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League Rules

Constitutional Guidelines

1.1 Most league seasons last 14 weeks and each team will play the other teams in their division twice during the season.

1.2 At the end of each season the top 2 teams from each division will be promoted and the bottom 2 teams will be relegated (may vary) and a new season will start the following week.

1.3 Teams will receive 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw and zero for a loss. League placings will be decided by points gained, followed by goal difference, followed by goals scored, followed by the aggregate result between the two teams in question.


1.4 All players must be registered by completing the necessary forms prior to competing for any team. Teams may register up to 20 players and no player can be registered to more than one team on the same league night. Players may only transfer their registration to another team on one occasion in the same division during the course of a season.

1.5 For 5 a side Leagues a maximum of eight players per game may be used. All players must be named on the team sheet prior to kick off. (for 6 a side add one player,).

1.6 Any team playing an unregistered or suspended player will automatically lose the match 5 – 0 and be deducted 3 points. Players playing whilst suspended will have a further three match ban added to the end of their then current suspension.

Prior to Kick-off

1.7 Teams are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to scheduled kick off times.

1.8 Teams must be on the pitch and ready to begin the match at the appointed kick-off time. If a team is more than 10 minutes late their opponents may claim a 3 – 0 head start, and at the referees discretion a 5 – 0 win (and deduction of 3 points to the losers).

1.9 Teams may be replaced at any stage of the season. Replacement teams inherit the scores and points of their predecessors. No team joining after the halfway point can be awarded first or second place at the end of the season.

1.10 Teams failing to appear for their designated fixture or not giving notice the day before of cancellation, will have the match awarded to their opponents 5 – 0, will be deducted 3 points and, for repeated absence, may be ejected from the League.

1.11 In the event that a team refuses to play another team the match will be awarded to

the other team 5 – 0 and the team refusing to play will be deducted 3 points

1.12 In the event that a team refuses to complete a match which has already started, the match will be awarded to the other team 5 – 0 and the team refusing to complete the match will be deducted 3 points. If the score at the time produces a goal difference greater than 5-0 then that score will stand.

1.13 All fixtures are to be played unless adverse weather conditions make the pitches unplayable. Any decision to cancel a game can only be made by RFC management. Postponements are not allowed, except in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of Goals management.

1.16 A fixture list will be issued at the start of each season and will be displayed on the Company’s website www.rotherhamfootballcentre.co.uk. All league results will be displayed on the branch notice boards and the website.


The number of players and substitutions

2.1 For 5 a side leagues each team may field four outfield players and a goalkeeper on the pitch at any one time (for 6 a side add one outfield player, for 7 a side add two outfield players).

2.2 Substitutions are unlimited during the game, can only be made when the ball is dead and only with the Referees consent. Outgoing substitutes must leave the field of play before the replacement enters the playing area. The oncoming players are active immediately and can receive the ball. Substitutes must stand outside the pitch perimeter and spectators must not enter the field of play under any circumstances.

2.3 Teams may not change their goalkeeper more than once during the course of the game. A change of goalkeeper must be authorized by the referee.

The players equipment

2.4 NO screw in studded footwear or blades are permitted to be worn by any player. Only training shoes, moulded soles and astro boots may be worn. All Players must wear shin pads. The wearing of any form of jewellery (including, without limitation, watches) is not permitted during play. Players should refer to the footwear guidelines available from their local Goals Centre. Referees may refuse to allow players to play with inappropriate footwear, without shin pads and/or are wearing any form of jewellery.

Duration of match

2.5 The match will consist of two equal halves. The length of half will be 28 minutes but can vary.

Start of play

2.6 The first half will begin with one team taking a centre; the second half will begin with the other team taking a centre. After a goal has been scored the game will be re-started by the team who conceded the goal taking a centre.

NOTE: A goal can be scored directly from the kick off.

2.7 Only the defending goalkeeper is allowed to play the ball inside the goal area and only he may handle the ball in this area.


2.8 An outfield player gaining or seeking to gain an advantage by entering his own goal area will have a penalty kick awarded against his team.

2.9 An outfield player entering his opponent’s penalty area will be penalized. The game will be re-started from the goalkeeper.

2.10 A goalkeeper gaining or seeking to gain an advantage by leaving his area or by playing the ball when it is outside the area will have a penalty awarded against his team.

NOTE: Players may only take one step whilst taking a penalty.


2.11 The goalkeeper must return the ball into play by rolling it out of his area with an under-arm bowling action . If the ball is returned any other way a free-kick will be given to the opposition two meters outside the area. A teammate receiving the ball from the ‘keeper may not return the ball directly to him – the ball must first be touched by another teammate or an opponent. A free kick will be awarded against the offending team from the place where the defending player returned the ball unless it is deemed by the Referee that a player returning the ball to the Goal-Keeper is gaining an advantage then a penalty will be awarded.

Goal keepers are not permitted to take penalties (except in penalty shoot-outs).

Start Of Play and Breaks in Play

2.12 The ball must not be played above kick board height. An indirect free kick will be awarded against the last player to touch the ball before it goes above kick board height, regardless of intent.

2.13 The ball must never be played with the head even if it is below board height. A free kick will be awarded for infringement.

2.14 If the ball goes out of play off the goalkeeper, the game will be restarted by indirect free kick by the same goalkeeper.

2.15 A goal may be scored from any point within the field of play. The only exception is that goalkeepers may not score against their opponents (except in penalty shoot-outs).

2.16 No slide tackles are allowed. Infringement of this rule will lead to a free kick being awarded against the offending players’ team.

2.17 Professional fouls will be penalized with a penalty and the guilty player may face disciplinary action.

2.18 All free kicks will be direct with the exception of over board height (see 2.12) which is deemed in-direct.

2.18 Opposition players must be at least two meters from where any free-kick is taken. If opposing players do not retreat the required two meters the kick may be moved forward one meter. If a free kick is awarded on or near the goal area it can be moved up to two meters backwards to allow defenders to be two meters from the ball.

2.19 The Goal keeper must be on the goal line when a penalty is being taken. Players may only take one step whilst taking a penalty.

2.20 These League Rules are not exhaustive and may be added to or amended at any time.

2.21 The Referees decision on all on-field matters is final and no discussions will be entered into either on or off the field with him about any decision. The Referees jurisdiction on disciplinary matters will apply until players have entered the changing rooms. Players repeatedly disputing decisions may have further disciplinary action taken against them.

2.22 Teams with a valid complaint against a match official must be put in writing within 48 hours of the match taking place. The complaint should be addressed to RFC General Manager who will forward it on the appropriate County Football Association. The County FA will take the appropriate action necessary.


Blue card

3.1 Players may be sent to the ‘sin bin’ at the referee’s discretion depending on the offence. The duration of the sin bin will be 2 mins for which a blue card will be shown. A player may only be sin binned once per game as a second offence would involve a second blue card which would automatically be followed by a red card and a sending off.

Blue card offences:

1. Persistently breaking laws of game

2. Delays restart of game

3. Gulity of unsporting behaviour or showing dissent

Red card:

3.2 A player sent off for a second offence will be suspended for a minimum of 1 WEEK. In the case serious foul play, foul or abusive language the suspension will be extended to 2 WEEKS or longer should the centre deem this necessary.

3.3 If a player is given a red card whilst off the field of play (for unacceptable conduct on the sideline), the team must correspondingly reduce the number of players on the field. 3.4 If a team is permanently reduced by 2 players, or temporarily reduced by 3 players the game will end. The match will be awarded 5-0 to their opponents and they will be deducted 3 points. If the score at the time produces a goal difference greater than 5-0 then that score will stand. (for 6 a side add one player, for 7 a side add two players)

3.5 If a match is abandoned for any reason the team at fault will receive a 5-0 defeat and be deducted 3 points unless the opposing team already has a greater advantage in which case the score will stand. If both teams are judged to be at fault the game will be void and no points will be awarded.

3.6 Violent conduct on or off the pitch will result in the immediate suspension of the individual and could result in a ban from the RFC premises. RFC reserve the right to ban an individual or team from further participation in all competitions. All leagues are affiliated to the local County FA to whom all such matters will be reported.

This may result in the individual concerned being banned from all affiliated competitions if the Referee’s report deems this necessary. To ensure that RFC remain aware of all suspensions and bans imposed by the County FA all correspondence will be issued to teams via Goals. Teams not cooperating with RFC or the County FA will be removed from the league programme.

3.7 Referees must be treated with respect from all teams. Teams found guilty of abusing Referees will be removed from the Leagues, as will Teams in material or persistent breach of these Rules.

3.8 The decision of RFC management in all matters pertaining to the administration of the league is final.

3.9 Goals management may overturn any rule if they feel a team is deliberately using an interpretation of the rules to gain an unfair advantage

Match Fees

4.1 Match Fees will be determined by RFC and are subject to change with notice and are payable before the match commences. 4.2 If the full match fee is not received, RFC shall implement the ‘No Pay – No Result’ procedure. Furthermore, the match fee will be deducted from the holding deposit. 4.3 If a team is affected by the ‘No Pay – No Result’ procedure they shall have any goals scored removed by the organisers and the result awarded to their opposition.

4.4 Failure to pay fees on any occasion shall be deemed a breach of competition rules and the organisers reserve the right to remove the team from that competition. 4.5 The team captain is responsible for all team underpayments and match fee arrears. Any monies owed which are not covered by the original team deposit shall be collected from credit card details held on file from previous transactions with RFC. This may be done any time after the end of the event in question, normally the next day. 4.6 Any team that leaves the competition with arrears greater than the original deposit may be banned from future competitions.

4.7 RFC reserve the right to withhold any trophies from teams that have monies owing from debt accrued throughout any season(s).


5.1 Teams may be asked to pay a refundable attendance team deposit to enter a RFC competition. The deposit is payable once and shall be held on the team’s account. 5.3 When we start your team in the league, your fixtures will be published on the website and you will be notified of your start date by SMS only.

5.5 RFC may deduct fees owing from the team deposit. 5.6To ensure the deposit is fully refunded, teams must ensure that all match fees and other charges or compensation have been paid and that the withdrawal procedure is followed. 5.7 All participants are advised that RFC is unable to provide personal injury insurance or player-to-player insurance. You are advised to purchase this as a team or individually


6.1 A team can only leave at the end of a season. 6.2 To withdraw from the league the team captain MUST give at least two (2) weeks notice before the end of that current season. 6.3 The team must then fulfil the remainder of that season’s fixtures, and shall be withdrawn before the new season commences. 6.4 The team can only give notice by telephoning 01709 252300 so that their position can be discussed and agreed. Notice cannot be submitted via email or at an event. 6.5 Any team that leaves the league without the two (2) weeks notice or before the end of a season, shall forfeit their team deposit. The two weeks fees remain payable in full. If a team is removed for disciplinary reasons or bad behaviour, the deposit is strictly non-returnable. 6.6 Any team that leaves with monies owed greater than the original team deposit, shall have those arrears collected by RFC. The registered captain at the time of the team withdrawal shall be wholly responsible for these monies. 6.7 The team captain consents that if outstanding monies for the team remain unpaid fourteen days after leaving the league, RFC have permission to collect the fees from the credit card details held on file from previous transactions with RFC.