NTSFL Rulebook and Policies

N.T.S.F.L. Rulebook


The North Tipperary Schoolchildren’s Football League, herein referred to as N.T.S.F.L., shall be governed by the Rules herein, any issues not dealt with herein will be referred to the Management Committee who shall manage the League. Any decision made by the Management Committee is final; all appeals must go to the SFAI under the SFAI’s outlined appeals procedure.
The role of the North Tipperary Schoolchildren’s Football League is to provide association football to the children of North Tipperary, support development of association football, promote association football and support the development of the member clubs.
The Management Committee will consist of no less than 7 Members and no more than 12, determined at the yearly AGM or at an EGM.

The Executive of the Management Committee shall be the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. The Executive shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting each year. To be eligible for an executive position, the members must have spent at least 1 year on the management committee leading into their nomination, if no member eligible for an executive position stands for an executive role, the management committee may elect another member of the management committee to an executive position.

Elections to the management committee will be held at each AGM, or should it be required, at an EGM.

Each year one third, or the closest numerical amount, of the members of the management committee, being the longest serving members, will retire and may be nominated for another term.

Nominations to the management committee must be received no later than the 15th of April, to be eligible for nomination the individual must be nominated by two clubs or must be put forward by the Management Committee.

Each club representative will be entitled to 1 vote on behalf of their club, each member of the Management Committee and subsequent sub committees will be eligible for 1 vote.

A simple majority is required for election to the Management Committee.

The Management Committee shall have power to deal with any matter which is not covered by these rules.
The Constitution and Rules of The N.T.S.F.L. shall not be amended or added to except in accordance with proper procedure as outlined in the Constitution.
The N.T.S.F.L. is subject to the rules of the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland (S.F.A.I), Women’s Football Association of Ireland (W.F.A.I) and The Football Association of Ireland (F.A.I), which are not contained in this rule book. Each club should have at least one copy of the S.F.A.I, W.F.A.I and F.A.I. rule books in their possession and shall be bound thereby.
Any rule in this rule book which contravenes a rule of the S.F.A.I, W.F.A.I. or the F.A.I. shall be declared null and void.


Each Club should have at least one person with 1st Aid experience present on match day in case of serious injury.



Application from intending Clubs for admission to the League, which must be made in writing on the Official Club Registration Form, not later than July 31st, each year, the application should include the following particulars:

a) Situation of grounds and whether private or public.

b) Club colours.

c) Name and address of club secretary.

d) Names and contact numbers of officers and members of the committee.

e) The name of the previous League, if any, that the club was affiliated to and a

clearance certificate from the previous League as well as approval from the S.F.A.I

f) Clubs changing Secretaries or Secretaries changing their addresses must notify

the Hon. Secretary of the League,

g) A bona fide copy of a current and up to date Certificate of Insurance for Public

Liability, covering the club in question.

 h) Name and contact details of their Club Child Officer

The Management Committee reserve the right to refuse an application for membership and to suspend, fine, expel or otherwise deal with any Club or members or Officials of a Club for failing to obey any order or decision made by the Management Committee or whose conduct is considered prejudicial to the interest of the League.

A club wishing to transfer from one league to another at the end of a season must obtain a transfer on the official S.F.A.I or W.F.A.I. Transfer Form, available from S.F.A.I. or W.F.A.I. The league to which the club is transferring into must first sign the form as acceptance of the club. The completed form must be submitted to the S.F.A.I or W.F.A.I. for ratification within 14 days of the release and acceptance date. Such transfer requests must be made before the 1st May in any season. Clubs will not be unreasonably refused such a release, and they have the right to appeal to the S.F.A.I and then if they so wish, the F.A.I. in accordance with the rules of these bodies.

In the event of two clubs registering the same colours, the home club must change when the clubs meet in competition. In the event of the match being a final, or any match being played at a neutral venue the choice of colours shall be decided by the toss of a coin.

All clubs must have a certified Child Officer.

All Club Chairpersons must complete a Child Welfare course and hold a current Certificate

Clubs may only be permitted to join another League when all matters, including finance, agreements and otherwise are settled and the League MC is in agreement with the transfer of a club.

The League Structure

The league competitions shall be divided into sections as decided by the Management each season.

All players must be under age for their respected division on or after the 1st of January of the season in which the competition finishes.

All fixtures and venues shall be arranged by the Fixture Secretary and teams will play home and away matches unless directed otherwise.

The League tables shall be calculated on the basis of 3 points per win and 1 point per draw. In the event of two teams being equal on points at the conclusion of competition the clubs concerned must play off on neutral ground to decide the winner. The same rule applies if there is a tie for runners up.

Any club knock out competition under the auspices of the N.T.S.F.L. may be confined to a particular section or sections as will be determined by the Management Committee.

The names of the clubs entered for cup competitions shall be drawn in couples, the first team drawn having home venue for the fixture, except in the case of finals, where the venue will be selected by the Management. The Management may draw subsequent rounds before the winners of the previous rounds are declared. The Management committee shall have the power to exempt any number of clubs from any number of rounds and byes may be given but the Management committee must arrange four teams to compete in the semi-final rounds.

Any club or team who fails to fulfil a cup fixture will not be allowed enter a shield competition

Any club or team suspended from the League shall not take part in any competition under the auspices of the League.

Clubs playing against suspended clubs shall be dealt with by the Management who shall have the power to fine, suspend or otherwise deal with such offence.

Clubs playing ineligible players in any competition under the auspices of the N.T.S.F.L. shall be fined an amount to be decided by the Management Committee for each offence and be otherwise dealt with as the Management  committee may determine.

Team membership of the N.T.S.F.L. may be cancelled if it is found that they let an overage player represent them in any competition promoted by the N.T.S.F.L., S.F.A.I or W.F.A.I. The team Manager will also be suspended for a minimum of three (3) years.

A team in doubt as to the eligibility of its opponents shall be at liberty, before the game starts, at half time or full time to ask the opposition manager to see the ID cards of any or all players by first approaching the match official and informing him/her of their suspicions and asking him/her to include these in his/hers match report. The team manager of the day signed on the match card may then ask the match official to accompany them in their approach to the opposition manager also signed on the match card to make their request. Refusal to accede will be taken as an admission of guilt and will be dealt with by the Leagues Disciplinary Committee.

Players sent off in S.F.A.I, W.F.A.I or Inter League games must serve their suspension in the next S.F.A.I, W.F.A.I or Inter League game. Players whose team was knocked out of these competitions must serve their suspension for their registered Club team in its next game. Subject to any disciplinary decision.

Players sent off or having accumulated four (4) and Eight (8) bookings and shall receive a one (1) match suspension and their club fined unless the circumstances warrant further disciplinary action. Teams playing suspended players will be fined and the game in which they played given to the opposition. All Fines must be paid immediately, player remains suspended until the fine is paid.

A player sent off in a game must serve an automatic 1 (one) match ban as per FAI rules. Any further suspension to be served on notice from the Disciplinary Committee.



When a player protested against is proven ineligible, the points/game may be awarded to the opposing club, providing no ineligibility of a player of the opposing club has been shown, in accordance with the rules and constitution, and subject to the Management’s discretion under these rules.

When both clubs are proven to have played ineligible players, no points shall be allowed to either. In the case of protests other than against players, the Management shall be allowed to have the power, to award points, order a replay, or make other decisions, as may be deemed by them to be proper.

Objections to grounds, posts, ball or flags, must be lodged in, before the start of the game, with the Referee, who shall have the power to remedy, if possible, the objection before commencing the game. In cases where children's safety or welfare may be at risk, an objection may be made by phone call to the League Chairman or League Secretary who will deal with the issue based on the severity of the objection. If the cause of objection may not be, or is not, removed, a formal protest in writing must be lodged in accordance with the rules and constitution of the N.T.S.F.L.

A club failing to appear in answer to a protest, when called upon, or failing to give an explanation to their absence, shall be dealt with as the Management may determine.

The Management Committee will continually check match cards and eligibility or players and officials, the Management Committee has the right to act on any offence they deem fit to sanction.



Clubs will be notified of fixtures by e-mail or text message by the League Fixtures Secretary. Clubs will be advised by the League Fixtures Secretary of any alteration to this arrangement. The League Fixtures Secretary may order teams to play midweek and/or evening games if necessary.

All fixtures shall be arranged by the League Fixtures Secretary who shall fix time and venue of kick-off. No club shall have the power to postpone or break fixtures or change the venue or kick-off time without prior consent of the League Fixtures Secretary in agreement with one of either the League Chairman or League Secretary. Postponements may not be granted.

Any club refusing to fulfil a fixture as directed by the League Fixtures Secretary may be adjudged to have lost the match and be otherwise dealt with as the Management may determine.

Where a team requests “no fixture date”, 21 days’ notice for weekend games or midweek games must be given in advance of the making of the fixtures by e mail to the League Hon. Secretary for that period, such a request may be granted by the Management Committee in exceptional circumstances.

The League may grant a “no fixture date” for semi finals and finals only in other sports. Once 11 (eleven) days written notice by e mail is given to the fixtures Secretary in advance of the making of the fixtures for that period.

A “no fixture date” will be granted by the League for the occasions of Holy Communion, Confirmation, School enrolment or other religious events once the proper notice is given as per rule (10.4).

Any club suffering bereavement with direct links to that club may ask the Fixtures Secretary for games to be cancelled. The decision will be at the discretion of the League Fixtures Secretary/ Hon. League Secretary/Hon. League Chairman.

Cup Final and Semi Final will be set and cannot be compromised.

Seven (7) Substitutes may be used in all competitive age groups.

Roll on and roll off substitutions may be used in N.T.S.F.L. competitions where the Management Committee deems fit.

Pitch and Goal sizes will be determined by the Management Committee for all age groups prior to each seasons kick off.

The month of July shall be deemed to be a “closed month”.

All home teams must text in results before 5.00pm on the day of match or a fine will incur.

Clubs failing to complete League programme will be fined as per schedule of fines.

Any team failing to fulfil league or cup fixtures shall be fined and the opposition given a walkover (subject to investigation by the league).

Duration of games will be determined by the Management Committee prior to each season.

All Cup/Shield games will be played as per rules laid down for these competitions

Any Club Team failing to fulfil two (2) fixtures in a division will be brought before the Disciplinary Committee and may face removal from the competition.

If a third round is to be played in a division the Fixtures Secretary will set those fixtures as fairly as possible.

A team arriving late, being less than 20 minutes before kick-off time, for a fixture will only be entitled to play a friendly in the time remaining for their game and the points will be awarded to the opposition.

Any team failing to fulfil a fixture will be fined €80 plus the full referee’s fee and the points will be awarded to their opposition.

The Hon.Secretary of all Clubs participating in the N.T.S.F.L. must be available on match days to answer their phone or inform the league in plenty of time of a nominated person who will be available on match days. Failure by clubs to be contactable on match days will incur a fine.

In the case of a club or team being removed from League Competition, the Management Committee will award points as deemed fit.

Match balls must correspond with sizes determined by the Management Committee, be of good quality and be the official match ball of the League, determined by the Management Committee. The home team must supply 3 match balls for each game.

For girls fixtures clubs must supply changing and toilet facilities within 1 minute walking distance from the ground.


Clubs/Teams/Players/Organizations or Firms wishing to run/organise or participate in Tournaments must seek the permission of the Management and the SFAI or WFAI and not until after the 31st May, when the traditional Season should be finished. Parties taking part in unauthorized tournaments may be suspended and otherwise dealt with as directed by the League, The S.F.A.I, W.F.A.I and/or The F.A.I.

Intimidation by Spectators

When it can be proved to the satisfaction of the Management that the partisans of a club which has a choice of ground systematically interfere with the play of the opposing club by using foul and abusive language or inciting any club to use violence towards their opponents etc, the Management on the application of either club shall have the power to order the match to be played/replayed at another ground, neutral if possible, and shall deal with the offending club as they see fit.

Registration of Players
All players must be registered in accordance with the Leagues Registration System. The outline of the system will be given to all clubs before the start of each season.
Players are only registered when the club has received their ID card, which must be present before kick off during the referee’s checks.


A Player is only eligible to play in a League or Cup match if there is at least one (1) calendar day (24 Hours) between the date of receipt of the registration form by the League and the day of a match. Players may be registered at any time during the season up until the 31st January. Except in the girls competitions where WFAI rules prevail.

All Transfers shall be requested on the official form, supplied by the League, and shall be granted or rejected by the Management at their next meeting. If a player is being transferred to or from a different League the transfer must be agreed from the league they are leaving. The final date for all player transfers is the 30th of October in the playing season.

If a club has multiple teams in the same age group then the players registered to the A, B, C etc. team can only play for that team in league, Cup and shield competitions for the duration of the season unless a proper transfer has taken place.

The Registrar of the League shall receive and file all documents in connection with players.

Any Club/Team deemed guilty of inducing or attempting to induce a player to sign from, or play for another club will be liable to sanction, as may be determined by the Management. This is further dealt with under the rule “Poaching”.

A properly registered player may step up, up to two (2) age divisions for their club.

Clubs with multiple teams at any age group must fill and return a team sheet to the registrar. Players named on the team sheet are governed by Rule 13 (13.4)

It is compulsory for all players to participate in the Player ID system with no exceptions.

If a club/team disbands during the Season the Player registrations shall come under the direction of the League. The Players may be allowed, at the discretion of the League, to register with other Clubs/teams within the League up to a maximum of three (3) to a team. The deadline for such registrations shall be the 31st January

Clubs may sign a maximum of 2 players who have participated in the League’s Emerging Talent Programme/Academy in the previous season where the players were affiliated to a different club, any further player must seek approval from the Management Committee, who will have final say on all signings and may deem it unacceptable for a player to sign with a different club in the above circumstance.

All appointments of Referees to games shall be made by the League Fixtures Secretary.

Referees fees shall be laid down after consultation with the referees committee by the Management of the N.T.S.F.L.

Referees shall be paid their match fee prior to kick off.

The Referees decision in relation to fitness of ground on match day is final. The Hon Secretary of the League shall have the power to authorize a delegate to inspect a venue in order to alleviate the necessity of an away team travelling.

Any Complaints against Referees must be lodged in writing with the Hon. Chairman within 4 (four) days of the cause of the complaint.

All match Officials must be treated with the utmost respect by players, officials and supporters before, during and after the game.

Any breach of this rule shall be viewed in a most serious manner by the League and shall be dealt with as determined by the Management.

Any player whom a Referee has reported as guilty of assaulting him before, during or after a game will automatically stand suspended until the next Disciplinary Hearing of the League has decided upon the case and notified the parties involved of their decision. In this context spitting at a Referee is regarded as an assault. This Disciplinary Hearing must be convened within 5(five) working days of the alleged assault.

Match fees will be paid by the home team. In cases where a team loses home field advantage or seeds home team advantage, that team is still demmed the home team and will be liable for payment of te referee.

Match Cards
Match cards must be in all cases, filled in with full names of each player in block capitals and must correspond with the numbers actually worn by the players on the day.

Match cards must be filled in block capitals and signed by both the Manager and the Linesman for the team on the day in the space provided.

From time to time the League may send out team check lists which must be filled correctly and signed by all players opposite the numbers actually worn by the players on the day. Failure to accede will be taken as an admission of irregularity and the team will be dealt with by the Leagues Disciplinary Committee.

Schedule of Fines

These fines will be set by the Management Committee at their first meeting after the AGM and clubs will be notified of the fines.

Club Awards
The League shall promote annually a “Club of The Year Award”. This Award to be selected by the Management on the following criteria; Disciplinary, Secretarial, Financial, Achievement and Development of a Club.

The League shall present a merit award at the end of the season. This award to be voted on by the League Management.


 In case of dispute, legal proceedings shall not be taken by any player, manager, club, club official or the league without first consulting the council of the S.F.A.I, W.F.A.I or the F.A.I.


Appeals to any sanctions or decisions by the League must be sent directly to the SFAI, under the SFAI rules and procedures.


The League will operate a zero tolerance on poaching. Any Club found poaching will be suspended from signing any player from the club with which they have attempted poaching from, for 2 seasons, the official who has been deemed to have poached will be given a 1 year (twelve month) ban from all footballing activity and the club shall be fined €200. Any subsequent cases will be dealt with by the Management Committee as deemed fit.

A child registered to any club may not be contacted by another club at any time, July is a closed month, if games are played in the month of June, June shall also be a closed Month.

Poaching may be reported with proof, proof is deemed as the child or parent of the child, writing an official letter outlining the poaching and/or contact from the offending club, in writing within 3 months of the offence.

Abusive Language

The League will operate a zero tolerance on abusive language. Any club or official deemed to have abused an opponent, an opposing official, the referee, a member of the League Management Committee or opposition spectators will be fined €50 for first offence, €100 for a second offence and €200 for a third offense.

Any clubs spectators who abuse a referee or member of another club will be the responsibility of the club, therefore the club will take the responsibility for the abuse.

Those who have been found guilty of abuse will be subject to a suspension. This will be at the discretion of the Management Committee.

Finals Grounds

The League may use any ground they see fit for Finals, Semi Finals, Playoff games at no cost. If lights are used the League will pay for the running cost of the Lighting.

Social Media

Any club who brings the game into disrepute or deemed to have caused or made negative comments against the N.T.S.F.L., Opposing clubs, opposing officials or players or members of the Management Committee will be sanctioned and dealt with as the League sees fit. Clubs may not make disparaging comments and/or question decisions of the League or other clubs on social media.

Public Relations

All clubs must supply contact details for a PRO or a member dealing with Public Relations. The League may request Match Reports and items for Public Relations from time to time where the Management Committee see fit, clubs that are requested to supply information in this regard and do not supply the information will be sanctioned.


The League will maintain and run an Emerging Talent Programme/Academy. The Academy will be run, under the name of the League, by a Technical Director and ETP/Academy Secretary. All clubs should take part and forward players for the ETP/Academy, failure to do so may result in a sanction.


The Management Committee will determine all sanctions not detailed in these rules.


Club requested to attend meetings must do so or face sanctions, clubs who have missed 2 subsequent meetings in a row, where requested to attend, may have all games suspended until dealt with by the Management Committee.


The Management Committee will work to constantly develop the League and its obligations, in doing so the Management Committee will determine where funds are used and what developments are necessary.

Contact with the League/Management Committee

All official contact with the Management Committee or League may only be made through designated officials, on agreement with the Management Committee, if these officials have not be designated/agreed, the club secretary and chairman may contact the league. Contact from other officials will be sanctioned.


The League may operate Policies’ which will be regarded as rules. Failure to follow an applicable League Policy will be sanctioned, sanctions decided by the Management Committee.

Insurance & Public Liability

All clubs must submit to the league secretary before the season commences a copy of insurance & public liability.


All cups/trophies/shields and plates are property of the NTSFL and must be returned by 30th November each season. All must be returned in pristine condition


Motions for the AGM must reach the League secretary by 30th  April


Any club failing to attend the League AGM, EGM or Club Delegates meeting will be fined €100.

Garda Vetting

All coaches, managers, mentors and club committee members must be Garda Vetted. All clubs must provide proof for vetting of all members, failure to do so will result in sanctions.


All Coaches/Mentors/Managers in the League must be registered and comply with the Child Welfare Obligations set down by law. Coaches must display their ID Card on Match days during all NTSFL sanctioned matches, failure to do so will result in a suspension.
Coaches must act in a respectful manner when dealing with match officials, league officials, opposition and spectators, failure to do so will result in disciplinary procedures.

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