Analyzing the FA WSL and FA WC 2018/19 rules part 2

Here in part 2, we will look at the players ‘regulations and the FA can  spring on us.


One rule that is always used during a season :

8.2.7 Clubs are responsible for all Players being correctly registered and ensuring that they are so registered before any Player is fielded in a Competition Match. Fielding an unregistered Player in a Competition Match shall constitute fielding an ineligible Player and Rule 8.14 shall apply.

The usual contract non contract player status is set

8.3 Player Status
8.3.1 The status of a Player shall be:
(a) Contract Player; or
(b) Non Contract Player.
8.3.2 A Contract Player must be engaged on a Playing Contract. All contracts and financial arrangements shall comply with Rule C1 of The FA Rules and be in the full name of the Club including the Club’s registered number.
8.3.3 A Non Contract Player shall not be entitled to any payment in relation to their playing services for a Club other than the reimbursement of expenses actually incurred in relation to their playing services for the Club. Payment of such expenses must be in accordance with Rule C2(b)(iii) of The FA Rules. Rule C2 of The FA Rules in respect of Non Contract Players shall apply to the Competitions

The transfer window rules, contracted players can only move during the transfer windows. The other players can move freely.

8.4 Registration period
8.4.1 The Board shall nominate two periods for each Playing Season in which Contract Player registrations and transfers are permitted. The first of which shall commence prior to the start of each Playing Season (the “First Transfer Window”) and the second shall commence during the Playing Season (the “Second Transfer Window”) (together the “Transfer Windows”). The Board shall notify the Clubs of the dates of the Transfer Windows for each Playing Season.
8.4.2 Subject to Rule 8.4.3, Contract Player registrations and transfers shall only take place during a Transfer Window

8.4.4 Non Contract Players are permitted to transfer or register with any Club at any point; transfers and registrations of Non Contract Players are not restricted to the Transfer Windows

Players must be 16 years old to take part in the FA WSL / FAWC

8.5.2 A Player may not be registered to play in the Competitions before she has reached her 16th birthday.

There is a bizzare rules about not signing players from the same team before a certain amount of time. I really don’t get that rule at all to be honest.

8.6.9 Except when specific approval has been given by the Management Committee a Club cannot register more than one Player (whether a Contract Player or Non Contract Player) by way of transfer from any other Club within any 14 day period.

Then important rules on squad cap and homegrown players. My guess is certain teams are in breach of the homegrown rule.

8.10 Squad Cap and Home Grown Players
8.10.1 A maximum of:
(a) 23 Players (including Players on Long Term Loan but excluding Players on Short Term Loan); and
(b) two Players on Short Term Loan,
may be registered to play for a Club in the Competitions at any one time during a Playing Season (the “Squad Cap”).
8.10.2 Subject to Rules 8.10.3 to 8.10.6 and 8.11.42, if a Player is registered to play for a Club in the Competitions for the Playing Season, that Player shall continue to count towards the Squad Cap for that Club for the remainder of the Playing Season even if that Player stops playing or is no longer registered for the Club during the Playing Season for any reason.

There is a limited number of transfer allowed in the January transfer window. Another bizzare rule, I mean if a club is short in numbers, they will need players. That rule created a lot of problems last season to Watford when many players left alongside the manager.

8.10.4 During the Second Transfer Window, each Club shall be entitled to remove or replace a maximum of three Players who have previously been registered and included in its Squad Cap for that Playing Season by sending a notice to the Competition Secretary stating which Players have been removed. Once a Player has been removed from the Squad Cap in accordance with this Rule 8.10.4 such Player shall no longer be eligible to play in the Competitions for the Club and will not count towards the Club’s Squad Cap.

The homegrown rule :

8.10.7 At all times during a Playing Season, each Club shall ensure that it has at least the minimum number of Home Grown Players registered to participate in Competition Matches as set out below. Players for the purposes of the table below shall only include those Players who are included in a Club’s Squad Cap.


Interesting rules about the Academy / reserves players, they are allowed to play in the FA WSL/FA WC games but their number is limited to 3. Again another bizzare ruling, if a club has many injured/sick/suspended players, they can only bring 3 players from the reserves.


8.11 Academy/ Reserve Players
8.11.1 Each Club shall be entitled to select and register any number of Academy/Reserve Players during each Playing Season who, subject to the below, may participate in Competition Matches.
8.11.2 If a Club intends to select an Academy/Reserve Player for a Competition Match it must complete a relevant registration form and ensure that it is received and approved by the Competition Secretary in accordance with Rule 8.2.4.
8.11.3 Where registered and subject to Rule 2.4, a maximum of 3 Academy/Reserve Players may be included on a Club’s Team Sheet for each Competition Match.
8.11.4 Where registered, an Academy/Reserve Player may participate in up to 3 Competition Matches without being included in a Club’s Squad Cap. Any Academy/Reserve Player who participates in more than 3 Competition Matches shall be included in a Club’s Squad Cap.
8.11.5 An Academy/Reserve Player will be considered to have participated in a Competition Match if they are included in the starting 11 or appear on the field of play as a substitute in a Competition Match.

The all important rules about playing an ineligible player. Curious to note that the FA does not deal with those breach of rule but an independent tribunal.

8.14 Playing an ineligible player
8.14.1 Any Club found to have played an ineligible Player in a Competition Match or Competition Matches shall be in breach of these Rules and the matter shall be referred to an Independent Tribunal for determination pursuant to Rule 3.6.1(c).
8.14.2 Subject to Rule 8.14.3, the Independent Tribunal may:
(a) order that any points gained from that Competition Match or Competition Matches are deducted from its record up to a maximum of 12 points;
(b) order that any such Competition Match or Competition Matches be replayed on such terms as are decided by the Independent Tribunal; and/or (c) make any such other order that the Independent Tribunal may decide.
8.14.3 The Independent Tribunal may determine not to impose a points deduction only in circumstances where the ineligibility is due to the failure to obtain an International Transfer Certificate or where the ineligibility is related to the Player’s status. 

Point 8.14.3 is really bizzare, if the club has failed to obtain an ITC, the player should actually not be allowed to play as the transfer has basically not come through ? It is a get out of jail free card that makes no sense.


There is the usual salary cap chapter

8.16 Salary Cap
All Clubs, Players and any other Participants who are involved in the Competitions shall ensure that they comply with the provisions of the Salary Cap Regulations (as amended from time to time).

And a new chapter about the GPS tracker that are now allowed in competitions.

8.17 Player Equipment
8.17.1 Subject to Rules 8.17.2 to 8.17.5, electronic performance and tracking system (“EPTS”) devices may be used during Competition Matches.
8.17.2 EPTS devices must not pose any danger to the Players and/or Match Officials.
8.17.3 Information and data transmitted from the EPTS devices are not permitted to be received or used in the technical area during a Competition Match.
8.17.4 The data collected from any EPTS device may not be used for any commercial activity.
8.17.5 Any branding on EPTS devices must not be visible at any time during a Competition Match.
8.17.6 Any breach of Rules 8.17.2 to 8.17.5 shall be referred to an Independent Tribunal for determination pursuant to Rule 3.6.1(c).

Interestingly the FA does not allow the EPTS data to be used live in a game situation unlike FIFA who allowed it during the World Cup



Those are the most interesting points on the players’ regulations. Part 3 to come next week.

Published by Sylvain

women's football fan since 1998

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