Rules of the Association

Sunday 19th June 2016

  1. Title of Association.  The Association shall be called THE WEST WALES FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION and be affiliated to the Football Association of Wales, whose General Rules shall be binding upon this Association unless the following Rules vary same.  The function of the Association is to provide proper management and control of the Leagues and Clubs affiliated to it and to promote participation in all formats of the game.  The General Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary and Referees Officer for the time being shall be the four trustees, who shall be for all intents and purposes, the legal owners of the Trophies, Monies and property of the Association, and shall deal with the same according to the directions of the council.  In the event of a vacancy through death or any other cause, the vacancy shall be filled within three months.
  2. Clubs eligible for Membership.  All Clubs playing according to the Laws of the Football Association of Wales and having their Grounds and Headquarters west of a line drawn from Briton Ferry, Neath, northwards to Glynneath, and then again northwards to the boundary line of the South Wales Football Association shall be eligible for membership.
  3. Compulsory Membership.  All Clubs whose grounds are situated within the area covered by the Association, must be members of it. Any Club being a member, playing matches with any other Club in the area of this Association not a member within the meaning of this rule, may be suspended, expelled, fined or otherwise dealt with as the Council may deem fit.

    Clubs entering Outside Competitions may not be given permission unless they satisfy the Association that they will enter the Association's Cup Competitions.

    Any club wishing to play in a League other than the League operating in the area in which the Club is domiciled, must have permission of both Leagues and this Association.

    (a)   Sanction of Leagues and Competitions.  All Leagues and Competitions within the jurisdiction of the West Wales Football Association must be duly approved and sanctioned annually by the Council.

    All Affiliated Leagues shall be confined to a definitive area and shall neither extend nor alter such area without the sanction of this Association.

    Application for such sanction on the appropriate form supplied by the Association, must be received by the Secretary on or before July 1st in each season, accompanied by two copies of the Rules of the League or Sanctioned Competition which shall be subject to ratification by the Council at the first meeting after the Association's Annual General Meeting.

    (b)   League Annual Returns.  The Secretary of each affiliated League shall, on or before 1st September in each year, send a list of its Clubs, together with the names and addresses of the Secretaries, to the Secretary of the Association.  In addition, at the commencement of each season, each affiliated League shall supply the Association with a copy of its Rule Book and/or other published Handbook and shall make available to the Association on request such additional copies as may be required.  Payment will be made for any such additional copies provided.

    (c)    Amendments to League Rules.  Any proposed amendments to League Rules shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Association on or before 15th March, for ratification by the Council.

    (d)   Age Limit Competitions are confined to Players who have not attained the age for the Competition on the 1st September in each season.

  4. Resigning.  Any Club wishing to resign from any League at the end of a season and proposing to join another League, must first of all resign from the League in which it is a member, in accordance with the rules of that League and have met all obligations.  The Club must then apply  to the Association for permission to enter the new League by June 1st.  Full details of such applications (giving reasons, etc) must be submitted to the Association and a copy sent to each of the Leagues concerned.  The applications will be considered by a Special Sanction Committee having plenary powers, and composed of the Officers and one member of Council from each of the four Senior Leagues.  If any other League is affected by such application, that League shall be represented on the Committee.
  5. Constitution of Clubs. All Clubs not directly affiliated with the Football Association of Wales shall satisfy the Council that they are properly constituted Clubs and playing football according to the laws of the Football Association of Wales, prior to election of Membership.  All Clubs shall forward to the Secretary on or before the 1st day of July a return in accordance with the appropriate form and shall advise the Secretary of this Association within seven days of every change that may be made re Secretaryship or be fined not exceeding £10.00.  
  6. Illegal Matches.  No Club shall be allowed to play matches with Clubs not Members of the Association, or of some other recognised Football Association.  Clubs breaking this Rule shall be liable to be fined or suspended and be dealt with further by the Council as it may think fit.
  7. Qualification for Membership.  Clubs shall be divided into three categories for Membership purposes as follows:-

    Section A - Clubs having membership of the English League system, Welsh Premier League or Welsh League.

    Section B - Clubs not in the foregoing section with any playing member over 16 years of age during the season concerned.

    Section C - Clubs whose playing members are all under 16 years of age during the season concerned.  All Section C Clubs must affiliate separately to the foregoing sections.

  8. The Annual Subscription, payment of which shall give entitlement to a copy of the Official Handbook of the Association shall be as follows:  Clubs in Section A, £25;  Section B Clubs, £10;  Section C Clubs, £3;  Leagues providing for all ages, £15;  Leagues providing for players under 16 years of age only, £8;  Sanctioned Competitions other than those administered by an Affiliated League, £12.

    Copies of the minutes of Council Meetings will be supplied to Clubs on payment of an additional fee of £2.00.

    Clubs must pay their subscriptions before being allowed to take part in football.  Leagues must pay their subscriptions before taking part in the business of the Association.  Each affiliated Club and League must pay its annual subscription on or before the 1st day of July, and any organisation whose subscription is unpaid on 1st July shall be fined the sum of £25.00 and be suspended until same is paid.

    The affiliation form must be returned with the Annual Subscription.

    Leagues affiliated to the Association may only accept a Club for membership when that Club produces its WWFA Affiliation number for the season concerned.  Clubs who have not paid their WWFA affiliation fee shall not be registered by any League.

  9. Executive Officers.  The Executive Officers shall be appointed by the Council and shall consist of:
    1. Chairman and Vice-Chairman to be declared on seniority based on continuous service, who shall exercise a vote at all meetings, with the Chairman having a casting vote only.
    2. General Secretary, having no voting power at Council or Standing Committee meetings.
    3. Assistant Secretary, if appointed, and his duties defined by the Council.
    4. Treasurer, whose duties shall be defined by the Council.
    5. Referees Officer, whose duties shall be defined by the Council.
    6. Assistant Treasurer, if appointed, and his duties defined by the Council, and have no voting powers at Council or Standing Committee meetings.

    9.1. Non-Executive Officers. The non-Executive Officers shall be appointed by the Council and shall consist of:

    1. President, who shall be appointed annually and be the longest serving active Life Member and may serve up to a maximum of 2 years.
    2. Life Vice-Presidents, elected prior to season 1985/86.
    3. Life Members.
    4. Vice Presidents, who are former Chairmen of Council who have not attained 21 years’ service.

    9.2. FAW Representative.

    The representative to the Football Association of Wales shall be appointed by the Council.

  10. 10. Council.
    1. The Council, together with the Officers provided for in Rule 9, shall control all the affairs of the Association and shall consist of members nominated by Affiliated Clubs on the following basis:
      1. Clubs in membership of the English League system, Welsh Premier League and Welsh Football League may nominate and be represented by one member.  A ballot shall be held if more than one nomination is received.
      2. The Carmarthenshire AFL may nominate and be represented by two members
      3. The Neath & District AFL may nominate and be represented by two members
      4. The Pembrokeshire AFL may nominate and be represented by two members.
      5. The Swansea Senior and Sunday AFL may nominate and be represented by three members.
      6. The Swansea Junior AFL may nominate and be represented by one member.
      7. The West Glamorgan Junior AFL may nominate and be represented by one member.
      8. The West Wales Womens and Girls AFL may nominate and be represented by one member.
      9. The West Wales Youth AFL may nominate and be represented by one member.
      10. The West Wales Pan Disability AFL may nominate and be represented by one member.
      11. The Pembrokeshire Womens & Girls AFL may nominate and be represented by one member.
    2. The West Wales Referees Association shall be allowed to nominate a representative, who is a non-active Referee, to sit on Council.
    3. The Schools Association in the area of the West Wales FA shall be allowed to nominate a representative to sit on Council.
    4. The Council shall invite a WFT representative from the West Wales F A area, who is neither a non-active Referee nor registered Player, to sit on Council.
    5. The Council shall have power to appoint sub-Committees, and may delegate to them such powers as may be determined.
    6. On completion of 21 years active service on the Council, the member shall become a Life Member and shall be entitled to attend all Council and Committee meetings. The organisation the member represented may then nominate a new Council Member.
    7. Council meetings shall be held monthly during the playing season, or at the discretion of the Officers.  Council will not meet in January or in the close season.
    8. Council shall have power to make any regulations as may be deemed necessary for the management of the Association and to deal with any matter not specifically provided for in the Rules of the Association or in the Rules of its various Cup Competitions.  All in membership shall be deemed to have knowledge of same if the same shall be published in minutes of Council. (See Rule 8 regarding purchase of minutes)

    10.1 Nominations.  All candidates for election as Members of the Council must be nominated on Form A, which will be supplied by the Secretary of the Association.  Such form must be returned to the Secretary of the Association on or before the 30th day of April.  As soon as all nominations have been received a list of persons nominated shall be drawn up and a copy shall be sent to every Club or League that is entitled to vote, at least seven days before the Annual Meeting to be held in May/June.  The permission of Council is necessary for any nomination to be accepted to fill any vacancy.

  11. Loss of Seat.  Any member of the Council who has been absent from three consecutive meetings shall be considered to have resigned.  Life Members and Life Vice-Presidents who have not attended for three years shall have no voting powers.  Representatives shall not be changed without the sanction of Council.
  12. Annual General Meeting.  The Annual General Meeting shall be held not later than the 10th June.  All cases of voting shall be by ballot if demanded by two representatives.  The Officers and Council shall be entitled to sit and vote ex-officio at the Annual and all General Meetings.
  13. Representation at General Meetings.  Each Club shall be entitled to send one of its representatives to the Annual and Special General Meetings.  The representative must sign the attendance register on entrance to the meeting.
  14. Alteration of Rules.  In the event of any alteration being considered necessary to the Rules of this Association, notice of the proposed alteration shall be sent in writing with the name of the proposer, to the General Secretary on or before the 15th March in each year and notice of such proposed alteration with any alterations proposed by the Council, and approved by the Football Association of Wales shall be sent to each Club and League at least seven days before the Annual General Meeting to be held in May/June.  No such alterations shall be made in the Rules of this Association unless supported by at least two-thirds of the representatives present.  The Rules as amended shall become operative immediately, except in the case of increased affiliation or registration fees, which shall become operative from the following season.
  15. Special Meetings.  The General Secretary shall convene a Special General Meeting at any time on receiving requisition to that effect signed by the Secretaries of not less than twenty-one Clubs belonging to the Association or by order of the Council.  Notice of such Special General Meeting shall be sent to the Clubs and Leagues belonging to the Association at least seven clear days before the date fixed for the meeting, stating the object for which the meeting is called.
  16. Misconduct of Clubs.  In the event of any Club being found guilty of serious misconduct the Council shall have the power to order the name of an offending Club to be removed from the Association, or suspended, fined or otherwise dealt with, as the Council may determine.  Any Club playing with or against the offending Club after official notice of such removal or during such suspension, shall cease to belong to the Association, and be similarly disqualified from playing with or against other Clubs belonging to the Association.  Should a meeting be called to consider the conduct of any Club, the General Secretary shall give three days notice to the Secretary of the offending Club.

    16.1   In addition to matters referred to in any other Rule, it shall be misconduct if any Member of the Association, any other Club, Official, Player, Referee or any other associated footballing body or individual is proved to the satisfaction of the Council or a Commission thereof to have done or permitted or assisted in doing or permitting any of the following:

    1. violated the Laws of the Game or the Rules or any Regulations, Bye-Laws or Orders of  the Association or of FIFA or UEFA or the FAW;
    2. violated the Rules or Regulations of any Member body or any Competition sanctioned by a Member body or sanctioned by the Council;
    3. played with or against any suspended Club or appointed or allowed to remain in office a director or official who has been suspended;
    4. to have bet in any betting activity (authorised and registered Football Pools excepted) or accepted any bets in any way related to any match;
    5. to offer or attempt to offer, either directly or indirectly, any consideration whatever to another Member of the Association, any other Club official, Referee or any other footballing body or individual with a view to influencing the result of any match, or to accept any such consideration;
    6. appointed or continued in office as Director, Official, Referee, Assistant Referee or Player, a person who acts as Bookmaker or Assistant to a Bookmaker or any other person directly connected with the organisation or Betting Lotteries, Coupon Football Betting, or the like; or any display in any Club programme or in any Club publication, or at the ground or premises of any Club, in any way whatsoever of any advertisement in connection with Betting, Bookmaking, or other like matters, without the written consent of the Association;
    7. Allowed a Director, Official, Referee, Assistant Referee or Player under suspension to act as a Referee or to perform any duties from the execution of which he has been suspended or failed to take all reasonable precautions to prevent such person from entering the Ground of any Qualifying Club or any other Club;
    8. Sold or offered for sale, either directly or indirectly, a ticket for any football match in excess of the face value of the ticket;
    9. played a match with or against a Club whose ground has been closed by the Association or any ground within a radius of twelve (12) miles of the ground closed;
    10. committed any act or made any statement either verbally or in writing (including on websites or through social media content), or been responsible for conduct, continuing misconduct or any matter which, in the opinion of the Council, is considered to be ungentlemanly, insulting or improper behaviour or likely to bring the game into disrepute;
    11. the use by a Player of any prohibitive substance, or for any Member to subscribe or administer any prohibited substance to a Player, or to assist or incite or encourage a Player to use any substance in violation of the terms and conditions set out in the Memorandum on Drug Testing, as prescribed by the Association from time to time;
    12. the consumption of alcohol around the playing area of any football ground or contravenes any current legal legislation regarding the consumption of alcohol.
    13. acting in any way which is likely to bring the game into disrepute or any other activity whatsoever which the Council shall, in its absolute discretion, deem to be misconduct.

    16.2  Failure to reply to any request, communication or notice to a Player, Club, League or Referee within 7 Business Days, a fine of £10 will be imposed.  Persistent offenders will incur further penalties.

    16.3  A Player indebted to his Club during the current or previous season shall not be allowed to be registered by any Club coming under the jurisdiction of the West Wales Football Association, until he has met his obligation to that Club. Clubs must demonstrate that they have proactively sought payment of such debt. When satisfied that this is the case, the Assocaition will arrange for the FAW to place a block on the player's registration until the debt is settled.

  17. In the event of any other act, statement (including on websites or through social media content), writing, conduct, or any matter of any kind whatsoever not provided for in Rule 16 which in the opinion of the Council is likely to bring the game into disrepute, the Council may require the offending party to give a written and signed undertaking not to repeat such act, statement, writing, conduct or matter, not to do or commit any similar act, statement, writing, conduct or matter.  Any failure by the offending party concerned to give such written and signed undertaking within seven days from the receipt by such said offending party of any such request in writing shall be misconduct.  If any such written and signed undertaking is given by any offending party, any breach thereof shall be misconduct.
  18. Suspensions etc.  The Council shall have power to suspend, remove, expel, fine or otherwise deal with any Official, member or Player of any affiliated Club or League who may in its opinion be proved guilty of any offence connected with Football or Football Management.

    All fines and/or costs imposed by the Council, or its Committees must be paid to the Association Treasurer within 14 days.  In the event of non-payment the offender is automatically suspended until the day following receipt by the Association Treasurer unless the suspension is still in force.

    All fines and/or costs must be received BY NOON the previous day.

    It is the Club's responsibility to collect monies due to the Association from its Players and forward to the Association in accordance with this rule.

    The Secretary of the Association must notify in writing all interested parties and persons of any decision of its Council or its Committees, except that he need not send such written notification to interested parties or persons who attended throughout the whole hearing and who were present when the decisions were being announced.

    Appeals against a decision of the Council or its Committees may be made to the Football Association of Wales. Any letter, request, communication or notice of any kind whatsoever which is sent by the Association, shall if addressed to any member at the address of such member's Football Club as registered with the Association, be deemed to be properly sent to such member concerned.

  19. Players in Representative Matches.  Any bona-fide Player of a Club belonging to this Association shall be eligible to play in matches arranged by the Association.  A Player chosen to represent the Association in any match, trial or squad training, must attend at the appointed venue, or be debarred from taking part in any other match on the day in question and in the five days following the representative match, trial or squad training.
  20. Inter-Association Matches.  The Council shall arrange all Inter-Association matches and shall select teams to represent the Association.  The colours of the Association shall be green and white.
  21. Control of Competitions.  The Council shall have control of the Challenge Cup Competitions; and the decisions of the Council on all matters referred to them in connection with the Challenge Cup Competitions shall be final and binding on all Clubs and Leagues which are competing in such Association Competitions.
  22. Claim on Grounds.  The West Wales Football Association shall have first claim to the use of football grounds, offices and facilities of Clubs, within the jurisdiction of the Association.
  23. Right of Admittance to all Grounds.  The recognised Official Pass of Officers and Members of Council shall give admission to any part of the grounds of affiliated Clubs, and the Council directs Secretaries to instruct all Gatemen accordingly.  All Clubs under the jurisdiction of the Association shall admit the holder to their ground and Stands on production of such Official Pass.
  24. Referees.  Referees placed on the Official List of this Association shall be divided into grades in accordance with Rule 7 of the Referees Committee.  The subscription fee shall be £10.00 per annum for all grades, payable on or before 1st July in each year, failing which Membership will lapse.  All Referees officiating in the area of this Association must be registered either with this Association or some other recognised Association.
  25. Appeals and Personal Hearings.

    25.1 Appeals  All Affiliated Leagues and Sanctioned Competitions, all Clubs or Members of such organisations and Referees, shall have the right of appeal to this Association on paying an Appeal Fee of £30.00, which may be withheld if the appeal is not sustained.  No appeal shall be entertained unless lodged within 7 Business Days of the original decision being given, or if not present at the meeting, not more than 7 Business Days from the date such decision was mailed to them in writing, accompanied by an Appeal Fee of £30.00, and grounds of appeal are forwarded to the Association.

    25.2 Personal Hearings Whenever the Association issues a charge of misconduct, all Affiliated Leagues and Sanctioned Competitions, all Clubs or Members of such organisations, all Players and Referees, shall have the right of a personal hearing to this Association on paying a Personal Hearing Fee of £30.00, which may be withheld if the charge is sustained.  No personal hearing request shall be entertained unless lodged within 7 Business Days of the date of the charge.

    25.3  Notwithstanding anything contained in these rules to the contrary, any affiliated League, Sanctioned Competition, Club, Official, Player or Referee shall have the right to appeal to the Football Association of Wales in accordance with its Rule 43, not more than 7 Business Days of the meeting at which the decision appealed against was given, or if not present at the meeting, not more than 7 Business Days from the date such decision was mailed to them in writing accompanied by the appropriate F.A.W. Appeal Fee.

  26. Press Reports. The Association shall be entitled to publish in the public Press through the General Secretary only, or in any other manner it shall deem fit, reports of its proceedings, acts and resolutions, whether the same shall or shall not reflect on the character or conduct of any Club Official, Player, or Spectator, and every such Club, Player or Spectator shall be deemed to have assented to such publication.
  27. Leagues, Cup Competitions etc. Ceasing to Function.  A Cup or Trophy presented to a Competition sanctioned by this Association, shall be vested in the West Wales Football Association as Trustees.  If the Competition be suspended or discontinued for any reason, the Cup or Trophy shall be returned to the Donor if the conditions attached to the gift so provide, or held in trust, or otherwise dealt with as the Association may decide.
  28. In the event of any League or other Sanctioned Competition ceasing to function, or discontinuing its operations for any reason, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the League or Competition immediately to notify the Secretary of this Association of the fact and of the date when the League or Competition ceased and within 14 days thereof shall deliver or cause to be delivered to the Secretary of the Association, all monies, Cups, Trophies, and other assets of the League or Competition, and a correct list of the names and addresses of the Officers and Executive Councillors at the date of discontinuance of a League or Competition, together with detailed statement of amounts owing to and by the League or Competition.  At its first meeting after receipt of the foregoing, the Council of this Association shall proceed to deal with any surplus assets, Cup, Trophies, etc., as provided for, in any manner it may decide in its absolute discretion.  Any Secretary of a League or Competition failing to comply with the provisions of this Rule shall be deemed guilty of serious misconduct and may be suspended or otherwise dealt with as the Council may determine.
  29. Finance.
    1. The funds of the Association shall be lodged under the name of the Association in a Bank or Building Society approved by the Council.
    2. All accounts must be paid by cheque or electronic transfer except in cases where specially authorised by the Council.
    3. Accounts must be approved by the Finance Committee.
    4. Cheques shall be signed by any two signatories authorised by Council - one of whom must be either the General Secretary or Treasurer.
    5. A report of the receipts and expenses of each match shall be made to the first meeting of the Council thereafter and recorded in the minutes.
    6. All monies received by any Officer must be paid into the Bank within seven days.
    7. At each Council Meeting the Treasurer shall present a summary of the receipts and payments for the current season to date, together with the balance at the Bank.
    8. The accounts for each season shall be audited by a qualified accountant and a detailed statement and Balance Sheet audited shall be presented to the Annual General Meeting.
  30. 30.1  Registration of Players.
    All Leagues under the control of the Association must operate a one player one Club registration rule.  A player must only be registered with one Club at any one time In a Saturday and/or a Sunday League.  A player may register with a maximum of three Clubs in any Season but can only play for two Clubs. A player who has reached the age of 16 but not reached the age of 19 is permitted to play in a designated Youth League and an adult League. The Youth League registration shall not count towards the numbers in the previous sentence.

    No transfers or registrations after the last Thursday in March in each season.

    30.2  Players Under 16.  
    A Player Under 16 and below on the 1st September may register for ONE Club only, and with effect from 1st January in each season may only transfer with the approval of the West Wales Football Association and in accordance with the criteria as currently determined by the Football Association of Wales Council.
    The Transfer and Registration deadline is the last Thursday in March in each season. No Transfers or Registrations will be allowed after this date.

    Registered Academy players with a Professional Football Club are not allowed to register with a League affiliated to the West Wales Football Association. Registered Academy players with Clubs in the Welsh Premier League may register provided the Academy does not belong to any League.

    Where a Registered Academy player with a Professional Football Club is released after 1st January, but before the last Thursday in March, he may be re-registered to the Club from which he left to become an Academy player, subject to the approval of the West Wales Football Association.

    Players under the age of 16 and below shall only play within their own domestic League area, or live within three miles of the Club they wish to play for.  Any exception to this must be approved by the West Wales Football Association.

    When players reach the age of 16 they may play for their club's senior teams by completing a Senior Registration form. The player can continue to play junior football but cannot play two matches within a twenty four hour period.

  31. Sunday Football.  No Club, Player, Official, Referee or Assistant Referee shall be compelled to participate in football on Sundays, Good Friday or Christmas Day.
  32. All correspondence must be sent to the Secretary of the Association unless otherwise designated.
  33. No telephone calls to the Officers of the Association will be accepted after 9.30 p.m., unless by prior arrangement.
  34. Players are required to wear numbered shirts and they must correspond with the Team Sheet. The wearing of predominantly all black shirts is prohibited.
  35. Pyramid Structure

    Below the directly affiliated Leagues the operation of the pyramid regulations is the responsibility of the Area Association.

    All clubs who wish to make an application to be assessed against the relevant Ground Criteria and therefore who, if successful, will be eligible to be promoted to or within the Pyramid Level 4 in the following season must do so in writing to the Welsh Football League between the start of the season and 31st December. A first ground inspection will be made before 1st February to inform clubs what work they require to do to meet the Ground Criteria but they must complete all work to comply in full with the Ground Criteria of the Welsh Football League by 30th April to be eligible for promotion. Under no circumstances will a club be promoted if it does not meet the Ground Criteria by the 30th April deadline. Time shall be of the essence in respect of all deadlines in sub-clause 3j of the FAW Pyramid Regulation.

    No Club shall be promoted which does not finish as Champions, or runners-up of its League.

  36. Insurance.  Each Club shall be responsible for maintaining or procuring that there is maintained in full force and effect at all times proper and adequate insurance cover with policy limits and provisions for each of its players from time to time in respect of their death, or bodily injury, by accident howsoever caused on the field of play including (but without limitation) loss of earnings and other consequential losses (together with "Insured Risks") and shall ensure that all players from time to time shall be entitled to the benefit of such insurance and shall submit sufficient evidence of the existence of such insurance to the Secretary of the Association no later than 31st July in each year, and each Club shall indemnify and keep the Association fully indemnified against all liability of the Association in respect of the insured risks.
  37. Public Liability Insurance. Where the Association effects a Public Liability Insurance Policy to cover all Clubs in Section B and C, these Clubs shall pay a proportion of the Insurance premium as determined by the Council.  All Section A Clubs are responsible for effecting their own Public Liability Insurance unless it is provided by the FAW. 
  38. Any matters not covered in the foregoing Rules shall be dealt with in accordance with the Rules of the Football Association of Wales.