Constitution of the COMBINED COUNTIES FOOTBALL LEAGUE (valid from 16th June 2023)
Article 1 Title
The name of the association shall be the Combined Counties Football League, and it shall incorporate the counties of Laois, Longford, Offaly, and Westmeath, except for existing clubs, or clubs as deemed acceptable by the Executive Committee of the League. It shall hereinafter in this constitution be referred to as “The League.”
Article 2 Affiliation
The League shall be affiliated through the Leinster Football Association to The Football Association of Ireland.
Article 3 Objectives
The purposes of the League shall be to promote, foster and develop the game of Association Football within its jurisdiction in accordance with the Leinster Football Association and the Football Association of Ireland, to take all steps necessary to prevent any infringements of the laws of the game and further, to prevent and eradicate any improper practices from within the game.
Article 4 Membership
Membership of the League shall be open to any club that falls within its jurisdiction (subject to approval of the Executive of League) and is capable of fielding Youths, Junior, Intermediate or Women’s teams.
Upon admission to the League a club, its officials, players, mentors and other representatives agree to be bound by this Constitution and by the Rules of the League, the application of which shall be deemed final subject to any avenue of Appeal which exists within the League or beyond in the Leinster Football Association and the Football Association of Ireland.
Applications for membership of the league shall be governed by the Rules of the League. Only the Executive Committee of the League is authorized to adjudicate upon the application of a club to join the League. Where the Committee accedes to an application from a club it may attach such conditions (e.g., the fixing of a bond), as it deems necessary to admission.
In the event of a club ceasing to be a member of the League, during the season or where a club is expelled or suspended by the Executive of the League, all entitlements to attend, vote or participate at the League A.G.M. or League Management meetings shall also be withdrawn or removed accordingly
Article 5 The League Structure
The League shall comprise that number of divisions as are deemed appropriate so as to facilitate the orderly playing of association football throughout the entirety of the League’s jurisdiction. The number of divisions and the make-up of those divisions may alter from time to time, as the Executive Committee deems best. Football will ordinarily be played on a Saturday and on a Sunday.
Governance of the League shall lie with the member clubs exercised through an Executive Committee and a Management Committee.
Article 6 The Executive Committee
The day-to-day operation of the business of the League shall be vested in the Executive Committee of the League (hereinafter referred to as the Executive). The Executive shall consist of the officers and the ordinary members. The officers shall be a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, an Honorary Secretary an Honorary Treasurer a Public Relations Officer (PRO) and a Registrar, all of whom shall be elected at the Annual General Meetings. They shall be known as the Officers of the League. For the purpose of continuity only three (3) Officers of the League shall be deemed necessary to stand for election at the AGM, the remaining Officers will stand elected. This process of election will rotate alternately between the six Officers at each AGM
There shall be a maximum of six ordinary members of the Executive, who shall be elected at the Annual General Meetings (at least one ordinary member may hold the position of Assistant Treasurer and at least one ordinary member may hold the position of Child Welfare Officer). Where there are elected less than six ordinary members, the Executive can co-opt any number of ordinary members to assist it throughout the course of a season, so long as the total number of ordinary members of the executive does not exceed six. Any member co-opted must go before the next Annual General Meeting of the League for election or must resign their position on the Executive. For the purpose of continuity only three (3) Ordinary members of the League shall be deemed necessary to stand for election at the AGM, the remaining Ordinary members will stand elected. This process of election will rotate alternately between the six Ordinary members at each AGM
The Executive may convene as often as its membership deems necessary but shall meet on at least one occasion in each calendar month of the football season. Any five of the Executive, to include at least one Officer, shall constitute a quorum. At each meeting of the Executive, the Honorary Treasurer shall present a report on the financial affairs of the League since the previous meeting.
Should any member of the Executive absent himself/herself from three successive meetings without special leave of absence or for such other reason deemed satisfactory to the Executive, he/she shall be deemed to have resigned and may be replaced in the manner set out in this Article or Article 8 as the case may be.
The Executive shall have authority to censure any Player, Mentor, Club Representative, Official or Club for an infringement of the provisions of this Constitution, the Rules of the League or the Laws of the Game. The sanctions available shall include a fine and/or a suspension and/or exclusion from a match, competition and/or League.
The Executive shall as it deems necessary, appoint a Manager/Selector and Selectors under the control of the Executive with the authority to select and manage representative teams of the League.
The Executive may establish sub-committees for the purpose of expediting its business, to include (but not be limited to) a fixtures committee, a finance committee and a disciplinary committee. Every sub-committee shall count amongst its members a member of the Executive.
Each sub-committee shall appoint its own chairperson. Each sub-committee may convene as often as its membership deems necessary. A written report on each meeting of every sub-committee must be presented at the next meeting of the Executive by the chairperson of that sub-committee.
Each person sitting on the Executive shall absent himself or herself from every discussion of or vote upon any business relating to an affiliated Club with which they have or have had a direct or indirect connection.
Every member of the Executive shall be entitled to access to all documentation, books and records of the League within fourteen days of requesting same. Every member of the Executive shall be entitled to such information and explanation from any Honorary Officer or other member of the Executive as the case may be in connection with the foregoing documentation, books and records.
The Executive has sole responsibility to organize competitions (in both league and cup format) within the jurisdiction of the League. Such competitions will be organized in accordance with the Rules of the League.
Every sitting member of the Executive shall be entitled to admission to any fixture played under the auspices of the League free of charge.
Members of the Executive Committee cannot hold any of the following positions: Club Chairperson, Club Secretary Club Treasurer, Club Team Manager or Club Assistant Team Manager in clubs or teams playing in the Combined Counties Football League while serving as an active member of the CCLF Executive. Members of the Executive Committee cannot be elected or serve in any way on any other football League Committee while holding a position on the Executive, except for those Committees where members of the Executive are elected to represent and work on behalf of the League.
Article 7 The Management Committee
The Management Committee shall be comprised of the Secretaries of the member clubs and the Executive of the League. It shall convene on no less than three occasions throughout the course of the football season. It may be convened at any time by order of the Chairperson of the League or in the Chairpersons absence the Vice-Chairman or by written request made by no less than one third plus one of the affiliated clubs, forwarded to the Honorary Secretary of the League by way of registered post. When convened by the latter method the written request shall include an agenda for the proposed meeting. The meeting shall be held within 14 days of the Honorary Secretary of the League receiving the request.
Meetings of the Management Committee in their ordinary form will consist of a reading of minutes from the League Secretary, a report from the League Chairman, a financial statement from the Honorary Treasurer and any other business, which may arise.
Each affiliated club shall send its Secretary to every meeting of the Management Committee. Only persons bearing the authorisation of an affiliated club are permitted to attend. A deputising representative may be appointed in writing if notified to the Honorary Secretary of the League in advance. No representative shall attend any meeting of the Management Committee on behalf of more than one club. Apologies will not be accepted during a season for non-attendance from a club at meetings. Clubs not attending Management Meetings will be fined. Periodically, the Committee may call on clubs to attend specific meetings and where a club fails to attend such designated meetings, sanctions may also apply.
The Executive Committee has the authority to censor any Honorary Officer or any Ordinary Member of the Executive Committee. As per normal L.F.A. (Leinster Football Association) rules such censure can be appealed.
Article 8 Meetings
The Chairperson, or in his/her absence the Vice-Chairperson or any Honorary Officer shall preside over all meetings of the League at which he/she is present and shall conduct the business in accordance with the ordinary rules of the League.
Meetings shall be conducted in an orderly and businesslike fashion through the chair of the day. The chair of the day will be the final arbiter of all procedural matters arising by way of a vote if he/she deems necessary.
Should the chair of any meeting within the League be unable to attend, the next available officer of the League shall assume the chair for the particular meeting in question in the following order: the Vice-Chairperson, the Honorary Treasurer, the Honorary Secretary, the PRO, the Registrar.
Should a vacancy occur in the Office of Chairperson throughout the course of the season, the Vice-Chairperson shall fill the vacancy until the next Annual General Meeting when he/she shall resign or face election.
Should a vacancy occur in the Office of Vice-Chairperson throughout the course of the season, the Executive shall fill the vacancy from amongst their number until the next Annual General Meeting when the person so elected shall resign or face election.
Should a vacancy occur in the Office of Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, PRO or Registrar throughout the course of the season, the Executive shall fill the vacancy from amongst their number until the next Annual General Meeting when the person(s) so elected shall resign or face election.
Should a vacancy occur in both the Office of Chairperson and that of Vice-Chairperson throughout the course of the season, the Executive Committee shall fill the vacancy of Chairperson from amongst its members. Such an appointment shall only be valid until the next Annual General Meeting when the individual(s) appointed shall resign or face election.
Where at any meeting of the League an equality of votes has been cast on a motion, the chair of the day shall have a casting vote, which shall be his/her second(2nd) vote.
Voting at meetings shall be by way of open show of hands other than voting for Officers and Ordinary Members of the Executive at the Annual General Meetings and voting on Notice Motions at the Annual General Meeting and at Extraordinary General Meetings, which shall be by secret ballot.
Article 9 The Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the League shall take place no later than seven days prior to the Annual General Meeting of the Leinster Football Association and in any event must take place no earlier than the 1st day of May and no later than the 5th day of June each year.
Notification of the date of the Annual General Meeting, together with the Agenda for the meeting (to include details of all resolutions and any proposed alterations and/or additions to this Constitution and/or to the Rules of the League) must be forwarded to the Secretary of each Club by the Honorary Secretary of the League no later than fourteen days prior to the date of the Annual General Meeting.
(9.3) Each affiliated Club shall be entitled to representation at the Annual General Meeting in the form of three delegates, but no delegate may attend representing more than one Club. Each Club shall be entitled to one vote. A club will only be entitled to vote at the AGM if the clubs finances are in compliance with league rules.
Members of the outgoing Executive Committee shall be present at the Annual General Meeting, they shall be automatically nominated for re-election if present unless otherwise stated and shall have full voting powers.
Any proposed alteration or addition to this Constitution or to the Rules of the League being deemed necessary must be forwarded to the Honorary Secretary of the League, by registered post no later than the 30th day of April of the year. It must be signed on behalf of the Club concerned by the secretary and the chairperson of that Club. The proposed alteration/addition shall not be made unless seconded from the floor of the Annual General Meeting and supported by a two thirds majority of those present and voting. All new and amended rules shall become effective 14 days after the date of the AGM each year.
The Honorary Secretary of the League shall furnish a notice of the names of all outgoing and retiring Honorary Officers and Ordinary Members of the Executive Committee to the secretary of each affiliated Club no later than the 1st day of April in each year.
Nominations for election or re-election as an Honorary Officer and/or as an Ordinary Member of the Executive Committee must be forwarded to the Honorary Secretary of the League no later than the 30th day of April in each year. Any such nomination must be endorsed by at least two officers of the nominating Club.
The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:
(1) Read the Notice of the Meeting.
(3) Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting.
(4) The adoption of those minutes and matters arising.
(5) The Chairperson’s annual report.
(6) The Honorary Secretary’s annual report.
(7) The Honorary Treasurer’s annual report to be taken and adopted.
(8) The audited Accounts of the League to be taken and adopted.
(9) Election of Auditors/Accountants.
(10) Election of Officers as per Article (6.1)
(11) Election of ordinary members of the Executive Committee as per Article (6.2).
(12) Notice Motions.
(13) Any other business.
Article 10 Extraordinary General Meetings
An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened by the Executive Committee of the League as it deems necessary. When convened in this manner Notice of the Meeting together with an Agenda shall be forwarded to the secretary of each affiliated club by the Honorary secretary of the League, postmarked no later than fourteen days prior to the date proposed for the Meeting.
An Extraordinary General Meeting may also be convened upon receipt by the Honorary Secretary of the League of a Requisition endorsed by the secretary of no less than one third plus one of the affiliated Clubs of the League together with a payment in the amount of € 300.00 to assist defray the costs of the proposed meeting. The Requisition must set out in unambiguous terms the business it is proposed shall be determined at the Meeting. The Meeting must take place within fourteen calendar days of the day upon which the Honorary Secretary receives the Requisition.
The business of an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be:
(1) Read the Notice of the Meeting.
(3) Discussion of and voting upon the Notice Motion(s). Discussion and voting shall be confined to the Notice Motion(s). To be passed, a Notice Motion must have the support of two thirds of those present.
Article 11 League Finances
The Finances of the League shall be controlled by the Executive Committee through the good offices of the Honorary Treasurer and the League Auditors/Accountants.
The League Auditors/Accountants shall be an established firm of Auditors who have no direct connection with any affiliated Club.
The Financial year of the League shall commence on the 1st day of May and end on the 30th day of April each year.
The Annual Affiliation fee shall be announced by the incoming Executive Committee and shall be defrayed by each Club when applying for membership of the league.
All penalties and fines incurred by Clubs, Players and/or Mentors shall be defrayed on notification of same. In default of payment of the penalty or fine, the Club in question may have fine doubled or may forfeit fixtures. In exceptional cases only, default on such monies may lead to suspension or expulsion from the League. Player fines payment must be received by the Disciplinary Secretary a minimum of 48 hours before a game for the player to be able to compete in a game.
The Honorary Treasurer is vested with control of the funds of the League. All monies received shall be immediately lodged to the credit of the League with its bankers.
All bank accounts of the League shall be operated by the Chairperson, the Honorary Treasurer and the Honorary Secretary. Any two of the three signatories are required to operate the accounts. Where required the Assistant Treasurer may be authorised as a signatory to operate the accounts in association with the Chairperson, the Honorary Treasurer, or the Honorary Secretary.
The Executive Committee may operate both current and deposit accounts on behalf of the League. The day-to-day financial affairs of the League shall be operated through a current account.
All payments out must be by way of cheque or League debit card. All cheques must be countersigned by two of the three signatories referred to above after the details of the payment out have been entered onto the cheque. Debit card transactions shall be made only by agreement of the Chairperson, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary. Exceptional items of expenditure may be paid out by way of a bank draft, but only with the prior consent of the Management Committee.
The Honorary Treasurer shall have sole responsibility for keeping a complete and accurate set of books and records, which at any given time reflect the reality of the financial position of the League. These books and records will form the basis for the Honorary Treasurers ongoing reports to the Executive Committee and the Management Committee and of the Honorary Treasurer’s annual report. The League’s Auditors/Accountants shall have full access to these books and records together with all bank statements and cheque books for the express purpose of compiling the audited accounts each year.
The Honorary Treasurer is authorized to defray the ordinary and reasonable expenses, as determined by the Executive, incurred by members of the Executive Committee in carrying on the
business of the League. Every claimant must submit to the Honorary Treasurer a fully vouched record of expenditure as and when required but in any event no later than the 20th day of March in any given year.
The Executive Committee reserves the right of admittance to any club to the League where outstanding monies are owed or to any club who fails to comply with required League financial compliances as agreed with the Executive.
Article 12 Club Records and Finances
Every affiliated Club shall keep minutes of each meeting of its Executive Committee and of its Annual General Meeting and of any Extraordinary General Meeting. These minutes shall be retained for a minimum of three years.
The minutes will set out the date, time and venue of the meeting, the names of all who were in attendance, the agenda and shall briefly outline the business dealt with.
Every affiliated Club shall retain details of the election of its officers.
Every affiliated Club shall retain a complete set of books and records in which are noted the details of all income and expenditure of the Club throughout the course of each season.
The Financial year of every affiliated Club shall commence on the 1st day of April and end on the 31st day of March each year. All club accounts must be fully cleared by the 31st of March in order to vote at the League AGM.
The Executive Committee of the League shall have authority to direct any affiliated Club to furnish to it any of the foregoing minutes, details, books or records. Such a direction shall be made by way of Registered Post directed to the secretary of the affiliated Club and shall be complied with within 10 days of receipt of same (to exclude the date of posting and the date of receipt).
Every affiliated Club shall as a matter of course furnish to the Honorary Secretary of the League a copy of the minutes of their Annual General Meeting together with a copy of the annual financial statement of the Club presented at that meeting.
Article 13 Protests
All Protests shall be forwarded by registered post to the Hon. Secretary of the League and to all other interested parties no later than four days (excluding Saturday, Sunday, Bank or Public Holidays), after the date on which the fixture is played. In the event of a postal dispute or similar emergency, the appellant shall contact the Secretary to ascertain what temporary alternative arrangements have been put in place by the League. The Notice of Protest shall be accompanied by a fee of €50 in the form of crossed cheque, a bank draft, a postal or a money order made payable to the Combined Counties Football League and crossed. The Notice of Protest shall set out in full the Grounds for the Protest and all protests must be set out by the official Hon. Secretary of the protesting team. Should cash be submitted it would render the appeal or protest invalid.
The Honorary Secretary shall arrange for the convening of a Protest Board to hear the Protest, such hearing to take place no later than fourteen days (excluding Saturday, Sunday, Bank or Public Holidays) after receipt by the Honorary Secretary of the registered post.
The Protest Board shall number three persons from the Executive Committee and/or additional Committee observers (if required) all of whom must have no direct or indirect connection with any interested party or the case in question. The Protest Board may adjourn or suspend proceedings for further deliberation or to seek further or additional evidence or expert advice. Following an adjournment, the Protest Board must reconvene within ten days.
At the hearing the Protesting Club must produce the post office receipt for the registered letters and the details of the addresses mailed.
Failure on the part of the Protesting Club to adhere to the procedure outlined above will render the Protest invalid.
The Protest Board shall have power to grant personal hearings.
The Honorary Secretary or the Disciplinary Secretary of the League shall notify all parties involved in a Protest of the outcome within four days of the completion of the Hearing. Where the Protest is upheld the protest fee shall be refunded to the Protesting Club.
Any of the parties can appeal the decision of the League’s Protest Board or Disciplinary Committee to the Leinster Football Association in accordance with the rules of the Leinster Football Association.
In the event of an Appeal being lodged against a decision of the League with the Leinster Football Association, no points shall be awarded, and no Cup fixtures shall be played, pending the outcome of such an Appeal or Protest.
Article 14 Fixtures
All fixtures played under the auspices of the League shall be played in accordance with the Rules of the League and the laws of the game.
Where a fixture, played under the auspices of the League is abandoned for whatever purpose, the Executive Committee shall have the discretion to award the fixture to either Club, direct that the fixture be replayed at a time and venue to be fixed by the Executive Committee or to direct that the result at the time of the abandonment shall stand.
The Executive Committee may from time to time arrange fixtures, the net proceeds of which will in their entirety be deemed to be part of the funds of the League.
When the winners of a competition run under the auspices of the League have been declared, the Executive Committee shall present them with the perpetual trophy. It is also open to the Executive Committee to present winners and runners up medals.
A winning Club shall sign a written receipt for each perpetual trophy in its possession.
An affiliated Club shall where requested so to do by the Executive Committee, place its home venue and facilities at the disposal of the League for the purpose of preparation for or the fulfilling of a representative fixture and such other fixture as to the Executive Committee shall be deemed necessary for an appropriate fee.
An affiliated Club shall when requested so to do by the Manager of a team representing the League, make available to the manager such of its players as are requested for preparation and participation in a representative fixture. Where a player so chosen (or his/her Club), without good and sufficient reason fails to comply with the arrangements of the Executive Committee in respect of representative fixtures, such failure may be adjudged by the Executive Committee to constitute misconduct or incitement to misconduct and both the player and the Club may be dealt with in accordance with the Rules of the League, as the Executive may determine.
The home team shall, subject to the right of the Executive Committee to review same, retain the proceeds of the gate in all league fixtures. In all cup fixtures, up to and including quarterfinal stages, the net proceeds shall be divided in equal share between the competing Clubs. The net proceeds of the semi-final and final stages shall accrue to the benefit of the League.
Article 15 Miscellaneous
The Officers of the League shall for the period of their office hold all the property and income of the League in trust for the benefit of the League and its endeavors, and shall deal with same in accordance with the direction of the Management Committee.
Where a Club wishes to leave the League for whatever reason and at whatever time, its resignation must be tendered in writing to the Honorary Secretary of the League setting out in full the grounds for the proposed resignation and enclosing full payment of any sums outstanding from that Club to the League. The resignation is deemed to take effect ten days after receipt by the Honorary Secretary of the correspondence unless monies are outstanding to the League. Where a club wishes to transfer to other league additional procedures as per rule (7.2) will also apply.
In such an event, the entire record of each team representing that Club in the League shall be expunged.
Where a Club withdraws a team in the course of a season, the entire record of that team is expunged. Where a Club is represented by more than one team, it must firstly withdraw that of its teams playing in the lowest division.
Where a team representing the Club in question has an outstanding cup fixture, it shall be forfeit to the opposing team.
Where an individual (Executive Committee, Player, Manager, Official or Associate) owes monies to the League for any valid reason, the Executive Committee reserves the right of that person to participate in any manner and or to act in any capacity in the CCFL until all monies are paid in full.
Where required and when deemed necessary, the Executive Committee may elect to host virtual meetings throughout the season. These would include (but not limited to), the AGM, League Management meetings, Disciplinary meetings. In these cases, clubs must be represented in the same way as they would be represented at physical meetings and normal sanctions would apply in the event of any non-attendance.
RULES FOR THE COMBINED COUNTIES FOOTBALL LEAGUE
1. All questions of eligibility of qualification of competitors or of the application of these rules or laws of the game shall be referred to the Executive Committee whose decision shall be final, subject to the right of appeal.
2. The Executive Committee shall have power to deal with any matter which is not particularly covered by these rules.
3. The Constitution and Rules of The Combined Counties Football League shall not be amended or added to except in accordance with proper procedure as outlined in the Constitution
4. The Combined Counties Football League is subject to the rules of the Leinster Football Association and The Football Association of Ireland, which are not contained in this rule book. Each club should have at least one copy of both the L.F.A. and F.A.I. rule books in their possession and shall be bound thereby. Each club should also have at least one current copy of the Referee’s Charter and Player’s Guide to the Laws of Association Football and shall be bound thereby.
5. Any rule in this rule book which contravenes a rule of the L.F.A. or the F.A.I. shall be declared null and void.
6. Each Club should have at least one person with 1st Aid experience present on match day in case of serious injury.
Application from intending Clubs for admission to the League, which must be made in writing on the Official Club Registration Form, not later than May 31st, each year should include the following particulars:
a) Situation of grounds and whether private or public.
b) Club colours.
c) Name and address of club secretary.
d) Names and contact numbers of officers and members of the committee.
e) The name of the previous League, if any, that the club was affiliated to and a clearance certificate from the previous League as well as approval from the L.F.A.
f) Clubs changing Secretaries or Secretaries changing their addresses must notify the Hon. Secretary of the League immediately. Failure to do so may render a club liable to the removal from competition.
g) A bona fide copy of a current and up to date Certificate of Insurance for Public Liability, covering the club in question.
The Executive Committee reserves the right to refuse an application for membership to any club or to any individual (player, official, associate member or supporter) and to suspend, fine, expel or otherwise deal with any Club or members or Officials of a Club for failing to obey any order or decision made by the Executive Committee or whose conduct is considered prejudicial to the interest of the League.
A club wishing to transfer from one league to another at the end of a season must obtain a transfer on the official L.F.A. Transfer Form, available from L.F.A. offices. The league to which the club is transferring into must first sign the form as acceptance of the club. The completed form must be submitted to the L.F.A. for ratification within 14 days of the release and acceptance date. Such transfer requests must be made on or before the 1st May in any season. Clubs will not be unreasonably refused such a release, and they have the right to appeal to the L.F.A and then if they so wish, the F.A.I. in accordance with the rules of these bodies.
In the event of two clubs registering the same colours, the home club must change when the clubs meet in competition. This includes two clubs wearing the same coloured tops and socks. In the event of the match being a semi-final, final, or any match being played at a neutral venue the choice of colours shall be decided by a coin toss.
Affiliated Clubs, at all times will endeavor to ensure compliance with FAI Rules listed in Part B – GOVERNANCE – Rule 40: The Protection and Welfare of Children (Persons under the Age of 18)
8.The League Structure
The league competitions shall be divided into sections as decided by the Executive each season
All Under 17, Youth and Under 19 league and cup competitions shall be confined to players who are under 17/18/19 years of age on the 1st January of that season.
All fixtures and venues shall be arranged by the Fixture/Divisional Secretary and teams will play home and away matches unless directed otherwise.
Any Club finding it impossible to fulfill a fixture shall notify the Fixtures/Divisional Secretary not less than 48 (forty eight) hours before the fixture is due to take place, stating the reason for same.
The League tables shall be calculated on the basis of 3 points per win and 1 point per draw. In the event of two teams being equal on points at the conclusion of competition the clubs concerned must play off to decide the winner. Where there is tie for runners up, and for promotion or relegation places the results of head-to-head games between the tied teams will be used (points difference only – not goals for or against). Where the head-to-head results cannot separate the teams in these situations a play-off will be set to decide the winner.
Trophies as may be available shall be competed for annually as may be determined by the Executive. Such competitions shall be confined to clubs which are members of the Combined Counties Football League.
Any club knock out competition under the auspices of the Combined Counties Football League may be open to all members or may be confined to a particular section or sections as will be determined by the Executive. Any player who competes in a cup competition for a team is cup tied to that team and cannot play for any other team, including another team from the same club, in that same cup competition for that season. No player who has played in a higher-grade cup competition can play in a lower grade cup competition for a different team in the same season. No player who has played in the FAI Senior Cup, FAI Women’s Senior Cup or men’s FAI Intermediate Cup competitions in the current season can play in any of the Combined Counties Football League cup competitions. (Players playing the Women’s Intermediate Cup are not precluded from playing in CCFL cups).
The names of the clubs entered for cup competitions shall be drawn in couples, the first team drawn having home venue for the fixture, except in the case of semi-finals, finals, where the venue will be selected by the Executive. The Executive may draw subsequent rounds before the winners of the previous rounds are declared. The Executive shall have the power to exempt any number of clubs from any number of rounds and byes may be given but the Executive must arrange four teams to compete in the semi-final rounds.
Any club or team suspended from the League shall not take part in any competition under the auspices of the League.
Clubs playing against suspended clubs shall be dealt with by the Executive who shall have the power to fine, suspend or otherwise deal with such offence.
Clubs playing ineligible players in any competition under the auspices of the Combined Counties Football League shall be fined an amount to be decided by the Executive for each offence and be otherwise dealt with as the Executive may determine.
Clubs who do not wish to enter a particular cup competition must inform the Hon. League Secretary before the 31st of August in the relevant season. If a club withdraws after a draw is made, they will incur a fine as set by the executive. All clubs must compete in the John Farrell Combined Counties Cup”. Only the A team belonging to a club within the CCFL will be allowed to take part in the John Farrell Combined Counties Cup”.
There can only be one team from a club competing in each of the divisions of the League except in underage divisions where the Committee may allow additional teams from a club.
Where a cup game is postponed due to weather conditions that game then reverts to the oppositions ground on the same date unless a club has no access to a home venue or a chosen alternative venue. In this case the game then reverts to the opposition’s ground on the next available date as set by the league. If a game reverts on the same date and does not take place, the game will be re-fixed for the original venue.
Any club who enters a team in any of the CCFL Leagues and subsequently withdraws after playing any official scheduled fixture shall be fined as per the schedule of fines set out by the Executive.
When a player protested against is proven ineligible, the points/game may be awarded to the opposing club, providing no ineligibility of a player of the opposing club has been shown, in accordance with the rules and constitution, and subject to the Executive’s discretion under these rules.
When both clubs are proven to have played ineligible players, no points shall be allowed to either. In the case of protests other than against players, the executive shall be allowed to have the power, to award points, order a replay, or make other decisions, as may be deemed by them to be proper.
Objections to grounds, posts, ball or flags, must be lodged in writing, before the start of the game, with the Referee, who shall have the power to remedy, if possible, the objection before commencing the game. If the cause of objection may not be removed, a formal protest in writing must be lodged in accordance with the rules and constitution of the Combined Counties Football League.
A club failing to appear in answer to a protest, when called upon, or failing to give an explanation to their absence, shall be dealt with as the Executive may determine.
Clubs will be notified of fixtures by publication of the same in a National and/or Provincial newspaper, by e-mail and on the official league website. Clubs will be advised by the Divisional Managers of any alteration to this arrangement which may be after the initial publication. The Divisional Managers may order teams to play midweek and/or evening games if necessary.
All fixtures shall be arranged by the Divisional Managers/Cup Secretary and shall fix time and venue of kick-off. Divisional Managers/Cup Secretary reserve the right to amend home team stated kick off times in line with demographic considerations. No club shall have the power to postpone or break fixtures or change the venue or kick-off time without prior consent of the Divisional Managers/Cup Secretary. Postponements may not be granted.
Any club refusing to fulfill a fixture as directed by the Divisional Managers may be adjudged to have lost the match and be otherwise dealt with as the Executive may determine. Where a team fails to fulfill a fixture during the course of a season, the team may be refused entry to cup competition(s) during that season or may be deducted points subject to the discretion of the Executive Committee. Where the Executive Committee evokes a points deduction, a 3-point deduction may be imposed where a team fails to fulfill a fixture. Where a team fails to fulfil a 2nd or subsequent fixtures, the CCFL Executive Committee may impose a €35/player registration against each registered player of that team (liable for payment in the following season). Any such levies imposed on a player debars any participation in any CCFL competitions until levy is paid). Where a team fails to fulfill three competitive internal fixtures during a season without a valid reason the CCFL Executive Committee may remove a team from the League and all subsequent competitions that season.
Where the 1st team of any club cannot fulfil a fixture and where the club has second and subsequent teams, the 1st team must use players from these teams in order to fulfil the scheduled fixture as listed. In this event, if a game needs to be forfeited, it shall then be the lesser game for the club. Under 17 and Youth team players may be excluded from this rule but under 19 players would be included.
In all cases, domestic friendly matches, including but not limited to tournaments and trial matches, must be sanctioned by the League of the hosting team. The only officials sanctioned to officiate on such fixtures must be ISRS members/FAI registered referees.
Clubs/Teams/Players/Organisations or Firms wishing to run/organize or participate in Tournaments must seek the permission of the Executive and the L.F.A. and not until after the 31st of May, when the traditional season should be finished. Parties taking part in unauthorized tournaments may be suspended and otherwise dealt with as directed by the League, The L.F.A and/or The F.A.I.
12. Intimidation by Spectators
When it can be proved to the satisfaction of the Executive that the partisans of a club which has a choice of ground systematically interfere with the play of the opposing club by using foul and abusive language or inciting the home club to use violence towards their opponents etc, the Executive on the application of the visiting club shall have the power to order the match to be played/replayed at another ground, neutral if possible, and shall deal with the offending club as they see fit.
13. Registration of Players
Player must be registered electronically through the FAI Registration system before they are eligible to
compete. A bona-fide player of a club is one (1) who has been entered into the FAI system with the players
signature attached and paid the appropriate registration fee to the League. It is the duty of the clubs to ensure that all elements of registration are forwarded through the system to the Registrar before a player or players
can take part in any competition. A Player is registered for a Club if his registration form has been examined and is considered to be properly completed when stamped or approved in electronic format by a League. A League date stamp (for over 35 league season) or electronic date record shall be the official date of registration.
A Player is only eligible to play in a League or Cup match if there is at least one (1) calendar day between the date of entry into the FAI electronic system and the day of a match. Players may be registered at any time during the season up until the 31st of March. Proof of date of birth must be furnished for Youth and over 35 players.
A player cannot sign for a second Club without receiving a transfer from his/her first club.
All Transfers shall be requested on the official form, supplied by the League, with the appropriate fee and shall be granted or rejected by the Executive at their next meeting. If a player is being transferred to or from a different League, the transfer fee is paid to the League from which the player is leaving. All transfers are governed by FAI Rules PART C) PLAYING THE GAME RULE 11. REGISTRATION/TRANSFER PERIODS FOR AMATEUR GAME. All transfers must be entered electronically in the FAI system as part of the transfer process.
If a player has played 5 (five) league games for a Team in a higher division he/she cannot play for a Team in a lower division without being re-graded. Not more than 3 (three) players can be re-graded to a Team in any 1 (one) season, and a player can only be re-graded once in any one season. The final date for such re-grading shall be January 31st each year. Requests for re-grading must be made on the official form supplied by the League and will be adjudicated on by the Executive at their next meeting upon receipt of the application. All re-grades must be entered electronically in the FAI system as part of the transfer process.
The Registrar of the Football League shall receive and file all documents in connection with players. A bona fide representative of a club may have access to the registers of his club’s opponents of the previous weeks match, such clubs shall have access to the register of its opponents following the particular match. A charge will be levied for each search, (to be determined by the Executive Committee). A search to mean 4(four) nominations of players for the Football League and 3 (three) nominated players for any other League clubs. In the case of a cross protest, the club protested against shall be afforded the opportunity of inspection.
Any Club/Team deemed guilty of inducing or attempting to induce a player to sign from, or play for another club will be liable to sanction, as may be determined by the Executive.
Clubs must register a minimum panel of sixteen (16) players for each team (3) weeks before the commencement date of the season at a reduced rate to be set by the Executive.
No Player under the age of sixteen (16) may register for any team within the League except for a Youths team where the minimum age will be fifteen (15) on the 1st of January of the year of the commencement of the season.
In the women’s competitions girls of 15 years of age may play with clubs affiliated to the league if they have no club in their area to cater for them at their own age group.
Where a player registers for any team from a previous team who ceases football and that team has defaulted of its League financial compliances, that player may be subjected to a levied registration fee as deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee.
If a club disbands during the Season the player registrations shall come under the direction of the League concerned. The players may be allowed, at the discretion of the League, to register with other clubs within that League. The deadline for such registrations shall be the 31st of January.
All appointments of Referees to the League shall be made by the Hon. League/Fixtures Secretary and the Referees Branches two weeks in advance of the match date.
Referees fees shall be laid down by the F.A.I. Referees Committee and may be changed from time to time.
Referees shall be paid their match fee prior to kick off.
The Referees decision in relation to fitness of ground on match day is final. The Hon Secretary of the League shall have the power to authorize a delegate to inspect a venue in order to alleviate the necessity of an away team travelling.
Any Complaints against Referees must be lodged in writing with the Hon. League Secretary within 4 (four) days of the cause of the complaint.
All match Officials must be treated with the utmost respect by players, officials and supporters before, during and after the game. Any breach of this rule shall be viewed in a most serious manner by the League and shall be dealt with as determined by the Executive.
Any player whom a Referee has reported as guilty of assaulting them before, during or after a game will automatically stand suspended until the next Disciplinary Hearing of the League and all subsequent sanctions will be applied as per FAI Rules in PART D) DISCIPLINARY – SECTION 2 – OFFENCES – Rule 5. MISCONDUCT BY PLAYERS AND OFFICIALS AGAINST MATCH OFFICIALS.
15. Match Cards
Match cards must be in all cases filled in with full names of each player in block capitals, signed by each player and the players date of birth entered on the card and must correspond with the numbers actually worn by the players on the day. Match cards must be completed prior to kick off and returned to the match official. The match card will remain with the match official once completed. In the event of players arriving late on match day, the players name must be entered on the match card and the player can add signature later but only in the presence of the match official. Match cards can be checked by opposing teams, but checks must be facilitated by the match official with all parties together. Under GDPR regulations, photographs of match cards are not permissible in any situation.
After the match card has been completed and handed to the Referee and if the match has not yet kicked off, the following shall apply:
If any of the first eleven players listed on the match card sheet are not able to start the match due to unexpected physical incapacity, they can be replaced only by any of the seven substitutes listed on the initial team sheet. The substitute(s) in question can then be replaced by a player(s) not listed on the initial team sheet, so that the quota of substitutes is not reduced. During the match, five (5) players can still be substituted. The replaced player(s) must be removed from the team sheet and not be available for selection for this fixture.
If any of the seven substitutes listed on the team sheet are not able to be fielded due to unexpected physical incapacity, they can be replaced by any player not listed on the initial match card, so that the quota of substitutes is not reduced. During the match, five players can still be substituted.
Standard Schedule of Fines to be decided by the Executive at the start of each season.
In internal League competitions five (5) substitutes may be used on majority agreement reached by clubs at the start of each season (vote to be taken at the 1st League Management meeting of each season). In all other regional or national cup competitions, competition rule will apply.
In external competitions the rules of that competition govern substitutions.
Senior Division and Premier Division. A player who has not played more than five (5) games in the FAI National League or League of a similar status in the current season or previous season shall be eligible to compete in these Divisions, without having to receive the consent of the Executive Committee. A player of FAI National League or League of a similar status may only re-grade to the Senior or Premier Divisions (or in Division 1 where the Premier Division is not valid). A Senior Division player, having played five (5) games, may only play five (5) games in the Premier Division or Division 1 in the current season.
Division 1 and Division 2. A player who has not played more than five (5) games in the Premier Division or higher Division in the current season or previous season shall be eligible to compete in these Divisions, without having to receive the consent of the Executive Committee. A player from the Senior or Premier Divisions may only re- grade to Division 1 or Division 2. A Division 1 player, having played five (5) games, may only play five (5) games in the Division 2 in the current season.
Division 3 or 4 (Saturday or Sunday). A player who has not played more than five (5) games in the Division 2 or higher Division in the current season or previous season shall be eligible to compete in these Divisions, without having to receive the consent of the Executive Committee. A Division 3 player (Saturday or Sunday), having played five (5) games, may only play five (5) games in the Division 4 in the current season.
A club and players relegated to a lower Division shall be deemed to have been re-graded.
In all circumstances a player who has played more than 5 games in a higher grade in the current or previous season shall seek the consent of the Executive Committee to play in a lower Division. Requests for re-grading must be made on official League re-grading form available from the Hon. League Secretary. As per rule registration rule (13.5) the final date for such re-grading shall be January 31st each year.
No more than three (3) players can be re-graded in any one season.
A player whose name appears on the official match card but does not take an active part in the game is deemed not to have played.
Executive decision shall be final.
Any player over 35 (during or at the start of a season) who wishes to play in a lower division does not require re-grading. When a club intends to use an over 35 player(s) in this case they must inform the league in writing and complete and attach the official league re-grade form also. A player who elects to play as a re-graded player under this rule is subject to normal re-grade rules (a player who plays 5 games at a higher level must re-grade as normal and no applications for re-grade can be made after the 31st of Jan as per rule 13.5). All re-grades must be entered electronically in the FAI system as part of the re-grade process.
Women’s Premier Division a player who has not played more than five (5) games in the FAI National Women’s League or League of a similar status in the current season or previous season shall be eligible to compete in this Division, without having to receive the consent of the Executive Committee. A Women’s Premier Division player, having played five (5) games, may only play five (5) games in the Women’s Division 1 in the current season.
19. Cup Competitions
Any Club that fails to fulfill a cup fixture without appropriate notice and/or a valid reason for same forfeit the right to enter the same competition or similar cup competition if promoted or relegated the following season, at the discretion of the League Executive Committee.
A Player sent off has the right to a hearing with the Disciplinary Committee. Their Club Secretary must contact the League Hon. Secretary to arrange this hearing.
Players, Club and League officials shall at all times act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute or use any-one, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behavior. This includes any interaction or public statements on any social network forum. When this rule has been found to have been breached normal disciplinary sanctions will apply.
A suspension imposed by the Disciplinary Committee for 4 yellow cards as per schedule of Disciplinary sanctions and standard fines shall not apply to the final of any CCFL Cup competitions (or replays if applicable). Any such suspension shall be served on the next available game other than a final.
When deemed necessary the Disciplinary Committee may convene disciplinary hearings to investigate and record findings on any serious incidents reported by appointed match officials. Where a club fails to attend any such convened meetings the Disciplinary Committee reserves the right to proceed with any such meetings and to issue any subsequent findings based on the match officials report.
Disciplinary Decisions shall be communicated by fax and/or electronic mail and/or by registered post/ standard post. A fax or electronic delivery report or registered post receipt is sufficient evidence that a decision has been properly notified.
Every affiliated member is responsible for the actions of its Participants and spectators. In particular, clubs are required to take all precautions necessary to prevent spectators threatening or assaulting Match Officials, Officials and/or Players while in the vicinity of their playing ground. Failure to take necessary precautions may result in disciplinary sanctions as deemed appropriate by the Disciplinary Committee.
In all FAI National League competitions, FAI National Cup Competitions, National Body Competitions, WFC Competitions and Provincial Associations Competitions, an expulsion automatically incurs a one match suspension from the subsequent match of the same competition. In all other matches played under the auspices of the FAI an expulsion automatically incurs a one (1) match suspension from the next Domestic Competitive Match. A Player sent from the field of play shall serve an automatic suspension at the same level of football i.e., a Player sent from the field of play in a 1st team fixture may not serve an automatic suspension in a reserve team fixture or U19 fixture and vice-versa.
21. Flood lighting
A club wishing to play under artificial lights must comply with the guidelines as laid down by the FAI. The league requires a minimum lux of 250 for competitive games. Clubs must supply a certificate of lux rating each year to the League.