SYACL Constitution

Standard Code of Rules for Mini Soccer; Additional League Rules; League Fines 2022/2023

League Officials

League Officials will be appointed to the following positions at the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League AGM: –

President, Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Fixtures / Results Secretary,

Referee Secretary, Welfare Officer, Publicity Officer.

League Ethos:

Pan disability football is about creating opportunities for footballers with varying levels of ability and varying impairments to compete in the same environment. Definitions and systems for classification have yet to be fully developed, there are current examples that can be welcomed and investigated. The key to developing a workable and fair system is its transparent nature. It must be practicable and deliverable and above all players, coaches and managers alike must commit to making it work by agreeing to the principles of pan disability football and not to abuse them.

We understand that some of the classification criteria will be hard to meet, we urge all team managers to work toward a fair and competitive structure for the future development of pan disability football.  No teams will be excluded if the criteria cannot be met, but we urge all teams to play according to the guidelines thus making the league a fair and competitive environment.  Teams should enter into this league in the right spirit of creating a level playing field in each division, and should co-operate with the committee to make the league as successful as possible.


(A)    In these Rules: –

“Affiliated Association” means an Association accorded the status of an affiliated Association under the Rules of The FA.

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

 “Deposit” means a sum of money deposited with the Competition as part of the requirements of membership of the Competition.

“Club” means a Club for the time being in membership of the Competition and “Team” means a side from a Club especially where a Club provides more than one Team in a division in accordance with the Rules.

“Competition” means the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League.

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

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

“Contract Player” means any Player (other than a Player on a Scholarship) who is eligible to play under a written contract of employment with a Club.

“Fees Tariff” means a list of fees approved by the Clubs at a general meeting to be levied by the Management Committee for any matters for which fees are payable under the Rules.

“Fines Tariff” means a list of fines approved by the Clubs at a general meeting to be levied by the Management Committee for any breach of the Rules.

“Ground” means the ground on which the Club’s team(s) plays its Competition Matches.

“Management Committee” means in the case of a Competition which is an unincorporated association, the management committee elected to manage the running of the Competition and where the Competition is incorporated it means the Board of Directors appointed in accordance with the articles of association of that company. 

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

“Non-Contract Player” means any Player (other than a Player on a Scholarship) who is eligible to play for a Club but has not entered into a written contract of employment.

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

“Player” means any Contract Player, Non-Contract Player or other Player who plays or who is eligible to play for a Club.

“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.

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

“Sanctioning Authority” means Sheffield & Hallamshire County Football Association.

“Scholarship” means a Scholarship as set out in Rule C 3 (a) (i) of the Rules of The FA.

“Team Sheet” means a form provided by the Competition on which the names of the Players taking part in a Competition match are listed.

“The FA” means The Football Association Limited. 

“WGS” means the Whole Game System and the procedures for the operation thereof as determined by The FA from time to time.

 “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.

(B)    The Rules are taken from the Standard Code of Rules (the “Mini Soccer”) determined by The FA 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.

(C)    All Clubs shall adhere to the Rules.  Every Club shall be deemed, as a member of the Competition 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 16.

(D)    The Competition will be known as South Yorkshire Ability Counts League (or such other name as the Competition may adopt).  The Clubs participating in the Competition must be members of the Competition.  A Club which ceases to exist or which ceases to be entitled to play in the Competition for any reason whatsoever shall thereupon automatically cease to be a member of the Competition.

(E)    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 FA.


2.         (A) This Competition shall be designated the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League and shall consist of not more than 80 Clubs approved by the sanctioning body.

            (B) All such Member Clubs must be affiliated to their respective County Football Association and their names and particulars shall be returned annually by the appointed date to the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League. The area covered by the Competition Membership shall be South Yorkshire, although the league committee may grant entry to teams from other counties.

            This Competition shall apply annually for sanction to Sheffield and Hallamshire County Football Association and the constituent teams of Member Clubs may be grouped in divisions, not exceeding 8 teams per division in number.

            (C) At the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting called for the purpose, a majority of the delegates present shall have power to decide or adjust the compilation of the divisions at their discretion. When necessary, this Rule shall take precedence over Rule 12.

(D)  The competition will obtain the prior approval of the sanctioning Association in the event of a division comprising of more than one team from the same club.  Reasons why this may be preferable include to help create a level playing field in a division(s), and to ensure the viability of all league division(s).

(E) (i) This Competition and each Member Club must be committed to promoting inclusivity and to eliminating all forms of discrimination

      (ii) This Competition and each Member Club does not and must not [by its rules or regulations or] in any manner whatsoever unlawfully discriminate against any person within the meaning and scope of the Equality Act 2010 or any law, enactment, order or regulation relating to discrimination (whether by age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, ability or disability or otherwise).

(F) As an England FA Accredited League this Competition requires all its Clubs to have achieved England FA Accredited Club status. The League management committee may expel any club that has failed to achieve it; new Member Clubs have one year to achieve the England FA Accredited club award. The League has the right to refuse membership to a Club if it fails to demonstrate commitment to achieving the award.

(G) This Competition and its Clubs shall support the FA’s Respect programme. As such it recognises that everyone in football has a collective responsibility to create a fair, safe and enjoyable environment in which the game can take place. ARespect League values the contribution of match officials, players and spectators and ensures that they are treated with courtesy and fairness by opposing players, club officials and spectators. The League and its Clubs will seek to play fixtures in a fair, competitive but not antagonistic environment.

            (H) Member Clubs shall not enter any of their teams playing in the Competition in any other Competitions (with the exception of F.A. approved Leagues and County F.A. Competitions) except with the written consent of the Management Committee of the Competition.


3.(A) Applications by Clubs for admission to this Competition or the entry of an additional team(s) must be made in writing to the Secretary of the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League.

(i) At the discretion of a majority of the accredited voting members present applications, of which due notice has been given, may be received at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting. 

B)  A matchday fee shall be decided by the South Yorkshire Ability League committee at the start of each season. Matchday fees are invoiced twice yearly; late payment of invoices [within 14 days] may incur a fine as per fines tariff.

          (C)  In the event of any issue concerning the membership of any Club with

          the Competition the Management, Committee may require a Deposit to be                

          paid by or on behalf of the Club on such terms and for such period as it

          may in its entire discretion think fit.

            (D)  A Club shall not participate in the competition until any Entry Fee, Annual Subscription and Deposit have been paid. Any club not paying fees may be expelled from the League via an ESAGM members vote.

            (E) Clubs must complete a League Entry Form to be returned to the Secretary in writing by 31st August of its respective County Football Association affiliation number for the forthcoming Season; failing which they shall be fined as per the fines tariff. Clubs must advise the Secretary in writing, or on the prescribed form, of details of its Headquarters, Officers and any other information required by the Competition.

(F) Any team not attending a scheduled match day will still be liable for the match day fee. The league still has to pay the pre-booked referees and venue booking fees.

(G) The Clubs shall have in effect at the start of each season Public Liability Insurance as approved by their respective County Football Association.

(H) Clubs should be properly constituted and have the following Officers:  Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and a Committee. 

(I) The League Treasurer / Chairman will have the power of delegation, as one person. This will permit this person to make payments online via the HSBC electronic banking services with primary access to the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League bank account with HSBC.


4.         The Officers of the Competition shall be the President, Chairman, League Secretary, Fixtures / Results Secretary, Treasurer, Welfare Officer, Publicity Officer and Referee Secretary, to be elected at the Annual General Meeting.  Where permitted by Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA, the league will also elect a Council Representative for disability football.


5.         (A)The Competition shall be governed in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of The Football Association and FIFA by a Management Committee comprised of the Officers and up to two representatives from all clubs participating in the league.  Officers shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and clubs are encouraged to each elect a delegate(s) to act as a committee member. All Participants shall abide by The Football Association regulations for Safeguarding Children as determined by The Football Association from time to time.

            (B) Retiring officers shall be eligible to become candidates for re-election without nomination.  All other candidates for election as Officers shall be nominated to the secretary in writing, not later than 10 days prior the AGM in each year.  Names of the candidates for election shall be circulated with the notice of the Annual General Meeting.  In the event of there being no nomination in accordance with the foregoing for any office, nominations may be received at the Annual General Meeting.

            (C) The Management Committee shall meet at least quarterly.

            On receiving a requisition signed by two-thirds of the Members of the Management Committee the Secretary shall convene a meeting of the Committee.

            (D) Except where otherwise mentioned all communications shall be addressed to the League Secretary who shall conduct the correspondence of the Competition and keep a record of its proceedings.

            (E)  All communications received from Clubs must be conducted through their Secretary.

            (F) If a casual vacancy occurs on the Management Committee during the season, the particular vacancy shall be filled by the unsuccessful nominee in order of voting at the last general meeting.  In the event of any person not being qualified as above the Management Committee shall have the power to fill any vacancy that may occur during the season. 


6.         (A) The Management Committee may appoint sub-committees and delegate such of their powers as they deem necessary.  The decisions of all sub-committees shall be reported to the Management Committee for ratification. The Management Committee shall have power to deal only with matters within the Competition and not for any matters of misconduct that are under the jurisdiction of the Football Association or affiliated Association.

(B) Subject to the permission of the Sanctioning Authority having been obtained, the management committee may call upon each club (including any club which may have withdrawn during the season) to contribute equally such sums as may be necessary to meet any deficiency at the end of the season. (See rule 6E).

(C) Each Member of the Management Committee shall have the right to attend and vote at all Management Committee Meetings and have one vote thereat, but no Member shall be allowed to vote on any matters directly appertaining to such Member or to the Club so represented or where there may be a conflict of interest. (This shall apply to the procedure of any sub-committee).  In the event of the voting being equal on any matter, the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.

            (D) The Management Committee shall have powers to apply, act upon and enforce the Rules of the Competition and shall also have jurisdiction over all matters affecting the Competition, including any not provided for in the Rules. Any action by the competition must be taken within 28 days of the competition being notified.

            For all breaches of a Rule a formal written charge must be issued.  The respondent shall be given seven days from the date of notice to reply to the charge and given the opportunity to:

            (i)         Accept or deny the charge

            (ii)        Submit in writing a case of mitigation, or

            (iii)       Put their case before the management committee

            All breaches of the laws of the Game, Rules and Regulations of the Football Association shall be dealt with in accordance with FA rules by the appropriate Association.

            Any fines levied shall be in accordance with the Fines Tariff.

The maximum fine permitted for any breach of any competition rule is £50, and when setting any fine the committee must ensure the penalty is proportional to the offence, taking into account any mitigating circumstances.

            (E) All decisions of the Management Committee shall be binding subject to the right of appeal.  Decisions of the Management Committee must be notified in writing to those concerned within 10 days.

(F) More than fifty percent (50%) of its members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business by the management committee or any sub-committee thereof.

(G) The Management Committee, as it may deem necessary, shall have power to fill in an acting capacity, any vacancies that may occur amongst their number.

(H) A club must comply with an order of the management committee and must attend to the business and/or the correspondence of the competition to the satisfaction of the management committee.

(I) All fines and charges shall be paid within 14 days of the date of posting of the written notification; any club failing to do so will be fined in accordance with the fines tariff.  Further failure to pay the fine, including the additional fine within 14 days, will result in fixtures for that club being withdrawn until such time as the outstanding fines are paid.

            (J) A member of the Management Committee appointed by the Competition to attend a meeting or match, scheduled outside of the standard 6 central venue fixtures in the season, may have any expenses incurred refunded by the Competition.

            (K) The Management Committee shall have the power to fill any vacancy that may occur in the membership of the Competition between the Annual General or Special General Meeting called to decide the constitution and the commencement of the Competition season.

            (L) The business of the Competition as determined by the Management Committee may be transacted by electronic mail or facsimile.

            (M)  The matches in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League will be played on a Sunday; only if absolutely necessary will the League Secretary schedule matches on another day of the week.  Matches played on a Saturday or midweek shall be in accordance with Rule C.4.C viii and ix of The Football Association.

            (N)  A Club failing to be represented at a League Meeting shall be fined in accordance with the fines tariff. A written apology received prior to the meeting and accepted by those present may not result in the imposition of the fine.


  • (A) The Annual General Meeting shall be held not later than 31st July in each year.  At this meeting the following business shall be transacted provided that at least 6 Members are present and entitled to vote.

(i) To receive and confirm the minutes of the preceding AGM

(ii) To receive and adopt the annual report and balance sheet and Statement of Accounts

(iii) Election of clubs to fill vacancies

(iv) Constitution of the competition for ensuing season

(v)  Election of Officers and management committee

(vi) Alteration of rules; if any

(vii) Fix the dates for competition in the coming season and kick off times applicable to the competitions.

(viii) Other business of which due notice shall have been given and accepted as being relevant to an AGM. AGM to also fix next season’s fees and fines tariff.         

(B) A copy of the agenda shall be forwarded to each club at least fourteen days prior to the meeting, together with any proposed changes of rules.

(C) A signed copy of the duly audited/verified Balance Sheet and Statement of Accounts shall be sent to the Sanctioning Authority within 14 days of its adoption by the Annual General Meeting.

(D)  Each Member Club shall send up to two representatives to all General Meetings.  Each member club shall be entitled to one vote only.  Fourteen days’ notice shall be given of any meeting.

(E) Clubs who have withdrawn their Membership of the Competition during the season being concluded or who are not continuing Membership shall be entitled to attend but shall vote only on matters relating to the season being concluded. This provision will not apply to Clubs expelled in accordance with Rule 17.

(F)  All voting shall be conducted by a show of hands unless a ballot be demanded by at least half of the delegates qualified to vote or the chairman so decides.

(G) No individual shall be entitled to vote on behalf of more than one Full Member Club.

(H) Any continuing Member Club must be represented at the Annual General Meeting.

(I) Officers and management committee shall be entitled to vote at all meetings. 

                                     AGREEMENT TO BE SIGNED

8.         The Chairman and the Secretary of each Club shall complete and sign the following agreement which shall be deposited with the Competition together with the Application for Membership for the coming season, or upon indicating that the Club intends to compete.

            “We, ______of ____(Chairman) and ______of _______(Secretary) of the ____________Football Club have been provided with a copy of the Rules and Regulations of the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League Competition and do hereby agree for and on behalf of the said Club, to conform to those Rules and Regulations and to accept, abide by and implement the decisions of the Management Committee of the Competition, subject to the right of appeal in accordance with Rule 16.”

Any alteration of the Chairman and /or Secretary on the above Agreement must be notified to the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Football Association to which the Club is affiliated and to the Secretary of the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League.


9.         (A) A registered playing member of a Club is one who, being in all other respects eligible has: –

(i) Fully and correctly completed Whole Game System registration form, and who has been registered with the Secretary prior to playing and whose completed registration has been received by the Club prior to playing.

(ii) In clubs with more than one team and more than one team in a division, please note a player may be registered for only one team, and this team must be clearly indicated on the WGS.

            (B) A player having taken part in matches for any Club affiliated to any County Football Association shall not be allowed to join, be transferred to, or sign for a Club in the Competition without first proving to the officials of the intended Club that the player has discharged all reasonable financial liabilities to the previous Club or Clubs, and a Club official may not accept such player’s signature without first ascertaining whether such claims have been discharged to the satisfaction of the Club, or Clubs, for which the player last played.

            (C) Player registration fees are not applicable to the Whole Game System

All clubs must inform South Yorkshire Ability Counts League of any players being added late to the team; failure to do so may incur a fine.

            (D) The management committee shall decide on all registration disputes.  In the event of a player signing a registration form or having a registration submitted for more than one club, priority of registration shall decide for which club the player shall be registered.  The Secretary shall notify the Club last applying to register the player of the fact of the previous registration.

            (E)  It shall be a breach of Rule for a player to: –

            (i) Play for more than one Club in the Competition in the same season without first being transferred.

            (ii) Having signed for one Club in the Competition, sign for another Club in the Competition in that season except for the purpose of a transfer.

            (iii) Submit a registration form for registration that the player had wilfully neglected to accurately or fully complete     

           (iv) Transfer to a team of the below ability level/division than the player is currently playing (example, player x transferring from League 1 to League 2)

            (F) The management committee shall have the power to accept the registration of any player subject to the provisions of clauses (ii) and (iii) below:

(iii) The management committee shall have the power to make application to refuse or cancel the registration of any player charged and found guilty of undesirable conduct, subject to the right of appeal to Sheffield and Hallamshire County Football Association.  Undesirable conduct shall mean an incident of repeated proven misconduct, which may deter a participant from being involved in the Competition.  Application should be made to the parent County of the Club the player is registered with.

            (iv) Action under clause (iii) shall not be taken against a player for misconduct until the matter has been dealt with by Sheffield and Hallamshire County Football Association, and then only in cases of the player bringing the competition into disrepute and will in any case be subject to an appeal to the Football Association.  For the purpose of this rule, bringing the competition into disrepute can only be considered where the player has received in excess of 112 days’ suspension, or 10 matches in match based discipline, in a period of two years or less from the date of the first offence.

            (G) All transfers shall be registered on the WGS. Transfer Forms must be accompanied by a fully completed registration form, with the registration and transfer fees. All of the transfer documentation must be in the hands of the registration secretary at least seven days prior to the players first game.

            In the event of an objection to a transfer the matter shall be referred to the management committee for a decision.

            (H) Players may not be registered or transfer between clubs and teams for the current league season in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League after January 31st. The League Committee may use their discretion to make exception to this rule in cases where it is considered there is exceptional circumstance.

            (I) A Club shall keep a list of the players it registers and a record of the games in which they have played, and shall produce such records upon demand by the Management Committee.

            (i) In the event a Club has more than one team in a division, each team must be clearly designated by colours.  In such cases, players will be registered for one team only. 

            (J) A register containing the names of all players registered for each Club, with the date of registration, shall be kept by the League Secretary and shall be open to the inspection of any duly appointed Member Club representative at all Management Committee meetings or at other times mutually arranged.  Registrations are valid for one Season only.

            (K) A player may not play in a lower Division if he has played for a team in a higher status Division, unless given permission by the League. The committee reserve the right to continually review any changes agreed. Additionally, players identified and classified by player assessors must only be fielded in the divisions specified by the assessor in accordance with rule 8(S).

(L) Any Club found to have played an ineligible Player in a match or matches shall have any points gained from that match or matches deducted from its record, up to a maximum of 12 points, and have levied upon it a fine.  The Management Committee may also order that such match or matches be replayed on such terms as are decided by the Management Committee which may also levy penalty points against the Club in default. 

               (i) The Management Committee may vary this decision in respect of the points gained only in circumstances where the ineligibility is due to the failure to obtain an International Transfer Certificate or where the ineligibility is related to the player’s status.    

               (ii) In exceptional circumstances the Management Committee may, at its discretion, award the points available in the match in question to the opponents, subject to the match not being ordered to be replayed.

            (M) (i) Priority must be given at all times to school and school organisations activities.

                   (ii)  The availability of children must be cleared with the Head Teachers (except for Sunday Leagues.

                 (iii) To play open age football the player must have achieved the age of sixteen.

            (N)  Teams will consist of pan-disability squads.  Players not considered suitable for pan-disability include blind and wheelchair users that can create important safety issues.  All participating players must conform to the Classification & Eligibility Guidance for Disability Football issued by The FA.

            (i)  The Management Committee has the right to challenge the eligibility for disability football of all participating players, through requesting proof of eligibility as detailed in the FA Guidelines, from the appropriate Club secretary.

            (ii)  In cases within (i) where proof of eligibility for disability football cannot be demonstrated, the Management Committee has the right to cancel or refuse the registration of such players.

(O) Clubs or any persons shall not, except during the close season attempt to induce any player of a Club in Membership to sign for another Club without at least seven days’ notice in writing to the Secretary of the Club for which the player was last known to have played in a recognised Competition in accordance with the provisions of FA Rules and Regulations.

(P) The League Secretary may appoint a neutral player assessor at fixtures to observe matches and highlight any players that may have the ability to unduly influence the result of matches in the division in which they are playing.  The assessor in conjunction with Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA staff may then request either of the following actions: –

Player’s appearance time at future matches is restricted by the team manager according to the level of opposition

Players are moved at the next fixture day into a team playing in a division recommended by the player assessor

Clubs must comply with either request, although allowances may be made where there is an exceptional circumstance in agreement with South Yorkshire Ability League staff.

(Q) All questions of eligibility of players as well as other matters of dispute shall be left to the Management Committee.  Should either of the clubs in connection with the dispute have members on the Management Committee, the said members shall not participate in any discussions connected with the dispute.




10.       (A) Every Club must register the colour of its shirts and shorts with the League Secretary on the Registration Forms to be submitted by 31 August each year. 

            Goalkeepers must wear colours which distinguish them from other players and the referee. Clubs are requested to bring bibs with them to fixture days in-case of colour clashes. No player, including the goalkeeper shall be permitted to wear black or very dark shirts.

            (B) Any Club wishing to change its name and/or colours must seek permission from its affiliated County Football Association and from the Management Committee.

            (C)  Shirt advertising and sponsorship shall conform to a standard as laid down by the Football Association. 

                            PLAYING SEASON, CONDITIONS OF PLAY


11.       (A) The Annual General Meeting shall determine the commencing and concluding dates for the ensuing season which shall be in accordance with Football Association Rules.  Original fixtures or arranged at a meeting specially convened for that purpose, to be held no later than 31st May must not be rearranged for a date later than seven days preceding the concluding date.

            (B) All matches shall be played in accordance with the Laws of Mini Soccer as set down by The International Football Association Board.  A summary of adaptations to the rules to suit players with disabilities will be made available to all teams ahead of the first fixture.

“Artificial Football Turf pitches are allowed in this Competition providing they meet the required performance standards and are listed on the FA’s Register of Football Turf pitches. The home Club is also responsible for advising participants of footwear requirements when confirming match arrangements.”

            (C)  The League shall be played on a Sunday with an 11:00am kick off and will finish by 5.30 pm.

            (D) Except by permission of the Management Committee all matches must

be played on the dates originally fixed.  

(i) Central venue matches shall be played.  In the event of a Club failing to keep its engagement the Management Committee shall have power to award the points to the opponents; this applies even where a team gives notice of non-attendance at a standard fixture.  In cases of non-attendance at a fixture without prior notice, the management committee shall also have the power to inflict a fine, deduct points from the defaulting Club, order the defaulting Club to pay any expenses incurred by the opponents. And award the opponents a 1-0 win.

(ii) In the event of a match not being played or abandoned owing to causes over which neither Club has control, it shall be played on a date set by the League Secretary.

(iii) The Management Committee shall review all matches abandoned in cases where it is consequent upon the conduct of either or both Teams.  Where it is to the advantage of the Competition and does no injustice to either Club, the Management Committee 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 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 Affiliated Association.

(E) Any number of substitutions may be used at any time with the permission of the Referee.  Entry onto the field of play will only be allowed during a stoppage in play.  A player who has been replaced may return to the play as a substitute for another player.

(E.2.) In the event of a club establishing a three-goal advantage, the losing team may bring on additional players until such time as the deficit has been reduced to a single goal. If the losing team does not have any additional players, the winning side should remove players until the deficit has been reduced to one goal.

If either of these activities has no impact on the deficit, or should the three-goal deficit widen, the winning team shall be restricted to a maximum of two touches per player.

Premier                          7-a-side

Championship               7-a-side

League 1                         7-a-side

Premier                            5-a-side

Championship                5-a-side

League 1                                     5-a-side

League 2                                     5-a-side

Under 16 Premier                       5-a-side

Under 16 championship            5-a-side

Under 12 premier                        5-a-side

Under 12 championship            5-a-side

Women’s division

(F) The half time interval shall be communicated on the order of play. The half time interval may only be altered with the consent of the referee.

(G) All teams must provide a football fit for play and the referee shall make a report to the Competition if the footballs are unsuitable.  The recommended size of football to be used, size of pitch and duration of time of match shall be:

7-a-side                     25 minutes [ 2 X 12.5 mins]

5-a-side                      20 minutes [2 x 10 mins or 10 mins one way]

Under 16                    20 minutes [2 x 10 mins or 10 mins one way]

Under 12                    20 minutes [2 x 10 mins or 10 mins one way]

(i) Any team requiring release from a fixture on a specific date must notify the League Secretary in writing at least seven days prior to the requested date. Such requests will be treated on merit and release is not automatically guaranteed.

(H) Goal nets must be used.

(I) In the case of teams only being able to field a reduced number of players, due to injury or non-attendance the opposition team will field the allocated players in that fixture. 

(J) If required, fixtures within all divisions are permitted to be played on a third-generation pitch.

(K) Teams must carry a first aid kit and have a first aid qualified member with them at all matches.


12.       (A) All wins to be recorded as 1-0 regardless of the match score.

            (B) Managers / coaches are required to sign the referees score card at the end of games to agree the result.  The referees score cards will be collated by the League Secretary and/or other committee member at fixtures/pitch side manager.




13.       (A) Team rankings will be decided by points with 3 points to be awarded for a win, 1 point for a drawn match. Matches must not be played for double points.

            In the event of two or more teams being equal on points team rankings may be decided in any one or more of the following ways: –

            (i) Head-to-head outcomes in previous meetings of the tied clubs

(ii) Where score is still level a 7 minutes playoff, one way with no extra time shall be played.

          (iii) If score still level it will be decided by penalties [ 3 penalties per team, then sudden death]

            (B) In the event of a team not completing two thirds of its fixtures for the season all points obtained by or recorded against such defaulting team shall be expunged from the Competition table.

            (C) Teams will be allocated to the division most suited to their playing standard, whilst results from previous seasons may help to indicate this, promotion and/or relegation shall not take place where this is thought would create too wide an ability range level in division(s), and could therefore negatively impact on the emotions of players unduly.


14.       (A) Referees will be appointed by the League Referees Officer. The person taking charge shall be recognised as the official referee for that match and shall exercise the full powers, status and authority of a registered referee in accordance with the Laws of the Game and his/her decisions will be final. They will be expected to report all cases of misconduct to the respective County Football Association and breach of League Rules to the League Secretary.

B)  In the event of the non-appearance of the appointed Referee the appointed senior Assistant Referee shall take charge and a substitute Assistant Referee appointed by the competing Teams.  In cases where there are no officially appointed Assistant Referees, the Clubs shall agree upon a Referee.   A Referee thus agreed upon shall, for that game, have the full powers, status and authority of a registered Referee.  Referees under the age of 16 should not participate either as a Referee or Assistant Referee in any open age competition.

            (C) Disability football does not require Club Assistant referees for standard matches.

            (D) The appointed Referee shall have power to decide as to the fitness of the ground in all matches and the decision shall be final subject to either in the case of a ground of a Local Authority or the owners of a ground, the Representative of that body is the sole arbiter and whose decision must be accepted unless the ground is declared fit for play.

            (E)The league treasurer will be responsible for paying the referees.  Referees shall be paid a fee decided at start of season by league committee.

            (F) Referees and Assistant Referees shall be supplied, each Season, with a copy of the Competition Rules free of charge.

            (G) Referees and Assistant Referees shall have undertaken a Respect briefing offered by the FA/County FA or the League.

        (H)Subject to the approval of the Sanctioning Authority, as an alternative to wearing black shirts, referees and assistant referees may wear coloured shirts provided that:

(i)   The alternative shirts must be plain and almost entirely coloured.

(ii)  Where neutral assistant referees are appointed by the Competition, the colour of the alternative shirts worn by the referee and assistant referees must be the same in a given match.

(iii) The referee and assistant referees must revert to wearing black shirts in circumstances where their alternative-coloured shirts clash with the shirts of either Club in a given match.

(iv) Referee and assistant referees’ socks and shorts must be black, save that sock-tops may be black, white or the colour of the shirt or its collar.

           (I) Complaints by Clubs concerning the conduct of Match Officials must be sent to the League Secretary.


15.       (A) (i) All questions of eligibility, qualifications of players or interpretations of the Rules shall be referred to the Management Committee.

            (ii) Objections relevant to the dimensions of the pitch, goals, flag posts or other facilities of the venue will not be entertained by the Management Committee unless a protest is lodged with the Referee before the commencement of the match.  Any Club lodging such protest and not proceeding with it shall be deemed guilty of a breach of this Rule and shall be dealt with by the Management Committee.

            (B) Except in cases where the Management Committee decide that there are special circumstances, protests and complaints (which must contain full particulars of the grounds upon which they are founded) must be lodged in duplicate with the Secretary within 7 days (excluding Sundays) of the match or occurrence to which they refer.  A protest or complaint shall not be withdrawn except by permission of the Management Committee.  A Member of the Management Committee who is a member of any Club involved shall not be present (except as a witness or representative of his Club) when such protest or complaint is being determined.

            (C) Any dispute occurring between Clubs in the Competition shall be referred for determination by the Management Committee.

            (D) No protest of whatever kind shall be considered by the Management Committee unless the complaining Club shall have deposited with the Secretary a sum of £20.  This may be forfeited in whole or in part in the event of the complaining or protesting Club losing its case.  The Competition shall have power to order the defaulting Club or the Club making a losing or frivolous protest or complaint to pay the expenses of the enquiry or to order that the costs to be shared by the parties.   

            (E) All parties to a protest or complaint must receive a copy of the submission and must be afforded an opportunity to make a statement at least 7 days prior to the protest or complaint being heard.

(i) All parties must have received 14 days’ notice of the Hearing should they be instructed to attend.

            (ii) Should a club elect to state its case in person then they should indicate such when forwarding the written response.

         (F) No appeal can be lodged against a decision taken at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting unless this is on the ground of unconstitutional conduct.


16.       Within 14 days of the posting of written notification of any decision of the Management Committee or the Competition a Club, Official or Player against whom action is taken may appeal against such decision by lodging particulars in duplicate with the Secretary of South Yorkshire Ability Counts, including a fee of £20, for adjudication of a Board of Appeal.  The grounds of appeal shall be in accordance with FA Rules.  The Board of Appeal may order the appeal fee to be forfeited and shall decide by whom the costs of the appeal shall be borne.  The decision of the Board of Appeal is final and binding on all parties concerned.



17.       (A) At the Annual General Meeting, or Special General Meeting called for the purpose, Notice of Motion having been duly circulated on the agenda, the accredited delegates present shall have the power to exclude any Club or Team from further membership which must be supported by (more than) two thirds (2/3) of those present and voting.  Voting on this point shall be conducted by ballot. A club which is the subject of the vote being taken, shall be excluded from voting.

            (B) At the Annual General Meeting, or at a Special General Meeting called for the purpose, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 19, the accredited delegates present shall have the power to exclude from further participation in the Competition any Club or Team whose conduct has, in their opinion, been undesirable, which must be supported by (more than) two-thirds (2/3rds) of those present and voting.  Voting on this point shall be conducted by ballot.  A Club whose conduct is the subject of the vote being taken shall be excluded from voting.

            (C) Any official or member of a Club proved guilty of either misconduct, other than field offences, or of inducing or attempting to induce a player or players of another Club in the Competition to join them shall be liable to expulsion or such penalty as a General Meeting or Management Committee may decide, and their club shall also be liable to expulsion in accordance with the provisions of clauses (A) and (B) of this rule.



  18. (A) If a Competition be discontinued for any cause the Cup or Trophy shall be returned to the Donor, if the conditions attached to it so provide, or otherwise dealt with as the Association may decide.

(B) The trophies presented to the League winners and Runners Up shall remain the Property of the League.  All trophies are to be returned, NOT ENGRAVED by clubs, in good order and condition to the League not later than 1 February each year.

(i) If trophies are lost or damaged, the club holding the trophy during the season will be responsible for reimbursing the league for cost of replacement of the trophy or replacing the trophy.

(C) When the funds of the competition permit, the Management Committee will provide suitable awards to the club winning each Division and suitable awards for the runners-up in each division, and to the club that has received the most nominations during the season for fair play in each division.


19.       Upon receiving a requisition signed by two-thirds of the Clubs in membership the Secretary shall call a Special General Meeting.

            (i) The Management Committee may call a Special General Meeting at any time.

(ii) At least 7 days’ notice shall be given of either meeting under this Rule, together with an agenda of the business to be transacted at such meeting.

Each Full Member Club shall be empowered to send two delegates to all Special General Meetings.  Each Club shall be entitled to one vote only.

(iii) Any continuing Member Club failing to be represented at a Special General Meeting without satisfactory reason shall be fined in accordance with the fines tariff.

                         ALTERATION TO RULES

20.       Alterations shall be made to these Rules only at the Annual General Meeting or at a Special General Meeting specially convened for the purpose called in accordance with rule 19.  Any alteration made during the playing season to the Rule relating to the qualification of players shall not take effect until the following season.

Notice of proposed alterations to be considered at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be submitted to the Secretary by 1st June in each year.  The proposals, together with any proposals by the Management Committee, shall be circulated to all clubs a minimum of 7 days prior to the AGM. A proposal to change a Rule shall be carried if a majority if 75% present and entitled to vote are in favour.

            A copy of the proposed alterations to the Rules to be considered at the Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting shall be submitted to the sanctioning Football Association minimum 28 days prior to the date of the meeting.

            Any alterations or additions decided upon at any meeting shall not become operative until the approval of the Association issuing sanction shall have been obtained.


21.       (A) The management committee shall determine with which bank or other financial institution the funds of the competition will be lodged.

            (B) The financial year of the competition will end on 31st May each year.

            (C) The books, or a certified balance sheet, of a Competition shall be prepared and shall be audited/verified annually by some suitable person(s) who shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting.


22.       All Clubs must have public liability insurance cover of at least 10 million pounds (£10,000,000) at all times. (Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA will offer clubs a suitable insurance package within the affiliation process).

All Clubs must have valid personal accident cover for all Players registered with them from time to time. The Players’ personal accident cover must be in place prior to the Club taking part in any Competition match and shall be at least equal to the minimum recommended cover determined from time to time by the sanctioning Association. In instances where The Football Association is the sanctioning Association, the minimum recommended cover will be the cover required by the Affiliated Association to which a Club affiliates.

With effect from the 2017-18 season all Clubs must be members of a Players’ personal accident scheme which meets the minimum criteria set by the sanctioning Association.


[1] Failure to advise the League of CFA Affiliation Number                  £ 5

[2] Club not being represented at General meeting                               £10

[3] Club not being represented at Annual General meeting                 £15

[4] Late kick-off                                                                                        £10

[5] No correct match balls                                                                        £10

[6] Playing an unregistered / ineligible player. In addition to

fine, opponents may be awarded the result                                            £25

[7] Late registration of match day signing                                               £10

[8] Failure to complete fixtures by end of season –

amount is per fixture not completed                                                        £10

[9] Failure to keep an appointment [broken fixture] In addition to

fine, opponents will be awarded the result                                              £10

[10] Failure to keep appointment with management committee. In

addition to fine the matter will be dealt with in the absence

of the club                                                                                                     £10

[11] Failure to pay fines on time. [Excess fine added and not paid

 by time given, it will be doubled                                                               £10

[12] Withdrawing from League before end of season or after

the date shown in League rules                                                                £20



23.      Each Member Club shall be deemed to have given its assent to the foregoing Rules and agreed to abide by the decisions of the Management Committee subject to Rule 16.


1.         Any act, statement, conduct or other matter which harms a child or children, or poses or may pose a risk of harm to a child or children, shall constitute behaviour which is improper and brings the game into disrepute.

2.         In these Regulations the expression “Offence” shall mean any one or more of the offences contained in Schedule 1 to the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and any other criminal offence which reasonably causes The Association to believe that the person accused of the offence poses or may pose a risk of harm to a child or children.

3.         Upon receipt by The Association of: –

            (i) notification that an individual has been charged with an Offence; or

            (ii) notification that an individual is the subject of an investigation by the

            Police, Social Services or any other authority relating to an Offence; or

            (iii) Any other information which causes The Association reasonably to believe that a person poses or may pose a risk of harm to a child or children then The Association shall have the power to order that the individual be suspended from all or any specific football activity for such period and on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

4.         In reaching its determination as to whether an order under Regulation 3 should be made The Association shall give consideration, inter alia, to the following factors:

  • whether a child is or children are or may be at risk of harm;

            (ii)            whether the matters are of a serious nature;

           (iii)           whether an order is necessary or desirable to allow the conduct of any investigation by The Association or any other authority or body to proceed unimpeded.

   5.      The period of an order referred to in 3 above shall not be capable of lasting beyond the date upon which any charge under the Rules of The Association or any Offence is decided or brought to an end.

    6.    Where an order is imposed on an individual under regulation 3 above, The Association shall bring and conclude any proceedings under the Rules of The Association against the person relating to the matters as soon as reasonably practicable.

    7.    Where a person is convicted, or is made the subject of a caution in respect of an Offence, that shall constitute a breach of the Rules of The Association and The Association shall have the power to order the suspension of the person from all or any specific football activity for such a period (including indefinitely) and on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

    8.    For the purposes of these Regulations, The Association shall act through its Council or any committee or sub-committee thereof, including the Board.

(i)  In writing of an order referred to above shall be given to the person concerned   and/or any club with which he is associated as soon as reasonably practicable.

Please Note…

Players, Managers, Coaches, Referees and Administrators all have a responsibility to ensure that the image of the national game is not tarnished, either by the use, or the acceptance, of offensive language likely to incite, insult to provoke others. The FA is committed to eliminating the use of offensive language towards match officials.

Players and referees are reminded that racist remarks constitute a dismissal offence in accord with FA Law 12.

You are reminded to ensure that players do not wear anything that is dangerous to themselves or other players, including any kind of jewelry. However, medical alert necklaces and bracelets may be worn but must be taped securely. Sports Glasses / Goggles must be worn rather than spectacles. Polycarbonate lenses and plastic/fibre glass frames are the most suitable for sports glasses / goggles. The equipment must be secured tightly to the head by a ‘sports band’, or elasticised band to prevent them falling off. Results Sheets must be completed accurately by the team coach/manager, including any goal scorers.


1.    The League reserve the right to refuse or cancel the Registration of any player found guilty of serious or continuous misconduct on or off the field of play in accordance with County FA guidelines. Such action should not be taken until the matter has been dealt with by the appropriate FA.

2.    In the event of the referee being unable to complete the game, both clubs must agree on a replacement to enable the game to be completed.

3.    The last day a club can sign a new player will be the 31st January. Any club wishing to sign a player after that day must apply to the league for approval which will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

4.    Any club joining the League from season 2021/22 will be subjected to a year’s probation. If the Management Committee are not satisfied with any aspect of a club’s conduct within that year, it can decline the club’s further participation in the League, subject to the normal approval by member clubs.

5.    If the Management Committee consider any club, or its members, to have brought the League into disrepute by actions on or off the field of play, or at a League sponsored event, the club and/or individuals may face appropriate sanctions from the League, including possible expulsion from the League, subject to the normal approval by member clubs. Such actions by the League will be subject to the normal County FA procedures.

6.    Any club leaving the League must give their resignation to the League before 31st May.

7. 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 five-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.

8. Players encroaching on an adjoining 7-a-side pitch to retrieve a football which has travelled from their pitch to an adjoining one will receive a two-minute sin -bin dismissal. This is a dangerous action which disrupts other matches and creates a serious risk of collision, accident or injury.

9. Players may only take a maximum of two run-up steps when taking a penalty kick, either during a match or during a shoot-out. Match referees will exercise discretion and apply reasonable adjustments should these be required.

10.  Players who wish to move on from the SYACL and into mainstream football should be encouraged and supported to do so. However, the SYACL exists to provide and promote opportunities for every players living with a disability, and so the League requires its participating clubs to discourage player in mainstream football from participating in disability football at the same time, and to actively recruit disability footballers to replace them.

However, should an individual’s progression into mainstream football be problematic or unsuccessful, the SYACL will adopt a sympathetic approach to that individual returning to the SYACL. The exception will be allowed for players playing in mainstream education teams.