Development League (Under 20)
- The Competition shall be known as the Lowlands Under 20 Development League and will be open to Clubs as defined in the Terms of Reference. This name may from time to time be changed in terms of any sponsorship agreement or agreements that may be concluded.
NOTE: No Club may enter more than one team in the competition.
- The Competition will be administered by the Secretary and the Fixture Secretary of the Under 20 Development League. The Secretary shall refer any matter to an Emergency Sub Committee (as defined in the Terms of Reference) for determination.
- The format of the league and any ensuing promotion or relegation which may be required will be decided by the Under 20 Development League Sub Committee prior to the commencement of the season.
- The league competition shall be played on a home and away principle, three points for a win and one for a draw. At the end of each season, the Club with the highest points total in each division (if there is more than one division) will be declared champions of their respective division, ‘goal difference’ and ‘goals for’ to decide where necessary. If two or more Clubs are equal in goal difference the Club scoring the highest number of goals shall be declared the winners. If all three of ‘points’, ‘goal difference’ and ‘goals for’ are exactly the same the respective championships will be decided by the aggregate results of the ‘head to head’ matches between the Clubs concerned in the league competition during the season and if there is still a tie a play-off will take place between the Clubs concerned at a neutral venue over ninety minutes followed by penalty kicks if necessary to decide a winner. The cost of Officials, Ground Rent, Catering etc., for the play-off will be met from the gate receipts and any surplus thereafter will accrue to the Under 20 Development League.
The overall League Champions will be decided as follows;
One Division = winners
Two Divisions = the winners of each division will have a one off play off match on a neutral venue to determine the overall league champions. This match will be played over ninety minutes and followed by penalty kicks, if necessary to determine the overall champions
Three Divisions = Title Round Robin
- the champions of the three divisions will contest a title round robin stage
- the title round robin stage shall be played on a home or away principle, with each club playing one home game and one away game, what club plays which opponent at home and which away being decided randomly; three points for a win and one point for a draw. Where a match is drawn it will be followed by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark as defined by International FA Board rules, the winner receiving a further one point. At the end of the competition the club with the highest points total will be declared champion of the league, and – subject to eligibility – will compete in the pyramid playoff competition for promotion to the Scottish Lowland Football League
- if two or all three clubs in the title round robin stage are equal on points the deciding criteria will be in turn: (i) goal difference, (ii) goals scored, (iii) the result of the head-to-head match between the clubs concerned, (iv) goals scored away from home, (v) goals scored away from home in the head-to-head match or matches between the clubs concerned
- where two or all three clubs are still equal on all of these criteria, the final deciding criteria will be whichever had the best record in their respective divisions, in turn: (i) points, (ii) goal difference, (iii) goals scored, (iv) goals scored away from home
- no trialist or unregistered player may play in the title round robin stage
- the title round robin stage is part of the league competition group for suspension purposes
Four Divisions = the winners of each division will be drawn to compete in a semi final on the
ground of the first named Club drawn in the ballot. The two semi final winners will play The Final Tie on a ground selected by the Emergency Committee. All gate receipts from the Final will accrue to the Under 20 Development League who will be responsible for the following costs:
Stewarding if required.
The host Club will receive a ground rental for hosting the match and may
organize such other fund raising activities as they desire (subject to approval
of the Emergency Committee).
- Clubs are not allowed to play a Home league match on their opponents ground. All grounds must comply with the following minimum criteria:
(1) Registered ground to be available as and when required throughout the season.
(2) Separate and exclusive changing accommodation for two teams.
(3) Separate changing accommodation for up to four match officials.
(4) Spectators must be separated from the field of play by a wall, a rope, a railing or a fence.
(5) Goal nets and corner flags shall be used at all matches.
- Home Clubs will be responsible for deciding on the level of admission charges and will retain all gate receipts.
- Any decision to declare a ground unplayable must, where possible, be made by a qualified, practicing Referee.
- [a] To be eligible to play in a Lowlands Under 20 Development League match all players must comply with the eligibility criteria as set out in the Terms of Reference.
Note: Playing is defined as being listed either in the starting eleven or being a named substitute on the team lines.
[b] In all matches Clubs may list up to seven substitutes of whom five can be used and the only team lines acceptable will be as issued by the Secretary.
[c] Should any nominated player or substitute sustain an injury or due to extenuating circumstances be unable to participate after the submission of the list of players to the referee and prior to the kick-off, permission should be sought from the opposing club in consultation with the referee to replace that player either in the team list or list of substitutes.
[d] The maximum number of occupants of the Technical Area will be twelve including substitute players. All occupants of the Technical Area (except substitute players who must be clearly indicated in the team section) must be named and their designation shown in a separate section of the team line and each must have a clearly defined reason for being therein.
- Twenty (20) players and one (1) manager of the championship winning team will be presented with mementoes which shall be of a quality and pattern approved by the Under 20 Development League. Clubs may apply to the Under 20 Development League to purchase additional mementoes if they so desire.
- The Championship winning team will be presented with a Trophy to be held for one year. The trophy must be returned at least one month before the last league match of the following season is due to be played, in like good order and condition. On no account should any engraving to, or alteration of, the Cup be undertaken by any Club, this will be the responsibility of the Under 20 Development League which will then invoice the winning Club as appropriate. The winning teams of each division will received a shield which will be held for one year. The shields must be returned at least one month before the last league match of the following season is due to be played, in like good order and condition. On no account should any engraving to, or alteration of, the Cup be undertaken by any Club, this will be the responsibility of the Under 20 Development League which will then invoice the winning Club as appropriate.
- The Scottish Football Association will deal with all disciplinary matters in relation to field offences by players and other misconduct reports submitted by referees.
- When a Club intends to lodge a protest they must do so by writing to the Secretary by recorded delivery letter within three days of the playing of the match (Sunday not included) and at the same time send, also by recorded delivery, an exact copy of the protest to the Club protested against. The protest to the Secretary should include a deposit of £100 which may be either wholly or partially retained as the Emergency Committee think fit and the Emergency Committee shall have the power to order either Club to pay such sum towards defraying the expenses incurred and take such action as they deem fit.
- No individual who is connected with a Club involved in a protest may take any part in the hearing of the protest other than in the presentation of their Club’s case to the adjudicating body.
- Any objection to the ground, goal posts, crossbars or other appurtenances of the game must be intimated to the referee and Secretary or other recognized official of the opposing team prior to the start of the match. The Home Club shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with Law 1 of the Laws of the Game – The Field of Play.
- Any Club which refuses or fails to play an allocated fixture will be reported to the Under 20 Development League Sub Committee by the Fixture Secretary and the Under 20 Development League Sub Committee will take such action as they deem appropriate.
- In all cases where a match does not take place as allocated by the Fixture Secretary, except where it is not played because of an unplayable pitch, both Clubs are required to submit their comments to the Fixture Secretary, in writing, as to why the match did not take place within three days of the appointed dated of the match.
- Any club, official, player or other person, who is found to be in breach of any of these rules or of the Terms of Reference, shall be liable to a fine, suspension, deduction of points or such other sanction(s) as The Emergency Committee deem appropriate.
- In all matches Clubs shall play in their registered first choice strip unless the first choice colours of both Clubs are the same or similar in which case the away Club shall change and play in distinctive colours.
- The home Club must confirm details of the fixture, colours, travel directions and kick-off time etc., with both the visiting Club and the match Referee at least four days prior to the date of the match.
- By participating in Lowlands Under 20 Development League competitions all Clubs agree to conform to all of the Terms of Reference and all of the specific competition rules in their entirety.
- The Board of the Scottish Lowland Football League shall have the power to temporarily suspend, amend or add to the rules as circumstances may dictate from time to time, as it deems appropriate in its reasonable discretion, to facilitate the smooth running of the competition.