Lowland League Cup Rules

Scottish Lowland Football League League Cup rules Version 5 (4 June 2019)

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Scottish Lowland Football League Cup Rules

1. General The Competition shall be known as the Scottish Lowland League Cup. This name may from time to time be changed in terms of any sponsorship agreement or agreements that may be concluded. The competition will be held annually and will be open to those Member Clubs of the Scottish Lowland Football League .No Club may enter more than one team in the competition.

2. Administration 2a. The Competition will be administered by the Secretary of the League. The Secretary shall refer any matter to the Board for determination. The Board 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. The decision of the Board on any matter relating to the Competition shall be final and binding.

2b. The format and timing of the competition will be decided by the Board. When started in League Sections, Rule 3 will apply to the Sectional Games. When started as Knock Out only, Rule 4 will apply.

3. League Sections The number of Clubs within each section, the structure of the sections, and the method and criteria for qualifying for the knock-out stages will be determined by the Board prior to the commencement of the competition. The league competition will be played on the principle of three points for a win and one for a draw. Final placings in each league group will be decided by points gained, goal difference and goals scored. If all three of “points”, “goal difference”, and “goals for” are exactly the same the respective leagues will be decided by the aggregate results of the “head to head” matches between the clubs concerned. 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 League

4. Knock Out Stage 4a.In the knock out stages of the competition the Clubs drawn to compete in all rounds except the final shall play on the ground of the first named Club drawn in the ballot. In the event of any Club’s ground being declared unplayable for three consecutive days on which a tie has been scheduled the tie may be switched to their opponents ground at the discretion of the Board.

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4b. All matches in the knock out stages of the competition shall be played to a finish over ninety minutes followed, if necessary, by an extra fifteen minutes each way followed, if necessary, by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark as defined by International FA. Board Rules.

5. Ground Criteria 5a. All matches must be played at the registered ground of home team, unless prior permission to change is authorised by the Board. In all except the Final tie the Home Club will be responsible for deciding on the level of admission charges and will retain all gate receipts.

5b. Should any Club’s ground be unavailable to host a League Cup match for any reason with the exception of being declared unplayable it becomes the home club’s responsibility to secure the use of another registered Scottish Lowland Football League ground or suitable ground which complies to Club Licensing for the playing of the fixture. Such ground must be either closer to or a similar distance from the visiting Club’s ground unless the visiting Club agrees otherwise and such change of venue must have the prior approval of the Board.

5c. Where it is clear that due to surface water, snow or frost, a pitch is unplayable the home Club must arrange for a pitch inspection. Exemption for this inspection may be given by the Secretary. If there is the slightest doubt as to whether the pitch is playable the home Club must have it inspected by a qualified referee. If the home Club considers the ground unplayable they must inform their opponents, the referee and the Secretary not later than 10am on the day of a match, or by 2pm for an evening match, or later if agreed by both clubs. A Club may only declare a pitch unplayable the day before a fixture date in the event of extreme weather conditions or on the grounds of health and safety of the players, officials or spectators of both clubs. The Secretary, if requested by either the visiting Club or the Board may appoint a referee to carry out a pitch inspection. The cost of such an inspection will be borne by the home Club.

5d. In the event of the match referee declaring the ground unplayable, he shall receive half tariff along with the usual travel expenses. When assistant referees have been appointed the home club will be responsible for paying their tariff which will be a flat fee at a rate as agreed by the Board. Again if the match referee declares the ground unplayable each assistant referee who has travelled will receive one half of the agreed flat rate.

6. Match Arrangements 6a. Except in circumstances where the re-arranged date clashes with the date set for one of the clubs concerned to play a match in the Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup Competition or the SFA South Region Challenge Cup Competition, in the event of a tie being postponed it will normally be played on the following Saturday, unless the

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Clubs involved agree to play it during either the prior or following mid-week or unless the Board decides otherwise.

6b. The Scottish FA shall appoint referees for all games. The home Club must confirm details of the fixture, colours, travel directions and kick-off time etc., with both the visiting Club and the appointed referee at least four days prior to the date of the match. They shall be responsible for all expenses, including referees tariff and his travel expenses and assistant referee’s tariff at the rate agreed by the Board.

6c. Clubs are required to wear their first choice strips, save that a club shall be permitted to play in colours which are not first choice, provided they have been registered on their annual return and the opposing club and the referee appointed for such match are advised four days before the match. If there is a clash of first choice strips the away team should play in their second choice strip unless agreed otherwise by both clubs. Goalkeepers will wear colours which distinguish them from other players and the referee. The player’s jerseys must be clearly numbered. The numbers must be distinct in colour and appear on the back of players’ jerseys.

6d. The Final Tie will be played on a ground selected by the Board. The Home team in the Final Tie will be decided at a Board Meeting by means of the toss of a coin. All gate receipts from the Final will accrue to the League who will be responsible for the following costs: Ground rental. Match Officials Catering. Match balls. Stewarding if required. Publicity. The host Club will receive a ground rental as agreed by Board and may organize such other fund raising activities as they desire (subject to approval of the Board). A full account of income and expenditure resulting from the Final will be issued to all eligible Clubs within twenty-eight days of the match taking place.

7. Player Eligibility 7a. No player may take part in the Competition for more than one Club during any one season. Taking part is defined as one of the eleven first named players or as a fielded substitute.

7b. No player may take part in the Competition without having first been registered with the Scottish Football Association for the Club for which he is to play other than in League Cup Sections. Not more than two trialists may play for a club in any one match.

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Each trialist may play in a maximum of 3 matches in any one competition. Trialists are not permitted in any knock out game.

7c. In all matches Clubs may list up to seven substitutes on the teamlines of whom only three can be used. In addition in any match which requires extra time an additional substitute may be used in the extra time.

7d. 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.

7e. 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.

8. Competition Winners 8a. Eighteen (18) players and one (1) manager of the winning team will be presented with mementoes following the Final Tie. A memento as agreed by the Board will be presented to the runners up. Mementoes shall also be presented to the match officials. All mementoes shall be of a quality and pattern approved by the Board. Clubs may apply to the League to purchase additional mementoes if they so desire.

8b. When the winning team is declared, the Secretary or other Official or invited guest shall hand the Trophy to the Representatives of the winning team who shall be required to provide a written undertaking signed by the President, Secretary and a Member of the Winning Club to return the Cup 42 days before the Final Tie in the succeeding 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 League which will then invoice the winning Club as appropriate.

9. Discipline The Scottish Football Association will deal with all disciplinary matters in relation to field offences by players and other misconduct reports submitted by referees.

10. Protests 10a. All questions relating to the qualification of competitors, or interpretation of the rules, or any dispute or protest whatever, shall be referred to the Board. Every protest must be made, in writing, and must contain particulars of the grounds upon which it is

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founded. One copy of the protest must be lodged with the Secretary of the League, by Registered Post or Recorded Delivery, accompanied by a fee of £100, within three (3) days of the match to which it relates (Sunday and public holidays not included) and an exact copy sent to the Secretary of the club protested against by Registered Post or Recorded Delivery within the same timescales. The fee may be retained by the League if the protest is considered to be trivial and groundless.

10b. The Board may order any Club engaged in dispute or protest to pay such sum as may be considered necessary towards defraying the expense incurred in hearing the protest.

10c. Any protest relating to the ground, goal posts or bars or other appurtenances of the game shall not be entertained by the Board unless an objection has been lodged, in writing with the Referee and secretary of the opposing team prior to the commencement of the match. The Referee shall require the responsible Club to remove the cause of the objection if this is possible without unduly delaying the progress of the match.

11. Failure to play tie, Club scratching

11a. Any Club which refuses or fails to play the Club against which it is drawn, without, in the opinion of the Board, having sufficient reason for so doing shall be adjudged to have lost the tie.

11b. A Club which intends to scratch shall give notice to the Secretary and to the Secretary of the Club against which it is drawn, at least four days before the date fixed for playing the tie.

11c. All cases of Clubs scratching shall be reported to the Board, who shall have power to order the said Club to reimburse its opponents for any expenditure, loss or damage incurred, or to take such other action as it deems fit.

11d. Any Club which fails to give a satisfactory reason for scratching, or which withdraws from the competition without first obtaining the consent of the Board, shall not be allowed to take part in the competition in the following season.

11e. Any club, official, player or other person, who is found to be in breach of any of these rules, shall be liable to a fine, suspension, or both or such other sanction(s) as the Board deems appropriate.