Rules


Rules of the association being Youth Football League: –

A1     Competition Regulations for Clubs and Players

Any Competition or Academy representing is subject to these Rules.

Appeals relating to decisions or defiance within the Youth Football League, shall be dealt with in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations and will be received via email (help@yfldubai.com) no later than 48 hours after the game week in question. Youth Football League Dubai cannot officially consider appeals via any other communication channels.

A2     Cancelation of games and/or Changes of fixtures once officially released

Any cancellations will result in a 3-0 defeat to the team cancelling. All correspondence regarding cancellations, changes in timings, days etc. will be received via email (help@yfldubai.com).

League fixtures shall take priority over events/tournaments not associated with Youth Football League. If a team selects to enter an alternative tournament/league that clashes with Youth Football League’s confirmed season schedule, the affected fixture will need to either be played in house (with the agreement of the opposition) at the expense of the academy cancelling, or the game will be forfeited, and a 3-0 result is awarded to the opposition.

A2        Youth Football League System

A2.1            There shall be a league system comprising of participating Academies. The leagues will consist of a tiered system that includes Advanced & Development Options, depending on age category.

            A2.2         The playing format will either be 5v5, 7v7, 9v9 or 11v11 format with no maximum number of squad players. The number of squad players is subject to a academy’s/club’s discretion. Changes in structure will be in line with the decisions led by the Dubai Sports Council.

A2.3     The duration of the league is determined by format and the number of teams registered.

Anticipated formats:

For under 7’s; the season will be 8 game weeks, with 7 weeks of league fixtures and one round-robin week. This is dependent on leagues holding 8 teams. There will be two outdoor seasons per year.

For all other age groups and divisions; the league duration will be 18 weeks, with teams playing each other twice throughout the course of the campaign. This is dependent on leagues holding 10 teams. There will be one outdoor season per year.

If the number of teams are more or less than stated above, then the duration of the league may differ, however all league fees will be pro-rated accordingly.  

A3        The Closure of a Season

A presentation ceremony will occur for each league at the conclusion of each season. Trophies and medals will be distributed to the relevant academies following the outcome of the season.

A4     Eligibility of players

A4.1     Players that represent the appropriate age category in reference to D.O.B and age-related cut offs stipulated by Youth Football League.

A4.2     Youth Football League will not interfere with which academy/club parents choose to join. Therefore, Youth Football League will not prevent any player from playing in the league if they are of the correct age. A player can not play for more than one academy in the same division/league.

A4.3     Any players playing within the advanced leagues, are excluded from playing within the development league. Development players can be promoted into the advanced divisions. Any academy deemed to be playing players down from advanced to development will result in a 3-0 defeat within the fixture that they are ineligible for, and applicable penalty points will be issued (see section H). Persistent failure to follow such rule, may result in expulsion from the league.

A4.4 A maximum of two academy players can participate for two teams within the same division. For example, Academy A enters two teams in to the Under 14’s division (Team Red and Team Blue). Team Red can utilise two squad players (if required) in a single match day from Team Blue and vice versa. If sufficient evidence suggests that an Academy has played more than two players from their alternate squad, this will result in a 3-0 defeat within the fixture that they are ineligible for, and applicable penalty points will be issued (see section H). Persistent failure to follow such rule, may result in expulsion from the league.

B       AGE GROUPS AND PROVISIONS

……………………………………………………………………………………

B1     Children registered as academy players.

All matches must be played in accordance with the correct version of the Laws of the Game appropriate for the format specified:

B2     Children 6 Years Old and Over – Age Groups, Formats and Related Provisions

For the purposes of (a) and (b) below,

(a) The relevant age for each player is determined by his or her age as at midnight on 31 August of the relevant playing season.

Example: Children who are aged 7 as at midnight on 31 August in a playing season (together with those who attain the age of 7 during the playing season) will be classed as Under 8 players for that playing season. Children who are aged 8 as at midnight on 31 August in a playing season will be classed as Under 9 players for that playing season, and so on.

(b) Notwithstanding the above, a child is permitted to “play up” in the age group above his or her chronological age group, irrespective of any difference in format or competition structure, a child who attains the age of 6 after 31 August is permitted to play only in the Under 7 age group and may not play in the Under 8 age group for that playing season.

The age groups that children are eligible to play in are set out in the table below, along with the permitted football formats for each of those age groups. Children shall not play, and shall not be permitted or encouraged to play, in a match between sides of more than the stated number of players, according to their age group (please see following page):

(c) A child under the age of 15 as at midnight on 31 August in a playing season, shall not be permitted to play in a match during that playing season where any other player is older or younger than that child by two years or more.

(d) To play in an Under 18 competition, a child must have attained the age of 15 as at midnight on 31 August of the relevant playing season.

Table 1.1     Age Groups

AGE CUT-OFFAGE ON 31 AUGUST OF THE RELEVANT PLAYING SEASONELIGIBLE AGE GROUPSMAXIMUM PERMITTED FORMAT  
01/09/14 to 31/08/156Under 75v5
01/09/13 to 31/08/147Under 87v7
01/09/13 to 31/08/147Under 97v7
01/09/12 to 31/08/138Under 97v7
01/09/12 to 31/08/138Under 107v7
01/09/11 to 31/08/129Under 107v7
01/09/11 to 31/08/129Under 117v7 or 9v9
01/09/10 to 31/08/1110Under 117v7 or 9v9
01/09/10 to 31/08/1110Under 127v7 or 9v9
01/09/09 to 31/08/1011Under 127v7 or 9v9
01/09/09 to 31/08/1011Under 139v9
01/09/08 to 31/08/0912Under 139v9
01/09/08 to 31/08/0912Under 149v9
01/09/07 to 31/08/0813Under 149v9
01/09/07 to 31/08/0813Under 1511v11
01/09/06 to 31/08/0714Under 1511v11
01/09/06 to 31/08/0714Under 1611v11
01/09/05 to 31/08/0615Under 1611v11
01/09/05 to 31/08/0615Under 1711v11
01/09/05 to 31/08/0615Under 1811v11
01/09/03 to 31/08/0516Under 1711v11
01/09/03 to 31/08/0516Under 1811v11
01/09/04 to 31/08/0517Under 1811v11

B3     Children 6 Years Old and Over – Competition Structure

Each season (or seasons) will be a minimum duration of 8 weeks and a maximum duration of 22 weeks, depending on the age group and number of league participants. Youth Football League will collect the results and compile league tables via our website (www.yfldubai.com)

B4     Gender of Players in Under 7 to Under 18 Matches

A child in the age groups Under 7 to Under 13 inclusive may play in a match involving boys and girls. Ages Under 14 and above will remain within gender specific competitions.

C       MISCONDUCT

……………………………………………………………………………………

Set out in these rules, procedural matters concerning misconduct shall be dealt with in accordance with The Youth Football League regulations.

C1        The Association may act against a Participant in respect of any Misconduct, which is defined as being a breach of the following:

         C1.1   the Laws of the Game

         C1.2   the Rules and regulations of The Youth Football League

D       GENERAL BEHAVIOUR

……………………………………………………………………………………

D1        D1.1         Any Coach, Parent or Participant shall always act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute or use anyone, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent, or insulting words or behaviour.

D1.2         A breach of rule D1.1 will result in and not limited to the following disciplinary actions against the represented academy; A deduction of points; 3-0 win issued to the opposing team; Expulsion from the league.

E          INTEGRITY MATTERS IN RELATION TO MATCHES AND COMPETITIONS

……………………………………………………………………………………

E1        E1.1 A Participant or Academy shall not, directly, or indirectly, seek to influence for an improper purpose the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in or in connection with, a football match or competition.

E1.2     A breach of rule E1.1 will result in and not limited to the following disciplinary actions against the represented academy; a 3-0 win issued to the opposing team.

E1.3     An Academy shall not, seek to take advantage by entering a team in a lower division than they should truthfully be taking part in.

E1.4     A breach of rule E1.3 may result in expulsion from the league.

F        REPORTING MISCONDUCT

……………………………………………………………………………………

F1        F1.1 A participant, or coach shall immediately report to Youth Football League, facts or matters which may constitute misconduct. This shall be conducted via email (help@yfldubai.com) no later than 48 hours of the misconduct in question. Any requests thereafter will be classified as null and void. Youth Football League will only officially consider appeals that have been sent to the dedicated email address and cannot consider appeals raised via any other communication channels.

F1.2 A report to The Youth Football League of any incidents, facts or matters shall not be made for vexatious or frivolous reasons.

F1.3 Referees must submit a report to the Youth Football League within two days of the Match, stating the caution-able, sending-off offences and/or extraordinary incidents.

G       ATTENDANCE AT MATCHES

……………………………………………………………………………………

G1       G1.1         An individual may attend at a match only on condition that such individual observes the Rules & Guidelines, and together Youth Football League and Academies/Clubs are required to observe and enforce such rules.

Each affiliated Stakeholder shall be responsible for ensuring:

G1.2         That its players, officials, employees, representatives, spectators, and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers, conduct themselves in an orderly fashion and refrain from any one or combination of the following: improper, violent, threatening, abusive, indecent, insulting, or provocative words or behaviour whilst attending.

G1.3         That no spectators or unauthorised persons are permitted to encroach onto the pitch area, for reasons of crowd safety, or to throw missiles, bottles or other potentially harmful or dangerous objects at or on to the pitch.

G1.4         Any individual referred to in Rule E1.3 above may be removed from the ground and the game could be abandoned.

G1.5         All active participants abide by any regulations for safeguarding children as determined by The Youth Football League.

G1.6         All applicable COVID-19 regulations at the time of the event are to be strictly adhered to in accordance with the latest guidelines issued by the Dubai Sports Council & Dubai Crisis & Disaster Management Committee. Failure to comply may result in expulsion from the venue.

H       DISCIPLINARY POINTS SYSTEM

……………………………………………………………………………………

H1        H1.1         All participating academies are to adhere to the rules set out in this document. It is the responsibility of each academy that every representative, player, parent & spectator follows all regulations. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary points as laid out in table 1.2 Offences and Penalties.

H1.2         Any given offence will be penalised using the points system as shown in table 1.2. If a team and/or academy receives ten (10) or more points within a particular season, they will face expulsion from the league. The points penalty of any given offense will be at the discretion of Youth Football League and will be considered based on the evidence available at the time.

Table 1.2     Offences & Penalties

NUMBEROFFENCEPENALTY POINTS
1Minor Offence1 Penalty Point
2Failure to provide Player Identification in a timely manner1 Penalty Point
3Late Cancellation (within 48 hours of fixture) – without valid reason1 Penalty Point
4Late payment of league fees2 Penalty Points
5Late arrival to fixture2 Penalty Points
6Playing an illegible player (see section A4)3 Penalty Points
7Using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures3 Penalty Points
8Intolerable Parent/Spectator Behavior3 Penalty Points
9Intolerable Coach/Player Behavior3 Penalty Points
10Serious/Malicious Foul Play3 Penalty Points
11General Misconduct3 Penalty Points
12Spitting at an opponent3 Penalty Points
13Non-attendance to fixture without notifying organizer5 Penalty Points
14Violent Conduct5 Penalty Points
15Repetitive Dishonesty/Offences – Multiple Offences5 Penalty Points
16Serious Breach of COVID-19 Regulations10 Penalty Points
17Property Damage/Theft10 Penalty Points
18Major Offence10 Penalty Points

 I        DOCUMENTATION COMPLIANCE

……………………………………………………………………………………

I1         I1.1 Each academy shall respect the demands for such documentation and submit the requested prior to the season commencing.  The non-negotiable documentation to meet compliance is:

a) Squad List, Player ID’s & COVID-19 vaccination reports (to be completed online here)

c) Agreed & Signed Rules & Regulations

d) Agreed & Signed Terms & Conditions

J        PAYMENT OF FEES

……………………………………………………………………………………

H1        J1.1 Payment of any league fee shall be made to The Youth Football League by the deadline stated within the issued invoice and in accordance with agreed payment terms.

K       FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN DETERMINING SANCTION

……………………………………………………………………………………

K1        K1.1 Youth Football League will have due regard to the circumstances and seriousness of the incident when determining the appropriate sanction and whether (and to what extent) to depart from the sanction range.

In doing so, the Youth Football League shall consider any aggravating and mitigating factors, to include but not limited to:

Aggravating factors

•          Repeated use of discriminatory language or conduct during commission of the offence.

•          The public nature of the offence (e.g., the commission of the offence in a public place, via broadcast media or a social media platform (particularly via an account on a social media platform with a high number of followers in relative terms).

•          The profile of the Participant, including where they hold a position of responsibility within their Academy or organisation (e.g., Club captain, Chairman, member of senior management).

•          The relative ages of the Participant and the victim(s) at the time of the offence, particularly where the victim was a minor and the Participant was not.

•        Failure to co-operate with Youth Football League.

•        Previous disciplinary record of the Participant.

•        Any attempt to conceal the breach.

•        The extent of any premeditation.

Mitigating Factors

•          Admission at the earliest opportunity where the factual conduct forming the basis for the charge would be capable of being disputed.

•        Demonstration of genuine remorse.

•        Co-operation with The Youth Football League.

•        Where it is accepted that the Participant had a legitimate expectation of privacy.

•          Inexperience of the Participant by reference to their age or background at the time of the offence.

•          In respect of social media posts, the age of the post and the Participant’s age at the time of the post. For example, depending on the other circumstances and characteristics of the offence, it may be considered a mitigating factor where the post was made a considerable time ago and/or where it was made at a time when the Participant was a minor.

L        WRITTEN DECISIONS

……………………………………………………………………………………

L1         L1.1 Youth Football League shall provide a written statement of its decision and reasons via email regarding any outcomes of misconduct.

M      LAWS OF THE GAME

……………………………………………………………………………………

M1    1. The players equipment

2. The Referee

3. Duration of play

4. Playing the match

5. Making Substitutions and Changes

6. Fouls and free kicks

7. Discipline Process

The Normal Laws of Association Football apply with exceptions:

  1. The Players’ Equipment – A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to themselves or another player. All Jewellery must be removed. Shin guards must be worn by all players.

Goalkeepers are permitted to wear colours, which easily distinguish them from the other players and the Referees.

  • The Authority of the Referee – Each match is controlled by a Referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which they have been appointed, from the moment they enter the locality where the playing area is situated until they leave.
  • The Duration of the Game – the game shall be divided into either two or four equal periods subject to the following:

• Allowance shall be made in either period for time lost through stoppages as decided by the Referee.

• The duration of either period shall be extended to enable a penalty kick to be taken.

• The Half Time interval shall not exceed 10 minutes except by consent of the Referee.

  • Kick-off – A goal may be scored directly from the kick-off. All players must be in their own half of the playing area; the opponents of the team taking the kick-off are at least 3m from the ball until it is in play. The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward. The kicker may not touch the ball a second time until it has touched another player.

Offsides – Offsides for the following age groups and divisions will not apply:

  • U7, U8, U9, U10 Advanced & Development
  • U11, U12 Development

Offsides for the following age groups and divisions will apply:

  • U11, U12, U13, U13D, U14, U15, U16, U18
  • Substitution Procedure – Substitutions will be unlimited, based on a roll on, roll off scenario.
  • Fouls and Misconduct– Fouls and misconduct are penalised as follows:

A Direct Free-kick – A direct free-kick is taken from the place where the infringement occurred and can be kicked directly into the opponent’s goal to score a goal. A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following offences in a manner considered by the Referee to be careless, reckless, or using excessive force:

  • Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
  • Trips or attempts to trip an opponent
  • Jumps at, pushes, or charges an opponent (even with the shoulder)
  • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • Tackles an opponent (the key words are doing it carelessly, recklessly or with excessive force)

In addition, direct free kicks will also be awarded if a player:

  • Spits at an opponent
  • Slides in an attempt to play the ball when it is being played or attempted to be played by an opponent (sliding tackle).
  • Handles the ball deliberately, with the exception of the goalkeeper, who is able to handle the ball in their own penalty area holds an opponent.

Indirect Free-kicks – An indirect free-kick is taken from the place where the infringement occurred, unless this was in the penalty area, in which case the indirect free-kick is taken from the penalty area line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred. An indirect free kick is awarded for the following offences.

  • A Goalkeeper touches or controls the ball with their hands after it has been deliberately kicked or thrown to them by a team-mate.
  • A Goalkeeper Touches or controls the ball with their hands or feet, in the penalty area, for more than four seconds.
  • If in the opinion of the Referee, a player plays in a dangerous manner, deliberately impedes the progress of an opponent when the ball is not being played, prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from their hands,
  • commits any other offence, not previously mentioned for which play is stopped to administer a temporary timed suspension or dismiss a player.

From an Indirect Free-kick a goal can be scored only if the ball subsequently touches another player before it enters the goal.Disciplinary Actions – Any players deemed to have committed actions against the laws of the game, may be subjected to a yellow or red card.