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Competition Rules



1. Competitions shall be open to all member Associations and affiliated schools.  The entry fee shall be £15.00  per competition (with reduction to £12 for schools that attend the AGM).

2. Football Association rules shall be applied as modified for school purposes by the E.S.F.A.

3. Pupils shall be under the specified age for the competition at midnight on the 31st August of the year of the competition starting.

4. Duration of matches and ball size shall be in accordance with ESFA regulations:

Under 19 – 45 minutes each way; size 5

Under 16 and Under 15 – 40 minutes each way; size 5

Under 14 and 13 – 35 minutes each way; U14 - size 5 ball; U13 - size 4 ball

Under 12 & 11 – 30 minutes each way; size 4

Under 11 and Under 12 matches shall be a maximum of 9 players per side.

5. All cup entries shall be sent to the Hon. Secretary of the Association (by individual schools and local associations) by the stipulated date – normally before the end of May, together with entry fees.

6. To be eligible to represent a school in a competition, a player must be enrolled as a full-time student at the date and time of the match concerned.  To be eligible to represent an Association, a player must be enrolled as a full-time student at an affiliated school at the time and date of the match concerned.

7. It is expected that matches will be played on a Saturday morning except by mutual agreement.  Where  a dispute arises between teams as to whether a game should be played in midweek or on a Saturday, the Saturday will take preference.

8.  The rules for the U19 Leagues will be published by the league organiser prior to each season and will be published on the Association's website.

Division One

All teams shall play each other twice on a home and away basis during the course of the season.

The season will be closed on the last day in April, excluding Saturdays.

At the end of the season, in the event of the top two team having the same number of points, the title will be determined by the results between those teams in their league matches – goal difference not to be considered.  If this produces no differential, then the title shall be shared.

At the end of the season the bottom  team will be relegated.  In the event of teams at the bottom sharing the same number of points, then the results between those teams in their league matches will dictate final positions – goal difference not to be considered.  In the event of a tie a play off match may be arranged at the discretion of the Executive Committee.


Division Two

Teams will be arranged into two divisions.

All teams will play each other once during the season in two divisions, East and West.

Any team not fulfilling at least 50% of the scheduled fixtures before the end of January may be withdrawn from the competition and its results declared null and void.

There will be a deadline date for the determination of play-off places from Division 2East and 2West, mid March.

Semi Final matches will be played between East and West and then a Final to decide the Div2 Champions who will also have the right to promotion to Division 1

In the event of a tie on points for a play-off place between two or more teams, the results of the matches between these teams will be taken into consideration as a deciding factor.  Should this not produce a clear winner, then the teams will play-off for the play-off place.


9. The Hon. Secretary shall inform schools of the competition draw and the deadline dates.  Each competition shall be administered by a competition secretary who is a member of the Executive Committee.

10. The representative of the winning school shall report the result to the competition secretary within four days of the match being played.

11. In inter-school competitions all ties shall be played to a conclusion at the first meeting.  Extra time shall be played if required and shall be:

U.11, U.12, U.13 – 5 minutes each way

U.14 and above – 10 minutes each way.

In all ties, including County Finals, if the scores remain level after extra time the result will be decided by the taking of penalty kicks (taken in accordance with the recommendations of FIFA and published in the Laws of the Game)

12. The home team representative should contact the away team representative and arrange the game at a mutually agreed time.  However, if the game is not played before the published deadline, the representatives shall share the responsibility and risk both teams being excluded from the competition.

13. In the event of a colour clash the away team shall change.

14. The home team shall appoint a mutually acceptable referee (and assistants where possible) for all ties except the Final.  A neutral referee shall be appointed for semi-final ties.

15. In the event of a dispute regarding a match, the competition secretary shall arbitrate and his/her decision shall be final.

16. It is the responsibility of the Executive Committee to make arrangements for County Cup finals.

17. Match expenses (in all rounds except the final tie):

(a) visitors shall be responsible for their own expenses

(b) referee’s travelling expenses shall be the responsibility of the home team

(c) any profits from the tie shall be retained by the home team.

Match expenses for the final tie:

(a) the officials’ and ground expenses will be paid by N.S.F.A.

(b) any profits will be retained by N.S.F.A.

(c) both teams shall receive similar mementoes.

18.  “Repeated” substitutes are allowed in all competitions (a player who has been substituted during a match becomes a substitute and may, in turn, replace another player at any tme, with the permission of the referee, during a stoppage in play – in accordance with Law 3).
In all matches, teams are permitted to use 5 substitutes from 5 named players.

19. The Competition Secretary and Executive Committee shall have the right to disqualify any team from County competitions for breaking competition rules.

20.  In County leagues and Cup competitions, all matches, with the exception of Cup Finals, must be completed by the last day in April.

21. Any side unable to fulfil a fixture or where a fixture has been postponed for any reason must, without delay, give notice to the league secretary and the secretary of the opposing team. Teams must give at least 48 hours notice if they cannot fulfil a fixture.

In the event of a match not being played or abandoned owing to causes over which neither side has control, it should be played on a date to be mutually agreed by the two sides. Failing such agreement, the league secretary shall have the power to order the match to be played on a named date or on or before a given date.

Failure by one side to play the game on or before the given date will result in a 3-0 loss being assigned to the team not fulfilling the fixture.

22. In all competitions organised on a league basis, three points shall be awarded for a win and one point for draw. When two or more teams are tied on points, their league positions shall be decided on the results of the matches between the teams concerned.

23. Teams may be of mixed gender in line with current FA regulations (Note: season 2018/19 - up to and including the U18 age group)