The FA have produce a booklet to explain the disciplinary process, which you can download for free.

The aim of the booklet, is to make the disciplinary process easier to understand at whatever level in the game the club is playing.
The Handbook can also be viewed and downloaded from the FA's web site by clicking here
The FA Discipline Handbook
Download The FA's new Discipline Handbook here.
The FA has produced the below handbook covering Disciplinary Procedures for teams dealt with by County and other affiliated Football Associations under both Match Based and Time Based systems.

To download the handbook, click on the links below:

'For Discipline dealt with by County and other affiliated Football Associations’ (front cover)
'For Discipline dealt with by County and other affiliated Football Associations’ (main body)

The FA will also be producing a handbook entitled 'For Discipline dealt with by The Football Association’. Please return to for details at a later date. 

By Kind Courtesy of THE FA  


The Football Assoication use the following system to mark referees.
The mark awarded by a club must be based on the referee's overall performance, It is most important that the mark is awarded fairly and not based upon isolated incidents or previous games. The referee's performance should be determined by the scale below which should act as a guide for the overall mark which should fall within the mark range for each standard of performance.
91-100: The referee was extremely accurate in decision making and very successfully controlled the game using management and communication skills to create an environment of fair play, adding real value to the game.
81-90: The referee was very accurate in decision making and successfully controlled the game using management and communication skills to create an environment of fair play.
71-80: The referee was accurate in decision making and controlled the game well, communicating with the players, making a positive contribution towards fair play.
61-70: The referee was reasonably accurate in decision making, controlled the game quite well and communicated with players, establishing a reasonable degree of fair play.
51-60: The referee had some shortcomings in the level of accuracy of decision making and control, with only limited success in communicating with the players resulting in variable fair play.
50 and below: The referee had significant shortcomings in the level of accuracy of decision making and control with poor communication with the players which resulted in low levels of fair play.

  • Using a scale of up to 100 allows greater flexibility for clubs to distinguish between different refereeing performances more accurately.
  • A mark within each mark range can be given to reflect the referee’s performance e.g. a mark of 79 indicates a somewhat better performance than a mark of 71.
  • A mark between 71 and 80 represents the standard of refereeing expected.
  • When a mark of 50 or less is awarded, an explanation must be provided to the League or Competition by completing the appropriate box on the marking form. It must include comments which could help improve the referee’s future performances. Even where a referee has significant shortcomings there will have been some positive aspects which should be given credit; extremely low marks (below 20) should be very rare.
How to Decide on the Referee’s Mark
The following questions focus on the key areas of a referee’s performance. They are intended as an “aide memoire”, are not necessarily comprehensive and need not be answered individually. It is, however, worth considering them before committing yourself to a mark for the referee.
  • How well did the referee control the game?
  • Were the players’ actions recognised correctly?
  • Were the Laws applied correctly?
  • Were all incidents dealt with efficiently/effectively?
  • Were all the appropriate sanctions applied correctly?
  • Was the referee always within reasonable distance of incidents?
  • Was the referee well positioned to make critical decisions, especially in and around the penalty area?
  • Did the referee understand the players’ positional intentions and keep out of the way accordingly?
  • Did the referee demonstrate alertness and concentration throughout the game?
  • Did the referee apply the use of the advantage to suit the mood and temperature of the game?
  • Was the referee aware of the players’ attitude to advantage?
  • Did the referee use the assistants effectively?
  • Did the officials work as a team, and did the referee lead and manage them to the benefit of the game?
  • How well did the referee communicate with the players during the game?
  • Did the referee’s level of involvement/profile suit this particular game?
  • Did the referee understand the players’ problems on the day – e.g. difficult ground/weather conditions?
  • Did the referee respond to the changing pattern of play/mood of players?
  • Did the referee demonstrate empathy for the game, allowing it to develop in accordance with the tempo of the game?
  • Was the referee pro-active in controlling of the game?
  • Was the referee’s authority asserted firmly without being officious
  • Was the referee confident and quick thinking?
  • Did the referee appear unflustered and unhurried when making critical decisions?
  • Did the referee permit undue questioning of decisions?
  • Did the referee deal effectively with players crowding around after decisions/incidents?
  • Was effective player management in evidence?
  • Was the referee’s body language confident and open at all times?
  • Did the pace of the game, the crowd or player pressure affect the referee negatively?
  • Always try to be objective when marking. You may not obtain the most objective view by marking immediately after the game.
  • Judge the performance over the whole game. Don’t be too influenced by one particular incident.
  • Don’t mark the referee down unfairly because your team was unlucky and lost the game or some disciplinary action was taken against your players.

Kind Permission of The FA


The formation of a club is relevantly easy, but very time consuming. Without someone to take the lead and having the time or knowledge, the process can be delayed.

The Process is to affiliate with both your local county FA and the league you want to join, whilst the administrative side is going on you will need to have players in place to form your team and people in place to form your club committee.
If you are a junior club you will need to have in place a Level 1 coach who has a CRB with the FA.
For a fee (including expenses incurred), can:
  • Affiliate your club with your local county FA
  • Arrange your club meeting venue for the season
  • Arrange booking volunteers/staff on to FA approved coaching/development courses.
  • Membership to this site
  • Offer you support and guidance.

Email \n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For your club to succeed you will need a group of people willing to take on roles of chairman, club secretary and treasurer.
You need to make sure the you have in place club Rules, codes of conducts & policies.
Appointment of Club Officials, Insurance and creating a constitution.
As a new club it will be important to raise funds to run the club and initially these will probably be from player memberships and subscriptions. Some funding maybe available to you.
Clubs should note that by the start of the 2009-10 season their club welfare officer MUST have attended a Safeguarding Children Course, otherwise the club will not be permitted to affiliate to their County Association.

By the start of season 2010-11 the club welfare officer must have attended a WOW course. (Welfare Officer Workshop) or, again, the club will not be permitted to affiliate to their County Association.


Locating and Finding a Pitch
You will need to apply directly to the relevant Local Authority, School or venue itself to hire a pitch for matches. You may be required to ask to pay for a "seasons-worth" of pitch hire upfront at the start of the season.
A good online resource to use to find pitches in your area is the Register oF English Football Facilities (REFF