FA Rules and Governance

Welcome to The FA Rules and Governance section of the County FA website. 
The FA Discipline Handbook 2018-19

The Discipline Handbook 2018-19 is an online interactive reference guide to aid Leagues, Clubs and Players through the forthcoming season.

The handbook will be a useful guide to explain the disciplinary process and details the changes that have taken place over the last few years – including match based discipline, sin bin trials, sanction guidelines, the Whole Game System and changes to handling discrimination. This year’s guide also includes videos and resources that will go into greater depth to explain the disciplinary process.

Chairman’s Checklist

The Chairman’s checklist is a useful aid for County FA Commission Chairman to ensure that all the necessary processes have been correctly followed. It can also help Participants understand the general format of their hearing. It should be noted that this document is just a guide and not compulsory so Commissions may adopt varying approaches. You can download this HERE

Attending a Hearing

There may be occasions when are you are asked to attend to a County Disciplinary Hearing – either as a Player charged with misconduct, or attending as a witness to misconduct, or as a Match Official giving evidence. 

The FA has produced a series of guides to help prepare you for the Hearing and let you know what to expect covering topics such as: 

What should I bring with to the hearing? 
What should I wear? 
Can I bring witnesses with me? 
How long do Personal Hearings normally last? 
What happens if I am not happy with the result of my Hearing? 
Procedures for young people 

This can be downloaded HERE

Respect Charges

Over recent years The Football Association have been promoting RESPECT visibly both on and off the pitch with the aim to reduce the bad discipline, increase and promote good behaviour from Players, Clubs and all individuals who are involved in the game.

To assist with this change a new charge has been introduced which will affect Clubs at Steps 5-7 and outside the National League System called ‘RESPECT’, which will be an automatic charge raised by the County should a team receive 10 or more yellow/red cards in a season for Dissent or Foul & Abusive language.

The table below provides further details on the sanction that will be imposed when if the thresholds are to be exceeded by a team throughout the season.  To clarify that the only discipline that counts towards the charge are cautions for dissent and sendings off for foul and abusive language:

Discipline Table

Updating Suspensions 

The Amateur-FA have made all clubs this information pack to assist them in putting games for their suspended players. For more information, please contact the Amateur-FA's discipline department via their email discipline@amateur-fa.com

Suspensions Guide

The FA Rules and Governance website 

The Rules and Governance website helps provide a better understanding of the role of The FA's governance department and governance of the game in general. The purpose of the site is to enable everyone involved in the game, whether with a league or club, as a player, match official ,or as a spectator, to have a better understanding of the role we all play in the governance of the game. 

Wrongful Dismissals

Changes have been made to permit wrongful dismissal claims at Steps 5-7 and below without having to submit video evidence as we understand that not all games at these levels are filmed. However, we do require that the match footage is submitted when available to help demonstrate that the Referee made an obvious error in dismissing a player.

The deadlines for appeal and submitting evidence have also been amended to be more beneficial for Clubs operating at Steps 5 to 7 and below – appeals will still be heard before any suspension is due to commence.

Regulation Amendments

Please CLICK HERE to download a summary of the regulation amendments for Step 5 and below.




By Phone: 020 8733 2613

By Email: Discipline@Amateur-FA.com

key information

Standard Dismissal (Red Card) - 7 Days from the date printed on the paperwork

Caution (Yellow Card) - 14 Days from the date printed on the paperwork

Misconduct - 14 Days from the date printed on the paperwork

If you fail to respond on time to any of these elements late fines are automatically added at midnight of the due date.

The FA discipline handbook is a comprehensive guide to how the discipline process works including a series of frequently asked questions. To go to the latest version of the guide please click here

The easiest and quickest way to pay fees, fines and charges is online using the Whole Game System (see below).

We will accept BACS payments made into our bank account but if you are paying by BACS please ensure that you quote the invoice or case number in the reference field so that we know which case to credit with your payment. If these details are not provided there may be delays in crediting your cases and your club may then incur the £20 late payment fee.

This also means that you may not pay multiple cases in one BACS transaction as there will not be space for the necessary case / invoice numbers in the reference field.

For BACS payments our account details are:

Sort Code: 09-01-55

Account Number: 34648703

For the time being we will continue to accept cheques but we would prefer you not to use this method of payment because it is less reliable, more likely to result in delayed payment and also more time consuming (for you and for us) than the online system. In due course we intend to phase out cheque payments completely.

The Whole Game System (‘WGS’) is available for all clubs to deal with their discipline and to pay other fees and invoices online from the start of the 2015-16 season. Here are the five easy steps to take in order to deal with discipline cases:

Log in via the Club Portal

You will need to use your FAN (Football Association Number) or email address and associated password handy. If you don't have a password there is a facility on the WGS login page for you to be able to reset it.

Click on your role as "Club Secretary" and follow the "Discipline" tab

This is the tab which will appear on the left hand side of your screen. You can respond to each case individually.

Check all player information is still correct

You will find that your player information may be already populated. Check this is all correct, and amend any information where necessary.

Respond to each charge accordingly

By linking to the referees report, the system will ask you to respond to each case.


Online payment is provided through Barclaycard’s Smartpay, a reliable and secure system that is used extensively across the world.

To go straight to the Whole Game System login page which gives access to your club’s discipline please click here 


We welcome any feedback and are always available to help you with your queries. Click the button below to send an enquiry and a member of our Team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Fair play on & off the pitch

Rules and Regulations

FA Rules and Regulations ensure fair play in the grassroots game, both on and off the pitch. Find information about the following areas here.

  • Laws of the Game
  • Discipline
  • Safeguarding & Welfare
  • Inclusion

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