Swindon P.S.F.A Swindon Primary Schools Football Association

Competition Rules 2023-24

1. Name of competitions

  • Primary Schools’ League
  • Primary Schools’ Cup
  • Primary Schools’ Shield
  • Primary Schools’ Plate
  • Primary Schools’ (Girls’) Cup

2. Trophies

a) Trophies shall be offered for the above annual competitions for those schools affiliated to Swindon P.S.F.A. and these remain the property of the Association.

b) It is the responsibility of the winning school to return the trophy to the secretary by the end of April in the season after it was won.

c) The winning school shall be responsible for suitable engraving and for maintaining the trophy in good order.

d) The winning school shall be liable for any loss of, or damage to a trophy whilst in their possession and be required to pay for any replacement, engraving or repairs to the trophy.

e) The Association shall provide 10 individual player trophies for the players in the teams finishing as winners and runners-up in each competition.

f) Each school participating in each competition may only enter 1 team.

g) By entering these competitions schools agree to fulfil all of their League or Girls’ Cup fixtures or ties in the case of the Cup, Shield and Plate competitions.

3. Eligible players

a) Only boys and girls from Years 5 and 6 are eligible to play in all League, Cup, Shield and Plate competition matches.

b) Each school may select 7 players to play from a squad of 10 at each match.

c) Only girls from Years 5 and 6 are eligible to play in the Primary Schools’ (Girls’) Cup as this competition is to promote and encourage girls’ participation in football.

d) A pupil may not represent any other school in a league fixture, knock-out competition tie or E.S.F.A. competition match except for that which he or she attends and is on its roll.

4. The competitions

a) All matches should be attempted to be played in the week given but schools may rearrange dates and venues by mutual agreement.

b) Both the home team and away team should notify the Secretary of the result and score by 6.00 p.m on the Friday of the week in which the fixture was played.

c) All Cup, Girls' Cup, Shield and Plate ties must be played on or before the date set for that round of the competition. If it has not been possible to play the fixture by this date then the Secretary must be informed of the reason(s) why and the Executive Committee will determine the result. This will only be used as a last resort.

d) In League and Girls’ Cup matches 3 points shall be awarded for a win, 2 points for a draw, and 1 point for a loss.  

e) Goals scored and goals conceded will not be counted in the final analysis.

f) Where teams in the area Leagues or Girls’ Cup competitions finish on the same number of points the following will be used to determine final positions:

i)  the result between the teams shall be used with the winning team taking precedence.

ii) if the result between the teams was a draw, then the team with the most wins shall take precedence.

iii) if the teams had the same number of wins, then the team with the least number of losses shall take precedence.

iv) if the teams had the same number of losses, then the team with the least number of draws shall take precedence.

v) if rules 4 f) i) to iv) cannot determine the positions then the two teams shall contest a play-off to decide 1st/2nd or 2nd/3rd position only.

vi) for all other positions in the table, if rules 4 f) i) to iv) cannot determine the positions then alphabetical order shall take precedence.

g) The league season will end on the date agreed by the Executive Committee who will instruct the secretary to inform schools. No results will be accepted after 6.00 p.m. on this date (with exception of matches played in the case of Rule 4.f) 

6. Officiating of matches

a) There must be a member of the school teaching staff present from each team who is responsible for the behaviour of both their players and spectators. This person must be prepared to intervene and act should players’ and/or spectators’ behaviour contravene the F.A. Respect Codes of Conduct.

b) It is the responsibility of the member of teaching staff (or A.O.T.T.) of the HOME school team to referee the match. If this person is unable to referee (due to an injury or other exceptional reason) then the teacher (or A.O.T.T.) in charge of the AWAY school team must referee the match.

c) Should the teacher (or A.O.T.T.) in charge of the AWAY school team be unable to referee then the teacher (or A.O.T.T.) in charge of the HOME school team may appoint another person to do so. This person must be another member of staff (or a person appointed by the Committee). Parents are not allowed to take charge of a game under any circumstances.

d) The Association shall provide officials for the semi-finals and final of the Cup, Plate and Shield competition and for any League play-off or Girls' Cup knock-out stage matches.

7. Arranging of matches

a) It is the responsibility of the teacher (or A.O.T.T.) in charge of the HOME team to arrange the date of the match. This must be done by e-mail.

b) The teacher (or A.O.T.T.) in charge of the AWAY team must respond to this via e-mail within 7 days.

c) matches must be confirmed by the teacher (or A.O.T.T.) in charge of the HOME team by e-mail and telephone by 1.00 p.m. (or no less than 3 hours if the match is scheduled for a different time) on the day the match is due to be played.

8. Unplayed matches

a) Schools may apply to the Executive Committee for the awarding of points for unplayed League matches on or before 6.00 p.m. on the final date of the season.

b) Schools submitting claims for points must inform their opponents in writing that they are doing so.

c) Applications must state the reason(s) for claiming points and be accompanied by written evidence showing that attempt(s) were made to arrange the fixture.

d) In cases where the Executive Committee awards points to a team the fixtures will only show either a home win (h/w) or away win (a/w) as appropriate and three points will be awarded. No draws shall be awarded and no points will be awarded to the opponent.

e) The Executive Committee will decide each claim for points on a case by case basis with no precedent set.

f) All decisions of the Executive Committee are final.

9. Duration of matches 

a) All matches shall consist of two periods of 20 minutes with teams changing ends after the first period.

b) In the case of Cup, Shield and Plate ties, if the scores remain level at the end of normal time there will be two further periods of extra time, each lasting 5 minutes with teams changing ends after the first period.

c) Should the scores remain level at the end of extra time, the result of the tie will be determined by the taking of 5 penalty kicks as per F.I.F.A. rules. 

10. General competition rules

a) The field of play must conform to the dimensions set out by the FA for mini-soccer. (to download a PDF showing pitch dimensions click here)

b) Schools should use goals measuring 3.66m wide by 1.83m high as set out out in the FA guidance for mini-soccer.

c) Where possible all pitches should have corner flags.

d) A size 4 football must be used.

e) i) A manager who believes they have a weak side and wishes to avoid a heavy defeat, must inform the opposition manager of this fact when arranging the date of their game.

ii) The opposition manager must bear this in mind when selecting the side. This will allow players who would not normally be selected, the opportunity to play and enable more able players to be 'rested'

iii) During the game if a large score-line appears likely, the manager of the team in the lead should adjust the formation of the side e.g. putting a centre forward in goal or substituting the more able player(s). Any number of rolling substitutes may be used in this way in a match.

iv) If rules 9 e) ii) and iii) do not prevent a large score-line then, when the difference between the teams exceeds nine goals, full-time will be signalled by the referee immediately after the re-start of play.

f) Where there is a clash of colours between teams, the home team should change shirts. If this is not possible the home team should wear bibs of a contrasting colour to that of the away team.

g) All players must wear shin-pads.

h) The law relating to offside does not apply in these competitions.

i) The retreat rule at goal-kicks does not apply in these competitions.

11. Protest & Appeals

a) No protest shall be considered unless it has been made in writing on an official protest form by the teacher or adult in charge of the school team as listed on the schools’ affiliation forms. Forms can be supplied on request from the secretary.

b) Any protests must be signed by the Headteacher of the school making the protest as acknowledgement of their approval of its submission.

c) No protest relative to the ground, goalposts or other appurtenances of the game shall be considered unless a protest was made to the teacher or adult in charge of the ‘home’ team before the start of the match.

d) No protest in relation to decisions made by the referee will be considered with the exception of those permitted to officiate at matches as covered in Competition Rule 6. b) and/or c)

e) All appeals for points for unplayed matches must be made in accordance with Competition Rule 7 a) to e)

f) All protests must be lodged in writing within five working days of the relevant match with the Secretary of Swindon P.S.F.A.

g) This protest will be acknowledged by the Secretary and a copy sent to either the headteacher and/or teacher or adult in charge of the opposing school within 48 hours of receiving the complaint.

h) Any school at which the protest is directed, shall have the right to submit a statement to the Secretary which must be received five working days after being notified by the Secretary of the protest.

i) The Executive Committee will act with expedition, and at its own discretion and may hold a written or an oral hearing to discuss the protest.

j) The Secretary will inform both parties, in writing, of the decision(s) taken by the Executive Committee within five working days of a hearing being held.

k) The Executive Committee is empowered by the Association to order any of the following sanctions, should it decide a breach of competition, E.S.F.A. or F.A. rules has occurred.

i )No sanction against the school team at which the complaint is directed

ii) Remove the result of the match(es) from the record and may order the match(es) to be replayed at either the same venue, the opposing school or at a neutral venue

iii) Award the match to the complainant and a H/W or A/W shown in the record

iv) Remove a school team from any, or all competitions organised by the Association or on behalf of the E.S.F.A. for the remainder of that season, or until such time that relevant conditions have been met.

v) Impose any other sanction(s) the Executive Committee feels is (are) necessary and proportionate to the breach of rules

vi) The decisions of the Executive Committee shall be final and binding on all participants and no further communication with either party, regarding the protest or decision by the Executive Committee will be entered into.