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Durham CSFA SCOR-E (Updated June 2024)

This document contains the Standard Code of Rules developed by The Football Association, English Schools’ Football Association and Independent Schools’ Football Association for Schools, Mini Soccer and Youth Football Competitions (the “Standard Code”).

The Standard Code is mandatory for all Schools’, Mini Soccer and Youth Football Competitions at County, Regional and National levels. A Glossary of the terms used within the Standard Code is shown at the end of this document.

Competitions seeking sanction must draft their Rules in conformity with the Standard Code, using the same numbering and standard headings.

It should be noted that in many cases rules are so printed because they are alternatives and the procedure to apply should be retained and the others omitted.

School Competitions may add to the core of the Standard Code, which is mandatory, providing the additions are approved by the Sanctioning Authority and do not conflict with the mandatory rules or any relevant principles and policies established by the FA. Guidance from the Sanctioning Authority should be sought in advance if there is any doubt as to the acceptability of additional rules.

Rule 1 Competition Name
Rule 2 Control
Rule 3 Protests, Claims, Complains and Appeals
Rule 4 Trophies and Medals
Rule 5 Alteration to Rules
Rule 6 Dissolution
Rule 7 Insurance
Rule 8 Qualification of Players
Rule 9 Colours and Players’ Attire
Rule 10 Playing Season, Conditions of Play, Times of Kick-Off, Postponements and Substitutes
Rule 11 Reporting Results
Rule 12 Determining Championship
Rule 13 Match Officials
Rules 14 to 24 Match Related Rules Specific to Cup Competitions
Fines Tariff
Fees Tariff
Glossary of Terms and Definitions



A. The Competition will be known as Durham County Schools’ Football Association (or such other name as the Competition may adopt). This Competition shall be affiliated to the English Schools' Football Association and shall be properly constituted in accordance with the rules laid down for a "properly constituted' association in the general rules of the ESFA.
B. This Competition shall consist of not more than 450 schools, or 50 association teams approved by the Sanctioning Authority.
C. The geographical area covered by the Competition membership shall be school / association teams within the 1972 geographical boundaries of County Durham plus association teams from Northumberland and Cleveland. All entrants shall pay an entry fee set each season at the DCSFA AGM.
D. The administration of the Competition under these Rules will be carried out by the Competition acting (save where otherwise specifically mentioned herein) through the Management Committee in accordance with the rules, regulations and policies of the   ESFA/DCSFA.
E. All teams shall adhere to the Rules. Every school shall be deemed to have accepted the Rules and to have agreed to abide by the decisions of the Management Committee in relation thereto, subject to the provisions of Rule 6.
F. The Rules are taken from the Standard Code of Rules for Youth Competitions - schools (the “Standard Code”) determined by the FA, ESFA and ISFA from time to time. In the event of any omissions from the Standard Code then the requirements of the Standard Code shall be deemed to apply to the Competition.

This Competition shall be submitted for sanction annually for sanction to the Sanctioning Authority

G. Inclusivity and Non-discrimination

i. The Competition and each team must be committed to promoting inclusivity and to eliminating all forms of discrimination and should abide and adhere to The FA Equality Policy and any legislative requirements (to include those contained in the Equality Act 2010).

ii. This Competition and each team 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.

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

H. Teams must comply with the provisions of any initiatives of the FA / ESFA which are adopted by the Competition including, but not limited to, the RESPECT programmes.
I. All Participants shall abide by The Football Association Regulations for Safeguarding Children as determined by the FA from time to time.


A.  The entire control and management of the competitions shall be vested in ESFA/DCSFA, or such committees that shall be appointed by DCSFA.
B.  The rules of the game shall be those of the International Football Association Board, except as otherwise stated.
C.  All Local and County representative teams must be under the ultimate control of either:

i. A practicing teacher, recognised as such by the Department for Education, OR a recognised teacher who is retired

ii. An AOTT who has received direct approval in writing from the appropriate Local or County Schools’ Football Association to undertake such responsibilities.

D.  Approval may be withdrawn, by the ESFA, the Local and/or County Schools’ Football Association, at any time.
E.  Everyone regularly assisting with or coaching a team must:

i. Have an accepted FA Enhanced DBS check, issued within the previous 3 years

ii. Complete the FA Safeguarding Children Course in line with FA policy and renew every 2 years, unless they are a practicing schoolteacher who receives annual safeguarding training through their employment in a recognised educational establishment.

F.  Any cost associated with this shall be the responsibility of the Local/County Schools’ Football Association.
G.  Everyone regularly assisting with or coaching a representative team must be named and accepted on the ESFA affiliation portal by ESFA National Welfare Officers before they can be involved in any activity.
H.  Practicing schoolteachers must be identified as such on the ESFA affiliation portal.
I.  AOTT (Adults Other Than Teachers) must be identified as such on the ESFA affiliation portal.
J.  Retired teachers must be identified as such on the ESFA affiliation portal.
K.  Anybody who has an expired FA DBS and/or expired safeguarding training under E above must not be involved in any activity.
L.  All coaches and helpers/assistants must operate in the presence of a person who is qualified under C above.
M.  Associations must comply with the FA’s/ESFA’s Safeguarding Criteria. Compliance must be in place at the time of affiliation and throughout the season.
N.  An individual cannot be the named manager/coach for more than two teams within the same Association, although they can be named as assistant manager/assistant coach for more than two teams.
O.  All District and County Associations who run representative teams must register all team personnel with the ESFA as a requirement of the affiliation. This information must be registered with the ESFA as part of the affiliation process, prior to affiliation being approved.
P.  All ESFA affiliated Associations running representative football teams must have an FA qualified and ESFA approved Welfare Officer.
Q.  Association Welfare Officers must comply with the current training requirements of the Football Association.
R.  Any official or player representing a School or Association in membership with the Welsh Schools’ FA participating in any of the ESFA national competitions who is reported for misconduct, on or off the field of play, shall be referred to the Council of the Welsh Schools’ FA for appropriate action.



A.  Protests arising from competitions organised for schools / associations by the Durham County Schools’ Football Association shall be submitted to the Management Committee in line with the ESFA policy for protests, which shall apply as follows:

i. All protests shall be in writing and shall be received by the County Secretary within SEVEN days (including Sunday) of the match concerned.

ii. No protest relative to the ground, goalposts, or other appurtenances of the game shall be considered unless a protest in writing was made to the referee before the start of the match.

iii. Any protest shall be signed by the Headteacher / Principal / Association Secretary as acknowledgment of their approval of its submission and accompanied by a school / college / association cheque for £30. This will be returned if the appeal is upheld

iv. The Disciplinary Committee of DCSFA will gather any evidence they wish to have before making their decision.

v. A copy of this decision must be relayed to both teams in writing.

B.  Should the complainant not be satisfied with the decision of the Association, an appeal shall be submitted to the ESFA in line with the ESFA policy for appeals, which shall apply as follows:

i. Any appeal against the decision of the Durham County Schools’ FA must be made within 2 working days of the receipt of the ruling that DCSFA has made.

ii. The appeal must arrive at the ESFA headquarters by letter, countersigned by the Headteacher / Principal / Association Secretary and accompanied by a School / College / Association payment for £50. This will be returned if the appeal is upheld.

iii. The appeal will be considered by the ESFA’s Governance Committee and shall be final and binding on all participants.


A.  All Trophies are the property of the Durham County Schools’ Football Association.

i. The Trophy pertaining to each Competition shall be presented to the captain of the winning team immediately after the match.

ii. The winning School / Academy / College / Association shall make good any damage incurred, and shall, at their own expense return the trophy cleaned, polished and suitably engraved to the Cup Secretary by 21st February in the ensuing season. Failure to do this may lead to non-acceptance of entries for the following season.

B.  11-a-side & 9-a-side Competitions

i. Sixteen mementoes in 11-a-side Cups and fourteen mementoes in 9-a-side Cups shall be awarded to each School or Association taking part in the final tie of a Knockout competition. Both teams in each final will be awarded suitable mementoes of equal value.

ii. The number of mementoes presented to each School or Association which finishes as the Champion or runner-up in a League competition will sixteen for 11-a-side and fourteen for 9-a-side.

C.  Primary Small-Sided Competitions

i. Ten mementoes shall be presented to each School or Association which finishes as the Champion or runner-up in a Small-Sided competition.


A.  Except for (i) and (ii) no alteration of these rules shall be made except at the AGM of DCSFA, notice of which must have been sent to the Secretary, in writing, before 7th May.

i. Alteration of rules concerning the conduct and administration of primary football shall be made at the AGM of the Primary Committee and shall not be subject to the approval of the AGM of the DCSFA.

ii. Alteration of rules concerning the conduct and administration of girls’ football shall be made at the AGM of the Girls’ Football Committee and shall not be subject to the approval of the AGM of the DCSFA.

B.  Any alteration made during the Playing Season to these Rules shall not take effect until the following Playing Season except in exceptional circumstances and approved by Sanctioning Authority.
C.  The Council shall have the power to deal with any matters not mentioned in these rules.


A.  Dissolution of the competition shall be by resolution of the competition approved at a General Meeting in accordance with the constitution of the competition.
B.  The Management Committee shall deal with any surplus assets in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the Competition.

i. If a Competition or an individual section of it 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 Authority may decide.


Insurance for representative football is provided through the English Schools’ Football Association, provided that the Member Association providing this activity is appropriately affiliated; that the activity is sanctioned; that it is run in accordance with the Rules of the Game and this competition, and  that child welfare requirement are met. Insurance is not provided in the case of football being unsanctioned or unaffiliated.

For inter-school football, it is the responsibility of the school to ensure that their team is insured.



A.  Players who are under six years of age on 1st September in any playing season shall not be allowed to participate in competitions sanctioned by ESFA. A child who has not attained the age of ten years at midnight between 31 August and 1 September shall not play and shall not be permitted or encouraged to play in a match between sides of more than seven players in that playing season.

The relevant age for each Player is determined by his or her age as at midnight on 31 August of the relevant Playing Season i.e., children who are aged 6 as at midnight on 31 August in a Playing Season (together with those who attain the age of 6 during the Playing Season) will be classed as Year 2 Players for that Playing Season. Children who are aged 7 as at midnight on 31 August in a Playing Season will be classed as Year 3 Players for that Playing Season, and so on.

The age groups that children are eligible to play in are set out in the table below, along with the permitted football formats for each of those age groups.

School Year Group Maximum Permitted Format Minimum pitch Size Maximum pitch Size Recommended goal sizes in feet Ball size
Yards Metres Yards Metres
Year 2 5 v 5 30 x 20 27.45 x 18.3 40 x 30 36.3 x 27.45 12 x 6 3
Year 3 5 v 5 30 x 20 27.45 x 18.3 40 x 30 36.3 x 27.45 12 x 6 3
Year 4 7 v 7 50 x 30 45.75 x 27.45 60 x 40 54.9 x 36.6 12 x 6 3
Year 5 7 v 7 50 x 30 45.75 x 27.45 60 x 40 54.9 x 36.6 12 x 6 3
Year 6 9 v 9 70 x 40 64 x 36.6 80 x 50 73.15 x 45.75 16 x 7 4
Year 7 9 v 9 70 x 40 64 x 36.6 80 x 50 73.15 x 45.75 16 x 7 4
Year 8 11 v 11 90 x 50 82.3 x 45.75 100 x 60 91.44 x 54.9 21 x 7 4
Year 9 11 v 11 90 x 50 82.3 x 45.75 100 x 60 91.44 x 54.9 21 x 7 4
Year 10 11 v 11 90 x 50 82.3 x 45.75 110 x 70 100.58 x 64 24 x 8 5
Year 11 11 v 11 90 x 50 82.3 x 45.75 110 x 70 100.58 x 64 24 x 8 5
Year 12 11 v 11 100 x 50 91.44 x 45.75 130 x 100 118.87 x 91.44 24 x 8 5
Year 13 11 v 11 100 x 50 91.44 x 45.75 130 x 100 118.87 x 91.44 24 x 8 5

If a pitch is provided for U13/U14 it is recommended that the goal size is 21 x 7. However, it should be noted that 24 x 8 would be acceptable as not all sites will be able to provide for this age group.

A Child in the age ranges Under 7 (Year 2), Under 8 (Year 3),  Under 9 (Year 4), Under 10 (Year 5),  Under 11 (Year 6), Under 12 (Year 7),  Under 13 (Year 8), Under 14 (Year 9),  and Under 15 (Year 10),  must not play, and shall not be permitted or encouraged to play in a match where any other player is older or younger by two years or more than that child. Note: Individual competition rules may cater for one year age bands.

The following apply to Competitions involving Players in full-time education.

i. Whilst a player is receiving full-time education in accordance with the Education Acts, priority must be given to school or schools’ organisations activities in accordance with FA regulations.

ii. The availability of children must be cleared with their head teacher (except for Sunday league competitions).

B.  If the Competition and / or Sanctioning Authority has any doubt over the qualification of a player taking part in any competition, it shall have the power to call upon the player’s Association or School to which he or she belongs to prove that he or she is qualified according to the rules and failing satisfactory proof the offending School or Association shall be disqualified from the competition.
C.  Mixed-gender matches shall be played in line with current FA regulations. However, in all Competition matches in the U12, U13, U14, U15 and U16 age groups which may involve players of mixed gender then only players from the same chronological academic year group shall take part.
D.  Each team shall consist of players drawn from one School / Academy / College / Association, who are bone fide pupils / students at that School / Academy / College / Association.
E.  A pupil / student shall not play for more than one School / Academy / College / Association in the same competition during any season, except by permission of the Management Committee.
F.  Pupils under the statutory school leaving age who are not on the roll of a school may apply to the Management Committee to participate in representative football for the District Association in which they reside.

G.  Eligibility for Schools’ Football

What is full time education? At least 15 hours per week, on average, for the full academic year.

What is an eligible institution? An institution with a Department for Education number.

What is an eligible player? On a full time, programme in an eligible institution.

H.  Eligibility for Representative Football

i. Players must be in full time education at a DfE registered institution to be eligible to represent their District, County or Country.

ii. A player shall be eligible for selection for the County Schools’ FA in which they attend school.

iii. A player shall be eligible for selection for the District Schools’ FA in which they attend school.

iv. For those attending a Pupil Referral Unit, eligibility to play for a District or County shall be determined by the location of the school/unit in which they are primarily registered, unless the pupil has been prohibited from playing football as part of the terms of his/her exclusion, in which case such pupils would not be eligible for selection. PRU-educated pupils able to play for their District/County Association are eligible for national selection.

v. Those who are home educated shall be eligible to play for the District/County in which they reside, unless they are registered with a school for exams, in which case the school’s locality shall define eligibility. Players eligible to play for their County are eligible for national selection.

I.  Representative Football Eligibility

i. To play for the County the player must go to school within the defined County Boundary: the same principle shall apply for Districts and Crown Dependency Associate Members as defined by ESFA.

ii. Crown Dependency Associate Members shall, through the Association Secretary, be able to directly nominate players to the international programme but players participating in District competitions, under the auspices of the ESFA’s regulations, shall not be individually eligible to represent any County.


  • Where Schools or Associations have similar colours, the home team shall be entitled to retain their colours and the visiting team shall change to colours that provide a satisfactory contrast.
  • Teams must not wear shirt advertising of a conflicting interest to that of the competition’s sponsor.
  • Players’ shirts shall be numbered where possible.
  • Attire worn by players and staff must only reflect their School, College or Association and not make any reference to other football organisations.
  • Goalkeepers must wear colours which distinguish them from all other Players and the Match Officials.
  • No Player, including the goalkeeper, shall be permitted to wear black or very dark shirts.


A.  All Competition Matches shall be played in accordance with the Laws of the Game as determined by the International Football Association Board or, for Mini-Soccer, and 9 v 9 football, the Rules as set down by the FA.

Schools must take all reasonable precautions to keep their Grounds in a playable condition. All Competition Matches shall be played on pitches deemed suitable by the Management Committee. If through any fault of the home team a Competition 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 Competition Matches and to order the team concerned to play its Competition Matches on another ground.

Football Turf Pitches (3G) are allowed in this Competition provided they meet the required performance standards and are listed on the FA’s Register of Football Turf Pitches. All Football Turf Pitches used 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.  Mini soccer can be played on sand-based pitches where necessary.

The home team is also responsible for advising Participants of footwear requirements when confirming match arrangements in accordance with Rule 9(C).

All Competition Matches shall have a duration as set out below unless a shorter time is mutually arranged by the two teams in consultation with the referee prior to the commencement of the Competition Match, and in any event shall be of equal halves.

Competition Matches should be played in accordance with the Laws appropriate to the relevant age group, as laid down by the FA, as detailed below.

Age Group Minimum duration of play per quarter (minutes) (Mini-soccer) Maximum duration of play per quarter (minutes) (Mini-soccer only) Minimum duration of play per half (minutes) Maximum duration of play per half (minutes) Maximum playing time in one day in all development organised fixtures (minutes) Maximum playing time in one day in all tournament and trophy events/festivals (minutes) Competition structure
Years 2/3 5 10 10 20 40 60 Development focussed with a maximum of 3 trophy events per season over 2-week periods (6 weeks)
Years 4/5 10 12.5 20 25 60 90 Development focussed with a maximum of 3 trophy events per season over 4-week periods (12 weeks)
Year 6 N/A N/A 20 30 80 (if applicable) 120 Any varieties including one season long league table
Year 7 N/A N/A 20 30 80 (if applicable) 120 Any varieties including one season long league table
Years 8/9 N/A N/A 25 35 100 150 Any varieties including one season long league table
Years 10/11 N/A N/A 25 40 100 150 Any varieties including one season long league table
Years 12/13 N/A N/A 25 45 120 180 Any varieties including one season long league table

Matches for age-groups from U7 to U10 can be played in either quarters or halves. DCSFA competitions use halves.

For round robin/trophy events, the maximum duration of play per half cannot be exceeded, but the minimum duration of play per half may be adjusted.

For trophy events, the Competition may award mementos.

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

The home Team must provide goal nets, corner flags and at least two footballs fit for play and the referee shall make a report to the Competition if any of the items provided are unsuitable.

B.  Except by permission of the Management Committee all Competition Matches must be played by the closing date set for the playing of a specific set of matches but priority shall be given to ESFA and parent County Schools’ Association Cup Competitions. All other matches must be considered secondary.
C.  An Officer of the home team 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 an Officer of the opposing team at least SEVEN clear days prior to the playing of the Competition Match.
D.  The minimum number of Players that will constitute a Team for a Competition Match is as follows:

5 v 5 4
7 v 7 5
9 v 9 6
11 v 11 7

E. i.In competitions where points are awarded, single fixture matches shall be played (unless a home and away programme has been agreed by the competition organiser and participating teams prior to its commencement).

ii. Any School / Academy / College / Association unable to fulfil a fixture or where a Competition Match has been postponed for any reason must, without delay, give notice to the Competition Secretary the opposing school and any Match Officials.

iii. In the event of a Competition Match not being played or abandoned owing to causes over which neither school has control, it should be played in its entirety on a date to be mutually agreed by the two teams and approved by the Management Committee. Failing such agreement and notification to the Competition Secretary within SEVEN days the Management Committee shall have the power to order the Competition 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 teams involved agree, the Management Committee shall also be empowered to order the score at the time of an abandonment to stand.

iv. The Management Committee shall review any Competition Match that has taken place where either or both Teams were under a suspension imposed upon them by ESFA, ISFA or Affiliated Schools’ 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.  Where both Teams were under suspension the Competition Match must be declared null and void and shall not be replayed.

F.  ‘Repeated’ substitutions are allowed in all competitions up to and including the Under 18 age group. In these age groups, a player who has been substituted during a match becomes a substitute and may, in turn, replace another player at any time subject to the substitution being carried out in accordance with Law 3 of the Laws of the Game.

i. 9v9 and 11v11 matches: Teams are permitted to use 5 substitutes from five named players.

ii. Small-Sided matches: Indoor 5-a-side - 3 named substitutes 7-a-side - 3 named substitutes

G.  The half time interval shall be of 5 minutes’ duration, but it shall not exceed 15 minutes. The half time interval may only be altered with the consent of the referee.
H.  The Teams taking part in Under 7s to Under 11 or Youth Football shall identify a Team captain who may/shall wear an armband and shall have a responsibility to offer support in the management of the on-field discipline of his/her teammates.


A.  The Competition Secretary must receive, from the WINNING TEAM, within 48 hours of the date played, the result of each Competition Match by telephone / text / email. Any result not received within 48 hours will lead to the elimination of the team concerned.
B.  The Competition and teams are permitted to collect but NOT publish results or any grading tables for fixtures involving Under 7s, Under 8s, Under 9s or Under 10s. Any Competition failing to abide by this Rule may be dealt with by the Sanctioning Authority. The Competition and Teams are permitted to collect and publish results for trophy events.


In Competitions where points are awarded, Team rankings within the Competition may be decided by points with three points to be awarded for a win and one point for a drawn Competition Match. The teams gaining the highest number of points in their respective divisions at the end of the Playing Season shall be adjudged the winners. Competition Matches must not be played for double points.

In the event of two or more Teams being equal on points the highest placed team shall be decided as follows:

i. Goal difference.

ii. Most goals scored

iii. Won most matches

iv. Result(s) of match(es) between the teams concerned.


A.  Registered referees (and assistant referees where approved by the FA or County FA) for all Competition Matches shall be appointed in a manner approved by the Management Committee and by the Sanctioning Authority. (Rule B applies in most inter schools football matches). Registered referees should always be used for Representative matches and in Cup Finals.
B.  In cases where there are no officially appointed Match Officials in attendance, the teams shall agree upon a referee. An individual thus agreed upon shall, for that Competition Match, have the full powers, status and authority of a registered referee. Individuals under the age of 16 must not participate either as a referee or assistant referee in any open age competition and individuals under the age of 14 must not participate either as a referee or assistant referee in any Competition Match. Referees between the ages of 14 and 16 are only eligible to officiate in competitions where the Players’ age band is at least one year younger than the age of the referee, for example a 15-year-old referee may only officiate in competitions where the age banding is 14 or younger.
C.  Where assistant referees are not appointed each Team shall provide an assistant referee.
D.  The appointed referee shall have power to decide as to the fitness of the Ground in all Competition Matches and that decision shall be final, subject to the determination of the Local Authority or the owners of a Ground, which must be accepted.
E.  Subject to any limits/provisions laid down by the Sanctioning Authority, Match Officials appointed under this Rule shall be paid a match fee inclusive of travel expenses.
F.  Match Officials will be paid their fees and/or expenses by the home team before/immediately after the Competition Match, unless otherwise ordered by the Management Committee.
G.  In the event of a Competition Match not being played because of circumstances over which the teams have no control, the Match Officials, if present, shall be entitled to expenses only. Where a Competition Match is not played owing to one team being in default, that team shall be ordered to pay the Match Officials, if they attend the Ground, their full fee and expenses.
H.  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 Affiliated Association with which he or she is registered.


14.  DCSFA shall have the authority to provide Cup Competitions, which shall be open only to schools / associations affiliated to DCSFA.

15.  The Cup Competitions shall be fully managed by the Management Committee, who may appoint a Competition Secretary to oversee each Cup Competition. These competitions will operate at age groups from U12 to U19 inclusive. Rules 1-13 of the Competition shall fully apply except where stated otherwise in this section.

16.  The competitions will be open to all affiliated schools / associations at a fee (non-refundable) of £10 per school / association per competition. All entries accompanied by fees to reach the Secretary by June 30th prior to the commencement of the season. This fee shall be decided in accordance with the Constitution of the Association, or, if a competition is run across Associations, at a meeting of the participating teams. All the working expenses of the competitions will be provided for out of the season’s income. No travelling expenses will be charged at any stage of the competitions. entrance fee (non-refundable) shall be paid by each competing team on or before 1st September in each year.

17.  All rounds will be “open” and shall be on a knockout basis, [with the exception of ANY CHAMPIONS LEAGUE-STYLE Cup, which shall commence with a group stage from which teams shall progress to a knockout stage]. The draws shall be circulated via the DCSFA website. Unless otherwise, mutually agreed the school drawn first in each tie will have choice of ground except in the final tie which shall be arranged by DCSFA, who shall take all receipts of the match and pay expenses as follows: (i) referee and assistant referees (ii) ground).

18.  A ‘limit date’ shall be set by DCSFA for each round of all Cup Competitions, by which all ties in the round(s) affected shall be played. In all ties BOTH teams share the responsibility of arranging the game at least SEVEN days before each limit date. Schools / Associations shall only be permitted to play Cup ties after the limit date if they request permission to do so by contacting the Competition Secretary SEVEN days in advance of the deadline, setting out the reasons why they cannot play by the limit date. Failure to do so will lead to elimination from the competition.

19.  In the event of Cup ties not being played by the limit date, the relevant Competition Organiser shall have discretion to resolve the tie by either:

i. Permitting the tie to be played as soon as practical after the deadline, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 18

ii. Where they are satisfied that one school has made all reasonable efforts to ensure the tie was played but those efforts have not been reciprocated by the opposing school, then the school which attempted to play the match shall advance to the next round.

iii. Where both schools have made reasonable efforts to play the tie or have been unable to do so for reasons beyond their control, they may toss a coin to determine which school advances.

iv. In extreme circumstances, where a tie has been unplayed and neither school can demonstrate they have attempted to arrange the playing of the match, the Competition Organiser may remove both schools from the competition. This course of action shall only be taken where limit dates have been missed by a considerable margin and attempts to communicate with the schools involved have failed.

v. Competition Secretaries / Secretary will deal with the finals regarding dates, venues and match officials.

20.  All matches shall be played in accordance with the Laws of the Game as determined by FIFA.

i. The duration of matches shall be the same as for Competition matches.

ii. If the scores are level after the completion of normal time in all rounds excluding the final tie, then extra time of 10 minutes each way (7 minutes at Under 12 and Under 13) shall be played. If scores remain level the result of the match shall be determined by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark (taken in accordance with the recommendations of FIFA). No replays shall take place.

iii. If the final tie of any Cup competition ends in a draw, the winner shall be determined by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark (taken in accordance with recommendations of FIFA) and published in the Laws of the Game.

21.  No player shall play for more than one school in the Playing Season unless they have transferred from one school to another, and the new school has applied for and received permission from the Management Committee for the player to represent their new school in accordance with the provisions of Rule 7.

22.  Any Team playing an ineligible player(s) shall be removed from the competition and the match awarded to their last opponents.

23.  In all rounds, except the final ties, the teams shall mutually agree upon a referee. In the final ties, matches will take place under the control of a officials appointed by the Management Committee. The payment of match officials’ expenses shall be determined by the Association.

24.  In the event of two schools, in all rounds prior to the final, having the same or similar colours the visiting team shall change their colours. In the event of two schools in a cup final having the same or similar colours it is the responsibility of both teams to confirm, with the Competitions Secretary, the colours that their team shall wear.





12 (E)


As agreed with Sanctioning Authority

12 (E)


As agreed with Sanctioning Authority


In these Rules:

Affiliated Association” means an Association accorded the status of an Affiliated Association under the rules of the ESFA.

“AGM” shall mean the annual general meeting held in accordance with the constitution of the Association/Competition

Competition” means the [ ] League or cup competition

Competition Match” means any match played or to be played under the jurisdiction of the Competition.

Crown Dependency Members” means the Affiliated Associations representing the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey and the Isle of Man

CSFA” means County Schools’ Football Association

DfE” means Department for Education

Ground” means the ground on which the School Team(s) plays each Competition Match.

ISFA” means Independent Schools’ Football Association

Management Committee” means the management committee elected to manage the running of the Competition and where the Competition is incorporated it means the committee appointed in accordance with the constitution of the association

Match Officials” means the referee, the assistant referees and any fourth official appointed to a Competition Match.

Mini Soccer” means those participating at ages mainly between year 2 to year 5 (or any match played in accordance with those rules)

Officer” means an individual who is appointed or elected to a position in a School, Association or Competition which requires that individual to make day to day decisions.

Participant” shall have the same meaning as set out in the rules of The FA from time to time.

Player” means any Player or other player who plays or who is eligible to play for a School or a Representative Team formed by a District Schools’ Football Association and / or County Schools’ Football Association.

Playing Season” means the period between the date on which the first competitive fixture in the Competition is played each year until the date on which the last competitive fixture in the Competition is played.

“Representative Football” means matches played by teams formed by a District and / or a County Schools’ Football Association in accordance with the rules of ESFA / ISFA (as appropriate). Players selected for Representative Matches must meet the eligibility criteria set out in Rule 6(G) on page 4.

Rules” means these rules under which the Competition is administered.

Sanctioning Authority” means either the ESFA, ISFA or the County Schools FA for the purposes of football organized by an LFO under its auspices.

School” means a school or schools’ representative side for the time being in membership of the Competition.

Season” means the period of time between 1st July in each year and 30th June in the following year, unless otherwise determined by the Management Committee and / or the Sanctioning Authority.

Secretary” means such person or persons appointed or elected to carry out the administration of the Competition.

SGM” means a special general meeting held in accordance with the constitution of the Competition. Association not competition

Team” means a team affiliated to a School or Association or representative team including where a school provides more than one team in the Competition in accordance with the Rules.

The ESFA” means the English Schools’ Football Association

The FA” means The Football Association Limited.

Written” or “In Writing” means the representation or reproduction of words or symbols or other information in a visible form by any method or combination of methods, whether sent or supplied in electronic form or otherwise.

Youth Football” means those participating at year 6 to year 13.

Unless stated otherwise, terms referring to natural persons are applicable to both genders. Any term in the singular applies to the plural and vice-versa.