1. CONTROL. The competition shall be managed and controlled by the Committee of the Independent Schools Football Association.
2. ELIGIBLE SCHOOLS. All school recognised as fee-paying Independent Schools shall be eligible to enter.
3. QUALIFICATION OF PLAYERS. Any girl born between 1st September 1994 and 31st August 1997 who is in full-time education at a competing school shall be eligible to play.
4. ORGANISATION OF THE TOURNAMENT. The competition shall be played on a knock-out basis with all matches to be decided on the day, with no replays. The team drawn first in each tie, with the exception of the Final, will have home advantage.
5. ARRANGEMENT OF MATCHES. Teams must agree on a date and kick-off time for their match and must inform the tournament secretary of the details within 7 days of receiving the draw excluding the first round matches. Teams unable to agree a date by the deadline should submit their position and proposals in writing to the Tournament Secretary. The Tournament Secretary will consult the Chairman of ISFA who may appoint a disputes committee to arbitrate and decide on the date (and kick-off time) for the match. The decision of the disputes committee will be final and binding. ISFA may expel any school from the tournament if in its opinion, that school has made insufficient attempt to agree a date or has indulged in unnecessary delaying tactics.
Except where floodlit facilities are available, all matches must kick off no later than one hour and forty-five minutes before the published sunset time.
The home school is considered responsible for ensuring spectators do not encroach on to the pitch and are well back from the field of play.
6. POSTPONED MATCHES. In the event of a match being postponed, it must be rearranged before the closing date of the round. However, in the event of a postponement taking place after the away team have travelled, ISFA will decide on the venue for the rearranged match. In the event of the pitch conditions preventing the playing of the game by the closing date for the next round, the game must be played during the following midweek period or on the next available day that pitch conditions permit (whichever is the earliest) and on whichever of the following becomes available first, the final decision resting with ISFA:
· The ground of the team drawn at home;
· The ground of the team drawn away;
· A neutral ground arranged by ISFA.
The final decision on the date and venue of matches not completed by the closing date will rest with ISFA.
7. DURATION OF MATCHES. All matches will consist of 35 minutes each way. In the event of a draw after 70 minutes play, an extra time period of 10 minutes each way will be played. If the match is still drawn at the end of extra-time, then penalties will be taken (as laid down in the Laws of Association Football) to determine the winning team.
8. PITCH DIMENSIONS. The minimum dimensions for pitches to be used in this tournament are 100 yards in length and 60 yards in width. Any complaint relating to the dimensions of the pitch, the goals or the safety of the playing surface should be lodged with the referee before kick-off or, if a problem arises after the match has commenced, within 30 minutes of the end of the match. ISFA must be informed of all such protests within 48 hours unless satisfactorily resolved.
9. OFFICIALS. The home school in each match shall be responsible for arranging for a fully qualified, independent referee to officiate. A member of staff or parent at the home school should not referee, even if he/she is a fully qualified referee. The home team should also be responsible for the payment of the referee of the referee (and assistant referees if appropriate). The home school will be responsible for ensuring that the referee is provided with a match report form and is fully aware of the rules of the tournament relating to the duration of matches and substitutes.
Each team will then be required to provide an assistant referee. The precise role of assistant referees and their duties will be determined by the match referee.
In the event of the home team encountering difficulties in appointing match officials, then they should contact the Tournament Secretary for advice, preferably at least one week in advance of the fixture.
In the event of an appointed official, whether referee or assistant referee, not arriving at the ground for a match, both schools should agree on a mutually acceptable replacement.
10. PLAYING COLOURS. In the event of a clash of colours, the away team must change unless competing schools agree a mutual alternative. In the final tie, both teams must wear numbered shirts. In the event of a clash in the final tie, the teams will toss a coin to determine which team will change.
11. SUBSTITUTES. Teams may nominate three substitute players who may be used during the match. The names of the three nominated substitutes must be declared to the referee before the start of the match. In the final tie only, teams may nominate 5 substitute players, of whom three may be used during the match. In all matches, the principle of “repeated” substitutes will be used. A player who has been substituted during a match then becomes a substitute and may, in turn, replace another player at any time, subject to the substitution being carried out in accordance with Law 3 of the Laws of the Game.
13. MATCH REPORT FORM. People in charge shall be responsible for completing accurately the match report form, to be presented to the referee before the start of the match. Any team giving inaccurate information will be liable to penalty including, in extreme cases, disqualification from the tournament. The referee shall enter the score, scorers and details of any disciplinary offences and shall return the form to the ISFA Disciplinary Secretary.
· The referee will report to the Disciplinary Secretary all cautions and dismissals.
· Any player receiving two cautions during the competition will be suspended from the round immediately following the second caution if her school has progressed. Where the school has been defeated, this suspension will be carried over to the following season.
· Any player who is sent from the field of play for serious foul play, violent conduct, spitting or offensive/insulting/abusive language will be suspended for the next two matches in the competition (to be carried over to the following season if not fully served). A player sent off for any other reason will be suspended for her school’s next match in the competition (to be carried over to the following season if not fully served).
· Should the referee report a particularly serious offence, then the Disciplinary Secretary, after appropriate consultation, may increase the automatic suspension.
· Any misconduct by a player, substitute or team official which occurs off the field of play at any time before, during or after the match shall be reported to the Disciplinary Secretary who will, after appropriate consultation, take whatever action is deemed appropriate.
· Each school is responsible for the conduct of its players, staff, other officials and spectators. ISFA reserves the right to take action (including expulsion of an individual or a school from the competition) where a player, substitute, member of staff, other official, team or spectator is deemed guilty of conduct liable to bring ISFA or the ISFA Cup into disrepute.
· Should the need arise, a Disciplinary Panel shall be appointed and their findings shall be final.
15. FINAL TIE. The venue and date of the final tie will be at the discretion of the Independent Schools Football Association whose decision will be final. The Independent Schools Football Association will have the responsibility for the appointment and payment of the referee and assistant referees at the final tie. In the event of admission being charged at the final tie, gate receipts will be retained by the Independent Schools Football Association.
16. TROPHY OWNERSHIP. The trophy shall be the property of the Independent Schools Football Association. The school winning the tournament shall be responsible for the safe keeping of the trophy whilst under the care and custody of that school and shall be responsible for its return to the Independent Schools Football Association by 1st February in the year following their victory.
17. ISFA reserves the right to deal with any matters not specifically provided for in the Rules of the Competition and to take whatever action they deem to be appropriate.