8. PLAYING OF MATCHES.
8.1 The Board shall fix the date on which the Playing Season shall commence.
8.2 All matches shall be played under the Rules and Regulations of The FA and in accordance with the Laws of the Game as determined by the International Football Association Board.
8.3 Clubs taking the field of play – For all matches under the jurisdiction of the Competition, Clubs shall be required to enter the field of play together, preceded by the Match Officials, not less than 5 (five) minutes before the advertised time of kick-off.
8.3.1 All matches shall be of ninety minutes duration. The half time interval in all matches shall not exceed fifteen minutes. Any match which is not of ninety minutes duration may be ordered to stand as a completed match or replayed for the full period of ninety minutes or be awarded to the Club not at fault, as the Board may decide, on such terms as the Board shall decide.
8.3.2 In the event that a match is abandoned before half time the Club playing at home will issue a voucher to each spectator valid for free admission if the match is ordered to be replayed. In the event that the match is abandoned during or after the half time interval the Club playing at home is not obliged to issue such a voucher.
8.3.3 In the event that a match is abandoned for reasons over which neither Club has control the Club playing at home shall retain the gate receipts for such uncompleted match and the Board shall determine the terms upon which any replayed match shall be played.
8.3.4 In the event of a match being abandoned due to the conduct of one Club or its members or supporters the Board has the power to order that the match is not replayed and to award either one or three points to the Club not at fault. It cannot levy a financial penalty due to the conduct of a Club.
8.3.5 In the event of the match being abandoned due to the conduct of both Clubs or their members or supporters no financial penalty can be applied by the Board to either Club and the Board shall determine whether the original match stands as a completed match or is replayed and, if replayed, the terms upon which the match is to be replayed.
8.3.6 In the event of a match having to be postponed and one Club is found to be at fault then opponents for that match shall be compensated by the Club at fault. In the case of a visiting Club where it has undertaken all or part of its journey then travelling expenses and meal allowances may be claimed based on the total mileage involved in the whole journey. In exceptional circumstances, expenses for overnight accommodation up to a maximum of 18 persons may be claimed and if the Clubs concerned are unable to agree the compensation the Board will have absolute discretion in the matter.
8.3.7 All claims for compensation by either Club in the case of either an abandoned match or a postponed match must be received by the League Secretary within 14 days of the date of the match to which the claim relates.
8.4 In the event of the match being postponed, not completed or abandoned, the home Club must immediately telephone or facsimile the Competition results service, the Competition Secretary and, in the case of a match postponement, the Appointing Authority, the visiting Club and the Match Officials. When a postponement occurs in any FA or County Cup competition, the home Club, if two Clubs are playing the tie, or the Club if the match involves a team outside of the Competition, must also follow this procedure.
8.5 Each Club must take every precaution to keep its ground in good playing condition and amenities (including floodlights) in good working order and complying with the Criteria Document throughout the Playing Season.
8.6 Where a match has been postponed for any reason, the two Clubs concerned must agree within 3 days of the postponement a new date (which shall, save in exceptional circumstances, be within 42 days of the original date) and in default the Board is empowered to order Clubs to play on a date it considers suitable.
Any Club without just cause failing to fulfil an engagement to play a Competition match on the appointed date shall for each offence be liable to expulsion from the Competition and/or such other disciplinary action the Board may determine, including the deduction of up to a maximum of three points from the offending Club’s record, any expenses incurred by their opponents, and a fine.
In the event of a Club being in breach of the previous paragraph of this Rule then the Board may award points to the Club not at fault as if the match had been played and the League table shall reflect the position as if the match had been played with the result awarded by the Board.
8.7 The postponement of matches due to ground conditions must be carried out in accordance with Rule 15.2.
8.8 All Clubs must have a facsimile machine, a mobile telephone and an email address operational at all times. These will be listed in the Competition Handbook unless a Club requests otherwise.
8.9 Each Club shall be prepared to kick-off at the scheduled time unless a satisfactory explanation is offered. Any Club commencing a Competition match with less than 11 Players may be subject to a fine. Each team participating in a match shall represent the full available strength of each competing Club.
8.10 When a Club obtains the consent of the Board to postpone a fixture because of an epidemic affecting the availability of their Players, that Club shall be liable to pay any direct expenses incurred, if any, to the opposing Club. The amount of claim will be at the discretion of the Board. Requests for the postponement of a match for any reason will not be considered more than forty-eight hours before the scheduled time of kick-off.
Medical certificates for those Players affected, signed by the Players’ own doctor, must be forwarded to the Competition Secretary within fourteen days of the postponement, along with a full list of contract and Non-Contract Players currently registered by the Club at the date of the match which was postponed, giving full reasons against each name for the Player’s unavailability.
8.11.1 Each Club must hand the Team Sheet containing name(s) of Players taking part in a match (including the name(s) and number(s) of the nominated substitute(s) to the Referee and a representative of their opponents in the presence of the Referee at least forty five minutes before the scheduled time of kick-off. The Players’ numbers (in accordance with Rule 7) and the colours of the playing strip must be clearly stated. Any Clubs in breach may be fined.
8.11.2 Any Club altering its team selection or numbering after Team Sheets have been exchanged may be fined. A Player who is named on the Team Sheet may be replaced without fine if he is injured warming up after exchange of the Team Sheet. Any subsequent changes must be notified to the referee and to a representative of the opponents before the actual kick-off.
8.12.1 The home Club shall advise the visiting Club and the Match Officials of the date and time of kick-off of each match, to be received at least five days prior to the match and the visiting Club and the Match Officials must acknowledge receipt to be received at least three days before the match.
8.12.2 Where a match is re-arranged or cancelled after the officials have been appointed, it is the duty of the home Club to notify the officials of the cancellation of their appointments immediately. Clubs in default of this Rule may be subject to any action decided by the Board.
8.13 The standard kick-off times shall be as follows:
Saturday matches – 3.00 pm
Midweek matches – 7.45 pm. All agreed changes to time of kick-off to be notified to the Board immediately for confirmation.
Clubs with ground sharing agreements must arrange for home matches to be played on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. If a clash of fixtures occurs with the sharing Club and for any reason a match is unable to be played on a Saturday, the match must be played on either the day before ie on Friday, or the day after ie on Sunday. If Clubs are unable to agree on the date then it will be played on the Sunday unless the Board decides otherwise. The decision of the Board shall be final and binding.
Official bank holidays and Sundays 3.00 unless agreed otherwise by the two Clubs and the Board; application shall be made to the Competition Secretary by both Clubs at least 21 days before the relevant date.
To re-schedule a midweek fixture for an evening other than a Club’s usual midweek night will require written agreement of both Clubs and the Competition Secretary.
The Competition Secretary reserves the right to amend scheduled fixtures and kick-off times to meet television requirements as necessary. Notification will be provided by the Competition Secretary in writing to both Clubs for fixtures so rescheduled.
8.14 All matches shall be played on the home and away principle and the Board shall determine how the fixtures shall be arranged. Such fixtures shall take precedence over all competitions in which a Club may engage, with the exception of:
• The FA Challenge Cup/Welsh Cup.
• The FA Challenge Trophy/Vase Competition.
• The Senior Cup Competition for which the Club is eligible, of the Affiliated Association to which it was first affiliated. insert (except Football Conference National Division).
Clubs playing in the FA of Wales Challenge Cup, or an Affiliated Association Cup Competition which allows the option to play the tie mid-week, must arrange the match to avoid interference with Saturday fixtures, providing the opposing club drawn at home has suitable floodlighting. This applies to ALL Clubs who play in a League competition which forms any part of the National League System of Football outside the Football League.
[Scheduled Saturday fixtures must not be re-arranged without permission of the Competition Secretary. This excludes FA Cup, FA Trophy and FA Vase matches. Clubs may be ordered to re-arrange outstanding matches, at the discretion of the Board, and where necessary their prospective opponents instructed accordingly. Clubs with open dates on Saturdays may be instructed to play any outstanding Competition fixture on such date. A minimum of days’ notice will be given in respect of any such re-arrangement.]
8.15 A Club may not enter its first team in any outside competition, other than those listed in Rule 8.14, without the prior permission of the Board. The Competition Secretary must be informed of all fixtures, postponements and results of all matches played in any other competition.
8.16 The Board shall determine the policy of the Competition for the issuing of match day passes.
8.17 The Board may change any Competition fixtures during the season to suit the overall interests of the Competition and shall have the power to decide whether a ground is suitable for Competition matches and to order a Club whose ground is deemed unsuitable to play its home matches at an alternative suitable ground.
8.18 4 weeks’ notice is required from Clubs wishing to re-arrange a Saturday match to Friday evening or Sunday. A request made in less than this period of time will only be considered by the Board in exceptional circumstances and granted at their sole discretion.
8.19 All Competition matches shall be arranged as soon as practicable. The copyright in all lists of arrangements of such fixtures shall be vested in the Company.
8.20 The home Club shall be responsible for notifying the Competition immediately following the conclusion of each home Competition match the result of that match together with the attendance, the times of all goals scored in the match and the scorer of each goal. In any FA or AFFILIATED ASSOCIATION Competition the home Club if two Clubs are playing the tie, or the Club if the match involves a team outside of the Competition, must also follow this procedure.
8.21 The home Club is responsible for publishing a full match programme acceptable to the Board for each of its Competition matches. A Team Sheet will not be considered sufficient to comply with this Rule.
The visiting Club must send in writing to the home Club details of the proposed team they plan to field together with their Club history and up-to-date pen pictures of their current Players registered with the Competition for the season [and the latest team photograph] at least five days before the scheduled date of the match between the two Clubs.
The home Club programme must include the details sent by the visiting Club in the match day programme and a copy of each match day programme shall be sent by the home Club to the Competition Secretary within 3 days of the match with the relevant match report form.
Clubs will be responsible for all comments in their match day programme in respect of the Competition, the Company or other member Clubs, notwithstanding any disclaimers to the contrary. No part of a Club’s programme issued for a match in any competition shall, in the opinion of the Board, bring the Competition or the Company into disrepute.
All Clubs will be responsible for their official website or similar computer related information system, which is within the public domain. Nothing shall be included on the website which in the opinion of the Board brings the Competition or the Company into disrepute.
8.22.1 In all Competition Matches, the number of Clubs Players and officials seated on the team benches, in the designated technical area, must not exceed 11 unless the team bench facility provides more than 11 individual seats.
8.22.2 Only one person at a time has the authority to convey tactical instructions to the Players during the match from within the technical area.
8.22.3 All team officials and substitutes seated on the bench shall be listed on the official Team Sheet when it is submitted to the Match Officials. Only those persons listed on the official Team Sheet shall be permitted in the technical area.
8.22.4 The occupants of the technical area must behave in a responsible manner at all times. Misconduct by occupants of this area will be reported by the Referee to The FA, who shall have the power to impose sanctions as deemed fit.
8.22.5 With the exception of the team manager, the team coach and any substitutes who are warming up or warming down, all other personnel are to remain seated on the trainer’s bench. The team manager or team coach is allowed to move to the edge of the technical area to issue instructions to his team, but must then return to the trainer’s bench.
8.22.6 [All occupants of the technical area must wear the corporate bench kit supplied to each Member Club. Failure to wear the bench kit will result in a fine. The only exception would be the Team manager who will be allowed to wear suits and overcoats not displaying any sponsorship logos.]
8.23 Match Videos. NOT APPLICABLE – NATIONAL CONFERENCE ONLY