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SEASON 2021-22


ISFA’s competitions run in line with ISFA’s overarching aim of “delivering football enjoyment for boys and girls in the 21st century”.

The aim of this competition is to provide high quality competition for school pupils attending independent schools.  Schools that participate are reminded that education and the school’s ethos should continue on the football field as in all other areas of school life and thus participating schools must abide by the ISFA Code of Conduct.


All participating schools must follow all guidelines and precautions laid down by The FA and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) in relation to the playing of competitive grassroots football.

Spectators will not be permitted except at the discretion of the home school until such time as ISFA states otherwise.

In the event of a local lockdown or other restriction due to covid-19, ISFA reserves the right to determine what action should be taken for any affected match. This may include a school or schools being required to withdraw in order to enable the tournament to progress.

In the event of a national lockdown or similar restriction due to covid-19, ISFA reserves the right to postpone a round, rearrange play-by dates or take any other action that it considers necessary.

Competition rules

1. QUALIFICATION OF PLAYERS – In line with FA regulations the U11 Girls Cup is open to girls currently in school years 5 & 6, and the U13 Girls Cup is open to girls currently in school years 7 & 8.

2. MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PLAYERS – Each school is permitted a squad of no more than 10 players, only seven of whom may be on the pitch at any one time. However, it is not mandatory to bring 10 players and schools may bring less than 10 players if they wish.

3. LAWS OF THE GAME – Except where otherwise stated in this document, the normal Laws of the Game will apply. However:
• There will be no offside
• At all restarts players must be at least five yards from the ball

4. SUBSTITUTIONS – All substitutions are ‘roll on roll off’ meaning you can make as many substitutions during the game as you wish, subject to the substitution being carried out in accordance with Law 3 of the Laws of the Game.

5. MATCHBALLS – A size 4 ball will be used in all matches. Schools should provide a match ball for each match during the competition.

6. PITCH & GOAL SIZES – Pitch sizes will be approx 60x40 yards. Mini-soccer goals will be used at all events.

7. FORMAT OF TOURNAMENTS – The format of each individual regional qualifying tournament and the national finals day will be at the discretion of the organisers depending on the number of entries (this includes the duration of matches). The organisers reserve the right to alter the duration of matches, if appropriate, at any individual tournament.

8. GROUP/LEAGUE MATCHES – In group matches, 3 points will be awarded for a win, 1 point will be awarded for a draw. In the event of two or more schools being level on points, teams will be separated as follows:
a) goal difference
b) number of goals scored
c) if only two schools are involved, by the result of the match between those two schools
d) if none of the above are decisive, the positions will be decided by calculating a league table with the record of the lowest placed uninvolved team being omitted
e) if none of the above are decisive, the positions will be decided by a penalty shoot-out

9. KNOCK-OUT MATCHES – In knock-out matches, in the event of a draw, no extra-time will be played. In all matches a match ending in a draw will be determined by the taking of penalty kicks. Each team will take three penalty kicks in the first instance, with further kicks to be taken if required. Only players that finish the match on the field will be permitted to take a penalty; other players will remain outside the playing area during the taking of the kicks.

10. DISCIPLINE – Whenever possible, it is hoped to play this tournament without recourse to official disciplinary sanctions by referees and that, when appropriate, coaches will take responsibility for substituting players before such sanctions become necessary. However, in unlikely and extreme cases, the referee must have the power to resort to official action. Therefore:
a) Yellow cards: Any player receiving a yellow card will be suspended from his/her school’s next match in the tournament.
b) Red cards: In the unlikely event of a player receiving a red card, they will be suspended from their school’s next match(es), the number of games to be determined by the Tournament Referee. The tournament referee will have sole discretion to determine the length of any sanction.

11. SPECTATORS – Each school is responsible for the conduct of its supporters. The organisers reserve the right to require a spectator (or spectators) to leave the premises if, in their opinion, his/her behaviour is inappropriate.

12. QUALIFYING FROM REGIONAL EVENTS – The top two schools from each regional qualifier will be invited to take part at the National Finals Day. The organisers reserve the right to invite additional teams from a qualifier if spare places become available.
(PLEASE NOTE: In some tournaments where we have allowed schools to enter two teams into the qualifying event, schools will only be allowed to have one team qualifying and taking part in the national finals day. If a school has both teams finishing 1st and 2nd in the qualifying event, the second invitation to attend the finals day will go to the next best placed school. Schools have been allowed to enter two teams to increase number of girls participating at the regional events, but the finals day will be strictly one team per school).

13. SAFEGUARDING OF PLAYERS: In all inter-school football, including matches played in this tournament, the safeguarding of the children involved is the responsibility of the relevant school's governance. Safeguarding in school football is underpinned by the Department for Education ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2019.

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