The Essex Walking Football League believes that the League and each of its two Divisions should not be burdened by overtly excessive rules. The current rules will continue to evolve and it will always take a common sense approach to its decisions.
Since its formation there have been several ‘common’ questions put to the Committee and herewith is their replies to the ones received:
Q1 - Will there be two separate Divisions?
A – Yes. There will be a over 50's Division and an over 60's Division. The teams from both Divisions will not be playing against each other. There will be a winners shield for the over 50's Division and a winners shield for the over 60's Division. There will also be winners and runners-up medals for each Division. NB: There are 12 medals for each of the Winners and Runners-Up.
Q2 - Are there any entry fees or subscriptions to join the Essex Walking Football League?
A – For Season 2017 there will be no entry fees or subscriptions to join the EWFL. Any costs for entry etc. has to be discussed and agreed by all of the member clubs at an AGM each season. The first EWFL Annual General Meeting will be held in September 2017.
Q3 – Are there any player’s registration fees?
A – For Season 2017 there will be no player’s registration fees. Any player registration fees has to be discussed and agreed by all of the member teams at an AGM. All players have to be registered with the Essex FA prior to competing in an EWFL tournament.
Q4 – How many teams can we enter into the EWFL?
A – Firstly, we must differentiate between what is meant by a ‘club’ and a ‘team’. A club is the member of the EWFL and each club should ensure they register players as members of the club. On your league entry form you must state the name of each team that will be competing and in what Division. There is no restriction on the number of teams or players a club can enter but the league expects a degree of common sense. NB: The Club retains the EWFL voting rights at an AGM not the team.
Q5 – Once a player has been registered with the EWFL can they play for any of the Clubs’ teams during the season?
A – Yes. The only condition is that once a player has been entered on to a tournament team sheet they can only play for that team including being a substitute during the course of that tournament. When registering players the League will be carrying out due diligence checks to ensure compliance. NB: It must be stressed that if a player is aged 50+ they will play in the Club's over 50's team(s) likewise if a player is aged 60+ they will play in the Club's over 60's team(s). The current rules state there is just the one exception: an over 50's goal keeper is allowed to play in the Club's over 60's team(s) but they are not allowed to be selected as an outfield player. What would be the point of having two separate age-related Divisions if this initiative wasn't followed? All players have to be registered with the Essex FA prior to competing in an EWFL tournament.
Q6 - Can an over 60's or an over 50's player commit to playing for two Clubs in the one season?
A - No. A player may only play for another club in the same age group if he has been transferred to that club and the Essex County FA has been notified. All players have to be registered with the Essex FA prior to competing in an EWFL tournament.
Q7 – Are all costs shared between the competing teams at a tournament including referee fees etc. and can any EWFL Club organise a tournament?
A – Yes to both questions. The organiser of the tournament is to agree a pro-rata cost to all the teams with the EWFL Fixture Secretary and payment must be made prior to the start of the tournament thereby easing the financial burden on the clubs organising the tournament. The only premise is the club has a suitable venue to hold a multi-team tournament. The club has to agree the venue and the date of the tournament with the EWFL Fixture Secretary for them to communicate it in good time to the other EWFL competing teams. NB: As part of the current 2017 sponsorship deal with the Day Lewis Pharmacy (‘DLP’) it is appreciated that the club wishing to hold a tournament allows access to the DLP health check mobile. DLP will be providing free health checks to all EWFL players, officials and spectators.
Q8 – What is meant by a decentralised tournament?
A - It has always been the objective of the EWFL to be socially aware and that its fixtures would not be played at just one venue as this would deprive some clubs with a suitable venue of revenue if they wished to organise an EWFL tournament themselves. The league also took into consideration the time and travel for some teams and the possible inflexibility of having a tournament held at one central venue. NB: A suitable venue is one that has a social facility attached to it and has the ability to hold a multi-team tournament.
Q9 – Will there be a play off between the winners of the over 60’s Division with the over 50’s Division to show what team is the best Walking Football team in Essex?
A – No. The EWFL believes such a game would denigrate what it is trying to achieve with the over 50’s and over 60’s Divisions. It is worth noting that other Walking Football leagues are moving towards having the same format as us. What would be the point of having two separate age-related Divisions if this initiative wasn't followed?
Q10 – What assurances can the EWFL give that over-zealous play will be dealt with and will it have a 'fair play' league?
A – The EWFL believes that Walking Football is a social and recreational sport. Whilst it expects a degree of minimal contact and competiveness between teams it has a zero tolerance policy towards dissent, abuse, aggressive behaviour, attempts to do physical harm to an opponent, argumentative behaviour, swearing, and sarcasm towards match officials and players. Any team with a player or players that have been red-carded will be under scrutiny. Dependent upon the severity and occurrence of the offences the other member clubs can agree (by a majority vote) to a team’s or a players’ expulsion from the league. After each match the Referee will award each team a fair play score out of 5 points and this will be collated alongside the scores by the Results Secretary on the Results Sheet. The results of which, will be entered into the EWFL ‘Fair Play’ League. The EWFL ‘Fair Play’ league will contain teams from both Divisions. NB: The EWFL has now moved to non-contact as specified by the guidelines issued by the Walking Football Association.
Q11 – If a team is unable to play at the tournament as specified by the EWFL Fixture Secretary can the matches be played at a later date at a different venue or location?
A – Yes. All fixtures are to be completed in full by the end of the season and all EWFL teams are expected to attend all tournaments as specified by the League's Fixture Secretary. The Essex County FA has indicated that all fixtures will be organised by the clubs and they have given the League agency to setup and run their own fixtures with the proviso that they have a home and away fixture against all the teams within their own Division. NB: To save any confusion this means that each team in the Division has to play each other twice. Any team organising a tournament must inform the Fixture Secretary and EWFL Chairperson of the teams playing a 'home' or an 'away' fixture so the fixtures on the FA Full-Time website can be updated.
9th June 2017 - The EWFL Rules Committee met to review the effectiveness of the current rules in the light of matches that have already been played. As a consequence the Rules Committee decided that a number changes should be implemented with immediate effect. The Essex Walking Football Rules Committee have given notice to each EWFL team that have been changes to the following Match Day Rules:
The EWFL Rules Committee will continue to periodically review the Matchday Rules in the light of experience and will introduce further changes if these are merited.
Essex Walking Football League
16 St. Denis Close
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"We all should find something we love and enjoy doing – walking football is an excellent recreational sport and joining a team in the Essex Walking Football League may provide that opportunity to re-live some of those childhood memories!"