An idiot’s guide to the League!

A week before the game…,

The home side must confirm with the Referee and opponents the kick-off time, venue, directions to the pitch, and kit colours. This must be done no later than five days before the game is due to take place.

If, due to weather conditions, there is some doubt as to whether the game will take place, please make certain that you keep in contact (…by phone, not just via e-mail or text, to make sure!).

Just to be clear…The Rother League currently permits its fixtures to be played on either Saturdays or Sundays, according to the stated preference of the home team. League fixtures are published in full at the start of the season, so all teams have ample advance warning and are therefore expected to fulfil their fixtures as laid down by the League. (Please note: The unavailability of the team’s manager is NOT an acceptable reason for failing to fulfil a fixture. Find someone else to take your team for the day!). No changes to the date of the fixture may be made without the PRIOR agreement of both the League’s Fixtures Secretary AND your opposition.

On the day of the match…

Be at the ground, whether you are home or away, in good time for the kick-off. Should the game be postponed due to inclement weather, the home team’s manager is responsible for notifying all of those required by Rule. Remember to report the postponement even if your game is called-off for whatever reason. The League must be notified of all postponements in the same way as if the game had been played.

For all players at U10 and above, photo ID Cards are required and MUST be presented for review by the opposing team’s manager prior to kick-off. Rother League has a policy of ‘No ID Card, No Play’, so you must ensure that all your players have valid League photo ID Cards.

Teams must also ensure that a suitably-qualified and equipped First Aider is present at all League matches.

After the match…

The home side must ensure that the match result is reported to the League by 6pm on the day of the match, or within two hours of an evening game.

The best way of doing this is via the FA’s automated SMS service (you need to have been previously registered for this by the League), or by texting or phoning the League’s Fixtures Secretary on 07754 661779, or by sending an e-mail to

The League encourages you to SMS/text or e-mail, so there is no doubt as to the actual time that the result is reported. It is also far easier for the League to administer. However, whatever method you select, please remember to state your age group and division, as well as the team names and the actual score.

A fine of at least £5.00 will be awaiting you if you fail to report the result of a home match.

Note: If you are playing a County Cup game you must report your result to the League regardless of whether you are the home or away team. In all other circumstances, you need only report the match result if you are the home team.

Also, don’t forget… If your game is postponed or abandoned for any reason, you must ensure that you report this fact in the same way as if the game had been played.

Match Returns…

Regardless of the competition you’re playing in, each team must ensure that a fully and correctly completed online Match Return is submitted via the League’s FA Full-Time website by no later than the Tuesday following the game. Players named in the Match Return, even those listed as substitutes, will be deemed to have taken part in the game.

Both teams must complete an online Match Return (including the provision of marks for the referee and the other team), or a fine of at least £3.00 will be incurred.

Any discrepancy between the two match returns will be addressed and resolved as quickly as possible by the League’s Management Committee.

Registering players…

Make certain when completing a Player Registration Form that all sections outside of the shaded areas are properly completed. It is important to note that you must never assume that because a Registration Form has been posted that the player in question has been registered.

If you have not received the completed Registration acknowledgement (and the ID Card, if the player is an U10 or older) from the League’s Registrations Secretary, we would strongly suggest that you make contact to confirm the registration has been accepted and actioned. Failure to follow these simple guidelines may well result in you playing an unregistered player, which means you could forfeit the match and be fined.

Sending in Registration Forms…

Always make certain that you enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope that has sufficient postage for the return of the registration confirmation slips/ID Cards. A fine of at least £3.00 will be awaiting you if you fail to do so.

Proof of date of birth…

When a player is first registered with the League you will need to provide positive evidence of their date of birth. This can be in the form of a birth certificate, passport or medical card. Never send original documents in the post, always use photocopies. A certified copy of a birth certificate is an official document, which will be treated as an original certificate.

Transferring players…

Players from other Clubs may only be approached without notifying anyone during the period from 1st June to 30th June inclusive. Outside of these times you must give seven days’ notice in writing to the Secretary of the Club who the player is currently registered with. If permission is given, make sure that you complete the Player Transfer Form that is available for download from the League’s website.

If a team withdraws from the League during the season, and you wish to register one or more of their players with your team, you must still complete a transfer form in the normal manner. This is because a player’s registration is held with the Club and not with the team that they played for.

Age of players…

Rule 8(B) in this Handbook makes clear the cut-off dates with regard to age to ensure you avoid playing under, or over, -age players. If there is any doubt however, please contact the League’s Registrations Secretary for clarification. In particular, do not be confused by the 2-year age ruling; Rule 8(B) still applies.

Cup games…

If playing in a semi-final or final of a League Cup competition, please note the minimum qualification rule contained in the League Cup Rules – as published in this Handbook.

Kick-off times and Venues…

Each Club is responsible for ensuring the League is aware at the start of the season of the venue and kick-off time for their home games. If the details provided to the League at the start of the season should change for any reason, you must notify the League straightaway or face a fine.

The League’s website will show the default kick-off time for each team entered into the Competition. It is the home team’s responsibility to ensure that this information is updated if necessary (and the Referee informed) if the kick-off time for a particular match is changed by mutual agreement of the two managers.


The League always recommends using first class post, in particular for Registration and Transfer Forms. If post is delayed because you failed to put the correct postage on it to ensure timely delivery, it will be treated as having come via second class post. Make certain that you are not caught out in this way. Your Club will also be liable for any extra costs incurred by the League in this regard.

Handbook alterations…

If your Club or team details as shown in the League Handbook change, please notify the League Secretary straight away. Likewise, if you should notice any other errors or omissions in this Handbook, please notify the League Secretary a.s.a.p.

Updates to your Handbook are shown on the League website and circulated by e-mail to all Clubs and team managers. We would suggest that you check the relevant section of the website on a regular basis to note any changes that have been recorded.


Clubs are responsible for the conduct and behaviour of the players, officials, parents and supporters of their teams. Foul, abusive and especially racist comments will not be tolerated. All cases of misconduct will be reported to the relevant County Football Association.

And finally…

If you are ever in any doubt about anything, make certain that you ask one of the League Officers. They are here to help, and unfortunately not following the rules can often lead to a fine!