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ISFA has announced a number of changes to the Tournament Rules for its National Cup Competitions.  Some of these will be introduced during the coming season, 2019-20; others will not become active until Season 2020-21 so that schools have plenty of notice.  All the changes have been agreed by the ISFA Executive Committee following ISFA's Competitions Review.  For further information on the Competitions Review, please click here.


QUALIFICATION OF PLAYERS (1): Players must be full members of the named school and must be enrolled to take a full part in the school's academic curriculum for the full academic year.

QUALIFICATION OF PLAYERS (2): If ISFA has any reason for doubt as to the qualification of a player taking part in the competition, it may call upon the player's school to provide proof that the player is qualified according to the rules and, failing satisfactory proof, the player or school may be disqualified from the competition.

REFEREES: In the event that the appointed match referee fails to arrive and no assistants have been appointed, then the away team shall be offered the opportunity to provide the referee.  If the away team declines, then the home team will provide the referee and the away team will accept the referee chosen and his/her decisions.

CHANGES TO THE LAWS OF THE GAME: All changes to the Laws of the Game introduced by IFAB and The FA will be introduced into ISFA football.  As these are changes to the Laws of the Game, they are not included in the Tournament Rules.  For further information on these changes, please click here.

TEMPORARY DISMISSALS (sinbins): The FA have introduced Temporary Dismissals at all levels of grassroots football from Season 2019-20 onwards and this will apply in ISFA matches.  Any player receiving a yellow card for dissent will leave the field of play for 8 minutes (matches less than 45 mins e/w) before he/she can return or be substituted.  For further information on how the handling of Temporary Dismissals will work, click here.

MATCH REPORT FORMS: The home school (not the referee) is now responsible for ensuring that the Match Report Form is returned to ISFA.

ONE-SIDED FIXTURES: In the ISFA U13 Cup only, a winning margin of no more than 8 will be recorded.  In this event, the correct score should still be recorded on the Match Report Form but a margin of no more than 8 will still be published on the ISFA website.


QUALIFICATION OF PLAYERS (U18 Tournaments): Only bona-fide pupils receiving full-time education in accordance with The Education (Independent Schools Standards) Regulations 2014 will be eligible to take part in these tournaments.  Students that have enrolled as part of a football academy programme will be ineligible to participate.  Guidance note: This applied to schools that offer a Football Academy, Football Development Programme or Sports Academy with a football section.  Students that undertake 6 or more hours of football training at the school per week (excluding fixtures and strength and conditioning sessions) will not be eligible to participate in these competitions.

RESTRICTIONS ON ACADEMY PLAYERS (all boys competitions): No school will be able to name on the match teamsheet more than 3 players who are contracted to an Academy registered under the EPPP (nb limit reduced from 5).

ORGANISATION OF THE TOURNAMENT (Boodles ISFA Cup): A system of seeding will be introduced, based on performances in previous seasons.  Schools exempt from the First Round will be decided according to this criteria instead of by Draw as in the past.  The 8 schools with the best ranking will be exempt until the Third Round.

ORGANISATION OF THE TOURNAMENT (ISFA U15 & U13 Cups): Schools exempt from the First Round will be decided according to ranking based on performances in previous years instead of by Draw as in the past.

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