10. (A) The Annual General Meeting shall determine the date for the commencement 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).
Within the National League System (“NLS”) all matches shall have a duration of 90 minutes. All matches outside of the NLS shall have 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 at the AGM and can only be altered by the mutual consent of the two competing clubs prior to the scheduled date of the match with written notification given to the Competition at least 7 days prior.
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 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 3 clear days prior to the playing of the match. If not so provided, the away club shall seek such details and report the circumstances to the competition.
(E)A minimum of 11 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. Notwithstanding 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.
(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 21 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 5 substitute players in any match in this Competition who may be selected from 5 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 10 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 15 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 fixture Competition Match shall identify a team captain who has a responsibility to offer support in the management of the on-field discipline of his/her team mates.