(A) The AGM shall determine the date for commencement of the season, which shall be in accordance with Football Association Rules.
Fixtures are deemed to be accepted unless objections are received by the League Match Secretary within 14 days of their issue.
Any Club failing to be represented at a fixture meeting or otherwise infringing this Rule, shall be liable for a fine (see Schedule of Fees, Payments and Fines) and the Management Committee or the League Match Secretary may arrange that Club’s fixtures.
(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 Club or 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.
The dimension of all pitches shall be in accordance with the laws of The Football Association.
Artificial Football Turf pitches are allowed in this Competition providing they are new generation 3G/4G rubber crumb synthetic pitches. (To meet the criteria a Football Turf pitch must pass a test every three years as defined in the FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf).
The use of 3G/4G Artificial pitches is permitted with the agreement of the League Match Secretary along with the away Club and match officials. Artificial pitches are only to be used in periods of inclement weather, otherwise grass pitches are expected to be used.
The home Club is also responsible for advising participants of footwear requirements when confirming match arrangements.
All matches shall have a planned duration of 90 minutes. The Referee is empowered to reduce the duration of the match (not less than 60 minutes) according to the prevailing and/or anticipated situation or circumstances. The Referee must inform the two captains of the reduced duration of the match prior to the commencement of play and in any event the match 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.
Where the League Match Secretary has scheduled a Double Header game, this shall consist of 2 matches, each match shall have a duration of 60 minutes ( 30 minutes each way ). These matches shall be played one after the other on the same ground. The first played match will be deemed to be the "home" match of the host Club and the second played match will be deemed to be the "home" match of the visiting Club. Please refer to schedule of Fees, Payments and Fines covering the payment of any Referee or Assistant Referee match fee for any double-header game.
The times of kick-off shall be fixed by the AGM. Any Club failing to commence at the appointed time may be fined or be otherwise dealt with as the Management Committee may determine. The kick-off time 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. In the event of a team not being ready to commence play at the appointed time the Referee shall have the power to order the game to proceed as soon after such time as he/she may think fit. Any team with a minimum of seven players shall commence play forthwith if instructed to do so by the Referee. Referees do not have the authority to award points or matches to teams under any circumstances. Should a match not take place at the appointed time, the Referee must report any such matter to the League Secretary.
The home team must provide at least two footballs fit for play and the Referee shall make a report to the Competition if the footballs are unsuitable. Goal nets and 4 corner poles with flags must be used.
(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 all 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 League Match 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 mutually agreed otherwise).
(D) (i) Officials 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 Secretary of the opposing Club at least five clear days prior to the playing of the match. The away Club shall seek and acknowledge receipt of such particulars. If not so provided, the away club shall seek such details and report the circumstances to the Competition.
Any Club failing to comply with this Rule may be liable to a fine (see Schedule of Fees, Payments and Fines)
(ii) Officials 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 at least five clear days prior to the playing of the match.
Any Club failing to comply with this Rule may be liable to a fine (see Schedule of Fees, Payments and Fines)
(E) In the event of a Club playing in any match with less than 10 players in a team they may be fined (see Schedule of Fees, Payments and Fines) for each missing player. A minimum of 7 players will constitute a team for a Competition match.
(F) Every Club shall play its best available qualified team or teams in all matches in the Competition, selected in accordance with the Sectional Strength provision in Rule 8(I). Any postponement of a match by any Club will be from the bottom team upwards and will need the permission of the League Match Secretary. Any misuse of this Rule by a Club for the purpose of postponing the match(es) of other than that of a Club's bottom team may result in a fine and/or other sanctions being imposed on that Club by the Management Committee. However, there will be instances where AFA Cup ties will take precedence over the playing of League games, therefore in cases of this nature it will be left to the discretion of the League Match Secretary to decide if the League game involving that Clubs bottom team is postponed.
(Note: The intention of this Rule is not to interfere with normal team selection by Clubs, but to prevent Clubs deliberately fielding a weakened team in order to unreasonably reserve players for another game or to boost the strength of a lower team. It is NOT intended that Clubs MUST field higher team players in lower teams when the higher team has no engagement. If, in the opinion of the Management Committee, the substance or spirit of the Rule is obviously being disregarded, the Club or Clubs concerned may be called to account for its/their actions and shall be subject to such decisions as the Management Committee may determine, despite the fact that Rule 8 has not been infringed.)
(G) (i) Home and away matches shall be played except where the League Match Secretary has scheduled a Double Header game. 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 awarding of goals. Not withstanding 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) Every Club in the Competition shall always fulfil its fixtures, within the Competition, in the following order of precedence:- First Team, Reserve Team, and all other Teams descending in order.
(iii) In the event of a higher side failing to fulfil a fixture on a particular date, the Management Committee shall have the power to deduct points from any lower sides which played and obtained points on the date in question. Equally, a lower XI side may be disqualified from the SAL Challenge Cup if they played and a higher XI failed to fulfil a fixture on the same date.
(iv) Notice of postponement of any match by the postponing Club must be given 48 hours prior to the match being played to the League Match Secretary, the League Referees Secretary, the Match Secretary of the opposing Club or an alternative contact if the primary contact is not available. It is the responsibility of the home Club to advise the match official(s) of the postponement of the fixture. Any Club failing to comply shall be dealt with by the Management Committee who may inflict a fine.
(v) In the event of a match not being played or abandoned owing to causes over which neither Club has control, it shall 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 League Match Secretary within seven 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.
(vi) The Management Committee shall review all abandoned matches and in a case where it is to the advantage of the Competition and does no injustice to either Club, 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 opponents and/or take what other action they may deem necessary. In cases where a match is abandoned owing to the conduct of both teams or their Club members, the Management Committee shall take such action, as they consider appropriate. Such action is subject to any disciplinary action taken by the appropriate County Association.
(vii) In some cases where a fixture cannot be played the Management Committee and or a duly appointed Sub Committee will reserve the right to record a result and award the points available in the match to the opponents, subject to the match not being ordered to be replayed.
(viii) 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(D) above. Where both teams were under suspension the game must be declared null and void.
(H) (i) A Club may at its discretion and in accordance with the Laws of the Game use up to 14 participants in any SAL League or Challenge Cup match in this Competition who may be selected from 14 participants nominated on the Team Sheet given to the Referee prior to the commencement of the match. A player not so named shall not be allowed to take part in the game.
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 the Game.
(ii) 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.
(I) Every team participating in SAL League or Challenge Cup matches shall provide and deliver to the Referee 20 minutes prior to the kick off of the that match, a fully completed League Team Sheet including the names of all participants. Failure to comply with Rule 10G(iii) in any respect, will incur a fine (see Schedule of Fees, Payments and Fines).
(J) The half time interval shall normally be of 10 minutes duration, but shall not exceed fifteen minutes. The half time interval may only be altered with the consent of the Referee.
The home Club will provide after match hospitality for the away Club and the match official(s). In the unusual event of the home Club being unable to provide after match hospitality that Club should pre-advise the away Club and the match official(s). The home Club must ensure that the match official(s) are hospitably entertained and provided with an after match meal or refreshment and a drink.
The away Club is expected to stay after the game and accept the hospitality provided by the home Club, wherever the game is played. If a minimum of 6 players fail to return to the home Club's clubhouse or notified venue to accept the after match hospitality, the away Club will be required to reimburse the home Club for the hospitality costs (see Schedule of Fees, Payments and Fines)
The requirement to re-imburse will be waived only if the away Club's Match Secretary informs either the home Club's Match or Club Secretary by 8.00 p.m. on the Thursday before the Saturday game, or at least 48 hours prior to kick-off time if the match is played on a day other than a Saturday, that their team will not be returning to the home Club's clubhouse to accept the hospitality provided. It is expected that any issues concerning hospitality will be resolved amicably between Clubs without the intervention of the League.