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Competition Rules

Competiton Rules


Individual Schools and Inter-Area Competitions

1. The Trophy -All trophies are the property of the Somerset County Schools F.A and shall be competed for annually. The trophies are 'challenge' trophies and shall never be won outright. The holders of the trophies shall be responsible for their safe custody and shall deliver them, engraved for the previous season and cleaned, to the county secretary by the 1st of March.

2. Mementoes -Mementoes will be presented by the County Association to the two schools/areas competing in the finals

3. Control -

  • (A) The entire control of the competiton shall be the best in the Executive Committee
  • (B) The rules of the game shall be those of the Football Association, except otherwise stated.
  • (C) All teams must be under the control of the school's teacher/education employee. Failure to comply         to this rule shall lead to automatic disqualification.

4. Entries -The trophies shall be offered for annual competition amongst schools/area in the full membership with the County Schools F.A on payment of the said entry fees.

5. Eligible players -

  • i) Players shall be of the specified age at midnight on the 31st August/ 1st September at the start of the season.
  • ii) Apart from Year 11 students who may also play for their school's U.19 team as well as their U.16 team, no other player is permitted to play in more than ONE age group per season. (If a player plays for an older age group team, they cannot also play for their own age group team).
  • Note: U12 only Years 6 & 7
  • -          U14 only Years 8 & 9
  • -          U16 only  Years 10 &11
  • -          U19 only Years 11, 12 &13
  • iii)  A player must be on the school roll that they are representing for individual school competitions.

District teams can only play pupils from schools within their designated Area. For inter-district matches, team managers must have an appropriately completed team list available (with players names & their schools) to give to the opposition's team manager before the game.

If an ineligible player is fielded this will result in a 3-0 win for the opponents.

6. The Competitons-

  • (A) All entries must be recieved before the closing date, accompanied by the appropriate entry fees.
  • (B) The draw for the competition shall be made before the onset of the forthcoming school year.
  • (C) All matches shall be played on the Cup-Tie (inter school) or Cup or League Principal (inter area) and shall take precedence over all other school matches.
  • (D) The Competiton secretary shall fix the dates within which all matches shall be played.

Schools/Areas seeking an extension must apply to the Competiton secretary no later than 48 hours prior to the limit deadline. Failure to do so may lead to disqualification.

  • (E) The final ties shall be played on grounds to be appointed by the Competiton secretary.
  • (F) The Competiton secretary shall appoint a neutral and qualified referee and, IF possible, 2 Assistant referees for the final tie. However, each team should bring an appropriately competent adult, or qualified junior official, to act as an assistant referee to 'run the line's in case the Competiton secretary has been unable to supply such officials. This individual should not be a playing member of the team and it would be preferable for it also not to be the team manager.
  • (G) Should any tie result in a draw, extra time must be played (No replay). Thereafter, if level after extra time then the match should be decided on a penalty kick Competiton.
  • (F) Final ties shall be decided on a penalty kick competiton only. No extra time will be played.

7. Individual Schools/area Competiton -

  • (A) Both home and away team managers are responsible for making and agreeing a fixture date on or before the play by date. Failure to do so may lead to both teams being disqualified from the competition. Should no date be acceptable by the two competing schools/area the date shall then be fixed by the competition secretary.
  • (B) Home school/area team must inform opponents of venue, kick off time, colours, travelling directions, etc. at least 48 hours prior to the match. Where colours are similar, the home school/area shall retain its colours and the away school shall change to a suitable contrasting colour.
  • (C) The home side should provide a referee, preferably neutral and qualified.

8. The winning & home school/area -must inform the competition secretary of the result within 48 hours of the game being played. Failure to do so may result in disqualification.

9. Duration of Matches -All matches within the competiton shall be of the following maximum duration (this may be shortened, with the consent of both team managers, if the playing conditions at kick off determine it would be more suitable, appropriate and safer to play a reduced length of time)

  • -     Under 19 -40 minutes each way
  • -     Under 16 -40 minutes each way
  • -     Under 15 -35 minutes each way
  • -     Under 14 -35 minutes each way
  • -     Under 12 & 13 -30 minutes each way

Extra time shall be up to a minimum of 10 minutes each way, except for U12/U13 which is 7 minutes each way.

Postponed or abandoned matches shall be played within 7 days, but where schools are not mutually agreed on a date, it shall be fixed by the competition secretary.

10. The Ball - The following size of ball shall be used

  • -      Size 5 for U15, U16 & U19
  • -      Size 4 for U14
  • -       Size 4 for U12 & U13

11. Substitutes - Up to and including under 19 SCFA competitions, up to 5 "rolling" substitutes may be used.

12. Disputes -any matters not covered by the rules of the competition or any dispute shall be dealt with by the Executive Committee and competition secretary. Any dispute shall be put in writing and must reach the competition secretary within seven days of the fixture or dispute.

13. Alterations to rules - the rules of the competition may only be altered at a forthcoming general meeting of the association.

14. General -The winning school of all the competitions shall be nominated to represent the Somerset County Schools F.A in any competition organised by the ESFA.

15. 'Play by' dates -see draws on 'competiton' page.

16. Matches must be played in accordance with FA guidelines regarding the use of 3G artificial turf pitches (see guidance listed in the 'Association information' pages within this website)

Please note it is strongly recommended that schools and colleges have a first aid kit at all games!

New Rules 2019/20

1. Substituted player leaving the field of play - The player who is being substituted must now leave at the nearest point (as with injury) unless the referee indicates otherwise e.g. that the player can leave quickly at the halfway line or because of a safety/security issue or because the player is injured (and needs to leave on a stretcher). The substituted player must go straight to the technical area or dressing room to avoid interfering with match officials, substitutes etc. and to avoid problems with spectators. A player who infringes the spirit of the law should be sanctioned by the referee for delaying the restart.

2. Yellow and red cards for team officials -If an offence occurs and the offender cannot be identified, the senior team official who is in the technical area at the time of offence will, as the person responsible for the other team officials, recieve the yellow/red card.

3. Goal kick and defending team free kick in their penalty area -The ball is in play once kicked and does not have to leave the penalty area. Opponents must remain outside the penalty area and at least 9.15m away for free kicks until the ball is in play.

4. Dropped ball -The dropped ball becomes uncontested. The ball will be dropped for the goalkeeper if when the play was stopped, the ball/last touch was in the penalty area. In all other cases, the ball is dropped for one player of the team that last touched the ball. All players (of both teams) must be at least 4m (4.5yds) away until the ball is in play.

5. Dropped ball -If the ball has hit a match official (especially the referee) and a team gains possession, starts a new attack or scores a goal then a dropped ball will be given.

6. The defensive wall -There is no legitimate reason for players from the attacking team to be in the defensive wall. The attacking team must be 1m from the wall. An attacking player encroaching at the free kick will be penalised with an indirect free kick.

7. Coin toss -The captain who wins the toss can now chose the kick off

8. Penalty kicks -The goalkeeper only needs to have one foot on the goal line.

9. Quick free kick -If a team takes a quick free kick and created a goal scoring opportunity, the referee can delay the yellow/red card until next stoppage

10. Releasing the ball -When the goalkeeper clearly kicks or tries to kick the ball with the intention of releasing it into play, if the clearance is unsuccessful they can then handle the ball.

11. Penalty taker -If a team's penalty taker is injured and requires treatment they can stay after treatment and take the kick

Definition of Handball

It is an offence if a player

  • - Deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, including moving the hand /arm towards the ball
  • -Gains posession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm (and then)
  • -Scores in the opponents goal
  • -Creates a goal scoring opportunity
  • -scores in the opponents goal directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including the goalkeeper

It is usually an offence if a player

  • -Touches the ball with their hand/arm when the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger
  • -Hit-the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (Unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm)

Except for the above offences it is not usually an offence

  • - Touches a players hand/arm directly from the players own head or body (including the foot)
  • -Directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close
  • - If the hand/arm is close to the body and does not make the body unnaturally bigger
  • -When a player is falling and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body

Sin Bin

Heading Guidance

This takes effect immediately. This is NOT a ban on heading.