Rules relating to players
C. RULES RELATING TO PLAYERS
Players Without Written Contracts
2. (a) Regulations Concerning Approaches
Players who are not under written contract to a Club may be registered with a number of Clubs at any time, subject to the following provisions and those of the Competitions in which they play:
(i) Competitions sanctioned by The Association under Regulation 3 of the “Regulations for the Sanction and Control of Competitions” may make their own regulations for the approach of Players between Clubs of the Competition.
(ii) During the current season* any Club wishing to approach a Player known to be registered with or having played for any other Club must give to the Secretary of each such Club seven days’ formal written notice of the intention to approach the Player.

Formal written notice of approach need be given by:
(A) a Saturday Club only to all Saturday Clubs
(B) a Sunday Club only to all Sunday Clubs
(C) a midweek Club only to all midweek Clubs
(iii) The written notice must be sent by Special Delivery or Recorded Post, or a written acknowledgment otherwise obtained from the Secretary or Chairman of the Club approached. Facsimile or e-mail transmission may be used provided a receipt of acknowledgment is also obtained.
(iv) Following the date of posting of the written notice of approach, or receipt of an acknowledgment: (A) the Player may be registered on or after the eighth day;
(B) the Player must have been registered on or before the 21st day.
(v) The approaching Club: (A) may not approach the same Player a second time in the same season; (B) may approach only one (1) Player at a Club at any time subject to (ix) below; (C) may not approach another Player at the same Club within 28 days of an earlier notice of approach or acknowledgment.
(vi) If an approach is made by a Player to another Club during the current season*, that Club shall give the Club(s), for which the Player is known to be registered or has played, seven days’ notice of approach as set out in (i) to (iv) above before registering the Player.
(vii) A Club which is the subject of a complaint alleging failure to give notice in accordance with this Rule may be subject to a charge of misconduct under FA Rule E1(b).
(viii) A Club proved to have breached the provisions of this Rule may have its current registration of the Player cancelled and be subject to such other penalty as The Association or Affiliated Association deems appropriate, in accordance with
Regulation 8.1 of the Regulations for FA Disciplinary Action.
(ix) During the current season* a maximum of two Players may be approached in the manner described above if invited to trial at a licensed Football Association/FA Premier League/Football League Academy or Centre of Excellence.
(b) Conditions
(i) All payments made to players must be made by the Club and fully recorded in the accounting records of the Club
(ii) All salaried payments must be subject to PAYE and National Insurance
(iii) Any players paid expenses must be reimbursed via an expense claim form. The Club must retain all expense records in a format acceptable to the Inland Revenue
(iv) A currently registered Player shall not be allowed to register with another Club without first satisfying the Club Officials of the intended Club that all reasonable financial and other liabilities have been discharged to the Club or Clubs with which the Player is or was known to be registered in the current* and previous season.
(v) A player approached on or after 1st May in the current season* may not play in competitive football for the Club making the approach until the commencement of the following season.
(c) Service Players
(i) While serving in any branch of Her Majesty’s Regular Forces, a Player may not hold a contract of employment with any Club under the jurisdiction of The Association or an Affiliated Association.
(ii) Neither a Club nor any person may attempt to induce a Player of a Club of any branch of Her Majesty’s Regular Forces to play for another Club during the current season* without at least 14 days’ written notice of approach – in the case of the Army to the Secretary of The Army Football Association, the Royal Navy to the Secretary of The Royal Navy Football Association, and the Royal Air Force to the Player’s Commanding Officer. The notice must be forwarded by Special Delivery or Recorded Post, or a written acknowledgment otherwise obtained. Facsimile or e-mail transmission may be used provided a receipt of acknowledgment is also obtained.
(iii) Players are required to inform Civilian Clubs of their rank and service number, which information must be stated on League or other registration forms. *a current season runs from 1st July to the following 31st May
Trainees and Scholarships
3. (a) Trainees
(i) Players between their 15th and 17th birthdays who are not receiving full-time education in accordance with the Education Acts may be registered as Trainees with The Association. The registration of Trainees shall be made on the Form marked
“G(3)”. Each Form, after completion of all particulars, including dates and signatures, must be signed at the same time by the Trainee and by a parent or guardian and returned to The Association within five days of such signatures
accompanied by a copy of the agreement entered into by the Club and the Trainee and also a copy of the birth certificate.
(ii) On or after a Trainee’s 17th birthday the Trainee may remain as a Trainee or may sign as a player under written contract subject to the regulations of the league or combination of which the Club is a member, and to these Rules with reference to players under written contract.
(iii) A Trainee shall not play for a Club until such Club registering the Trainee has received acknowledgement of the registration from The Association. The Association will from time to time publish the names of registered Trainees.
(iv) Neither a Club nor any person shall induce or attempt to induce a Trainee to leave the Club for which the Trainee is registered.
(v) A registered Trainee may play for another Club subject to the written approval of the Club for which the Trainee is registered. A copy of the written permission must be received by The Association, the league or combination of which the Club is a member, the Trainee and the Club for which the Trainee is to play. A Club may not play more than two such Trainees in any match at first team level.
(vi) If a Trainee wishes to become a player under written contract, the Club for which the player was registered as a Trainee shall be entitled to the registration of such Trainee as a player under written contract. If the Club does not wish to
exercise its entitlement the Trainee shall be free to register for any other Club.
(vii) The provisions of Rules C1(l) and C1(m) shall apply in the case of Trainees.

Scholarships
(i) Players on or after their 14th birthday may be offered a Scholarship to commence no earlier than the last Friday in June in the academic year in which they will reach the age of 16 provided they are not receiving full-time education in
accordance with the Education Acts. The registration of a player on a Scholarship shall be made on the Form marked “G(4)”. Each form, after completion of all particulars, including dates and signatures, must be signed at the same time by the player on a Scholarship and by a parent or guardian and returned to The Association within five days of such signatures accompanied by a copy of the agreement entered into by the Club and the player on a Scholarship and also a copy of the birth certificate.
(ii) On or after a Player on a Scholarship’s 17th birthday the Player may remain on a Scholarship or may sign as a Player under written contract subject to the regulations of the league or combination of which the Club is a member, and to the Rules with reference to players under written contract.
(iii) A Player on a Scholarship shall not play for a Club until such Club registering the Player has received acknowledgement of the registration from The Association. The Association will from time to time publish the names of Players registered on Scholarships.
(iv) Neither a Club nor any person shall induce or attempt to induce such a Player on a Scholarship to leave the Club for which the Player is registered.
(v) A Player who is registered on a Scholarship may play for another Club subject to the written approval of the Club for which the Player is registered. A copy of the written permission must be received by The Association, the league or combination of which the Club is a member, the Player and the Club for which the Player is to play. A Club may not play more than two such Players in any match at first team level.
(vi) If a Player on a Scholarship wishes to become a player under written contract, the Club for which the Player was registered on a Scholarship shall be entitled to the registration of such Player as a Player under written contract. If the Club does not wish to exercise its entitlement the Player shall be free to register for any other
Club.
(vii) The provisions of Rules C1(l) and C1(m) shall apply in the case of Players on a
Scholarship.
4. Age Ranges and Provisions Relating to Players Under 16 Years of Age
(a) Children not registered in the Programme for Excellence The following provisions apply to children not registered in the Programme for Excellence.
Children Under 6 Years Old
(i) A child who has not attained nor will have attained the age of six as at midnight on 31st August in a playing season shall not play, and shall not be permitted or encouraged to play, in a match of any kind in that playing season.
Children permitted to play Mini-Soccer only
(ii) A child who has not attained nor will have attained the age of nine as at midnight on 31st August in a playing season shall not play, and shall not be permitted or encouraged to play, in a match between sides of more than seven players in that playing season. Such children shall only play in a match played according to the “Laws of the Game – Mini-Soccer” as amended for particular age ranges by the Council from time to time.
(iii) A child who has attained the age of nine but who has not attained nor will have attained the age of ten as at midnight on 31st August in a playing season shall not play, and shall not be permitted or encouraged to play, in a match between sides of more than seven players in that playing season. Such children shall only play in a match played according to the “Laws of the Game – Mini-Soccer” as amended for this age range by the Council from time to time. Children permitted to play Eleven-a-Side or Nine-a-Side
(iv) Any child may play in a match between sides of eleven players according to the Laws of the Game or between sides of nine players according to the “Laws of the Game – 9 v 9”, save for those specifically prohibited from doing so pursuant to this Rule.
Sanction Provisions
(v) The consent of The Association or of the relevant Affiliated Association or Associations shall be required pursuant to Rules B1 and/or B7 as appropriate for any Competition involving children who have not attained nor will have attained the age of 14 as at midnight on 31st August in that playing season. Such Competitions (whether for Mini-Soccer, nine-a-side or eleven-a-side matches) shall only be allowed where participants are restricted by age range, such age ranges being
“Under 7”, “Under 8”, “Under 9”, “Under 10”, “Under 11”, “Under 12”, “Under 13” and “Under 14”. The age ranges shall be defined to include all children (subject to clause (i) above) who have not attained nor will have attained the ages of
7,8,9,10,11,12,13 or 14 respectively as at midnight on 31st August in the relevant playing season.
Age Brackets
(vi) (A) A child in the age ranges Under 7, Under 8, Under 9, Under 10, Under 11, Under 12, Under 13, Under 14 and Under 15 must not play and shall not be permitted, or encouraged to play, in a match where any other player is older or
younger by 2 years or more than that person.
(B) To play in an Under 18 age bracket competition the player must have achieved
the age of 15 by midnight on 31st August of the playing season.
(C) To play in an open age competition a player must have achieved the age 16, (to
come in to effect from the 2007-08 season).
Gender of players in Under 11 matches
(vii) A child in the age ranges Under 7, Under 8, Under 9, Under 10 and Under 11 may play in a match involving boys and girls.
Priority for School Activities
(viii) Priority must at all times be given to school or school organisation’s activities in accordance with the recommendations of the “Memorandum: Children of School Age and School Games” whilst a pupil is receiving full-time education in accordance with the Education Acts.
(ix) All Clubs and Competitions, excluding those whose matches are played on Sundays, shall include in their rules a provision to the effect that the availability of a pupil must be consented to by the Head Teacher.
(b) Players of School Age Registered in the Programme for Excellence
(i) Players who reach the age of nine years during the academic year and who are in full-time education may register with a recognised and licensed Centre of Excellence through the procedures established by The Association regulations.
(ii) It shall be a breach of the Rule for a Centre without a valid licence to coach and train players of school age who are in full-time education, and registered through the registration scheme or for a licensed Centre of Excellence to play against any Centre which is not licensed apart from a school. The licensing authority for Centres of Excellence shall comprise representatives as determined by The Association and which shall lay down regulations and guidelines by which the Programme for Excellence is run.
(iii) It shall be deemed to be misconduct for any Club or Club Official to induce any player of school age registered with a separate Club or Centre of Excellence to leave school for the purpose of signing a contract of employment. *Throughout these Rules full-time education refers to a child who is of compulsory school age within the meaning of the Education Acts applying in England or who is over the school leaving age but is for the time being attending a school or in fulltime
education in an establishment of further education.