1. Name of Cup Competition, Eligible Teams
(a) There will be seven Competitions, each known as the Southern Amateur League Challenge Cup.
The Senior Cup is open to all teams in the Senior Section of the League Competition and thereafter the format is a divisional based Competition and is ranked as follows: -
(b) A team entering more than two other cup competitions will not be eligible for entry.
(c) Only teams of Member Clubs and Associate Member Clubs of the League shall be eligible for entry to the Competition.
(d) A Member Club, Associate Member Club or team that has been excluded from AFA Cup Competitions in accordance with the AFA Cup Competition rule 3(f) will not be eligible for entry.
2. Eligible Players
(a) Each playing member of a team must be a bona fide Member of the Club.
(b) Clubs shall field teams, including substitutes, of relative sectional strength for each tie.
3. Management of the Competitions
(a) All matters concerning the competitions shall be addressed to the Cup Competitions Secretary.
(b) The competitions shall be run by a Cup Committee which shall be a Sub-Committee of the League Management Committee. The Cup Committee shall comprise a minimum of three members, nominated by and from members of the League Management Committee. Two members shall be League Officers, one of whom shall act as the Chairman, and the other League Officer shall act as the Secretary. The Cup Committee shall be permitted to co-opt from the League Management Committee additional members to join the Committee as required.
(c) If it becomes apparent that to continue a Cup Competition will further aggravate the congestion of League fixtures, then the League Competition shall have priority and the Cup Competition shall be cancelled.
(a) Entry into each of the Cup Competitions will be by application. Each application will be considered and its acceptance, or otherwise, duly confirmed by the Cup Committee.
(b) Entry forms, indicating the entrance fee payable per team will be issued to each Club by the 1st of May each year. The form shall be returned to reach the Secretary of the Cup Competition by the 31st of May, on which date entries shall close.
(c) Entry forms will be issued to each Club by the 31st of July each year. The form shall be returned to reach the Secretary of the Cup Competition by the 31st of August, on which date entries shall close.
5. Organisation of the Competitions
(a) To proceed in any of the Cup Competitions a minimum entry of sixteen (16) teams shall normally be required.
(b) As soon as possible, after the closing date for entries, teams will be drawn in pairs by ballot in the required number of rounds through to the final tie.
(c) Where the first-named team does not have a pitch available on the due date, ground advantage must be conceded and the tie played on the opponents ground.
(d) If unavoidable circumstances prevent a team playing a tie on the due date, then with the agreement of the opponents, and the prior approval of the Cup Committee, the tie may be brought forward or deferred for one week.
6. Match Officials
(a) Except for the semi-final and final ties either Club may be required to provide the Officials, but it will be the responsibility of the first named Club to appoint, confirm and notify the officials of the match details. For the semi-final and final ties, the League Referees' Secretaries will appoint, confirm and notify the officials of the match details.
(b) The fees paid to the Match Officials shall be the same as those set out in the current League handbook. The first named team will be responsible for payment of the fees.
For the final ties the Competition is responsible for paying the fees of the Match Officials. (see Schedule of Fees, Payments and Fines).
7. Match Arrangements
(a) The first named Team in each tie, except for the final ties, is responsible for match arrangements.
(i) The Challenge Cup ties will normally take precedence over League games. Any postponement of matches in this competition by a club shall normally be from the bottom team upwards. However, as not to compromise the League Fixtures programme and create any fixture congestion, the League Match Secretary can decide that a League fixture or fixtures takes priority over a Challenge Cup tie.
(ii) A team failing to fulfil a Cup tie for whatever reason may be withdrawn from the Cup by the Cup Committee.
(iii) Where feasible, making prior arrangements to switch grounds in the event of an unfit home pitch.
(iv) In the event of a tie being postponed on one occasion by the first named team because of an unfit home pitch the Cup Committee may, at its discretion, order the tie to be played at the venue of the second named team or at an alternative venue.
(v) Confirming the arrangements with the opposing team.
(b) For the final ties the Competition Secretary is responsible for making the match arrangements.
8. Match Play Conditions
(a) The duration of play shall be 90 minutes and extra time of 30 minutes. The Referee shall have discretion to reduce these times to no less than 60 and 20 minutes respectively.
(b) The half-time interval shall be of 10 minutes and may only be altered with the consent of the referee. An interval before extra time shall be no less than 5 minutes.
(c) Unless abandoned by the Referee, each tie must be played to a conclusion on the prescribed date. If the scores are level at the end of extra time the result shall be determined by kicks taken from the penalty mark, in the manner prescribed as an appendix to the Laws of the Game.
(d) If in the opinion of the Referee conditions do not allow sufficient time for the minimum allowed period of extra time (i.e. 20 minutes) then the match may be decided by penalty kicks immediately after the end of normal time.
(e) An abandoned tie must be reported to the Cup Competition Secretary, together with the details. A subsequent decision of the Cup Committee as to the determination of the tie shall be made in accordance with AFA Cup Rule 8(e).
(f) A team unable to fulfil a tie without valid reason, or a team not ready to commence play 30 minutes after the scheduled kick-off time, will be liable, at the discretion of the Cup Committee, to be disqualified from the competition and the tie awarded to their opponents.
A Club may at its discretion and in accordance with the Laws of the Game use 3 substitute players in any match in this Competition who may be selected from 3 named players.
Except for matches played at Step 7 of the National League System 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 20 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.
10. Reporting Results
(a) Both Clubs must report the result of the tie in accordance with instructions from the Results Secretary of the League.
(a) The winning finalist of each Competition will be presented with a Cup, and both the winning and losing finalists will be presented with a commemorative plaque.
(b) Each player in the final tie, including substitutes, will receive a medal, and are expected to be present to receive their medal after the match.
(c) Each Match Official for the final tie will be presented with a commemorative trophy, in addition to a match fee.
(d) A player sent-off the field of play for misconduct in a Cup final shall not be presented with a medal for playing in that final.
12. Further Provisions
(a) In any matter not provided for in these rules the relevant League rule shall apply where the context permits.
(b) The Cup Committee is empowered to deal with any matters not provided for in these rules, and to make such arrangements for the proper conduct of the Competitions as is thought fit. The AFA Cup Competition Rules will be used as a guide for settling any matters not otherwise provided for herein.
(c) The fees for entering the Competition and any fines which become payable will be in accordance with the League's Schedule of Fees, Payments and Fines.
13. Appeals procedures
(a) An appeal against a decision of the Cup Committee may be made to the Amateur Football Alliance under the provisions of AFA Rule 12, where, in accordance with The Football Association Rules, the decision will be final and binding.