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Staffordshire County Senior League - FA Charter Standard League

Staffordshire Walking Football League

Over 50s and Over 60s categories – Season 2020 from May to October 2020

Central Venue: Rowley Park Sports Stadium
Averill Road, Stafford. ST17 9XX
See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTdC2YZWfp8 for video view

The SSCL Walking Football League will run from May to October (excluding August), playing on the first Sunday of every month – except for the first round on May 17th.

There are 3 Pitches that are high quality 4G, and we shall be using all of them for the 4 hours. Over 60s will play from 13:30 to 15:30 and Over 50s from 15:30 to 17:30

Registration open 30 minutes before each session when team sheets and ID will be checked. A fee of £35 is due at Registration to cover the fees for pitches and referees.

In relation to the pitch size seen above, the format will be 7 a side with 3 subs (squads of 10), with rolling substitutes when a ball is out of play and agreed with the referee.

Each game will be a straight 20 minutes with 3 matches played by each team on the day. Each team will play each other twice across the 5 Sundays (one per month) in the League. One of the Sundays will be reserved for a Cup and Shield Competition, which shall be played in a round-robin format, with the winners decided on the day.

Please provide your own strips or bibs, but do inform us if you cannot and we may be able to help on the day. Try and ensure that shorts and socks are matching too and note Shin Guards are mandatory.

Entry fee to the League is £95 which provides each club with Sports Guard insurance, and includes a waiver on the fee to become affiliated to Staffordshire FA.

Changing rooms, showers, refreshments and snacks are available in the Sports Centre.

The key rules are listed separately and will be available in print form on each day of the league. Please take a look at the updated FA Laws of the Game for Walking Football (October 2018), as these provide a framework for guidance; these can be accessed via the following link:
http://www.thefa.com/news/2018/oct/08/walking-football-revised-laws-of-the-game-081018


KEY RULES IN ACCORDANCE WITH FA GUIDELINES FOR WALKING FOOTBALL

• All players must be over 50 years old or 60 years old on the day of the league matches or competition, relevant to the Age Category in which the team shall play
• Players can only be registered to one team in one league, i.e.no one is permitted to play in two age categories for either one or two teams; in exceptional circumstances the SCSL Committee may consider a transfer, by application and with good reason
• FA Walking Football laws (as applicable at the date of the tournament) will apply as the framework, and the official Referees will have the final say on all in-game matters
• Strictly walking: though the pace of walking ability can vary between players, the simple rule is that one foot must remain on the ground at all times – the referees decision is final and must be respected; the walking rule applies equally to both on and off the ball movement
• The duration of each match will be 20 minutes straight, with a small gap between games for change over; where possible, no team shall play in two consecutive games, but there may be instances where this is unavoidable and any affected team will be given notice of this
• Teams shall consist of 7 players and up to 3 substitutes who may be used during the game providing the referees approval is given prior to the change, on a roll on / roll off basis
• The substitutes can go off and on as many times as a team wishes, so long as the referee is informed
• Minimal physical contact – no shoulder charges, holding, sliding to tackle or play a ball, and definitely no tackling from behind, or from the side when the opposing player is unsighted
• Verbal abuse or consistent swearing will not be tolerated, and the referee will apply the appropriate discretion in regards to a yellow / red card for this offence; persistent abuse or swearing may result in a player being excluded from the tournament
• Players must wear appropriate 3G/4G trainers or astro football shoes with plastic moulded bottoms – no normal football boots or blades will be allowed
• The wearing of shin pads is mandatory in accordance with the conditions of the Sports Guard insurance; we strongly recommend that you do wear them in accordance with FA Walking Football laws of the game
• Only the goalkeeper may enter the marked goal area; if he leaves it voluntarily (not as a result of momentum from a save) a penalty will be awarded
• If a defender voluntarily enters his own goal area a penalty will be awarded; if an attacker enters the goal area the ball will be given to the goalkeeper to re start the game
• Once the goalkeeper has been deemed to be in control of the ball in his area, he/she has a maximum of 10 seconds to play the ball out of his area; this may be done via a under head height kick or throw; contravention of this law (time or overhead play) will result in a penalty to the opposing team
• If a penalty is awarded, the taker may only take 1 step when shooting – the penalty spot shall be marked on the pitch and pointed out to goalkeeper and player at the time of the Penalty Kick; note that this law may be revised in accordance with a current review underway
• The ball cannot be headed in any form in accordance with the guidance for wellbeing of elder players, and thus the game shall be played under head height; if the ball goes over head height an indirect free kick will be given from the spot it was kicked/deflected; head height shall be determined by the height of the crossbar where the goals are in accordance with recommended sizes.
• If the ball deflects off the goalkeeper overhead height and back into play then play will be allowed to continue from the point at which the ball is deemed to be below head height – this rule is different from the FA Law as experience tells us that it keeps the momentum of the game going without too many re-starts
• Back passes to Goalkeepers: the player who has played the ball back to the goalkeeper cannot receive the ball back directly from the goalkeeper and vice versa; a penalty kick will be awarded where this rule is breached
• Goalkeepers can kick or rollout the ball from their own area, but if the ball played out goes above head height without touching an outfield player then a free kick will be awarded within 3 metres of goal area
• Corners will be taken for any ball that goes out of play behind the goal off a player of the defending team
• ‘Throw-ins’ will be taken for any ball that goes out of play at the side of each pitch; the ball will be played back in by either a kick or roll in, never an overhead throw
• Goals can be scored from any part of the playing area other than the marked goalkeeper box, but not from a kick off in the centre of the pitch
• Direct kicks of any nature where a player seeks to use the advantage of a deflection off an opposing player will be considered to be ungentlemanly conduct and result in a free kick to the other team. Where this is blatant the referee shall determine the action to be taken against the kicker
• From kick-offs, kick-ins or roll-ins and free kicks – all opponent players must be at least 2 metres from the ball
• There is no offside in Walking Football.


Fouls and Misconduct

• The referee has the discretion to apply a Blue Card that results in a 3-minute sin-bin sanction on players guilty of persistent infringements – running, direct kicks, fouling, verbal abuse and swearing
• A maximum of 2 sin-bins can be given to a player in a single game
• A third Blue Card offence by the same player will result in the player receiving a Red Card and that player may not play any further part in that game, or the following game; this penalty is used to discourage players from using a Blue Card offence to any perceived advantage to his/her team
• At the discretion of the referee, a particular offence (foul or misconduct) may result in a Yellow Card warning being given to a player; sometimes this precedes a Blue or Red Card offence. A Yellow Card event allows the player to stay on the pitch
• Depending on the severity of a Red Card offence, the player committing the offence may be excluded from a) the remainder of the current match, b) the following match, or c) the rest of the day. Furthermore, where the offence is considered serious and outside the bounds of respect for fellow players and officials, the Referee may prepare a report that will be referred to the SSCL WF League Committee who will then manage the reported matter via a Discipline Panel
• Guidelines for the use of Cards is provided in Law 12 of the FA’s official laws of the game, and shall be applied accordingly; for the avoidance of doubt, the Referees decision is final and should be respected at all times
• When dealing with the offence, the only persons allowed to talk with the referee are the Player who has committed the offence and possibly the Captain of the offending team, at the discretion of the Referee; any other player from either team who seeks to speak with the Referee at this time may themselves be subject to a suitable Card being issued.


The above Laws are applicable as at January 7th 2020, and Staffordshire FA and the SSCL reserve the right to amend in consultation with their respective management and committees, which may also involve consultation with teams.

It is the ‘goal’ of this new league to apply pragmatism at all times to allow us all to enjoy this wonderful sport.