must make every effort to promote equality by treating people fairly and with respect, by recognising that inequalities may exist, by taking steps to address them and by providing access and opportunities for all members of the community, irrespective of age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, ability or disability or otherwise.
(iii) Any alleged breach of the Equality Act 2010 legislation must be referred to the appropriate Sanctioning Authority for investigation.
(I) Clubs must comply with the provisions of any initiatives of The FA which are adopted by the Competition including, but not limited to, Charter Standard and RESPECT programmes. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(J) All Participants shall abide by The Football Association Regulations for Safeguarding Children as determined by The FA from time to time.
(K) Clubs shall not enter any of their Teams playing in the Competition in any other competitions (with the exception of FA and County FA Competitions) except with the written consent of the Management Committee. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(L) At the AGM or an SGM called for the purpose, a majority of the delegates present shall have power to decide or adjust the constitution of the divisions at their discretion. When necessary this Rule shall take precedence over Rule 22.
(M) Only one Team shall be permitted from any Club to participate in the same division as another Team from the same Club unless there is no viable alternative because of logistical issues and/or reasons linked to participation and geographical boundaries. The Competition will obtain the prior approval of the Sanctioning Authority in the event of a division comprising of more than one Team from the same Club. This Competition will ensure that, where permission is given, Teams from a Club operating in the same division are run as separate entities with no interchange of players other than via transfers of registration in accordance with these Rules.
3. Any Club wishing to change its name must obtain permission from the Sanctioning Authority and from the Management Committee. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
ENTRY FEE, SUBSCRIPTION, DEPOSIT
4. (A) Applications by Clubs for admission to the Competition or the entry of an additional Team(s) from the same Club must be made in writing to the Secretary and must be accompanied by an Entry Fee per Team as set out in the Fees Tariff, which shall be returned in the event of non-election.
At the discretion of a majority of the accredited voting members present applications, of which due notice has been given, may be received at the AGM or an SGM.
When Rule 22(B) is applied, or a Team seeks a transfer or, is compulsorily transferred to another division, no Entry Fee shall be payable.
(B) The annual subscription shall be payable in accordance with the Fees Tariff per Club payable on or before the AGM of the Competition in each year.
The Annual Subscription shall include one handbook per Team. Additional handbooks will be priced at £2.00.
(C) In the event of any issue concerning the membership of any Club with the Competition the Management Committee may require a Deposit to be paid (in accordance with the Fees Tariff) by or on behalf of the Club on such terms and for such period as it may in its entire discretion think fit. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(D) A Club shall not participate in this Competition until the entry fee, annual subscription and deposit (if required) have been paid.
(E) Clubs must advise annually to the Secretary in writing by 14th July of its Sanctioning Authority affiliation number for the forthcoming Playing Season. Clubs must advise the Secretary in writing, or on the prescribed form, of details of its headquarters, its Officers and any other information required by the Competition. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(F) All new Clubs entering the League shall start in the lowest division.
(G) All Clubs that hire pitches from Colchester Borough Council or Tendring District Council through the League will be invoiced by the League Treasurer on the 1st of each month for the cost of the pitches they are liable for during the preceding month. Late payments shall result in a fine. Repeated late payments shall result in pitch facilities being withdrawn and/or such penalties as the Management Committee may impose.
(H) All monies payable to the League must be made by cheque made payable to “Colchester & District Sunday League” or by Bank Transfer. Clubs failing to comply shall be fined.
MANAGEMENT, NOMINATION, ELECTION
5. (A) The Management Committee shall comprise the Officers of the Competition and seven members who shall all be elected at the AGM.
The Officers of the Competition shall be the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, League Secretary, Registration Secretary, Referees Appointments Secretary, Fixture Secretary, Disciplinary Officer and IT Officer to be elected annually at the AGM. (N.B. Auditors/Verifiers are not Officers)
(B) Retiring Officers shall be eligible to become candidates for re-election without nomination provided that the Officer notifies the Secretary in writing not later than 31st March in each year.
All other candidates for election as Officers of the Competition or members of the Management Committee shall be nominated to the Secretary in writing, signed by the secretaries of two Clubs, not later than 31st March in each year. Names of the candidates for election shall be circulated with the notice of the AGM. In the event of there being no nomination in accordance with the foregoing for any office, nominations may be received at the AGM.
(C) The Management Committee shall meet as and when required, save that no more than three calendar months shall pass between each meeting.
On receiving a requisition signed by two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Management Committee the Secretary shall convene a meeting of the Management Committee.
(D) Except where otherwise mentioned all communications shall be addressed to the Secretary who shall conduct the correspondence of the Competition and keep a record of its proceedings.
(E) All communications received from Clubs must be conducted through their Officers and sent to the Secretary.
Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(F) Each Club shall be represented at a full League Council meeting by not less than one officer or a delegate representative acquainted with the Club’s business. A Club failing to be represented at a League Council meeting shall be fined in accordance with the Fines Tariff. Clubs failing to be represented at three consecutive meetings without satisfactory reason being given, shall be further dealt with as the Management Committee may determine. Not less than fourteen days notice shall be given of any meeting.
POWERS OF MANAGEMENT
6. (A) The Management Committee may appoint sub-committees and delegate such of their powers as they deem necessary. The decisions of all sub-committees shall be reported to the Management Committee for ratification. The Management Committee shall have power to deal only with matters within the Competition and not for any matters of misconduct that are under the jurisdiction of The FA or Affiliated Association.
(B) Subject to the permission of the Sanctioning Authority having been obtained, the Management Committee may order a match or matches to be played each Season, the proceeds to be devoted to the funds of the Competition and, if necessary, may call upon each Club (including any club which may have withdrawn during the Season) to contribute equally such sums as may be necessary to meet any deficiency at the end of the Season.
(C) Each member of the Management Committee shall have the right to attend and vote at all Management Committee meetings and have one vote thereat, but no member shall be allowed to vote on any matters directly appertaining to such member or to the Club so represented or where there may be a conflict of interest. (This shall also apply to the procedure of any sub-committee).
In the event of the voting being equal on any matter, the Chairman of the Management Committee shall have a second or casting vote.
(D) The Management Committee shall have powers to apply, act upon and enforce these Rules and shall also have jurisdiction over all matters affecting the Competition. Any action by the Competition must be taken within 28 days of the Competition being notified.
With the exception of Rules 6(I), 8(H), and 9, for all alleged breaches of a Rule the Management Committee shall issue a formal written charge to the Club concerned. The Club charged shall be given 7 days from the date of notification of the charge to reply. In such reply a Club may:
(i) Accept the charge and submit in writing a case of mitigation for consideration by the Management Committee on the papers; or
(ii) Accept the charge and notify that it wishes to put its case of mitigation at a hearing before the Management Committee; or
(iii) Deny the charge and submit in writing supporting evidence for consideration by the Management Committee on the papers; or
(iv) Deny the charge and notify that it wishes to put its case at a hearing before the Management Committee.
Where the Club charged fails to respond within 7 days, the Management Committee shall determine the charge in such manner and upon such evidence as it considers appropriate.
Where required, hearings shall take place as soon as reasonably practicable following receipt of the reply of the Club as more fully set out above.
Having considered the reply of the Club (whether in writing or at a hearing), the Management Committee shall make its decision and, in the event that the charge is accepted or proven, decide on the appropriate penalty (with reference to the Fines Tariff where applicable).
With the exception of Teams playing at Step 7 of the National League System, the maximum fine permitted for any breach of a Rule is £250 and, when setting any fine, the Management Committee must ensure that the penalty is proportional to the offence, taking into account any mitigating circumstances.
The maximum fine permitted for a breach of a Rule by a Team playing at Step 7 of the National League System is £500.
No Participant under the age of 18 can be fined.
All breaches of the Laws of the Game, or the Rules and Regulations of The FA shall be dealt with in accordance with FA Rules by the appropriate Association.
(E) All decisions of the Management Committee shall be binding subject to the right of appeal in accordance with Rule 7.
Decisions of the Management Committee must be notified in writing to those concerned within 7 days.
(F) 50% of its members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business by the Management Committee or any sub-committee thereof.
(G) The Management Committee, as it may deem necessary, shall have power to fill in an acting capacity, any vacancies that may occur amongst their number.
(H) A Club must comply with an order or instruction of the Management Committee and must attend to the business and/or the correspondence of the Competition to the satisfaction of the Management Committee. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(I) Subject to a Club’s right of appeal in accordance with Rule 7 below, all fines and charges must be paid within 14 days of the date of notification of the decision. Any Club failing to do so will be fined in accordance with the Fines Tariff. Further failure to pay the fine including the additional fine within a further 14 days will result in fixtures being withdrawn until such time as the outstanding fines are paid.
(J) A member of the Management Committee appointed by the Competition to attend a meeting or Competition Match may have any reasonable expenses incurred refunded by the Competition.
(K) The Management Committee shall have the power to fill any vacancy that may occur in the membership of the Competition between the AGM or SGM called to decide the constitution and the commencement of the Playing Season.
(L) The business of the Competition as determined by the Management Committee may be transacted by electronic mail or facsimile.
(M) All books and vouchers (i.e. Registration Book of Players, Cash Books, Result Book, Minutes Book of all meetings held, Club Factafile) for at least two seasons preceding the current season, must be retained by the Clubs and be ready for production whenever required by the Management Committee. The Books of any Club may be called for each season for inspection. Clubs must provide evidence that the funds are deposited in a Bank or Building Society account in the name of the Club.
PROTESTS, CLAIMS, COMPLAINTS, APPEALS
7. (A) (i) All questions of eligibility, qualification of Players or interpretations of the Rules shall be referred to the Management Committee or a sub-committee duly appointed by the Management Committee.
(ii) Objections relevant to the dimensions of the pitch, goals, flag posts or other facilities of the venue will not be entertained by the Management Committee unless a protest is lodged with the referee before the commencement of the Competition Match.
(B) Except in cases where the Management Committee decide that there are special circumstances, protests and complaints (which must contain full particulars of the grounds upon which they are founded) must be lodged with the Secretary within three days (excluding Sundays) of the Competition Match or occurrence to which they refer. A protest or complaint shall not be withdrawn except by permission of the Management Committee. A member of the Management Committee who is a member of any Club involved shall not be present (except as a witness or representative of his Club) when such protest or complaint is being determined.
(C) No protest of whatever kind shall be considered by the Management Committee unless the complaining Club shall have deposited with the Secretary a sum in accordance with the Fees Tariff. This may be forfeited in whole or in part in the event of the complaining or protesting Club losing its case. The Competition shall have power to order the defaulting Club or the Club making a losing or frivolous protest or complaint to pay the expenses of the inquiry or to order that the costs to be shared by the parties.
(D) All parties to a protest or complaint must receive a copy of the submission and must be afforded an opportunity to make a statement at least 7 days prior to the protest or complaint being heard.
(i) All parties must have received seven days’ notice of the hearing should they be instructed to attend.
(ii) Should a Club elect to state its case in person then it should indicate such when forwarding the written response.
(E) The Management Committee shall also have power to compel any party to the protest to pay such expenses as the Management Committee shall direct.
(F) Any appeal against a decision of the Management Committee must be lodged with the Sanctioning Authority within 14 days of the posting of the written notification of the decision causing the appeal, accompanied by a fee of £35.00, which may be forfeited in the event of the appeal not being upheld. A copy of the appeal must also be sent to the Secretary. The procedure for the appeal shall be determined by the Sanctioning Authority, in such respect the Sanctioning Authority may (but is not obliged to):
(i) invite submissions by the parties involved;
(ii) convene a hearing to hear the appeal;
(iii) permit new evidence; or
(iv) impose deadlines as are appropriate
Any appeal shall not involve a rehearing of the evidence considered by the Management Committee.
(G) No appeal can be lodged against a decision taken at an AGM or SGM unless this is on the ground of unconstitutional conduct.
(H) All protests, claims or complaints relating to these Rules and appeals arising from a Player’s contract shall be heard and determined by the Management Committee, or a sub-committee duly appointed by the Management Committee. The Clubs or Players protesting, appealing, claiming or complaining must send a copy of such protest, appeal, claim or complaint and deposit a fee (as set out in the Fees Tariff) which shall be forfeited in the event of the protest, appeal, claim or complaint not being upheld, and the party not succeeding may, in addition, be ordered to pay the costs at the direction of the Management Committee.
All such protests, claims, complaints and appeals must be received in writing by the Secretary within fourteen days of the event or decision causing any of these to be submitted.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
8. (A) The AGM shall be held not later than 30th June in each year. At this meeting the following business shall be transacted provided that at least two-thirds of the members are present and entitled to vote:-
(i) To receive and confirm the minutes of the preceding AGM.
(ii) To receive and adopt the annual report, balance sheet and statement of accounts.
(iii) Election of Clubs to fill vacancies.
(iv) Constitution of the Competition for the ensuing Season.
(v) Election of Officers of the Competition and the Management Committee members.
(vi) Appointment of auditors/verifiers.
(vii) Alteration of Rules, if any (of which notice has been given) (see Rule 14)
(viii) Fix the date for the commencement of the Playing Season.
(ix) Other business of which due notice shall have been given and accepted as being relevant to an AGM.
(B) A copy of the duly audited/verified balance sheet, statement of accounts and agenda shall be forwarded to each Club at least 14 days prior to the meeting, together with any proposed Rule changes.
(C) A signed copy of the duly audited/verified balance sheet and statement of accounts shall be sent to the Sanctioning Authority within 14 days of its adoption by the AGM
(D) Each Club shall be empowered to send two delegates to an AGM. Each Club shall be entitled to one vote only. Fourteen days’ notice shall be given of any AGM.
(E) Clubs who have withdrawn their membership of the Competition during the Playing Season being concluded or who are not continuing membership shall be entitled to attend but shall vote only on matters relating to the Season being concluded.
(F) All voting shall be conducted by a show of voting cards unless a ballot be demanded by at least 50% of the delegates qualified to vote or the Chairman so decides.
(G) No individual shall be entitled to vote on behalf of more than one Club.
(H) Any continuing Club must be represented at the AGM. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(I) Officers of the Competition and Management Committee members shall be entitled to attend and vote at an AGM.
(J) Where a Competition is an incorporated entity, the Officers of the Competition shall ensure that the Articles of Association of the Competition are consistent with the requirements of these Rules.
SPECIAL GENERAL MEETINGS
9. Upon receiving a requisition signed by two-thirds (2/3) of the Clubs in membership the Secretary shall call an SGM.
The Management Committee may call an SGM at any time.
At least seven (7) days’ notice shall be given of a meeting under this Rule, together with an agenda of the business to be transacted at such meeting.
Each Club shall be empowered to send two delegates to all SGMs. Each Club shall be entitled to one vote only.
Any Club failing to be represented at an SGM shall be fined in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
Officers of the Competition and Management Committee members shall be entitled to attend and vote at all SGMs.
AGREEMENT TO BE SIGNED
10. Each Club shall complete and sign the following agreement which shall be deposited with the Competition together with the application for membership for the coming Season, or upon indicating that the Club intends to compete.
“We, [name] of [address] (Chairman/Director) and [name] of [address] (Secretary/Director) of [ ] Football Club (Limited) have been provided with a copy of the Rules and Regulations of the Colchester & District Sunday Football League Competition and do hereby agree for and on behalf of the said Club, if elected or accepted into membership, to conform to those Rules and Regulations and to accept, abide by and implement the decisions of the Management Committee of the Competition, subject to the right of appeal in accordance with Rule 7.”
The agreement shall be signed by the Club chairman and secretary (where a Club is an unincorporated association) or two directors of the Club (where a Club is an incorporated entity).
Any alteration of the chairman/secretary/directors of the Club on the above agreement must be notified to the County Football Association(s) to which the Club is affiliated and to the Secretary.
This agreement must be returned by 14th July in each year.
Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
CONTINUATION OF MEMBERSHIP, WITHDRAWAL OF A CLUB
11. (A) Any Club intending, or having a provisional intention, to withdraw a Team from the Competition on completion of its fixtures and fulfilment of all other obligations to the Competition must notify the Secretary in writing by 31st March each season. This does not apply to a Club moving in accordance with Rule 22(B). Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(B) The Management Committee shall have the discretion to deal with a Team being unable to start or complete its fixtures for a Playing Season, including, but not limited to, issuing a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
A Club which has a first and second team and wishing to withdraw one team, shall withdraw the second team first.
(C) Notwithstanding the powers of the Management Committee pursuant to Rule 6(I), in the event of a Club failing to discharge all its financial obligations to the Competition in excess of £50, the Management Committee shall be empowered to refer the debt under The FA Football Debt Recovery provisions.
EXCLUSION OF CLUBS, TEAMS. MISCONDUCT OF CLUBS, OFFICERS, PLAYERS, MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
12. (A) At the AGM or SGM called for the purpose in accordance with the provisions of Rule 9, notice of motion having been duly circulated on the agenda by direction of the Management Committee, the accredited delegates present shall have the power to: (i) remove a member of the Management Committee from office; (ii) exclude any Club or Team from membership, both of which must be supported by more than two thirds (2/3) of those present and voting. Voting on this point shall be conducted by ballot. A member of the Management Committee or Club which is the subject of the vote being taken shall be excluded from voting.
(B) At the AGM, or at an SGM called for the purpose in accordance with the provisions of Rule 9, the accredited delegates present shall have the power to exclude from further participation in the Competition any Club whose conduct has, in their opinion, been undesirable, which must be supported by more than two-thirds (2/3) of those present and voting. Voting on this point shall be conducted by ballot. A Club whose conduct is the subject of the vote being taken shall be excluded from voting.
(C) Any Officer or member of a Club proved guilty of either a breach of Rule, other than field offences, or of inducing or attempting to induce a Player or Players of another Club in the Competition to join them shall be liable to such penalty as a General Meeting or Management Committee may decide, and their Club shall also be liable to expulsion in accordance with the provisions of clause (A) and/or (B) of this Rule.
13. (A) The following agreement shall be signed on behalf of the winners of the cup or trophy: –
“We (A) (name) and (B) (name), the Chairman and Secretary of FC (Limited), members of and representing the Club, having been declared winners of cup or trophy, and it having been delivered to us by the Competition, do hereby on behalf of the Club jointly and severally agree to return the cup or trophy to the Competition Secretary on or before 1st March. If the cup or trophy is lost or damaged whilst under our care, we agree to refund to the Competition the amount of its current value or the cost of its thorough repair.”
Failure to comply will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
A Club failing to return a Cup or Trophy in a clean condition shall be fined.
(B) Not in use.
ALTERATION TO RULES
14. Alterations, for which consent has been given by the Sanctioning Authority, shall be made to these Rules only at the AGM or at an SGM specially convened for the purpose called in accordance with Rule 9. Any alteration made during the Playing Season to these Rules shall not take effect until the following Playing Season.
Notice of proposed alterations to be considered at the AGM shall be submitted to the Secretary by 1st March in each year. The proposals, together with any proposals by the Management Committee, shall be circulated to the Clubs by 15th March and any amendments thereto shall be submitted to the Secretary by 31st March. The proposals and proposed amendments thereto shall be circulated to Clubs with the notice of the AGM. A proposal to change a Rule shall be carried if a majority of those present, entitled to vote and voting are in favour.
A copy of the proposed alterations to Rules to be considered at the AGM or SGM shall be submitted to the Sanctioning Authority at least 28 days prior to the date of the meeting.
15. (A) The Management Committee shall determine with which bank or other financial institution the funds of the Competition will be lodged.
(B) All expenditure in excess of £500.00 shall be approved by the Management Committee. Cheques shall be signed by at least two Officers nominated by the Management Committee.
(C) The financial year of the Competition will end on 20th May.
(D) The books, or a certified balance sheet, of a Competition shall be prepared and shall be audited annually by a suitably qualified person(s) who shall be appointed at the AGM.
(E) Honoraria, if paid, must be agreed at the AGM and relate to the season just concluded. The Management Committee shall recommend which Officers may receive honoraria and the level of payment. All the above to be detailed on the AGM paperwork under “Any other business” (Rule 8(A)(ix)).
16. (A) All Clubs must have valid public liability insurance cover of at least ten million pounds (£10,000,000) at all times.
(B) All Clubs must have valid personal accident cover for all Players registered with them from time to time. The Players’ personal accident insurance cover must be in place prior to the Club taking part in any Competition Match and shall be at least equal to the minimum recommended cover determined from time to time by the Sanctioning Authority. In instances where The FA is the Sanctioning Authority, the minimum recommended cover will be the cover required by the Affiliated Association to which a Club affiliates.
Failure to comply with Rule 16(A) or 16(B) will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
17. (A) Dissolution of the Competition shall be by resolution approved at an SGM by a majority of three quarters (3/4) of the members present and shall take effect from the date of the relevant SGM.
(B) In the event of the dissolution of the Competition, the members of the Management Committee are responsible for the winding up of the assets and liabilities of the Competition.
(C) The Management Committee shall deal with any surplus assets as follows:
(i) Any surplus assets, save for a trophy or any other presentation, remaining after the discharge of the debts and liabilities of the Competition shall be transferred only to another Competition or Essex County Football Association or the Essex County Football Association Benevolent Fund or to such other charitable or benevolent object in the locality of the Competition as determined by resolution at or before the time of winding up, and approved in writing by the Essex County Football Association.
(ii) If a Competition is discontinued for any reason a trophy or any other presentation shall be returned to the donor if the conditions attached to it so provide or, if not, dealt with as the Essex County Football Association may decide.
MATCH RELATED RULES
QUALIFICATION OF PLAYERS
18. (A) A Player is one who, being in all other respects eligible, has:
(i) signed a fully and correctly completed Competition registration form in ink, countersigned by an Officer of the Club, which is submitted to the Competition three days prior to the Player playing and whose registration has been confirmed by the Competition prior to that Player playing in a Competition Match;
(ii) signed a fully and correctly completed Competition registration form in ink on a match day prior to playing which is countersigned by an Officer of the Club and witnessed by an Officer of the opposing Club and submitted to the Competition within two days (Sundays excluded) subsequent to the Competition Match. The Player shall not play again on a subsequent match day until the Club is in possession of the approval of the Competition. A maximum of two Players may be registered in accordance with this paragraph 18(A)(ii);
(iii) registered through WGS.
Any registration form which is sent by either of the means set out at Rules 18(A) (i) or (ii) above that is not fully and correctly completed will be returned to the Club unprocessed. If a Club attempts to register a player via WGS but does not fully and correctly complete the necessary information via WGS, the registration will not be processed.
For Clubs registering Players under Rules 18(A) (i) or (ii), registration forms will be provided in a format to be determined by the Competition. For Clubs registering Players via WGS (under Rule 18 (A) (iii)), Clubs must access WGS in order to complete the registration process.
All completed registration forms must be accompanied by a self addressed stamped envelope for the return of the counterfoils.
Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(B) (i) Contract players are not permitted in this Competition with the exception of those Players who are registered under Contract with the same Club who have a team operating at Steps 1 to 6 of the National League System.
It is the responsibility of each Club to ensure that any Player registered to the Club has, where necessary, the required International Transfer Certificate. Clearance is required for any Player aged 10 and over crossing borders including Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
(ii) Each Club must have at least 11 Players per team registered by 31st August of the current playing season. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(C) A Player that owes a Football Debt (as defined under the Football Debt Recovery Regulations) to any club(s) shall be permitted to register and play for a Club in Competition Matches, save that the Player may be liable to be suspended from playing for that Club should the Player fail to comply with the terms of the Football Debt Recovery Regulations in respect of that Football Debt.
(D) A fee as set out in the Fees Tariff shall be paid by each Club/Team for each Player registered.
(E) The Management Committee shall decide all registration disputes.
In the event of a player signing a registration form or having a registration submitted for more than one Club, priority of registration shall decide for which Club the Player shall be registered. The Registrations Secretary shall notify the Club last applying to register the player of the fact of the previous registration.
(F) It shall be a breach of Rule for a Player to: –
(i) Play for more than one Club in the Competition in the same Playing Season without first being transferred.
(ii) Having registered for one Club in the Competition, register for another Club in the Competition in that Playing Season except for the purpose of a transfer.
(iii) Submit a signed registration form or submit a registration through WGS for registration that the Player had wilfully neglected to accurately or fully complete.
Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(G) (i) The Management Committee shall have the power to accept the registration of any Player subject to the provisions of Rules 18(G) (ii) and (iii) below.
(ii) The Management Committee shall have power to refuse, cancel or suspend the registration of any Player or may fine any Player, at their discretion (in accordance with the Fines Tariff) who has been charged and found guilty of registration irregularities (subject to Rule 7).
(iii) The Management Committee shall have power to make application to refuse or cancel the registration of any Player charged and found guilty of undesirable conduct (subject to Rule 7) subject to the right of appeal to the Sanctioning Authority. Application should be made to the parent County of the Club the Player is registered or intending to be registered with.
Undesirable conduct shall mean an incident of repeated proven misconduct, which may deter a Participant from being involved in this Competition.
(iv) For a Player who has previously had a registration removed in accordance with Rule 18(G)(iii) but has a registration accepted at the expiry of exclusion will be considered to be under a probationary period of 12 months. Whilst under a probationary period, should the Player commit a further act of proven misconduct under the jurisdiction of the Competition, (excluding standard dismissals), the Competition would be empowered to consider a further charge of bringing the Competition into disrepute.
(Note: Action under Rule 18(G) (iii) shall not be taken against a Player for misconduct until the matter has been dealt with by the Sanctioning Authority, and then only in cases of the Player bringing the Competition into disrepute and will in any event be subject to an appeal to the Sanctioning Authority or The FA. All decisions must include the period of restriction. For the purpose of this Rule, bringing the Competition into disrepute can only be considered where the Player has received in excess of 112 days’ suspension, or 10 matches in match-based discipline, in any competition (and is not restricted to the Competition) in a period of two years or less from the date of the first offence.)
(H) Subject to compliance with FA Rule C2(a) when a Club wishes to register a player who is already registered with another club it shall submit a transfer form (in a format as determined by the Competition) to the Competition accompanied by a fee as set out in the Fees Tariff. Such transfer shall be referred by the Competition to the club for which the player is registered. Should this club object to the transfer it should state its objections in writing to the Competition and to the player concerned within 3 days of receipt of the notification. Upon receipt of the club’s consent, or upon its failure to give written objection within 3 days, the Secretary may, on behalf of the Management Committee, transfer the player who shall be deemed eligible to play for the new Club from such date or seven days after receipt of such transfer.
In the event of an objection to a transfer the matter shall be referred to the Management Committee for a decision.
(I) A Player may not be registered for a Club nor transferred to another Club in the Competition after 7th March except by special permission of the Management Committee.
(J) A Club shall keep a list of the Players it registers and a record of all matches in which those Players have played for the Club and shall produce such records upon demand by the Management Committee.
(K) A register containing the names of all Players registered for each Club, with the date of registration, shall be kept by the Registrations Secretary and shall be open to the inspection of an Officer of the Club at all Management Committee meetings or at other times mutually arranged. Registrations are valid for one Playing Season only.
In the event of a Non Contract Player without a written contract changing his status to that of a Contract Player with the same Club, another Club in the Competition or with a club in another competition his registration as a Non Contract Player will automatically be cancelled and declared void unless the Club conforms to the exception detailed in Rule 18(B)(i).
(L) A Player shall not be eligible to play for a Team in any special championship, promotion or relegation deciding Competition Match (as specified in Rule 22(A)) unless the Player has played two Competition Matches for that Team in the current Playing Season.
(M) Not in use.
(N) (i) Subject to Rule 18(N)(ii), any Club found to have played an ineligible Player in a Competition Match or Matches where points are awarded shall have the points gained from that Competition Match deducted from its record, up to a maximum of 12 points, and have levied upon it a fine (in accordance with the Fines Tariff).
(ii) The Management Committee may vary the sanction as relates to the deduction of points set out at Rule 18(N)(i) only in circumstances where the ineligibility is due to the failure to obtain an International Transfer Certificate or where the ineligibility is related to the Player’s status.
(iii) Where a Club is found to have played an ineligible Player in accordance with Rule 18(N)(i) above, the Management Committee may also, at its discretion:
a) Award the points available in the Competition Match in question to the opponents, subject to the Competition Match not being ordered to be replayed; or
b) Levy penalty points against the Club in default; or
c) Order that such Competition Match or Matches be replayed (on such terms as are decided by the Management Committee).
(O) The following clause applies to Competitions involving Players in full-time secondary education: –
(i) Priority must be given at all times to school and school organisations activities. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(ii) The availability of children must be cleared with the Head Teachers (except for Sunday leagues competitions).
(iii) To play open age football the player must have achieved the age of 16.
(P) No team may play more than five players who have played more than five games in a higher Division for the same Club during the current season.
(Q) A responsible Club Official or League Management Committee member shall have the power to demand the name(s) and signature(s) from any player whilst carrying out a Registration check. The Management Committee shall deal with any individual or Club failing to co-operate fully with such request.
19. Every Club must register the colour of its shirts and shorts with the Secretary by 14th July who shall decide as to their suitability.
Any Club wishing to change its colours during the Playing Season must obtain permission from the Management Committee.
Goalkeepers must wear colours which distinguish them from all other Players and the Match Officials.
No Player, including the goalkeeper, shall be permitted to wear black or very dark shirts.
Any Team not being able to play in its normal colours as registered with the Competition shall notify its opponents the colours in which they will play (including the colours of the goalkeeper’s jersey) at least three days before the Competition Match.
If, in the opinion of the referee, two Teams have the same or similar colours, the away Team shall make the change. Should a Team delay the scheduled time of kick off for a Competition Match by not having a change of colours they will be fined in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
Shirts must be differently numbered, failing which a fine will be levied in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
The Secretary of the Competition may request shirts to be submitted if complaints are received as to lack of distinguishing colours, and the Management Committee may refuse to permit any shirts or shorts as they think fit.
PLAYING SEASON. CONDITIONS OF PLAY, TIMES OF KICK-OFF. POSTPONEMENTS. SUBSTITUTES
20. (A) All Competition Matches shall be played in accordance with the Laws of the Game as determined by the International Football Association Board.
Clubs must take all reasonable precautions to keep their Grounds in a playable condition. All Competition Matches shall be played on pitches deemed suitable by the Management Committee. If through any fault of the home Team a match has to be replayed, the Management Committee shall have power to order the venue to be changed.
The Management Committee shall have power to decide whether a pitch and/or facilities are suitable for Competition Matches and to order the Club concerned to play its Competition Match(es) on another ground.
Football Turf Pitches (3G) are allowed in this Competition provided they meet the required performance standards and are listed on the FA’s Register of Football Turf Pitches. All Football Turf Pitches used must be tested (by a FIFA accredited test institute) every three years and the results passed to The FA. The FA will give a decision on the suitability for use and add the pitch to the Register.
The home Club is also responsible for advising Participants of footwear requirements when confirming match arrangements in accordance with Rule 20(C).
All Competition Matches shall have duration of 90 minutes unless a shorter time (not less than sixty (60) minutes) is mutually arranged by the two Clubs in consultation with the referee prior to the commencement of the match, and in any event shall be of equal halves. Two matches involving the same two Teams can be played on the same day providing the total playing time is not more than 120 minutes.
The times of kick-off shall be fixed by the Management Committee. Any Club failing to commence at the appointed time may be fined or be otherwise dealt with as the Management Committee may determine.
Referees must order matches to commence at the appointed time and must report all late starts to the Competition.
The home Team must provide goal nets, corner flags and at least two footballs fit for play and the referee shall make a report to the Competition if the footballs are unsuitable. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(B) Except by permission of the Management Committee all Competition Matches must be played on the dates originally fixed but priority shall be given to The FA and parent County Association Cup Competitions. All other matches must be considered secondary. Clubs may mutually agree to bring forward a Competition match with the consent of the Fixtures Secretary. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
In the case of a revised fixture date, the Clubs must be given by the Competition 5 clear days’ notice of the match (unless otherwise mutually agreed).
The Fixture Secretary can determine ‘double headers’ shall be played. ‘Double headers’ are two League matches each of 60 minutes duration between the same opponents, played on the same date, at the same venue. The matches will be regarded as separate matches producing the season’s two League results between the teams involved. The pitch and Referee’s fee and expenses will be shared 50% each by the teams involved. The team whose home pitch is used shall collect the monies due and pay the Referee.
The Management Committee alone shall decide which or if any Sunday during the season shall be void of fixtures. All Clubs shall be available every Sunday from the start of the season until the end of the season. All matches shall be arranged by the Fixture Secretary and dates that have been circulated and published shall be assumed to have been accepted.
Any Clubs wishing to play evening games can only do so with the agreement of the Management Committee and their opponents. Any team requesting time off must give six weeks advance notice in writing to the Fixture Secretary. No team can have more than two weeks off in a season.
(C) An Officer of the home Club must give notice of full particulars of the location of, and access to, the Ground and time of kick-off to the Match Officials and an Officer of the opposing Club at least three clear days prior to the playing of the match. If not so provided, the away Club and Match Officials shall seek such details and report the circumstances to the Competition. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(D) In accordance with the Laws of the Game, the minimum number of Players that will constitute a Team for a Competition Match is seven. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(E) (i) Home and away matches shall be played. In the event of a Club failing to keep its engagement the Management Committee shall have power to impose a fine (in accordance with the Fines Tariff), deduct points from the defaulting Club, award the points from the Competition Match in question to the opponents, order the defaulting Club to pay any reasonable expenses incurred by the opponents or otherwise deal with them except the award of goals. Notwithstanding the foregoing home and away provision, the Management Committee shall have power to order a Competition Match to be played on a neutral ground or on the opponent’s Ground if they are satisfied that such action is warranted by the circumstances.
(ii) Any Club with more than one Team in the Competition shall always fulfil its fixture, within the Competition, in the following order of precedence: – First Team, Reserve Team, A Team.
Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(iii) Any Club unable to fulfil a fixture or where a Competition Match has been postponed for any reason must, without delay, give notice to the Fixtures Secretary, the Competition Secretary, the secretary of the opposing Club and the Match Officials.
Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(iv) In the event of a Competition Match not being played or abandoned owing to causes over which neither Club has control, it should be played in its entirety on a date to be mutually agreed by the two Clubs and approved by the Management Committee. Failing such agreement and notification to the Fixtures Secretary within seven days the Management Committee shall have the power to order the Competition Match to be played on a named date or on or before a given date. Where it is to the advantage of the Competition and the Clubs involved agree, the Management Committee shall also be empowered to order the score at the time of an abandonment to stand.
(v) The Management Committee shall review all Competition Matches abandoned in cases where it is consequent upon the conduct of either or both Teams. Where it is to the advantage of the Competition and does no injustice to either Club, the Management Committee shall be empowered to order the score at the time of the abandonment to stand. In all cases where the Management Committee are satisfied that a Competition Match was abandoned owing to the conduct of one Team or its Club member(s) they shall be empowered to award the points for the Competition Match to the opponent. In cases where a Competition Match has been abandoned owing to the conduct of both Teams or their Club member(s), the Management Committee shall rule that neither Team will be awarded any points for that Competition Match and it shall not be replayed. No fine(s) can be applied by the Management Committee for an abandoned Competition Match.
(vi) The Management Committee shall review any Competition Match that has taken place where either or both Teams were under a suspension imposed upon them by The FA or Affiliated Association. In each case the Team that was under suspension would be dealt with in the same manner as if they had participated with ineligible players in accordance with Rule 18(N) above. Where both Teams were under suspension the game must be declared null and void and shall not be replayed.
(F) A Club may at its discretion and in accordance with the Laws of the Game use substitute Players in any Competition Match. A Club may name up to five substitute Players of whom not more than five may be used.
A Player who has been substituted himself becomes a substitute and may replace a Player at any time subject to the substitution being carried out in accordance with Law 3 of the Laws of Association Football.
The referee shall be informed of the names of the substitute Players not later than two minutes before the start of the Competition Match and a Player not so named may not take part in that Competition Match.
A Player who has been named as a substitute before the start of the Competition Match but does not actually play in that game shall not be considered to have been a Player in that Competition Match within the meaning of Rule 18 of this Competition.
(G) The half time interval shall be of ten minutes’ duration, but it shall not exceed 15 minutes. The half time interval may only be altered with the consent of the referee.
(H) The Teams taking part in a Competition Match shall identify a Team captain who shall wear an armband and shall have a responsibility to offer support in the management of the on-field discipline of his teammates. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
21. (A) The Registration Secretary must receive within two days of the date played, the result of each Competition Match in the prescribed manner. This must include the forename(s) and surname of the Team Players (in block letters) and also the referee markings required by Rule 23, or any other information required by the Competition. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
The additional information required is as follows: Referee’s name, match fee and expenses, substitutes must be named and whether used, number of goals scored against the players name, the Club’s number of cautions and dismissals.
(B) Both Clubs shall telephone/notify the result of each Competition Match to the League I.T. Officer by 6 p.m. on the day of the match. This includes all domestic and County Cup matches. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(C) The match result notification, correctly completed, shall be signed by an Officer of the Club, or as prescribed by the Competition. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
22. (A) Team rankings within the Competition will be decided by points with three points to be awarded for a win and one point for a drawn Competition Match. The Teams gaining the highest number of points in their respective divisions at the end of the Playing Season shall be adjudged the winners. Competition Matches must not be played for double points.
In the event of two or more Teams being equal on points at the end of the Playing Season, rankings shall be determined by goal difference (where the goals scored against each Team shall be deducted from the goals scored by that Team and the Team with the most favourable goal difference shall be placed highest).
In the event of two or more Teams still being equal, the Team which has scored the most goals during the Playing Season shall be placed highest.
In the event of two or more Teams still being equal, the Team that has won the most matches during the Playing Season shall be placed highest.
In the event of two or more Teams still being equal, the Team which has the better playing record against the other Team in their head to head Competition Matches during the Playing Season will be placed highest.
If the records of two or more Teams are still equal and it is necessary for any reason to determine the position of each then the Teams affected shall play a deciding match or matches under conditions as determined by the Management Committee.
(B) Automatic promotion shall be applied for the first two Teams and automatic relegation shall be applied for the last two Teams in each division except as provided for hereunder, subject to the provisions of Rule 2(L).
(i) Should one or more Teams withdraw from any one division after the Playing Season has commenced an equal number of Teams to those withdrawing in that division shall not be automatically relegated.
(ii) Vacancies occurring after the conclusion of the Playing Season may be filled in any of the following ways:
(a) retention of otherwise relegated Team(s); or
(b) additional promotion of the next ranked Team(s) from the division below; or
(iii) Not in use.
(iv) When a senior Team is relegated to a lower division of which its reserve Team is a member, or entitled to be a member, such reserve Team must accept relegation to, or retain its position in, the next lower division; and should the senior Team be relegated to the lowest division its reserve Team automatically retires from the Competition.
(v) Should either or both of the leading Teams in any of the divisions have its senior Team in the next higher division, promotion shall fall, at the discretion of the General Meeting, to the next highest Team or Teams in the division concerned.
(C) Not in use (play off rule).
(D) In the event of a Team withdrawing from the Competition before completing 75% of its fixtures for the Playing Season all points obtained by or recorded against such defaulting Team shall be expunged from the Competition table. For the purposes of this Rule 22(D) a completed fixture shall include any Competition Match(es) which has been awarded by the Management Committee.
Where a team withdraws having completed 75% of its fixtures the points for any unplayed games shall be awarded to the defaulting team’s opponents.
(E) Not in use.
23. (A) Registered referees (and assistant referees where approved by The FA or County FA) for all Competition Matches shall be appointed in a manner approved by the Management Committee and by the Sanctioning Authority.
(B) In the event of the non-appearance of the appointed referee the appointed senior assistant referee shall take charge and a substitute assistant referee appointed by the competing Teams. In cases where there are no officially appointed Match Officials in attendance, the Clubs shall agree upon a referee. An individual thus agreed upon shall, for that Competition Match, have the full powers, status and authority of a registered referee. Individuals under the age of 16 must not participate either as a referee or assistant referee in any Competition Match.
The home Club shall have first choice of a suitable person to referee the match. If the home club is unable to nominate such a person, the away club shall have a choice. It is stressed the match must be played.
(C) Where assistant referees are not appointed each Team shall provide a Club assistant referee. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
The home Club must also supply a set of Assistant Referees flags.
(D) The appointed referee shall have power to decide as to the fitness of the Ground in all Competition Matches and that decision shall be final, subject to the determination of the Local Authority or the owners of a Ground, which must be accepted.
(E) Subject to any limits/provisions laid down by the Sanctioning Authority, Match Officials appointed under this Rule shall be paid their fees and expenses in accordance with the Fees Tariff.
Match Officials will be paid their fees and/or expenses by the home Club before the Competition Match. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(F) In the event of a Competition Match not being played because of circumstances over which the Clubs have no control, the Match Officials, if present, shall be entitled to half fee plus expenses. Where a Competition Match is not played owing to one Club being in default, that Club shall be ordered to pay the Match Officials, if they attend the Ground, their full fee and expenses. Failure to comply with this Rule will result in a fine in accordance with the Fines Tariff.
(G) A referee not keeping his or her engagement and failing to give a satisfactory explanation as to their non-appearance, may be reported to the Affiliated Association with which he or she is registered.
(H) Each Club shall, in a manner prescribed from time to time by The FA, award marks to the referee for each Competition Match and the name of the referee and the marks awarded shall be submitted to the Competition on the prescribed form provided. Clubs failing to comply with this Rule shall be liable to be fined (in accordance with the Fines Tariff) or dealt with as the Management Committee shall determine.
(I) The Competition shall keep a record of the markings and, on the form provided by the prescribed date each Season, shall submit a summary to The FA/County FA.
(J) Not in use.
(K) Match Officials shall be supplied, each season, with a copy of the Competition Rules free of charge.
(L) Match Officials shall have undertaken a RESPECT briefing offered by The FA/County FA or the Competition.
Approved ECFA 2.7.2019 Including Competition amendments June 2019