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August League Rule Changes

14th August 2019 Posted in League by Michael Weeks

A reminder of two rule changes that come into force this Saturday. 

As usual there have been queries this week about eligibility of players being dropped from higher division teams.

The regulation for Saturday and the rest of the season is below with a case study showing how to calculate.

The rule has changed this year from 75% of the season to 5 of the last 8 games to allow more flexibility

Premier & County Division 1 games start thirty minutes earlier at 12.30pm on Saturday 17 August and for the rest of the season.

Player Eligibility from the third Saturday in August


The relevant player eligibility rules :

11.4.4 Scheduled League Matches: On a scheduled league match day where all higher teams are representing a club, then clubs may select, promote or demote players as the clubs see fit; however, when one or both of the club’s top two teams are without a scheduled league match e.g. bye or cancellation, the club must not select higher division players for its lower teams. The definition of a higher division player shall be a player who has played 5 of the last 8 games in a higher division that have commenced for his registered club in the current or previous season.

NOTE 1: Should a match in Tier 3 be mutually re-scheduled and played on the immediate Sunday following its original scheduled match day, then that re-scheduled match is played under the rules of 11.4.4.


From the third Saturday in August, a higher division player (as defined in, above) is not permitted to play for a lower division team unless they have not played in the three previous games, that have started, for the higher division team.


Case History

Club A’s  higher division team’s last eight league games (not cup)  that started include 22 June

From and including 22 June

Joe Bloggs has played 5 games – 22 June, 29 June, 6 July, 13 July, 3 August.

Therefore he has played 5 out of the last 8 so as defined in Rule  is currently classed as a ‘Higher Division Player’.


Rule states that from the third Saturday in August, (i.e. 17 August 2019) Joe Bloggs must not have played in the three previous higher division games.


He has played in one of them on 3 August so is not eligible to play in the lower division team.


The League has no right to tell clubs who to select but will adjudicate on the facts, which are accessible to everyone nowadays, SHOULD a formal complaint be made after the game.


Rule 11.4.3 permits the two Captains to agree to a player before the game to play without reservation outside of these rules.

11.4.3 The Captains may mutually agree to allow a player, otherwise deemed ineligible by these Rules, to play without reservation.  The Captain of the team should make the request for such a player to be allowed to play to the Captain of the opposing team before the visiting club would reasonably have been expected to travel to the match.  Both Captains must sign their acceptance of such agreement on the official result form before the match commences.