Rules

DORSET YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE (Aged 11-17)

LEAGUE RULES

1. NOMENCLATURE AND CONSTITUTION

(A)
This Competition shall be designated the Dorset Youth Football League and known as the DYFL and shall consist of not more than 60 Clubs approved by the sanctioning authority.
The Competition will provide football in accordance with the agreed youth formats published under FA Rule C4(A). This Competition will reproduce the relevant FA Rule in its handbook and on its website to ensure clarity and compliance with Rule 8(B).

(B)
All such Member Clubs must be affiliated to an affiliated County Football Association and their names and particulars shall be returned annually by the appointed date on the Form “D” to the Dorset County Football Association. The area covered by the Competition Membership shall be the administrative boundary of Dorset (including its constituent unitary authorities) or within a 30 miles radius from the centre of Dorchester or as determined from time to time by the League Management Committee.
This Competition shall apply annually for sanction to the Dorset County Football Association and the constituent teams of Member Clubs may be grouped in divisions, each not exceeding fourteen teams in number.

(C) Inclusivity and Non-discrimination

(i) This Competition and each Member Club must be committed to promoting inclusivity and to eliminating all forms of discrimination.
(ii) This Competition and each Member Club does not and must not [by its rules or regulations or] in any manner whatsoever unlawfully discriminate against any person within the meaning and scope of the Equality Act 2010 or any law, enactment, order or regulation relating to discrimination (whether by age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, ability or disability or otherwise).
(iii) This Competition and each Member 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.
(iv) Any alleged breach of the Equality Act 2010 legislation must be referred to the appropriate sanctioning Association for investigation.

(D)
As an FA Charter Standard League this competition requires all its Clubs to have achieved FA Charter Standard League status by 2013. The League Management Committee may expel any club that has failed to achieve Charter Standard status by this date. New Member Clubs have one year to achieve the Charter Standard club award. The League has the right to refuse membership to a Club if it fails to demonstrate commitment to achieving the award.

(E)
This Competition and its Clubs shall support the FA’s Respect programme. As such it recognises that everyone in football has a collective responsibility to create a fair, safe and enjoyable environment in which the game can take place. A Respect League values the courtesy and fairness by opposing players, club officials and spectators. The League and its Clubs will seek to play fixtures in a fair, competitive but not antagonistic environment.

(F)
Member 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 of the Competition.

(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 compilation of the divisions at their discretion. When necessary this Rule shall take precedence over Rule 12.

2. MEMBERSHIP, ENTRANCE FEE AND SUBSCRIPTIONS

(A)
Applications by Clubs for admission to this Competition or the entry of an additional team(s) must be made in writing to the General Secretary no later than 1st May in each year, and must be accompanied by an Entry Fee as shown in the Financial Appendix 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. The Entry Fee shall apply.
When Rule 12(B) is applied and a team seeks a transfer or is compulsorily transferred to another division, then no Entry Fee shall be payable.

(B)
The Annual Subscription per team playing 11v11 and 9v9 football shall be as shown in the Financial Appendix 2(A).
Subscriptions shall be payable before June 1st in each year. Failure to pay by this date may incur a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix.

(C)
Each Club shall, on the day of election, pay a Deposit as shown in the Financial Appendix which shall be returnable to Clubs on leaving the Competition provided they have fulfilled their fixtures and complied with all orders of the Management Committee.

(D)
A Club shall not participate in this Competition until the Entry Fee, Annual Subscription and Deposit have been paid.

(E)
Clubs must advise annually to the General Secretary in writing by July 31st of its relevant County Football Association affiliation number for the forthcoming Season, failing which they shall be fined as shown in the Financial Appendix. 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.

3. OFFICERS

The Officers of the Competition shall be determined by the Annual General Meeting and elected thereat.
(N.B. Auditors/Verifiers are not Officers).

4. MANAGEMENT, NOMINATION, ELECTION

(A)
The Competition shall be governed in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of The Football Association by a Management Committee comprised of the Officers and one County Association Representative, and twelve members who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting. All Participants shall abide by The Football Association Regulations for Safeguarding Children as determined by The Association from time to time.

(B)
Retiring Officers shall be eligible to become candidates for re-election without nomination. All other 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 1st May 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 at least quarterly.
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. Failure to reply to correspondence from the General Secretary of the League within seven days will incur a fine in accordance with the Financial Appendix.

(E)
All communications received from Clubs must be conducted through their nominated Officers.

5. POWERS OF MANAGEMENT

(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 any matters of misconduct that are under the jurisdiction of the Football Association or affiliated Association

(B)
Subject to the permission of the Dorset 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. (See Rule 6(E)).

(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 the Rules of the Competition and shall also have jurisdiction over all matters affecting the Competition, including any not provided for in the Rules.
With the exception of Rules 5(I), 6(H), 10(A), 11 and 19 for any breaches of Rule a formal written charge must be issued. The respondent shall be given seven days from the date of notice 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.

All breaches of the Laws of the Game, Rules and Regulations of The Football Association shall be dealt with in accordance with F.A. Rules by the appropriate Association.
With the exception of Clubs playing at Step 7 of the Football Pyramid and the FA Women’s Premier League, the maximum fine permitted for any breach of a Competition 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 fourteen days.

(F)
Eight Members of the Management Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business of the Management Committee and four Members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business by any sub-committee of the Competition.

(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 having failed to comply with an order or instruction of the Management Committee, or failing to satisfactorily attend to the business and/or the correspondence of the Competition shall be liable to be fined or otherwise penalised at the discretion of the Management Committee.

(I)
All fines and charges shall be paid to the Honorary Treasurer within 14 days of the date of posting of the written notification.
Any Club failing to do so will be fined a maximum of £50. Further failure to pay the fine including the additional sum within 14 days will result in fixtures being withdrawn until such time as the outstanding payments are settled.

(J)
A member of the Management Committee appointed by the Competition to attend a meeting or match may have any 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)
No participant under the age of 18 can be fined.

(M)
Leagues who organise Mini Soccer for teams playing U7 and U8 football may not, with the exception of Rules 6, 10(A), 11(D), 14 and 19 fine clubs for breaches of League Rules.

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

(O)
A Club failing to be represented at a General meeting shall incur a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix. An Officer of the League shall not be permitted to represent their Club in lieu of the appointed representative. Whenever possible, not less that fourteen days notice shall be given of any General meeting.

6. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

(A)
The Annual General Meeting shall be held not later than 31st July in each year. At this meeting the following business shall be transacted provided that at least  Forty Members are present and entitled to vote:-

(i) To receive and confirm the Minutes of the preceding Annual General Meeting.
(ii) To consider any business arising there from.
(iii) To receive and adopt the Annual Report, Balance Sheet and Statement of Accounts.
(iv) Election of Clubs to fill vacancies (as recommended by the Management Committee).
(v) Constitution of the Competition for ensuing season.
(vi) Election of Officers and Management Committee.
(vii) Appointment of Auditors.
(viii) Alteration of Rules, if any (of which notice has been given).
(ix) Fix the date for the commencement of the season and kick off times applicable to the Competitions.
(x) 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 duly audited Balance Sheet, Statement of Accounts and Agenda shall be forwarded to each Club at least fourteen days prior to the meeting, and to the Dorset County Football Association Limited.

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

(D)
Each Member 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.

(F)
All voting shall be conducted by a show of voting cards unless a ballot be demanded by at least twenty five 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 failing to be represented at the Annual General Meeting without satisfactory reason being given shall be fined £30.

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

7. AGREEMENT TO BE SIGNED

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  Dorset Youth Football 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 16."

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

(Note: The spaces above are intended for the inclusion of the signatures and addresses of officers and members).

8. QUALIFICATION OF PLAYERS, REGISTRATION AND TRANSFERS

(A)
(i) Contract players, as defined in Football Association Rules, 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 signing a registration form for that Club has, where necessary, the required International Transfer Certificate. Clearance is required for any Player aged 12 and over crossing borders including Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

(ii) No player registered with a F.A. Premier League or Football League Academy under the Elite Player Performance Plan contained within Youth Development Rules will be permitted to play in this competition. Details of the Youth Development Rules are published on the FA web site.

(iii) While serving in any branch of Her Majesty’s Regular Forces, a player must first obtain the consent of his Association Secretary before signing a registration form to play for a Club.

(B)
A registered youth playing member of a Club is one who, being in all other respects eligible, has:-

(i) Signed a fully and correctly completed Competition registration form in ink, counter signed by his/her parent or guardian. The form must be endorsed by the Club Secretary. A player cannot play for a club in competition fixtures until the club has received the player’s registration card. Proof of date of birth must accompany each NEW registration application. The registration card must incorporate a current colour passport-size photograph of the player seeking registration. An S.A.E. must be enclosed for the return of the registration card.

All questions of eligibility and qualification of players as well as other matters of dispute shall be left to the Management Committee whose decisions shall be final. Should either of the Clubs in connection with the dispute have members on the Management Committee, the said members shall not participate in any discussions connected with the dispute unless invited.

A team failing to register a minimum of twelve players for 11v11 or ten players for 9v9 by July 15th each year shall be liable to a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix.

A player shall be deemed to be registered when the registration card, properly countersigned by the League Registration Secretary is received by the Club Secretary.

A team may only register a maximum of twenty players for 11v11 or eighteen players for 9v9 in a season unless special permission is given by the Management Committee.

The qualification dates for the competition shall be as follows:

Children who have attained the age of ten but who are under the age of twelve as at midnight on the 31st August in season 2013/14 may be permitted to play in a match between sides with a maximum of nine players and shall play according to the correct Laws of the Game for that format.

Children who have attained the age of twelve as at midnight on the 31st August in season 2013/14 may play in a match between sides with a maximum of eleven players and shall play according to the correct Laws of the Game for that format.

In season 2013/14, children shall not play, and shall not be permitted or encouraged to play, in a match between sides of more than the following number of players, according to their age group:
U11          9v9
U12  –  U17  11v11

Note : The DYFL will be running 9v9 Leagues at U12 in season 2013/14.

Children permitted to play 11v11 but who are under the age of fifteen as at midnight on 31st August in a playing season shall not be permitted to play in a match where any other player is older or younger by two years or more than that person.

The above qualification dates are subject to the provisions contained in FA Rule C.4(a) in its entirety.

Mixed gender football will be allowed in teams up to and including the Under 15 age group

(C)
A team shall not include any player/more than _________ players who has/have taken part in any ________________or more senior competition matches during the current season unless a period of _________ days has elapsed since they played.
Not applicable to the Dorset Youth Football League

(D)
A player having taken part in matches for any Club affiliated to any County Football Association shall not be allowed to join, be transferred to, or sign for a Club in the Competition without first proving to the officials of the intended Club that the player has discharged all reasonable financial liabilities to the previous Club or Clubs, and a Club official may not accept such player's signature without first ascertaining whether such claims have been discharged to the satisfaction of the Club, or Clubs, for which the player last played.

(E)
Registration cards shall be obtained from the Registration Secretary.

(F)
The Management Committee shall decide all registration disputes.

In the event of a player having a registration submitted for more than one Club priority of registration shall decide for which Club the player shall be registered. The Registration Secretary shall notify the Club last applying to register the player of the fact of the previous registration.

(G)
It shall be deemed misconduct for a player to:-

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

(ii) Having signed for one Club in the Competition, sign for another Club in the Competition in that season except for the purpose of a transfer.

(iii) Submit a signed registration form 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 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 for any team playing in this competition.

(I)
Subject to FA Rule C2(a) dealing with players without a written contract when a player desires a transfer, the Club the player wishes to transfer to shall submit a transfer form to the Registration Secretary accompanied by a fee as shown in the Financial Appendix. Such transfer shall be referred by the Registration Secretary 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 Registration Secretary and to the player concerned within seven days of receipt of the transfer form. Upon receipt of the Club's consent, or upon its failure to give written objection within seven days, the Registration 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.

The Club, the player wishes to transfer to shall :-

(i) Give the club that the player is currently registered with 7 days Notice of Approach, copied to the Registration Secretary.
(ii) Request a Transfer Form from the Registrations Secretary.
(iii) Get the Transfer Form completed by the Current and New Club.
(iv) Return the Transfer Form, current Registration and new Registration card to the Registration Secretary, with a S.A.E.

Where a player has registered for a team that has withdrawn, the transfer fee will be waived.

In the event of an objection to a transfer the matter shall be referred to the Competition Management Committee for a decision.

(J)
A player may only transfer between 1st October and 31st January in any season, except by special permission of the Management Committee.
New players may register for the current season up until the 31st March, this does not apply to players who transfer.

(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.
In the event of a Club having more than one team in an age group, each team must be clearly identifiable but not designated ‘A’ or ‘B’ or 1st or 2nd. In such cases, players will be registered for one team only. A player so registered will be allowed to play for his Club in a younger or older age group within the provisions of Rule 8(B).

(L)
A register containing the names of all players registered for each Club, with the date of registration, shall be kept by the Registration 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.

(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 four games for that team in this Competition in the current season.

(N)
A player who has played for a team in a First Division six times or more shall not in that season be eligible to play in a lower Division except by permission of the Management Committee.

(O)
(i) Any team playing an unregistered or otherwise ineligible player or players may have the points gained in the match deducted from its total and may be fined and/or otherwise dealt with at the discretion of the Management Committee.

(ii) In addition the team may have three points deducted from its total at the discretion of the Management Committee and may be dealt with in any further manner which is thought to be fit.

(iii) 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.

In the case of matches being replayed owing to breaches of the rules only those players who were eligible on the day of the original match shall be allowed to play in the replayed match, subject to consideration of the Management Committee. Such matches shall be played on dates to be arranged by the League Secretary.

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. This is not applicable for under 17/18 football.

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

(iii) Children under 15 shall not play in a team involving players who are more than 2 years older.

QUALIFICATION OF PLAYERS REGARDING F.A. PROGRAMME OF EXCELLENCE LICENSED ACADEMY AND CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE.
(a1)
A player currently in the F.A. Programme for Excellence at a licensed Academy or Centre of Excellence as a signed player or trialist is ineligible to play in the Dorset Youth Football League, subject to paragraph (a2) below.

(a2)
A player who is properly released back to community football under the terms of the F.A. regulation 5.9.1 and 5.9.5ii may apply to become eligible to play in the Dorset Youth Football league. He or she will become eligible when both the release in writing by the Director of the Academy or Centre of Excellence is received by the Registration Secretary and the player’s registration card is received by the Club Secretary.

MATCH DAY AND REGISTRATION CARD PROCEDURE
(b1)
Not less than fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled kick-off of a match the registration cards accompanied by a list of the names in shirt number order of the players intended to play in the match must be handed to the opposing Team Manager who shall retain and safeguard the Cards until returning them to the opposing Team manager not more than fifteen minutes after the conclusion of the match. It is the Team Managers responsibility to check the validity of the opposing Team’s players and substitutes. Any breach of this Rule shall be deemed misconduct and shall be dealt with at the discretion of the Management Committee.

(b2)
Any challenge to the eligibility of a player shall be made by the Team Manager to the Opposing Team Manager before the start of the match or after the conclusion of the match and such challenge shall be notified in writing to the League Secretary on the day of the match, and then in writing to be received by the General Secretary within three days of the match being played. If the challenge is proven then the League Management Committee will apply Rule 8O (i).

(b3) In the event of the Registration Cards being unavailable for exchange prior to the match the non-offending team may, at its discretion, refuse to play the match. Both Clubs shall notify the occurrence to the League Secretary prior to the commencement of the match, and then in writing to be received by the League Secretary within three days. The offending club shall be liable to a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix, in addition to any other rule.

9. CLUB COLOURS AND CLUB NAME

(A)
Every Club must register the colour of its shirts and shorts with the General Secretary by 1st May who shall decide as to their suitability.

Goalkeepers must wear colours which distinguish them from other players and the referee.

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 the colours in which they will play to its opponents at least three days before the match.

If, in the opinion of the referee, two Clubs have the same or similar colours, the away team shall make the change. Any team not having a change of colours or delaying the kick-off by not having a change shall be fined as shown in the Financial Appendix.

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 the use of any shirts or shorts as they think fit. Shirts must be numbered.

(B)
Any Club wishing to change its name and/or colours must obtain permission from its affiliated County Football Association and from the Competition Management Committee.

10. PLAYING SEASON, CONDITIONS OF PLAY, TIMES OF KICK OFF, POSTPONEMENTS, SUBSTITUTES

(A)
The Annual General Meeting shall determine the date for the commencement of the season in accordance with Football Association Rules. Original fixtures arranged by a League Secretary, or at a meeting specially convened for that purpose, to be held no later than third week in August must not be arranged for a date later than seven days preceding the concluding date.

(B)
All matches shall be played in accordance with the Laws of the Game as determined by the International Football Association Board or for 9v9 football, the Laws as set down by the Football Association.

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 Artificial Pitches) 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 from season 2014/15, all Football Turf Pitches used must be on the FA’s register and must be tested (by an 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).

Prior to the commencement of the season each Club shall register the location of its pitch(es) with the General Secretary and the location shall not be changed thereafter without prior notification to the General Secretary.

The ground shall have the following basic facilities:-

(i) Covered changing accommodation for Players and Match Officials.
(ii) Access to Toilets including W.C.

All matches shall have a duration as set out below unless a shorter time (not less than thirty 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.

The duration of play shall be as follows unless it is mutually agreed by all parties to reduce the time.

Under 11 and Under 12  30 minutes each half
Under 13 and Under 14  35 minutes each half
Under 15 and Under 16  40 minutes each half
Under 17               45 minutes each half


The minimum time for any game will not be less than 20 minutes each half for players in the Under 14 age group and below and 25 minutes each half for all other age groups.

No player participating in an under 17 division or lower age group shall be permitted to play more than one game or, in the event the competition allows the playing of a double-header, i.e. two separate matches, 100 minutes per day in this Competition.

The times of kick-off shall be fixed at the AGM. Any Club failing to commence at the appointed time may be fined as shown in the Financial Appendix or be otherwise dealt with as the Management Committee may determine.

The Competition will be played on Sundays with a kick-off time of 2.00pm (this time is only a guideline and can be changed depending on the availability pitches etc). Teams may mutually agree to play at another time on the Sunday subject to the prior approval of the League Secretary.

Referees must order matches to commence at the appointed time and must report all late starts to the Competition.

The home team must provide at least two footballs fit for play and the referee shall make a report to the Competition if the footballs are unsuitable.

The size of footballs to used:

Under 11, 12, 13 and 14  Size 4
Under 15, 16 and 17      Size 5


Goal nets must be used.

(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 League Secretary.

In the case of a revised fixture date, the Clubs must be given by the Competition 5 clear day’s notice of the match (unless otherwise mutually agreed).

Teams must expect to be allocated fixtures on every Sunday in the Season. A team requiring release from a fixture on a specific date must notify the appropriate League Secretary in writing at least three weeks prior to the requested date. Such requests will be treated on merit and release is not automatically guaranteed and will not be given on more than two occasions during the season.

(D)
The Secretary of the home Club must give notice in writing of 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. The away Club shall seek and acknowledge receipt of such particulars.

Any Club failing to comply with this Rule shall be liable to a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix.

(E)
In the event of a Club playing in any match with less than eleven players, they may be fined for each missing player. A minimum of seven players (11v11) and six players (9v9) 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. Clubs in breach of this requirement shall be fined as shown in the Financial Appendix or otherwise dealt with by the Management Committee.

(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 League Secretary, the Competition Referees Appointments Secretary, the Secretary of the opposing Club and the Match Officials. Any Club failing to comply shall be dealt with by the Management Committee who may inflict a fine.

(iv) In the event of a match not being played or abandoned owing to causes over which neither Club has control, it shall 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 League Secretary within seven 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.

(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.

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.

(vi) Clubs failing to complete their fixtures by the end of the playing season may incur a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix.

(G)
A Club may at its discretion and in accordance with the Laws of the Game use three substitute players in any 11v11 match in this Competition who may be selected from three players.
For Mini-Soccer (9v9) - any number of substitutions may be used at any time with the permission of the Referee. Entry onto the field of play will only be allowed during a stoppage in play. A player who has been replaced may return to the play as a substitute for another player. A Team must not have a squad greater than double the size of its team in an age group.

The referee shall be informed of the names of the substitutes not later than fifteen minutes before the start of the match.

For teams in the under 17 age group and below, a player who has been substituted himself becomes a substitute and may replace another player at any time subject to the substitution being carried out in accordance with Law 3 of the Laws of Association Football.

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

(I)
The League shall require all players and club officials to have signed the FA’s Respect Codes of Conduct and produce these if so requested by the League Management Committee.

Prior to each match the participating teams and officials shall conduct the "Respect" handshake. Participating teams are to offer "three cheers" and/or handshakes to the opposing team after the match.

The participating clubs taking part in the fixture shall identify a team captain designated with a captain’s armband who has a responsibility to offer support in the management of the on-field discipline of his/her team mates. If the participating players are considered to be too young to take on this role a member of the team coaching staff should provide this support.

Each home club shall make arrangements for the provision of designated areas for spectators. This area can be marked by an additional painted line, the use of cones, a roped off area or use of a temporary spectator barrier. The area for spectators should start two metres from the touchline on both sides of the pitch. Each area should run the full length of the pitch. It is recognised, however, that the alignment of some public pitches does not allow for this arrangement in which case other appropriate arrangements should be made.

All League fixtures must be played in accordance with the fixture list except in the event of the following:

(1) Unfit ground (as decided by the Official Referee, or Local Authorities) The League Secretary must be informed immediately.
(2) County Cup Ties
(3) Two or more players or one goalkeeper selected for a County or Dorset Youth League Representative Match

Notice of postponement of any match must be given without delay by the team postponing to the League Secretary and the opposing team. Any team failing to comply with this rule will incur a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix

The postponement proforma must be in the hands of the League Secretary within three working days of the notice of the postponement. Failing to comply with this rule will incur a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix.

The League may suspend the Competition in the event of adverse weather.

11. REPORTING RESULTS

(A)
The League 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 the Referee markings out of 100. Opposing Team managers Marks out of 100. Goal scorers to be marked with an X.

When a club considers that the Referee or Opposition Team Manager has discharged his/her duties unsatisfactorily and awards a mark of fifty or less a detailed report must be sent to the League Secretary with the team sheet by the Team Manager, with the permission of the Club Secretary. Failure to comply with this rule shall incur a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix.

The Result Sheet must be in the hands of the League Secretary within three days of the date when the match was played. Clubs failing to comply with this rule shall incur a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix.

(B)
The Home team shall be responsible for telephoning the result of all matches before 5.30pm. on the day of the match except in the case of an evening match when the time will be 9.00pm

Teams failing to comply with this rule shall incur a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix.

(C)
The match result notification, correctly completed, shall be signed by a responsible member of the Club. Failure to do so will result in a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix.

NB. If the fixed penalty exceeds £20 the Club must be charged as detailed in Rule 5(D).

12. DETERMINING CHAMPIONSHIP

(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 the event of two or more teams being equal on points team rankings may be decided by deciding match(es) played under conditions determined by the Management Committee.

(B)
Automatic promotion and relegation shall be applied for the first two and last two teams in each Division except as provided for hereunder, subject to the provisions of Rule 1(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 by any of the following ways:-

   (a) Retention of otherwise relegated teams(s),
   (b) Additional promotion of the next ranked team(s) from the Division below and
   (c) Election.

(iii) All matters of promotion and relegation, and the filling of vacancies shall be dealt with by the Management Committee on the recommendation of the Competition Officers and League Secretaries.

(C)
In the event of a team not 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.

13. REFEREES

(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 Association(s).

(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. A Referee thus agreed upon shall, for that game, have the full powers, status and authority of a registered Referee.

(C)
Where Assistant Referees are not appointed each Team shall provide a Club Assistant Referee. Failure to do so will result in a fine of £10 being imposed on the defaulting Club.

(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 unless the ground is declared fit for play.

(E)
Match Officials appointed under this Rule shall be entitled to the following match fees:-

Referee £15 and Assistant Referees £10 (inclusive of travel expenses) and any other permitted expenses actually incurred, subject to any limits laid down by the sanctioning Association(s).

The Home Club shall pay the Officials their fees and expenses before 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/expenses only. 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 Football Association.

14. CONTINUATION OF MEMBERSHIP OR WITHDRAWAL OF A CLUB

(A)
After 31st December in the current Season 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 General Secretary in writing by June 1st each Season or be liable to a fine not exceeding £25.

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 May 1st.

(B)
A Club shall not be allowed to withdraw any or all of its teams from the Competition after the arrangement of fixtures for the following Season. Any Club infringing this Rule shall be liable to a fine not exceeding £25 per team and shall also be liable for its share of any call which may be made under Rule 5(B).

(C)
The Membership for the coming season having been decided at a Special General Meeting held for that purpose not earlier than May 1st nor later than June 1st or at the Annual General Meeting held not later than July 31st the Competition shall have the right, irrespective of other provisions in this Rule, to refuse to permit a Club to withdraw its team(s) in order to join another Competition and may hold the Club to its engagements.

(D)
In the event of a Member Club which is an un-incorporated association withdrawing and/or disbanding it shall be immediately liable to discharge all its financial and other obligations to the Competition.

In the event that any such obligation remains undischarged after a period of twenty-one (21) days then such obligation shall be met by the then current Club Members, excluding those under the statutory school leaving age.  Until a Member’s pro rata obligation is discharged in full the Member shall not be allowed to participate in the Competition, which may apply to the Club’s Parent County Association for a suspension order.

15. PROTESTS AND COMPLAINTS

(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. Any Club lodging such protest and not proceeding with it shall be deemed guilty of a breach of this Rule and shall be dealt with by the Management Committee.

(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 in duplicate with the Secretary within seven 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)
Any dispute occurring between Clubs in the Competition shall be referred for determination by the Management Committee whose decision shall be binding upon all parties subject to Rule 16.

(D)
No protest of whatever kind shall be considered by the Management Committee unless the complaining Club shall have deposited with the Secretary a sum of £35.

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.

(E)
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 fourteen 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 forward a deposit of £35 and indicate such when forwarding the written response.

(F)
When dealing with a protest or complaint the Management Committee shall take into consideration the possession by the protesting or complaining Club of any information which, if properly used, might have avoided the protest or complaint.

16. BOARD OF APPEAL

Within 14 days of the posting of written notification of any decision of the Management Committee or the Competition, a Club, Official or Player against whom action is taken may appeal against such decision by lodging particulars in duplicate with the Secretary of the Dorset County Football Association Limited, including a fee as shown in the Financial Appendix, for adjudication of a Board of Appeal. The grounds of appeal shall be in accordance with FA Rules. The Board of Appeal may order the appeal fee to be forfeited and shall decide by whom the costs of the appeal shall be borne. The decision of the Board of Appeal is final and binding on all parties concerned.

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.

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

(A)
At the Annual General Meeting, or Special General Meeting called for the purpose in accordance with the provisions of Rule 19, Notice of Motion having been duly circulated on the Agenda, the accredited delegates present shall have the power to exclude any Club or Team from further membership which must be supported by more than two-thirds of those present and voting. Voting on this point shall be conducted by ballot.

(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 or team whose conduct has, in their opinion, been undesirable, which must be supported by more than two-thirds 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 Clauses (A) and (B) of this Rule.

(D)
Any Club or Team failing to complete its fixtures in any season shall unless the conditions are beyond their control, or the accredited delegates present at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting decide otherwise by a majority of two-thirds of the votes cast be debarred from membership the following season.

(E)
Any club with a player who has been suspended by a County Football Association must return that player’s registration card to the Registration Secretary within three days of the date of the commencement of the suspension with an S.A.E. to ensure its return when the player has completed his suspension.

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

(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 _____________________. 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.

All Cups are to be returned in good order and condition to the General Secretary not later than 1st February each year. Failure to comply with this rule shall incur a fine as shown in the Financial Appendix.

(B)
At the close of each Competition awards shall be made to the winners and runners-up if the funds of the Competition permit. Each team shall receive sixteen winners and sixteen runners up trophies for each division.

Clubs requiring further awards may purchase up to two extra awards from the General Secretary providing payment is received with the order. The extra player(s) must have played in a minimum 50% of the matches. The Management Committee may require the League Secretaries to validate requests for extra trophies via the result sheets.

19. SPECIAL GENERAL MEETINGS

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 failing to be represented at a Special General Meeting without satisfactory reason being given shall be fined as shown in the Financial Appendix.

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

20. ALTERATION TO RULES

Alterations, for which consent has been given by the Dorset County Football Association, shall be made to these Rules only at the Annual General Meeting or at a Special General Meeting specially convened for the purpose in accordance with Rule 19. Any alteration made during the playing season to the Rule relating to the qualification of players 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 General Secretary by December in each year. These proposals, together with any proposals by the Management Committee, shall be circulated to the Clubs by April 1st and any amendments thereto shall be submitted to the General Secretary by May 1st.
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 two thirds of those present and entitled to vote 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 Football Association fourteen days prior to the date of the meeting.

21. FINANCE

(A)
The Management Committee shall determine with which bank or other financial institution the funds of the Competition will be lodged.

(B)
All expenditure must 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 April each year.

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

(E)
The appointed Treasurer shall prepare for audit by the Hon. Auditor the Annual Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet within one month of the end of the Financial Year.

22. INSURANCE

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

23. DISSOLUTION

(A)
Dissolution of the Competition shall be by resolution approved at a Special General Meeting by a majority of three quarters 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 Affiliated Association or The 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 sanctioning 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 sanctioning Association may decide.

Last Updated on December 20th 2013.

Dorset Youth Football League - Rules