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General

DEFINITIONS

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 and “Team” means a side from a Club especially where a Club provides more than one Team in a division in accordance with the Rules. “Competition” means the Braintree & North Essex Sunday 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. “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. “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. “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. “Secretary” means such person or persons appointed or elected to carry out the administration of the Competition. “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) 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.

(C) 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 16.

(D) The Competition will be known as Braintree & North Essex Sunday 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.

(E) 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.

NOMENCLATURE AND CONSTITUTION

2. (A) This Competition shall consist of not more than Eighty Clubs approved by the Sanctioning Authority.

(B) All Clubs must be affiliated to an Affiliated Association and their names and particulars shall be returned annually by the appointed date on the Form “D” to the Essex County Football Association and must have a constitution approved by the Sanctioning Authority.

This Competition shall apply annually for sanction to the Essex County Football Association and the constituent teams of Member Clubs may be grouped in divisions, each not exceeding fifteen in number.

(C) 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. This Competition will obtain the prior approval of the Sanctioning Association 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.

(D) Inclusivity and Non-discrimination

(i) The Competition and each Club must be committed to promoting inclusivity and to eliminating all forms of discrimination

(ii) Any alleged breach of the Equality Act 2010 legislation must be referred to the appropriate Sanctioning Authority for investigation.

(E) 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.

(F) Clubs shall not enter any of their teams playing in the Competition in any other Competitions (with the exception of F.A. and County F.A. Competitions) except with the written consent of the Management Committee.

(G) At the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting 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 12.

ENTRY FEE, SUBSCRIPTION, DEPOSIT

3. (A) Applications by Clubs for admission to this 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 the Entry Fee set out in the Fees Tariff per team 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 Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting.

When Rule 12(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 £50 per Team payable on or before the Annual General Meeting of the Competition in each year.

(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 by or on behalf of the Club on such terms and for such period as it may in its entire discretion think fit.

(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 30th June of its Sanctioning Authority affiliation number for the forthcoming Season. Clubs must advise the Secretary in writing, or on the prescribed form, of details of its Headquarters, Officers and any other information required by the Competition.

(F) The League Management Committee may at its discretion decide (no later than 1st January in any season) to stage an End of Season Presentation evening for which each Club must purchase three tickets with payment to be made by the 30th April. Clubs in breach of this rule shall be fined. When no such event is held, the presentation of awards will be made at the Competition’s AGM.

MANAGEMENT, NOMINATION, ELECTION

4. (A) The Management Committee shall comprise the Officers of the Competition and ten members who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.

The Officers of the Competition shall be the President, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Registration Secretary, Referees Secretary, Fixtures Secretary Liaison Officer, Website Officer, Minutes Secretary and Press Officer to be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting. (N.B. Vice Presidents, Auditors/Verifiers are not Officers).

(B) All candidates for election as Officers or Members of the Management Committee shall be nominated to the Secretary in writing, signed by the Secretaries of two Member Clubs, not later than 30th April in each year. Names of the candidates for election shall be circulated with the notice of the Annual General Meeting. In the event of there being no nomination in accordance with the foregoing for any office, nominations may be received at the Annual General Meeting

(C) The Management Committee shall meet as and when required with no more than three calendar months between each meeting.

On receiving a requisition signed by two-thirds of the Members of the Management Committee the Secretary shall convene a meeting of the 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 nominated Officers.

POWERS OF MANAGEMENT

5. (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 Football Association or Affiliated Association.

(B) Subject to the permission of the Essex County Football Association 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 apply to the procedure of any sub-committee).

In the event of the voting being equal on any matter, the Chairman 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 5(I), 6(H) and 19, for all breaches of Rule a formal written charge must be issued to the Club concerned. The Club charged shall be given seven days from the date of notification of the charge to reply to the charge and given the opportunity to:- (i) Accept or deny the charge (ii) Submit in writing a case of mitigation, or (iii) Put their case before the Management Committee at a personal hearing.

All breaches of the Laws of the Game, or the Rules and Regulations of The FA shall be dealt with in accordance with F.A. Rules by the appropriate Association.

All fines levied shall be in accordance with the Fines Tariff. The maximum fine permitted for any breach of a Rule is £250 and, when setting any fine, the Competition must ensure that the penalty is proportional to the offence, taking into account any mitigating circumstances.

(E) All decisions of the Management Committee shall be binding subject to the right of appeal in accordance with Rule 16.

Decisions of the Management Committee must be notified in writing to those concerned within ten days.

(F) More than fifty percent (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.

(I) All fines and charges are payable forthwith and must be paid within 21 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 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 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 Annual General or Special General Meeting called to decide the constitution and the commencement of the Competition season.

(L) The business of the Competition as determined by the Management Committee may be transacted by electronic mail or facsimile.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

6. (A) The Annual General Meeting shall be held not later than 30th June in each year. At this meeting the following business shall be transacted provided that at least twenty Members are present and entitled to vote:-

(i) To receive and confirm the Minutes of the preceding Annual General Meeting. (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 ensuing season. (v) Election of Officers and Management Committee. (vi) Appointment of Auditors/Verifiers. (vii) Alteration of Rules, if any (of which notice has been given). (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 Annual General Meeting.

(B) A copy of the verified Balance Sheet, Statement of Accounts and Agenda shall be forwarded to each Club at least fourteen days prior to the meeting, together with any proposed changes of Rules.

(C) A signed copy of the verified Balance Sheet and Statement of Accounts shall be sent to the Essex County Football Association within fourteen days of its adoption by the Annual General Meeting.

(D) Each Club shall be empowered to send two delegates to an Annual General Meeting. Each Club shall be entitled to one vote only. Fourteen days’ notice shall be given of any Meeting.

(E) Clubs who have withdrawn their Membership of the Competition during the 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. This provision will not apply to Clubs expelled in accordance with Rule 17.

(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 Member Club.

(H) Any continuing Member Club must be represented at the Annual General Meeting.

(I) Officers and Management Committee members shall be entitled to attend and vote at an Annual General Meeting.

AGREEMENT TO BE SIGNED

7. The Chairman and the Secretary of 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, A, ____________________ of __________________________ (Chairman) and B ________________________ of _________________________ (Secretary) of the _________________________________Football Club have been provided with a copy of the Rules and Regulations of the Braintree & North Essex Sunday League Competition and do hereby agree for and on behalf of the said Club, 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 16.”

Any alteration of the Chairman and /or Secretary on the above Agreement must be notified to the Essex County Football Association to which the Club is affiliated and to the Secretary of the Competition.

QUALIFICATION OF PLAYERS

8. (A)(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 eleven players per team registered by 15th August of the current playing season.

(B) 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.

Accompanying the said Registration Forms must be three recent passport approved photographs each of which individually bear the players name in BLOCK CAPITALS and his signature. The Club Secretary MUST be in possession of the counterfoil & Photo Identity Card having been duly completed and signed by the Registration Secretary before commencement of the match. Clubs who have Reserve Teams will receive two sets of Photo Identity Cards.

All completed registration forms must be accompanied by a self addressed stamped envelope for the return of the counterfoils.

(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 of the match. The player shall not play again until the Club is in possession of the approval of the Competition. A maximum of three players may be registered in accordance with this paragraph 8(B)(ii).

Accompanying the said Registration Form must be three recent passport approved photographs each of which individually bear the players name in BLOCK CAPITALS and his signature. The Club Secretary MUST be in possession of the counterfoil & Photo Identity Card having been duly completed and signed by the Registration Secretary before the player can play again. Clubs who have Reserve Teams will receive two sets of Photo Identity Cards.

All completed registration forms must be accompanied by a self addressed stamped envelope for the return of the counterfoils.

(iii) registered through WGS.

Any registration form which is sent by either of the means set out at Rules 8(B)(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 8(B)(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 8(B)(iii)) Clubs must access WGS in order to complete the registration process. Such Registration Forms & passport photos as explained in Rule 8 (B) (i) and (ii) along with the fee must be forwarded by post to the Hon. Registration Secretary. Opposing Club Officials cannot refuse a request for signing registration form(s).

All Clubs will be issued with 30 registration forms per team at the Annual General Meeting.

All Registration fees must accompany Registration Forms.

(C) A team shall not include more than two players who have taken part in any six or more senior competition matches during the current season unless a period of forty-two days has elapsed since they played.

For the purpose of this Competition a senior competition(s) is Step 1-5 inc.

(D) 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 the Competition, 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.

(E) A fee as set out in the Fees Tariff shall be paid by each Club/team for each player registered.

Additional Registration forms can be obtained from the Registrations Secretary.

(F) 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.

(G) It shall be a breach of Rule for a player to:-

(i) Play for more than one Club in the Competition in the same season without first being transferred.

(ii) Having registered for one Club in the Competition, register for another Club in the Competition in that 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.

(H) (i) The Management Committee shall have the power to accept the registration of any player subject to the provisions of clauses (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 who has been charged and found guilty of registration irregularities. (Subject to Rule 16). (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 16) subject to the right of appeal to the FA or the relevant County Football Association.

Undesirable conduct shall mean an incident of repeated proven misconduct, which may deter a participant from being involved in this Competition. Application should be made to the parent County of the Club the player is registered or intending to be registered with.

(iv) For a player who has previously had a registration removed in accordance with clause (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 Clause (iii) shall not be taken against a player for misconduct until the matter has been dealt with by the appropriate Association, and then only in cases of the player bringing the Competition into disrepute and will in any case be subject to an Appeal to the Football Association. 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 a period of two years or less from the date of the first offence.)

(I) 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 three days of receipt of the notification. Upon receipt of the Club’s consent, or upon its failure to give written objection within three days, the Competition 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 eight 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.

All submissions of transfer forms shall be accompanied by four individually signed passport photographs. All transfer forms must be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return of the counterfoil. Clubs failing to comply will be fined.

(J) A player may not be registered for a Club nor transferred to another Club in the Competition after 15th March except by special permission of the Management Committee.

(K) A Club shall keep a list of the players it registers and a record of the games in which they have played, and shall produce such records upon demand by the Management Committee.

(L) 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 any duly appointed Member Club representative at all Management Committee meetings or at other times mutually arranged. Registrations are valid for one Season only.

In the event of a 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 player without a written contract will automatically be cancelled and declared void unless the Club conforms to the exception detailed in Rule 8 (A)(i). The register shall also include photographs.

(M) A player shall not be eligible to play for a team in any special championship, promotion or relegation deciding match (as specified in Rule 12(A)) unless the player has played three games for that team in this Competition in the current season.

(N) A player who has played for a team in the higher Division ten times or more shall not in that season be eligible to play in a lower Division except by permission of the Management Committee. (O) Any Club found to have played an ineligible Player in a match or matches shall have any points gained from that match or matches deducted from its record, up to a maximum of 12 points, and have levied upon it a fine. The Management Committee may also order that such match or matches be replayed on such terms as are decided by the Management Committee which may also levy penalty points against the Club in default.

The Management Committee may vary this decision in respect of the points gained 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. In exceptional circumstances the Management Committee may, at its discretion, award the points available in the match in question to the opponents, subject to the match not being ordered to be replayed.

(The following Clause applies to Competitions involving players in full-time secondary education):- (P) (i) Priority must be given at all times to school and school organisations activities.

(ii) The availability of children must be cleared with the Head Teachers (except for Sunday Leagues).

(iii) To play open age football, the player must have achieved the age of 16.

(Q) All identity cards must be held by a responsible club official on the touch line during League matches and will be exchanged any time before, during, or up to 15 minutes following completion of the fixture. The identity cards must be returned after examination. Further checks may be requested, where necessary. The appropriate set of identity cards must be available for inspection, if requested, by a management committee member if present. Failure to comply with the terms of this rule will be regarded as an offence under rule 8(O) and may be further dealt with by the Management Committee.

A responsible Club Official or League Management Committee member shall have the power to demand the name and signature from any player whose photo identity card is not present at the match

The management Committee shall deal with any individual or Club failing to co-operate fully with such request.

CLUB COLOURS. CLUB NAME

9. (A) Every Club must register the colour of its shirts and shorts with the Secretary by 30th June who shall decide as to their suitability.

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 colour of the goalkeepers jersey) at least five days before the match.

If, in the opinion of the referee, two Clubs have the same or similar colours, the home team shall make the change. A Club must not delay the scheduled time of kick-off for a competition match by not having a change of colours.

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. Shirts must be numbered.

(B) Any Club wishing to change its name must obtain permission from the Sanctioning Authority and from the Management Committee. Any Club wishing to change its colours during the playing season must obtain permission from the Management Committee.

PLAYING SEASON. CONDITIONS OF PLAY TIMES OF KICK-OFF. POSTPONEMENTS. SUBSTITUTES

10. (A) The Annual General Meeting determine the date for the commencement of the season.

Any club wishing to close a date must give 6 weeks written notice to the Fixture Secretary, a club will be allowed to close 3 dates under this rule.

Clubs who have a possibility of reaching Cup Finals must let the Fixture Secretary know before the 1st February of any unsuitable dates in the remainder of the season.

(B) All 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 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 matches in the Competition and to order the Club concerned to play its fixtures on another ground.

Football Turf Pitches (3G) are allowed in this Competition providing they meet the required performance standards and are listed on the FA’s Register of Football Turf pitches. For clubs playing at Step 7 and below a pitch 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 10(D).

All matches shall have a 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 shall 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 and at least two footballs fit for play and the referee shall make a report to the Competition if the footballs are unsuitable.

(C) Except by permission of the Management Committee all matches must be played on the dates originally fixed but priority shall be given to The Football Association and parent County Association Cup Competitions. All other matches must be considered secondary. Clubs may mutually agree to bring forward a match with the consent of the Fixtures Secretary.

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).

(D) The Secretary of the home Club must give notice of the full particulars of the location of, and access to, the ground and time of kick-off to the match officials and the Secretary of the opposing Club
at least five 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.

(E) A minimum of eight players will constitute a team for a Competition match.

(F) (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 inflict a fine, deduct points from the defaulting Club, award the points from the match in question to the opponents, order the defaulting Club to pay any expenses incurred by the opponents or otherwise deal with them except the award of goals. Not withstanding the foregoing home and away provision, the Management Committee shall have power to order a 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.

(iii) Any Club unable to fulfil a fixture or where a fixture has been postponed for any reason must, without delay, give notice to the Fixtures Secretary, the Competition Referees Appointments Secretary, the Secretary of the opposing Club and the match officials. In addition, the Press Secretary and the Registration Secretary must be notified.

(iv) In the event of a 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 two days the Management Committee shall have power to order the 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 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 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 match to the opponent. In cases where a match has been abandoned owing to the conduct of both teams or their Club member(s), the Management Committee shall rule all points for the match as void. No fine(s) can be applied by the Management Committee for an abandoned match.

(vi) The Management Committee shall review any match that has taken place where either or both teams were under a suspension imposed upon them by the Association 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 8(O) above. Where both teams were under suspension the game must be declared null and void.

(G) A Club may at its discretion and in accordance with the Laws of the Game use five substitute players in any match in this Competition who may be selected from five players. 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 substitutes not later than fifteen minutes before the start of the match, and a player not so named may not take part in that match.

A player who has been selected, appointed or named as a substitute before the start of the match but does not actually play in the game shall not be considered to have been a player in that game within the meaning of Rule 8 of this Competition.

(H) The half time interval shall be of ten minutes duration, but it shall not exceed fifteen minutes. The half time interval may only be altered with the consent of the referee.

(I) The Clubs taking part in the fixture shall identify a team captain who has a responsibility to offer support in the management of the on-field discipline of his team mates.

(J) Clubs are required to complete the multi-coloured Team Sheet and provide the Referee with their copy (blue) and their opponents with their copy (yellow) not later than 15 minutes before the scheduled kick off time. Clubs in default shall be fined.

REPORTING RESULTS

11. (A) The Registration Secretary must receive within three 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 13, or any other information required by the Competition.

(B) Both Clubs shall telephone/notify the result of each match and goalscorers names to the Press Officer by 3pm on the day of the match. This includes both home & away matches in respect of County Competition matches.

(C) The match result notification, correctly completed, shall be signed by a responsible member of the Club.

DETERMINING CHAMPIONSHIP

12. (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 match. The teams gaining the highest number of points in their respective Divisions at the conclusion shall be adjudged the winners. Matches must not be played for double points.

In circumstances where two or more teams are equal on points team rankings shall be determined by goal difference where the goals scored against by each team shall be deducted from the goals scored by that team and the largest positive difference shall be placed the highest. In the event of the goal difference being equal the highest placed team shall be the team which has scored the most goals. In the event that two or more teams have the same goal difference and have scored the same number of goals then the highest placed team shall be the team which has won the most matches.

In the event of the two 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 Season will be the highest placed team.

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 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(G).

(i) Should one or more teams withdraw from any one Division after the fixtures have 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 season may be filled on any of the following ways:

(a) retention of otherwise relegated team(s) (b) additional promotion of the next ranked team(s) from the Division below (c) election

(iii) The last two teams in the lowest Division shall retire, but be eligible for re-election except as below, and be subject to the conditions of paragraph (B)(i) above.

(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) Play-off rule Not in use.

(D) In the event of a team withdrawing from the Competition before completing 75% of its fixtures for the season all points obtained by or recorded against such defaulting team shall be expunged from the Competition table. For the purposes of this Rule 12(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.

REFEREES

13. (A) Registered Referees (and Assistant Referees where approved by the FA or County FA) for all 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 Assistant Referees, or where the competition has been unable to appoint a Referee, the Clubs shall agree upon a Referee. An individual thus agreed upon shall, for that game, 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 open age competition.

The home Club should have available 2 whistles, a notepad & pen/pencils for the agreed match official.

(C) Where Assistant Referees are not appointed each Team shall provide a Club Assistant Referee.

The home Club must provide suitable Assistant Referee’s flags.

(D) The appointed Referee shall have power to decide as to the fitness of the ground in all matches and the decision shall be final subject to either in the case of a ground of a Local Authority or the owners of a ground, the Representative of that body is the sole arbiter and whose decision must be accepted.

(E) Subject to any limits/provisions laid down by the Sanctioning Association, Match Officials appointed under this Rule shall be paid their fees and expenses in accordance with the Fees Tariff.

The Home Club shall pay the Officials their fees and/or expenses before or immediately after the match.

(F) In the event of a 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 match is not played owing to one Club being in default, that Club shall be ordered to pay the Officials, if they attend the ground, their full fee and expenses.

(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 Association with which he or she is registered.

(H) Each Club shall, in a manner prescribed from time to time by The Football Association, award marks to the Referee for each 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 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 Football Association/County Association.

(J) The Referee shall submit a report Form, supplied by the Competition, giving the result of the match, the number of players in each team and the time of kick-off to the Registration Secretary within two days of the match.

(K) Referees and Assistant Referees shall be supplied, each Season, with a copy of the Competition Rules free of charge.

(L) Not in use.

CONTINUATION OF MEMBERSHIP OR WITHDRAWAL OF A CLUB

14. (A) A 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.

All Clubs wishing to remain in membership of the Competition for the following Season must confirm their intention to do so, in writing, to the Secretary by 1st May.

(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.

(C) In the event of a Member Club failing to discharge all its financial obligations to the Competition in excess of £50, the Management Committee are empowered to refer the debt under The FA Football Debt Recovery provisions.

PROTESTS AND COMPLAINTS

15. (A)(i) All questions of eligibility, qualifications of players or interpretations of the Rules shall be referred to 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 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 four days (excluding Sundays) of the 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 enquiry 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 they should indicate such when forwarding the written response.

BOARD OF APPEAL

16. 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.

No appeal can be lodged against a decision taken at an Annual or Special General Meeting unless this is on the ground of unconstitutional conduct.

EXCLUSION OF CLUBS.OR TEAMS MISCONDUCT, CLUBS, OFFICIALS, PLAYERS

17. (A) At the Annual General Meeting, or Special General Meeting called for the purpose, 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 exclude any Club or Team from membership 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 which is the subject of the vote being taken shall be excluded from voting.

(B) At the Annual General Meeting, or at a Special General Meeting called for the purpose, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 19, 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 (2/3rds) 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 official 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 expulsion or 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) of this Rule.

TROPHY:- LEGAL OWNERS, CONDITIONS OF TAKING OVER, AGREEMENT TO BE SIGNED. AWARDS.

18. (A)The following agreement shall be signed on behalf of the winners of the Cup or Trophy:-

“We A _________________ and B ______________________, the Chairman and Secretary of ________________________ FC, 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 28th February. 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 as determined by the Management Committee.

(B) At the close of each Competition awards may be made to the winners and runners-up if the funds of the Competition permit.

SPECIAL GENERAL MEETINGS

19. Upon receiving a requisition signed by two-thirds of the Clubs in membership the Secretary shall call a Special General Meeting.

The Management Committee may call a Special General Meeting at any time.

At least seven days notice shall be given of either meeting under this Rule, together with an agenda of the business to be transacted at such meeting. Each Member Club shall be empowered to send two delegates to all Special General Meetings. Each Club shall be entitled to one vote only, as will members of the Management Committee.

Any continuing Member Club must be represented at a Special General Meeting.

Officers and Management Committee members shall be entitled to attend and vote at all Special General Meetings. ALTERATION TO RULES

20. Alterations, for which consent has been given by the Sanctioning Authority, shall be made to these Rules only at the Annual General Meeting or at a Special General Meeting specially convened for the purpose called in accordance with Rule 19. Any alteration made during the playing season to these Rules shall not take effect until the following season.

Notice of proposed alterations to be considered at the Annual General Meeting shall be submitted to the Secretary by 14th February in each year. The proposals, together with any proposals by the Management Committee, shall be circulated to the Clubs by 21st April and any amendments thereto shall be submitted to the Secretary by 5th May. The proposals and proposed amendments thereto shall be circulated to Clubs with the notice of the Annual General Meeting. 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 Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting shall be submitted to the Sanctioning Authority at least twenty eight days prior to the date of the meeting.

FINANCE

21. (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 £100 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 30th June.

(D) The books, or a certified balance sheet, of a Competition shall be prepared and shall be verified annually by some suitable person(s) who shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting.

(E) Honoraria, if paid, must be agreed at the Annual General Meeting 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 6(A)(ix)).

INSURANCE

22. All Clubs must have valid public liability insurance cover of at least 10 million pounds (£10,000,000) at all times.

All Clubs must have valid personal accident cover for all Players registered with them from time to time. The Players’ personal accident 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 Association. In instances where The Football Association is the sanctioning Association, the minimum recommended cover will be the cover required by the Affiliated Association to which a Club affiliates.

DISSOLUTION

23. (A) Dissolution of the Competition shall be by resolution approved at a Special General Meeting by a majority of three quarters (3/4) of the members present and shall take effect from the date of the relevant Special General Meeting.

(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.

Approved ECFA 9.7.2017 Including Competition amendments June 2017.

FEE'S TARIFF  
RULEDESCRIPTIONFINE
3(A)Entry Fee£50
3(C)Deposit£50
3(E)Registration Fee£3
8(I)Transfer Fee£10
13(E)Referee's Fee
Assistant Fee
Expenses Rate
max £35 inclusive
max £20 inclusive
£35 £18.0p/mile
15(C)Protest Fee£25
FINES TARIFF  
RULEDESCRIPTIONFINE
2 (F)Unauthorised entry into other competition£Discretional
3 (E)Failure to provide affiliation number/details form £20
3 (F)Failing to pay for Dinner/Dance tickets£20 max
5 (H)Failure to comply with an instruction of the management committee£Discretional
5 (I)Failure to pay fine within 21 days of notice£20
6 (H)Failure to be represented at AGM£20
7Failure to submit the required written agreement or to notify changes to signatories£20
8 (A)Failure to submit the required number of registered players prior to the season commencing£25/team
8 (B)Failure to provide S.A.E for registration counterfoils£20
8 (G)Signing or playing for multiple clubs, or inaccurate completion of registration form£Discretional
8 (H) (ii)Registration irregularities£Discretional
8 (I)Failure to provide S.A.E for registration counterfoils£20
8 (O)Playing an ineligible player£Discretional
9 (A)Delaying kick-off by not having change of colours£10
9 (B)Failure to obtain consent for a change of club name£20
10 (B)Late kick-off/no nets/no corner flags£10
10 (D)Failure to provide details of a fixture£10
10 (F) (i)Failure to keep engagement£Discretional
10 (F) (ii)Failure to observe precedence£20 max
10 (F) (iii)Failure to notify of postponement£Discretional
10 (I)Not identifying a club captain£0
10 (J)Not providing a team sheet to referee£20
11 (A)Late result sheet £10
11 (B)Failure to provide result£10
11 (C)Incorrect result sheet£10
13 (C)Failure to provide club assistant referee£10
13 (C)Failure to provide Assistant Referee flags£10
13 (E)Failure to pay match officials' fees and expenses£20
3 (F)Failure to match officials where a match is not played£20
13 (H)Failure to provide referee's mark£20
14 (A)Withdrawal from league after 31st March £50 max
14 (B)Failure to start/complete fixtures£50 max
18 (A)Failure to return Trophy£Discretional
19Failure to be represented at SGM£20