The following rules cover all competitive fixtures played under the auspices of the N.I.W.F.A.
1.1 All teams must in addition to the payment of registration fees pay a good conduct bond which will be reimbursed in full at the end of the season, if the Club has not had monies forfeited by the League Committee in the cases where the Club has:
• Failed to pay referees expenses.
• Failed to notify opposing teams of match cancellations and costs have been incurred by the opposition and referees.
• Failure to pay fines.
1.2 All teams must register their intention to play in the forthcoming season by paying their registration fees and good conduct bond on/or before the last day in February.
1.3 Member Clubs can make proposals for changes to Rules and Memorandum and Articles at an Annual General Meeting by following the procedure as laid out in the Memorandum and Articles.
1.4 The NIWFA Association Committee has the power to deal with all matters pertaining to the running of the NIWFA League; this includes decisions about the make-up and formation of all leagues, Cup Competitions and play-offs. Matters relating to field offences and referees reports will be dealt with by the appropriate Divisional Association.
1.5 No player or official of any club can converse with any member of League Committee as regards to any decision taking by the board of League Committee.
1.6 If any member of Association has any doubts as to the eligibility of any player(s), they shall have the power to ask the committee to call such Managers/Player(s) of the club for which they have played, to prove to the satisfaction of the Committee that they were properly qualified to play according to the rules.
1.7 The Association Committee by a majority vote shall have the power to deal with any club(s), player(s), official(s), whose conduct, in their opinion has been objectionable or detrimental to the best interests of any competition or to association football in general.
Proper grass facilities must be sanctioned by the Council
1.8 The Association Committee shall decide grounds suitable for staging, play-offs, semi finals and finals of competitions organised by the league. These grounds should have adequate changing facilities and proper field markings, corner flags and goal net provided.
1.9 All clubs that are members of the N.I.W.F.A. must sign a code of conduct that will cover all aspects of good behaviour by player’s spectators and officials on and of the pitch and lodge a good conduct bond at the commencement of every season.
SECTION 2- LEAGUE AFFAIRS
2.1 All matches shall be subject to the rules and laws of the games as defined by the Irish Football Association and appropriate local bodies.
2.2 At the end of each season’s competition the club in any division attaining the highest points shall be declared the champion club. If the two clubs complete the league with equal highest points the champion club shall be determined in the following manner:
(a) Best results between the clubs involved during league fixtures.
(b) If this does not distinguish the champion club the matter shall then be resolved by the best away goals record between the clubs involved.
(c) If the matter is still not resolved by either of the procedures out lined above a play-off shall be held to determined the champion club.
The Northern Ireland Champions 2006 Glentoran Belfast United
2.3 The same procedure shall be followed for relegation involving clubs who have achieved equal lowest points throughout the season. If play-offs are necessary they shall take place at a neutral venue determined by the league committee before the N.I.W.F.A. AGM. All match expenses associated with a play-off shall be met by the N.I.W.F.A.
2.4 All league matches shall be on a “Home and Away” basis and must normally be played on the ground of the club. This ground must be registered with and approved by the NIWFA Association at the start of the season. When a “Home” club wishes to play a match on an alternative ground. They must notify the referee coordinator, the fixture secretary and the opposing club at least 24 hours before the match takes place.
2.5 Clubs will play fixtures on dates arranged by the fixture secretary except when ground is covered by snow or declared “unplayable” by referee, or postponed by Senior or Parent association. Confirmation of unplayable grounds may be sought from the ground providers. Matches which both teams mutually agree to postpone because of civil unrest, bad weather etc., must be rescheduled immediately and an agreed date given to the fixture secretary by the home team within 48 hours of the postponement.
Fixtures will be arranged by the Fixture Secretary
2.6 When fixtures are not played due to the failure of a team to arrive to complete the fixture, the tie shall be automatically awarded against the team who failed to turn up. Where matches have been postponed for any reason and the teams do not agree a mutually suitable alternative date within 48 hours, the league secretary will impose a new date for the fixture to take place. Failure to do so will result in the tie being awarded by the Association Committee, having received written submission by both teams.
2.7 Any clubs changing dates of venues of fixtures without going through the “laid down procedures”:- i.e. informing the Fixture Secretary as per 2.4 will be asked to provide a written report to the committee and may forfeit points. The association committee may deem that the fixture will not be rearranged and they may also fine the Club.
2.8 N.I.W.F.A. Cup Matches will not be permitted to have dates changed except when they clash with international commitments.
2.9 Teams not fulfilling a fixture and not informing their opponents at least 24 hours prior to kick off will be liable to all costs on written proof to the league secretary within 72 hours.
2.10 The Association Committee will deal with clubs failing to fulfil any fixture. In the 1st instance they will be fined in line with that season’s tariff, a 2nd failure to fulfill a fixture will result in a doubling of the fine imposed, a 3rd failure will result in expulsion from the League. Should extenuating circumstances prevail in causing a game to be postponed the committee will have the power to waive such rules.
2.11 Fixtures can only be cancelled by permission of the Fixtures Secretary or nominated alternative.
2.12 If a match has been stopped by the referee before the completion of the time specified in the rules (i.e. 45 mins each way) the Association Committee shall follow the practice as laid down by the IFA Rules and Laws of the game on a proportional basis, in deciding if the result should be confirmed.
2.13 All clubs must at all times play only members registered in accordance with the league rules.
2.14 Should an “Away” team not turn up in “Reasonable Time”, they shall forfeit their fixture and the points shall be awarded to the opposing club. “Reasonable Time” should be understood to mean that the kick-off time will not be delayed more than 20 minutes after the fixed starting time. Furthermore, it is expected that the changing rooms shall be adjacent to the pitch, and the away team should be informed by the home team if this is not so.
2.15 The Home Team are always expected to be punctual.
2.16 Where a team cannot complete an allocated fixture programme through either suspension, expulsion or any other reason. Their record to date will be removed from the league.
All teams must register their home and away colours
2.17 Each team in the league shall register its colours and alternative colours with the league secretary.
2.18 In the event of the two (2) teams having the same colours, the Home Team must change.
2.19 All goalkeepers must wear a jersey/shirt of a distinctive colour from her own team/opponent or referee.
2.20 Home clubs must supply goal nets and where possible a set of corner flags as required by the laws of the game.
2.21 The home and away teams must supply at least two (2) match balls and a whistle.
2.22 Three (3) substitutes from a named panel of five (5) will be allowed on any game for any position.
2.23 All clubs are responsible for the conduct of their supporters at all matches.
2.24 All clubs shall retain their own gate receipts.
2.25 Any club requiring a “Free Date” for any reason must notify the Association Committee of the date giving a minimum of two weeks notice in writing.
2.26 Any pitch of any material approved by the National Governing Body will be acceptable for any fixture. If a pitch is of synthetic material the home team must inform their opposition of the need for any suitable footwear.
2.27 Any club unable to obtain a ground call-off pitch decision that can be confirmed by a governing authority may call for a “pitch inspection” by calling on the referees’ co-ordinator. The club will be directly responsible for any referees fees and expenses. The League/Governing Body will allocate referees.
2.28 All matches to have standard kick-off times (e.g. 7.00 pm or 7.3O pm) to be determined by committee.
2.29 Players receiving a red card will automatically receive a 2 match ban which must be served immediately, i.e. miss the next two N.I.W.F.A. competitive matches, either league or cup, plus pay the financial penalty required in line with the IFA Junior Committee Tariffs. Players receiving fines in line with the IFA Junior Committee will be notified to the club in due course and must be paid. A 3rd yellow card will serve an automatic 1 match ban. It is the responsibility of the clubs to ensure their players serve any automatic ban. Failure to do so will be regarded as a disciplinary matter.
2.30 All NIWFA League and Cup matches will be 45 minutes duration each half.
Players receiving a red card will automatically receive a 2 match ban
Referees must be appointed by a referee co-ordinator.
3.1 A referee is entitled to the relevant rate of match fee and travelling expenses of agreed rate per mile.
3.2 Match fees or expenses must be paid by the home team.
3.3 Any club failing to fulfil the above rule will be considered to have committed and offence and will be dealt with by the Association Committee.
3.4 No official or player may challenge the referee or abuse her/him after a match has been played, about any decision. The breaking of this rule will mean an offence has been committed and will be dealt with by the Association Committee.
Referees should be appointed by the N.I.W.F.A. referee co-ordinator.
3.5 Any club playing a referee more than the normal fee shall be deemed guilty of severe misconduct.
3.6 Any club who feels that a referee has exaggerated any claim for expenses should notify the Association Committee and IFA immediately so the matter can be fully investigated.
3.7 When a referee declares a ground unplayable she/he shall receive expenses as follows: - match fees and travel expenses, all to be paid by the home team.
3.8 The referee’s decision is final as to whether a ground is playable.
3.9 If the referee does not turn up, the fixture must be played by the clubs, either agreeing mutually or tossing a coin for a choice of referee for the duration of the game. Preference should be given to those who have attended a referee’s course.
3.10 Referees will be allocated fixtures by a referee co-ordinator within the Association Committee (and no longer be picked by the home team) and only properly affiliated referees will be utilised. (Unless the allocated referee fails to turn up).
All match cards must be signed by a registered official.
SECTION 4- MATCH CARDS/SHEETS
4.1 Match cards can be examined by any elected club official or a member of the Association Committee. It must only be examined in the presence of the referee or an official of the opposition. It may also be examined whilst in the possession of the league having paid the appropriate fee.
4.2 Clubs must put forward full names, not initials, of all the players including substitutes on the match card before the game starts and must be signed by the person completing the card. This person will be responsible for verifying the information contained on the cards as being correct. Failure to put the full name (not initials) of all players, including substitutes on the match card will be liable to fine determined by the committee. All match cards must be signed by a registered official. The starting 11 must be the first 11 named players registered on a match card with their numbers clearly identified. Substitutes will be the last names on the match card.
4.3 Points or ties will only be recognised on receipt of the match card, it is the responsibility of the referee to return the match card to the designated named person on the back of the match card to their address within 72 hours of the match bring played.
4.4 Any club failing to comply with any match card rule will be dealt with by the League Committee as a serious offence.
4.5 Home Teams must inform results co-ordinator of results for publicity purposes. Failure to do so may result in a financial penalty.
4.6 All teams must register Managers and officials who may be subject to a vetting procedure.
5.1 The N.I.W.F.A. Association Committee has the power to deal with all matters pertaining to the N.I.W.F.A. League. Field offences and referees reports shall be dealt with by the appropriate Divisional Association or in the case of two teams playing from different Divisional Associations, by the IFA Junior Committee.
5.2 All protest or claims giving full particulars, including player’s first name(s) surname and club address must be lodged with the League Committee, c/o the secretary at their home address within two days of the dispute event/match. (Bank Holidays excluded).
5.3 All protest/claims will not be considered unless lodged with the appropriate fee within the time limit. Protest claims must be posted by special delivery and the post mark will act as a confirmation of proof of Protests/claims equability. The fee will be forfeited if the protest is not sustained.
5.4 A copy of any claim/protest must be posted by special delivery to the club claimed/protested against within the time limit as to the Committee.
5.5 All clubs and/or players will be expected to answer any formal allegations, protests or claims made against them at subsequent league meeting.
5.6 Any club/official or player can appeal against any league decision to the IFA appeal committee using IFA appeal procedures.
5.7 Appeals against N.I.W.F.A. Association Committee decisions can be made to the IFA Junior Committee by following the appeals procedure as laid down in the IFA Handbook.
SECTION 6- PLAYER’S ELIGIBILITY
6.1 Any club who resigns from league membership will be formally acknowledged by the league committee by recording this event in a subsequent Association Committee minutes. The players of the said club shall then be eligible to sign for another club in the league without being transferred.
6.2 Any club found playing an ineligible, unregistered or suspended player will forfeit the result and a fine will be awarded. Offending players may also be suspended by the Association Committee. Notification of any suspension may be given to eminent opponent teams, stating suspended player’s details.
6.3 (a) No club shall have two teams in the Senior Division. Any club with two or more teams must submit in addition to their registration form a list of first 11 players who will not be eligible to play in any lower teams of the club except in circumstances as outlined in paragraph 7.4 (e).
The first named 11 players will not be eligible to play in any lower teams of any club
6.3 (b) The system shall operate as follows -: A club with two teams shall list on a separate sheet to be submitted at the same time as registration of all Club players, the first 11 players normally chosen for the first team. A club with three teams shall list on a separate sheet, its second 11 players who normally play for the 2nd team, a club who has three teams shall not play any player for their third team who is a registered first XI player.
6.3 (c) This rule shall pertain to all players including those who play as goalkeeper.
6.3 (d) If a player from a lower team plays 3 games (including cup games) for a higher team then they are automatically deemed a higher level player (e.g. 2nd team player plays 3 games for 1st team they are now a 1st team player).
6.3 (e) Higher team players can play as many times for the next team down (1st can play for 2nd but not 3rd) as many times their club wish, however only 2 higher level players can play at anytime during a game.
6.3 (f) A copy of all lists of "First XI players and if appropriate 2nd eleven” players shall be passed to the Association Committee who can request a Club to explain the absence of any “listed” 1st XI player(s) or 2nd eleven player(s) from the appropriate starting line up’s if they have not appeared on a team sheet in the previous 4 games. If the explanation is unsatisfactory the Association Committee has the power to fine the Club involved and/or deduct points or expel them from any Cup competition that has taken place in the previous 4 weeks.
SECTION 7- REGISTRATION/TRANSFER
7.1 A bona-fide player of a club is one who has signed a N.I.W.F.A. registration form, such as registration form to give full first name and surname also the proper address and to be witnessed by the honorary secretary and chairperson of the club.
7.2 A player registration form must be correctly completed and lodged with the Association Secretary, at least forty-eight hours before the kick-off time of the game in which it is intended to play the registering player.
The N.I.W.F.A. Association Committee organises one cup competition
7.3 Registration forms will be only recognised if lodged by with the Association Secretary, C/o their home address. Forms shall be deemed to be in the hands of the Association Secretary from the time they are posted and the post office stamp shall be conclusive evidence therefore, faxes/email are not acceptable.
7.4 Players must be registered each season; registrations will only be acceptable on N.I.W.F.A. registration books.
7.5 A player wilfully signing more than one registration form shall be dealt with by the Association Committee. The Association Committee shall decide priority of registration.
7.6 On payment of the appropriate fee to the Treasurer, any club secretary may inspect the registration form of another competing club in the league.
7.7 While inspecting the registration forms of the club secretary must not question any Committee official about the eligibility of any player, if desired she/he may take note of any name and address from the forms, lodge an official complaint/protest through the proper procedures as laid down.
7.8 Any team playing an ineligible player or players (whether through non registration or otherwise) will be fined £25 for each ineligible player played and shall forfeit the fixture.
7.9 Any N.I.W.F.A. players may transfer to another club in the first month of the season, i.e.: up to the 18th of May each year. No further transfer shall be allowed until a transfer window during the first week of July (1st-7th July) No further transfers shall be allowed after the 8th of July. Players must adhere to the cup bound rule.
No player/official from any club may approach a registered player from another club
7.10 No player/official from any club may approach a registered player from another club with view to either transferring or playing in any competition outside control of the NIWFA .Any approach must be made manager/official to manager/official.
7.11 Any player under the age of 14 shall not be eligible to play competitive football in the N.I.W.F.A. league or cup competitions.
SECTION 8 - N.I.W.F.A. CUP COMPETITION
At present the N.I.W.F.A. Association Committee organises one cup competition for each REGION affiliated to that regional league. The Association Committee will organise other cup competitions if and when it perceives this to be necessary. These may be open to other women’s football teams who have not affiliated to the N.I.W.F.A. at the commencement of the season.
8.1 Any club refusing or failing to play the club against which it is drawn on the date fixed by the Association committee without sufficient reasons for doing so, shall be adjudged to have lost the tie and may be subject to other action from the Association Committee.
8.2 In the event of a drawn game at any stage of the competitions, 20 minutes extra time will be played and if still drawn at the end of extra time, kicks from the penalty mark shall be taken in accordance with the regulations to decide the winner.
8.3 Each player must be a bona-fide member of a club, as defined by the league rules.
8.4 Any player shall not be permitted to play for more than one team in any same competition.
8.5 All cup competitions are annual and shall be played on a knockout basis.
8.6 A team shall not receive a “bye” in more than one round of any knock-out competitions and where possible no team shall receive a “bye” into the semi-final final.
8.7 All league rules shall be applicable to all knockout competitions.
All tariffs MUST be paid prior to any team playing their first match.
All tariffs for each forth coming season shall be fixed by the League Committee prior to commencement of the League season and no later than one month before the commencement of the season.
1st X1 £150.00
Any Other XI £90.00
Referees Fees £15 plus 25p per mile.
Claim/Protest Appeal £20.00
Fine for Playing Ineligible £25.00
Player Inspection of Registration £5.00
Transfer Fee £10.00
2010 NIWFA HANDBOOK
Affiliation to IFA and Divisional Association as set by IFA
Failure to fulfil fixtures £25.00 for 1st failure
£35.00 for 2nd failure
Exclusion from league for 3rd failure.
Good Behaviour Bond £75.00
(Refundable at the end of the season)
All appropriate tariffs MUST be paid
prior to any team playing their first competitive match.
All fines must be paid within fourteen days of notification.
Failure to do so will result in expulsion from the League.
All monies must be paid to the Hon. Treasurer at their home address.
CODE OF CONDUCT
The Northern Ireland Women’s Football Association recognizes the right of every individual to participate in the sport of Soccer regardless of race, age, ability, religious belief, sexual orientation, political opinion or cultural identity.
We shall therefore encourage all members, players, officials, spectators and coaches to behave in a manner, which reflects this spirit of tolerance and understanding.
Specifically, we shall encourage all members, players, officials, spectators, coaches and referees to refrain from:
Using foul and abusive language.
Using sectarian language or banter.
Waving flags or using emblems which could be interpreted as provocative.
Singing sectarian songs or rhymes.
Using salutes or gestures which could be interpreted as provocative.
Behaving in a manner which would bring the good reputation
of the women’s football into disrepute.
Behaving in a boorish manner at social gatherings including annual award ceremonies.
Failure to abide by this Code of Conduct by any player, team official, referee or spectator will result in disciplinary action either by the ruling body or the councillor both.
Enforcement of this Code of conduct is the responsibility of every member affiliated to the Northern Ireland Women’s Football Association.
Complaints about any individuals, players, coaches, team officials, referees or clubs will be dealt with speedily by the Disciplinary Committee and the Burden of proof shall rest with the accused party to prove their innocence.
Penalties for failure to comply with this Code of Conduct shall include:
Fines; Expulsion; Loss of cup tie; Bans; Loss of League Points
Fixtures can only be cancelled by permission of the Fixtures Secretary
ALL CLUBS WILL be asked to undersigned an agreement to abide by the Northern Ireland Women’s Football Association Code of Conduct.
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