Bentham Country Club

   Bentham Lane, Bentham, Gloucester, GL3 4UD  01452 864157

League Playing Rules




The league is provided to promote "Health, Fitness & Enjoyment Through Sporting Competition".  A fair and sporting manner must be displayed by all players and spectators at all times.  Respect for the opposition, the Referee and the rules he enforces is a pre-requisite for entry into the league. 

Teams play a series of matches within their Division.  The specific format depends on the number of teams entered for the season.  The series of matches may or may not include a Qualification Round.  Promotion/relegation only takes place in leagues where there is more than one Division.

Three points are awarded for a win and one point for a draw.  League positions are determined by: 1.) Points   2.) Goal   3.) Goals For   4.) Head to head.



A Referee shall be appointed to officiate your game.  He will have the same powers and duties as laid down in the rules herein.  The Referee's decision is final.



Team Captains may register as many players as they wish.  All team players must be registered and at least 16 years old.  Additional players can be registered throughout the season by providing written details (Name, address, phone number) to a member of staff.  This must be done before the new player plays a game.

Players may register for as many teams on as many nights as they wish providing they do not play for more than two teams in any Division on any night of play.  Goalkeepers are exempt from this ruling.



Captains may find themselves short of players owing to holidays or illness.  To compensate, one Guest Player may be fielded.  A Guest Player is defined as player who is not registered for the team they are playing for.  A Guest Player cannot be fielded if a) Using the Guest Player results in 7 or more players being fielded throughout the match.  A team may field 5 registered players plus the one Guest Player.  The Guest Player has already played in two matches within the same Division on the night in question.

A default 10-0 win will ONLY be awarded if a) A 'No Show' whereby the opposition fails to attend the match without giving prior notice*.  The offending team will lose their match deposit and a new deposit will be payable.  b) Fielding unregistered players and/or breaching the Guest Player rule.  c) Whereby a match has to be abandoned for disciplinary purposes.   
* 10-0 wins are not awarded by right to the opposition of a team who failed to give 24 hours when postponing a fixture.  However, they may be retrospectively awarded in the event that the non-postponing opposition has more than two outstanding matches to play in the Re-arranged Week. 

To allow for holidays or illness that would leave the Captain being unable to field five players, teams may postpone one fixture in the Qualification Round and one in the Final Round of matches.  A charge of £5 will be incurred for any team who has to postpone a fixture for any reason.  This fee will be recovered from the team's match deposit.
A period of at least 24 hours is to be received before kick off when wishing to cancel a game, otherwise the pitch hire fee will be payable 
In the event of cancellation of the pitch hire (fixture) the team will be required to make an alternative pitch hire booking.  This is known as a Rearranged Game.

Light footwear must be worn.  Players are expected to wear a team strip or at least the same colour T-Shirts.  Playing bare chest is not permitted.  Shin pads are strongly recommended as is full protective gear for the Goalkeeper.  Players who would normally wear spectacles are advised to wear safety glasses.  Footwear permitted for Astro Pitches (P1&P2) are Astro trainers or flat soled trainers only - NO STUDS or BLADES permitted.  For tarmac pitches (P3&P4) trainers are ideal.  "Nobbly" footwear  (hard plastic) are not suitable.  They have proven to give less grip on the playing surface of P3&P4 than flat rubber soled footwear.

Watches and jewellery that could cause injury are to be removed.  Players are advised to consult their GP before participation in the Leagues if they have any medical condition that may put themselves at further risk.
Players should leave the pitch for blood injuries.  These can be treated by a First Aider at the bar/reception.  In the event of a more serious injury, the Referee will take control.  Do not attempt to move the injured party.  At least one qualified First Aider is always on duty.  If this is not your Referee, he will appoint someone to go and inform such person.  In the event that an Ambulance is required, someone will be appointed to inform the bar/reception where a member of staff will call the Ambulance.  An Accident Report Form will be completed for all injuries that required First Aid treatment at the next convenient opportunity. 
  • Players should not spill drinks on the playing surface.
  • Spitting is unhygienic and offensive.  If players have to clear their mouth, they must use a bin.
  • The hoarding is designed as a rebound board for the ball and not as a human stop.
  • Improper use of Emergency Exits is dangerous and could lead to prosecution. 
  • Players must keep any children in control and not allow them to play in areas of danger.
  • All spectators must maintain a watchful eye on the match so as to reduce injury from stray footballs.

The team's token must be purchased from the bar and handed to the Referee before start of play. 
The duration of each match is 34 minutes (2x17 minute halves).  The match will be started with a centre kick.  The Referee will decide who takes the centre.  When taking a centre, both teams must be in their appropriate half until the ball is kicked otherwise an offside will be given (free kick on the centre spot).  The ball may be passed backwards, forwards or a shot may be taken following a centre.  In any case, the ball must be played off any other player before the taker can regain possession.

Outfield players can be substituted at any time without consent of the Referee.  All outfield subsitutions are 'rolling substitutions' meaning there is no stop in play or time during a substitution.  A player must leave the pitch before another may enter and this exchange must be from the same entrance/exit point.  Any player can substitute with the Goalkeeper although the exchange must be done in a 'dead-ball' situation and the Referee must be aware of the substitution.

If the ball leaves the pitch, play is re-started with a sideline ball.  This kick is taken from the side in line with where the ball went out of play.  The taker has five seconds to return the ball into play.  Exceeding this time will result in play being turned over.  All sideline ball's are indirect. If a deflection is taken, any goal scored will count.  If the ball leaves the pitch behind the goal via the Goalkeeper or defender, a corner ball is given.  Corner balls are direct.  All players of the opposing team must not be within six feet of the taker.  The ball leaving the pitch off the Goalkeeper results in a corner kick.

The ball is not allowed above head height.  The Referee has complete discretion to determine head height.  The Referee will often use the receiving players height as a guide.  Players may head the ball providing the ball has not gone above head height.  When the ball goes above head height, a sideline ball is given as in "When The Ball Leaves The Pitch" except it can be taken from either side of the pitch.  The Referee may give a keeper's ball following a shot at goal where the ball has risen above head height.   


All free kicks are taken in the same way as a sideline balls except they are all direct.  Free kicks are awarded for a) Holding, pushing or shirt-pulling  b) Hand ball  c) Any sliding - either by means of tackle, blocking or shooting d) Sandwich tackle or charging  e) Verbal abuse  f) Any challenge judged as irresponsible or unsporting  g) Shoulder barging  h) Obstruction - intentional or accidental i) "Two on one" i.e. two players attempting a tackle/blocking or interefering simultaneously  j) Holding the hoarding with two hands whilst in possession  k) Making contact from a rear challenge  l) Obstructing the Goalkeeper's roll out (the Referee may also instruct the Goalkeeper to retake his throw) m) Playing the ball whilst on the ground n) Interference - e.g. accidentally tripping over and affecting/obstructing an opponent.

Penalty takers must not exceed two steps i.e. a "step-kick" motion from a stationary start must be adopted.  All other players must be at least six feet away and behind the ball.  Goalkeepers must remain on their line until the ball is struck.  Play will continue if the ball comes back into play.  Penalties are awarded for a) A defender entering the 'D'  (see "Inside Or Outside The 'D'")  b) A Goalkeeper leaving or playing the ball outside the 'D' (see "Inside Or Outside The 'D'")  c) Deliberate hand ball on a shot that the Referee deems as being on target  d) Having six players actively on the pitch  e) Direct back pass back to the Goalkeeper - including accidental occurences e.g. ball returns to Goalkeeper off one of his defender's back  f) Persistent fouling  g) Following a 'professional' foul when clean through on goal and a clear goal scoring opportunity denied N.B. The Referee also has discretion to sin bin the offending player - (The Referee will consider frequency of any previous offences by the player/team in question when using discretion whether to sin bin player in addition to awarding the penalty).

Following a Goalkeeper's roll out, the ball must be played off, or touch, any other player before it can be returned to the Goalkeeper.  The ball may be returned to the Goalkeeper following any save where the Goalkeeper did not have full possession.  If the ball comes to rest inside the 'D' following either an intentional or unintentional back pass, a penalty is awarded.

The Goalkeeper must return the ball into play using an underarm 'roll out' or throw within five seconds. The throwing arm must not exceed 90 degrees in relation to the body.  The Goalkeeper cannot kick the ball into play.  An invalid 'roll out' or throw, or, exceeding five seconds results in a corner ball being awarded.  If the Goalkeeper has used his feet following a save, play will continue.  If the Referee judges that the Goalkeeper could have easily used his hands, then a corner ball will be awarded.  A corner ball is also awarded if the Goalkeeper 'rolls out' or throws the ball above head height.  The ball leaving the pitch off the Keeper is a corner kick. 

The Referee has complete discretion to determine unavoidable or avoidable entry or exit of the 'D'.  A penalty will only be given if the Referee is absolutely sure that a 'D' infringement has occurred.  The benefit of the doubt is always given to the defending team.  So it is possible for a Goalkeeper or defender to be outside/inside the 'D' and a penalty not be awarded:
Goalkeeper:  If a save is made inside the 'D' and momentum carries a part of his body unavoidably outside the 'D' play continues.  The Goalkeeper may be warned however.  The Referee is looking for the ball and Goalkeeper outside the 'D' to be sure of a 'D' infringement.  E.g. Keeper makes a save with his hands.  If A) Hand + Ball are outside the D then a penalty is awarded.  B) If Hand + Ball are inside but body position resulted in a leg being outside, no penalty is awarded.
Defending team: If a player from the defending team unavoidably enters their 'D' (e.g. as a consequence of a tackle) benefit will go his way.

Attacking Team: If a player from the attacking team shoots from outside the ‘D’, scores, and forward momentum carries him into the ‘D’ the goal stands.  The goal will not count if the player obstructs, or makes contact with the Goalkeeper in any way.  Any other scenario other than a goal scored (e.g. Goalkeeper making a save or a rebound from the board) will result in a ‘D’ infringement and therefore possession turned over to the Goalkeeper.   


Any player can be excluded from the pitch at any time during a match for a minimum of two minutes.  The Referee has the right to extend this time for however long he deems as necessary.  He also has the right to exclude a player from the game completely (i.e. sent-off).  In addition, he has the power to make 'enforced substitutions'.  The Referee will consider the nature of any offending behaviour which may include a) Persistent fouling b) Inappropriate conduct  c) Dangerous or reckless play  d) Intimidating or threatening behaviour or language e) Descent  f) Unsporting behaviour g) Consideration of reasons in 'Penalty Kicks - (g)'.

The Leagues aim to "Provide Health, Fitness & Enjoyment Through Sporting Competition".  A fair and sporting manner must be displayed by all players and spectators at all times.  Consideration and respect for the opposition, the Referee and the rules he enforces is a must.
The Management of Bentham Country Club. reserves the right to exclude any team or individual player from the League at any time with or without prior notice if such action is deemed necessary to promote safety, well-being and enjoyment.  In such an event, monies paid are not subject to any refund.
The Management of Bentham Country Club also reserves the right to add to, delete, or amend contents of the League Playing Rules at any time.  Any changes to the League Playing Rules will be published on the League notice board and on the website. 

Accompanying the League Playing Rules are a set of Terms & Conditions that each player must read and understand.  Players must acknowledge their understanding of the Terms & Conditions by signing the appropriate section of the Application Form before their Captain submits the application to join the Leagues.

April 2013

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