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Extension to team registration period and changes to 2020/2021 Competition Rules

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Update from BAFA Operations Manager Clive Dobbin

Whilst the unfortunate decision has been taken to cancel the 2020 season now for all formats, work is already underway for the 2021 season.  This includes reviewing and updating the competition rules.

Firstly, BAFA has reviewed team registrations, and has extended the current team registrations until 30 September 2021. This means that all teams who have paid the team registration fee for 2019/2020 will be automatically covered for next season and will not have to pay the registration fee again in November 2020.

Individual registrations will be announced shortly hopefully next week (after a meeting of the BAFA Board on Monday 3 August 2020).

BAFA has also carried out its annual review of the competition rules. The updated competition rules can be found here
. The table at the front of the document summarises the main changes which have been made.

We have firstly changed the names of the league. The following changes have been made:

- Youth contact becomes U16, or U16 Contact;
-  Junior contact becomes U19, or U19 Contact;
- Cadet Flag becomes U14 Flag;
- Youth Flag becomes U16 Flag;
- Sapphire becomes Women’s Contact;
- Opal becomes Women’s Flag.

The flag age groups are subject to the review of age ranges which is currently taking place.

Team registration
We also wanted to give teams as much notice as possible of these changes as some important changes have been made. For example, the deadline for registering teams is contained at rule 3.2, and for most formats is 5pm on the second Friday in November, so for 2020 that will be 5pm on Friday 13 November 2020. Knowing which teams are entering the league at an early stage is an essential part of the fixture setting process, and is required to ensure we can deliver on our commitment to confirm fixtures to teams as early as possible. Teams not registered by this deadline will not be permitted to enter the league, and will not be included in the fixture setting process.

In light of the extension to the team registration period announced above, this will only affect those teams who haven’t yet paid the team registration fee for 2019/2020. These teams will therefore need to register prior to the date specified in rule 3.2, and that this will then cover both the 2019/2020 season and the 2020/2021 season.

Coaches and players
For 2021 we have also introduced minimum numbers for coaches and players. Minimum numbers have worked well in the associate process, and it is now being introduced for existing league teams.  The minimum numbers are contained at rule 4.3, and these minimum numbers must be reached by 5pm on the second Friday in February, so for 2021 by 5pm on Friday 12 February 2021. It is hoped that by introducing these minimum numbers, we will reduce the number of games which are forfeited because a team has insufficient numbers to field a squad. Teams who do not meet these minimum numbers will not be able to participate in the 2021 season.

Whilst not new, we have made clear that clubs need certain documents which must be uploaded as part of the registration process. For example, clubs must prepare accounts – see rule 4.5.

I am very grateful to the following people for assisting with the review of the competition rules:

- Faye Eastwood and Amanda McDonald, Registrations;
- Warren Smart, Game Development;
- Stuart Potts-Perkins, Youth/Junior Commission Lead;
- Kyle Taylor, Adult Flag Commission Lead;
- Sreeni Shaji and Chris Towler – Cadet/Youth Flag Commission Lead;
- Arran Harrison, Women's Contact Commission Lead. 

It is hoped that the changes made, particularly relating to minimum numbers, will improve the quality of the league in 2021.

Any queries should be directed to myself Clive Dobbin, Operations Manager

Clive Dobbin, BAFA Operations Manager




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