(a) The abbreviated title of SFAI will be used, where appropriate, in these rules with the same meaning as Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland.
(b) The official address for the Association shall be: SFAI General Secretary, National Sports Campus Abbotstown Dublin 15 Ireland.
(c) The entire control, ownership, and management of the competitions shall be vested in the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland Executive Committee, which, as the occasion demands, shall offer for national competition, trophies for teams under the age of 16 years on the 1st January in each year.
(d) It shall cater for all teams in each year from U-12 up to U-16: the age eligibility being the first day of January relevant to the year in which the season concludes
(e) All teams must be registered to a SFAI affiliated League, have completed the on-line entry process, and paid the appropriate entry fee in order to be entered into any SFAI national cup competition. If for any reason the League from where any team entered these competitions fails or ceases to be affiliated to the SFAI all such team/s participation in these competitions shall cease with immediate effect irrespective of whether or not that team/s had played or are due to play any fixture/s in any of these competition/s.
(f) The closing date for receipt of fully completed entries and fees will be 10th August each year, the level of entry fee shall be determined by the SFAI Council at its meeting following the AGM and all such entry fees shall be non- refundable in all circumstances.
Team entries are accepted strictly on the following basis: The competitions shall only be open to teams properly registered to and participating in an SFAI affiliated League. That all teams will be affiliated to the SFAI by their respective League for the season relevant to that SFAI Cup entry and the relevant team affiliation fee paid to the SFAI according to the schedule covering such payment. Any team which has not been affiliated to the SFAI by way of such team affiliation fee payment may be denied any or further or continued participation in any SFAI Cup for that season at the discretion of the SFAI Executive Committee. All teams playing their fixtures as scheduled by the SFAI. All entries and fees are completed and forwarded to the SFAI by 10th August each year. All teams are aware of and accept that no SFAI affiliated League can grant any team a postponement of any fixture scheduled by the SFAI in these competitions. The details provided on the entry form will be used by the SFAI and its affiliated Leagues for the purposes of running these competitions. The completion and return of the on-line entry form acknowledges each clubs awareness of and compliance with the above stipulations.
(g) Compliance with Data Protection requirements on the entry form is a condition of entry acceptance.
(h) These and all rules pertaining to the SFAI or its competitions are the sole property of the SFAI and are not to be reproduced by any other body or organization in any form including printed and or posting on the internet.
(i) The SFAI and its committees will not recognize or deal with any item where rules are accessed or quoted from any source other than the current SFAI Rules for trophy Competitions (National Cups) rules and or the current SFAI Constitution and Rules.
(j) The season referred to in these rules shall be the standard season from 1st August to 30th June annually.
(k) The SFAI Executive Committee shall have the power to deal with any situation or circumstances which arises and may not be specifically covered within these rules.
(a) The SFAI Executive Committee may decide to have competitions drawn on a regional basis and subsequently have an open draw from the round of 32 onwards.
(b) The SFAI Council will appoint a coordinator to each of the various regions who shall, under the jurisdiction of the SFAI Executive Committee compile fixtures and assist with the administration of the competitions. All regional draws, up to the round of 32 are to be completed at a venue/s to be determined by the General Secretary and those completed draws will be published on the SFAI web site.
(c) All teams from all regions will be included in the first round draw, no seeding of teams shall be allowed.
(d) The allocation of qualifying places from each region to the Round of 32 draw will be done on a proportional basis and shall be based on the number of teams entered at all age groups in the various regions for the current season, the ratio of round of 32 qualifying places shall be applied across all age groups within all regions.
(e) It is the responsibility of all SFAI affiliated Leagues to assist in every way with the smooth running and operation of these competitions and all entries are accepted on the basis that each club/s affiliated League will provide complete cooperation and assistance in the operation of the competitions and the fixtures as determined by the SFAI Executive Committee. Where such cooperation and assistance is not provided, or is withdrawn, the SFAI Executive Committee shall have the sole right to refuse to accept or delete the entries from the relevant teams including those teams which have commenced playing their fixtures.
(f) Where clubs have more than one entry at any age group the relevant teams will be admitted and listed with the name of the club and, if supplied to the SFAI, a divisional pre-fix. Where the entry club has not supplied such a pre-fix on its entry the SFAI will denote each team as A, B, C, etc. and those will apply for the purposes of carrying out the Cups draws, no club will be allowed to enter teams under more than one club name.
(a) From the round of 32 onwards the SFAI General Secretary shall convene a disciplinary committee made up of three (3) current SFAI Council members which committee shall deal with referee’s reports or any form of misconduct.
In the regional rounds the SFAI Executive Committee, may appoint a regional disciplinary committee made up of one official from the Leagues within the relevant region (up to a maximum of three (3) to include the regional coordinator or his/her deputy) to be chaired by the regional coordinator, or his/her deputy, and shall have the power to act on behalf of the SFAI Executive Committee with regard to disciplinary reports arising from games in the regional rounds.
(b) No regional coordinator or League official shall partake in any disciplinary hearings or decision making on behalf of the SFAI Executive Committee where any report concerns a club from within his/her own affiliated League.
(c) Decisions taken and sanctions imposed by any disciplinary committee cannot be appealed to the SFAI and any such appeal must in the first instance be directed to the FAI subject to the rules governing any such appeal
(d) Players sent off in SFAI Cup games are automatically suspended from the next game in the SFAI Cup in which he/she was sent off. Where such a player’s team has been eliminated from a SFAI Cup the automatic suspension will take effect for his/her next competitive game at the age group where he/she is registered. Subject to a review of the referee’s report the sanction may be increased by the investigating committee. It shall not be the responsibility of the SFAI, or any other football body, to notify any club/s regarding the compulsory serving of the automatic suspension by any player for being sent off.
(e) Players who are under an automatic one match suspension for being sent off in a domestic League competition shall be eligible to play in the SFAI Cup, on the basis that the ban is served for a domestic competition game directly following the SFAI Cup game.
(f) Players serving suspensions greater than the automatic one match ban for being sent off in an affiliated League competition game shall not be eligible to play in the SFAI cups during this suspension on the basis that being suspended from the SFAI Cups shall count as game/s served under that suspension.
(g) In cases where players are likely to receive more than the automatic one match suspension a copy of the referees report, if available, shall be communicated to the players club and the player, accompanied by his/her club shall, in all cases, be offered the opportunity to attend a hearing by a SFAI disciplinary committee. Failure by the player or his/her club to attend this hearing shall result in the case being heard and dealt with in his/her absence.
(h) It shall be the responsibility of all clubs to ensure that any suspension/s is served by the relevant person/s, this shall include automatic suspensions for being sent off/red carded and any additional sanction imposed by the SFAI.
The SFAI is the sole owner of all SFAI Cup trophies, clubs shall be responsible for the safe keeping of trophies whilst in their possession and all trophies shall be returned when requested and in good condition. Clubs returning damaged trophies, or responsible for lost trophies, will be liable for the repair or replacement of same.Medals shall be awarded to the winners and runners-up of all SFAI Cup competitions.
(a) SFAI affiliated League registration forms shall be the official player registration forms for teams playing in SFAI national cup competitions. Clubs wishing to view a League registration form can do so by submitting a request in writing to the SFAI General Secretary who shall procure a copy of same on behalf of the club. A player must be properly registered at least on the day before competing in an SFAI national cup game. Proof of date of postage will suffice in order to comply with this rule.
(b) SFAI affiliated Leagues must submit to the General Secretary, or the SFAI Executive Committee or any of its sub-committees any and all team and player registration records and details requested relating to any team registered to such League/s.
(a) Only players registered to a team entered into a national cup may play for that team, younger players from within the same club, and also registered to a team entered in the national cups, may be used on an older age group team.
(b) A player can play for only one team in any one SFAI Cup competition in the same season.
(c) No player may play across their age group for different teams within the same club in any SFAI Cup.
(d) Player transfers will only be allowed up to 15th October in each season.
(a) Referees match cards shall be filled in before the game commences by the official in charge of each team, he/she shall append his/her signature as verification of the eligibility of his/her team’s players and accept responsibility for any irregularities regarding his/her team’s players details entered on the match card.
(b) A maximum of eighteen players may be named on the referee’s match card for any SFAI Cup game, any five (5) substitutes may be used from a maximum of seven (7) substitutes named on the referee’s match card.
(c) Once substituted a player cannot re-commence playing in the same SFAI Cup game.
(d) Where a clash of playing colours occurs it shall be the responsibility of the home team to change to an alternative set of playing colours.
(a) Any club in doubt as to the eligibility of its opponents shall, by making representations to the match referee at half time, be at liberty to obtain the signature and dates of birth of any three (3) opposition players entered on the match card. Any team’s refusal to accede to such a request will be regarded as an effort to conceal an irregularity in registration and/or over-age and shall be a breach of this rule.
(b) At the end of a game a club shall be at liberty to obtain the signature and date of birth of any substitute, named on the match card, who took part in the second half of the relevant game.
(c) All such signatures and dates of birth must form the basis of any protest regarding player/s eligibility and be produced at any subsequent protest hearing.
(d) Where a team/s is found guilty of playing an over-age or ineligible player/s, and had won the game, shall forfeit that game to the opposing team and be removed from the competition from that stage. The team manager may be suspended and the club fined, the level of which suspension and fine will be determined by the committee dealing with the case.
(e) Where a team/s is found guilty of playing an over-age or ineligible player/s, and had lost the game, the team manager may be suspended and the club fined, the level of which suspension and fine will be determined by the committee dealing with the case.
(a) Protest as to over age player/s, or any other reason, must be sent by registered post to the office of the SFAI General Secretary within three (3) days after the date of the game and be accompanied by the appropriate fee as determined by the SFAI Council at its meeting following the AGM, for the purposes of this rule Saturdays, Sundays and Bank/Public Holidays and the day of the game are excluded.
(b) An exact copy of the protest must also be sent by registered post within the same time frame to the club against whom the protest is being lodged.
(c) Counter-protests must be lodged within three days, following receipt of the original protest, by registered post to the General Secretary at the office of the Association accompanied by the same fee as for a protest and an exact copy must also be sent within the same time frame by registered post to the club which lodged the original protest, for the purposes of this rule Saturdays, Sundays and Bank/Public Holidays are excluded
(d) Protest fee/s or counter Protest fees/s must be sent by postal order or bank draft only, to the office of the General Secretary of the Association, any such fees sent by any other method will be declared invalid and nullify the protest or counter-protest.
Protests shall be dealt with by a committee of three current members of the SFAI Council, protest committees decisions shall be final and binding subject to the right to appeal onwards to the FAI. A protest committee shall have the power to rule on matters of whether or not any protest or counter protest was submitted according to rule and is in or out of order.
(a) Clubs and teams are expressly forbidden to make or agree fixtures arrangements between themselves without the approval of the relevant SFAI authority, any such arrangements can and will be nullified by the SFAI Executive Committee or those acting on its behalf. All matches, venues and times of kick-off shall be arranged by the regional coordinator in the regional rounds, from the round of 32 onwards fixtures will be coordinated by local Leagues under the control of the SFAI General Secretary who shall rule in case of any dispute.
(b) SFAI Cup games will take precedence over affiliated League domestic fixtures, SFAI inter-League fixtures and club/s or League/s arranged tournament/s and or fixture/s of any kind. The home team will choose whether the game will be played on Saturday or Sunday for all weekend fixtures except the Finals.
(a) No club, team or affiliated League can cancel, postpone or alter the issued date and or kick off time of any SFAI Cup fixture without the consent of the regional coordinator in the regional rounds, any such alterations must have the consent of the SFAI General Secretary from the round of 32 onwards.
Any club, team or affiliated League which makes any such alterations without the required consent shall be deemed to be in breach of this rule and may be subject to sanction by the SFAI Executive Committee the extent of which sanction shall be at the sole discretion of that Committee. (b) Emergencies will be dealt with by the regional coordinator in the regional rounds, the SFAI General Secretary shall deal with emergencies from the round of 32 onwards, any decision issued in such circumstances will be final. The SFAI General Secretary, whose decision/s shall be final, has overall control and responsibility of all SFAI Cups
(c) In the regional rounds, an application for a postponement for a certified school tour, may be approved by the regional coordinator in consultation with the relevant affiliated League Hon. Secretary/s. Clubs can be required to provide written confirmation, from the organizing body of any such tour, before any postponement application will be considered.
(d) From the round of 32 onwards postponement applications may only be approved by the SFAI General Secretary and clubs may be required to provide written confirmation from the organizing body of any such tour, before any such application will be considered.
(e) Postponements where players are involved in International duties will only be granted when any single team has, at the same time, two outfield players or the goalkeeper on International duties, any player/s placed on any form of “standby” situation will not be taken into account for the purposes of this rule.
(f) The appointed referee (or his/her substitute) will decide if pitches are playable on the day. If pitch or weather conditions should cause a postponement the home team must find an alternative pitch or the fixture will revert to their opponents’ ground.
(g) Any game started and later abandoned for weather or pitch conditions shall result in loss of home advantage and the game being re-fixed in the ground of the team originally drawn away.
(h) All weather playing surfaces, where available, shall be used for SFAI national cup games provided these are in complete compliance with, and certified as such, the current FAI standards/codes. This certification shall be available for inspection on demand.
(i) All visiting clubs must be notified by home clubs 48 hours in advance of the fixture should there be the possibility that an artificial surface of the required standard and certification will be used. This notification shall include any restrictions on the type of footwear allowed to be used on that particular pitch. This rule applies solely to notification of the pitch to be used and does not relate to notification of the actual fixture details.
(j) Reports of teams conceding walkovers must be notified in writing to the General Secretary by the regional coordinator, walkovers will incur a 3 – 0 score line against the offending team.
(k) Claims for the award of a game must be sent in writing by registered post and signed by the relevant club Hon. Secretary to the General Secretary at the office of the SFAI within three (3) days following the fixture date, for the purposes of this rule Saturdays, Sundays and Bank/Public Holidays and the day of the relevant game are excluded.
(l) In the regional rounds, only the regional coordinator shall have the right to order a blanket call of fixtures due to inclement weather, such a blanket call off shall not count for the purposes of a switch in home advantage.
(a) Matches must commence at the appointed kick off time. Any team unable to or failing to start a game within fifteen minutes of the kick off time may be deemed to have conceded a walk-over, subject to investigation of the circumstances by the Executive Committee or its sub-committee. The late start of any match shall be reported by the match referee to the SFAI General Secretary.
(b) All SFAI national cup fixtures from the semi-final stage onwards must be refereed by three officials.
(c) All SFAI national cup semi-final fixtures must be played on a private ground and not a local authority pitch.
(d) All SFAI national cup finals shall be played on a neutral venue.
The home team in all fixtures shall be responsible for stewarding at grounds and the marking of pitches etc., both teams shall supply one football of the regulation size and quality.
U/12 to U/13 – Size 4 football U/14 to U/16 – Size 5 football
Match durations; 30 minutes per half for U/12 and U/13 age groups. 35 minutes per half for U/14 age group. 40 minutes per half for U/15 and U/16 age groups.
(a) All games are to be played in accordance with the laws of the game, if any game at the end of normal time ends in a draw, ten minutes each way extra time will be played and if, following the use of extra time, the game then ends in a draw, the current FIFA penalty kicks rule will be used to decide the game.
(b) Referees fees will be paid by the home team in all SFAI Cups games