South Yorkshire Ability Counts League Annual General Meeting

 Held on Tuesday 7th September 2021 Via Zoom Video Call at 8pm

  •            Roll Call @ 8:15pm – Chairman, Secretary, Covid Officer, Referee representative, Club representatives from Aston Swallownest, BartonInclusive, Bradford City DFC, Brunsmeer Awareness,  City Knights, Club Doncaster Titans, Derek Dooley FC, Doncaster Deaf Trust,Sheffield FC, Social Eyes, Spartans FC & Wheatley Wanderers SYACL FC

Absent –

  •            New Disability Officer Chair introduced the new disability officer for Sheffield & Hallamshire FA, who told us of her plans for the role in the up-and-coming years. The FA are really pushing female football at the moment and that is where she will be pushing for higher numbers and possibly a female only disability league. There was also mention of maybe playing a cross county competition, as was tried before the pandemic. Overtures had also been made with professional football clubs across the county, asking them what they are doing to promote disability football and what their pathways are? The FA are pushing specific disability teams such as CP, visually impaired and blind football.
  •            League Dates & Venues Chair checked that all representatives knew the dates for the upcoming season which have been sent out via texts and emails; everyone said they had received them. 7-a-side will be 2pm to 5pm at Concord Centre Sheffield & 5-a-side at Doncaster and Sheffield Goals 2pm to 5pm. He then discussed the County Cups Adult (for the 7-a-side teams) and Junior (for the 5-a-side teams). County Cup matches cost £30 entry fee, but clubs will likely have to pay costs towards matches, unlike previous seasons. These games will be played on the same day as the League games. We then discussed the format of the 5-a-side Leagues; there will be 4 Leagues of 5 teams. It was voted that League 2 teams will play a round robin of 4 x 10-minute games on the day, the other Leagues will be 2 x 20min games, plus any additional Cup games.
  •            Referees Costs The costs of referees have risen for the first time in years; to cover these costs it will be £27 per team per match day for 7-a-side & £22 per team per match day for 5-a-side
  •            Wearing of bibs Chair asked teams to let him know their team colours, so if there is any colour clash one team will be asked to wear bibs, secretary suggested all teams bring a set of bibs of alternative colours on the day.
  •            Squad Lists Chair asked for all Clubs to send him their squad list, so he can check that all the players are on the Whole Game System and that players are not in various teams and that female players are not in the 7-a-side. Also, that all players have the correct proof of disability, usually PIP or DLA letter (doctors letters) The Whole Game System was discussed [the new registration system set up by the FA], there has been major issues with it since it was updated; but Chair said to keep trying to enter players, but any major problems let him/FA know.
  •            Junior Section This season the SYACL will be running a junior league with an under 16’s & Under 12’s League. Chair has booked the venues and will arrange the fixtures, Bradford City DFC, Club Doncaster Titans, Hillsborough Hornets and Sheffield FC will be providing the teams this season but hopefully new clubs will enter in future seasons.   These fixtures will be the first Sunday of every month.
  •            Media Department & Social Platforms The League’s Media & Social Platforms department try to give the League and its clubs maximum exposure to a wide audience.  Anyone visiting these sites can gain an insight to the clubs within the League and hopefully encourage more participants. Chair stressed we need to keep sending articles for the social media site, to keep interest for the league. It always seems to be the same clubs that send the articles; can a few of the teams that don’t send, please try send something to put on the website. A good news story or how your players enjoy disability football. Once the Leagues are up and running, can ALL teams send match reports (they don’t have to be kick by kick reports) just how you did, maybe someone played well or achieved something that they usually don’t? No worries about literacy as they can work wonders with a few sentences and a photo or two. It’s all about promoting the openness of the League and their players and clubs to the general public.
  •            FA representative then told us that the FA are bringing in a 3-star award for any mainstream clubs that have adult, junior, boys, girls and now disability teams. The idea being that new clubs might be formed to play in our Leagues or some clubs might try to adopt’ teams that already exist. She also told us about a mental health course she is trying to run for disability clubs to raise awareness within the clubs; everyone said they would be interested in the course. The Flourish League was discussed alongside this topic.
  • Fair Play Rule Covid officer reminded Clubs about the fair play rule which is; –                                                       In order to best reflect the importance of competition and in order to reduce the possibility of excessively one-sided and demoralising fixtures, the following rules will apply without exception and will be enforced by our match referees.

If a team establishes a three goal advantage at any stage in the match (i.e 3-0, 4-1, 5-2) , the match referee will invite the losing side to bring on additional players until the lead is reduced to a single goal. In 7-a-side fixtures, the losing side may bring on up to three more players, and in 5-a-side fixtures the losing side may bring on up to two additional players.

If the losing side has no additional players to bring on, the team with the three goal advantage will be restricted to two touches only per player in 7-a-side football and to three touches in 5-a-side football.

The match referees will use their discretion in enforcing the limit on the number of touches. This message needs to be sent to all coaches of all teams in the leagues, so there is no confusion on the day.

  • Barton Inclusive FC thanked everyone who have accepted them into the league and have arranged friendlies such as the Spartans Tournament, Bradford City DFC, Sheffield FC & Club Doncaster Titans. They are really looking forward to the new season as are all of us!

Close of meeting – 9:35pm

Next meeting to be arranged once the League is underway.

Let’s make season 2021/2022 a great season, in Darren’s memory.

One minute silence and applause for Secretary Darren Warner, who passed away during Covid. RIP Darren.

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