West Lothian Association of Youth Football Clubs Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions and answers are guidelines aimed at helping newcomers to 11-a-side youth football in West Lothian. The questions are answered on a best endeavour basis only, please refer to the WLAYFC constitution and SYFA handbook for full details and contact the WLAYFC or SYFA secretaries for further clarification if required.

Q. Within what structure does our league operate?

A. We are called the WLAYFC (West Lothian Association of Youth Football Clubs) and are directly affiliated to the SYFA (Scottish Youth Football Association) who control 11-a-side youth football in Scotland. We are also part of the South East Region, who are also affiliated to the SYFA.There are presently 6 regions throughout Scotland affiliated to the SYFA

Q. What is a “free week” and how does this operate?

A. There is no such thing as a “free week”, but teams can request a “relief of fixture”. There is no guarantee that this will be granted, especially towards the end of the season when many games have to be played to complete all league and cup ties. Rule 52 of the WLAFC constitution explains that requests should be sent to WLAYFC secretary 14 days before the requested excusal date. As a courtesy, you should also inform your age group’s fixtures secretary. Relief of Fixture from Scottish Cup and Regional Cup ties is also not guaranteed but early notification will give you the best opportunity of re-arranging fixtures to everyone’s satisfaction.

Q. There seems to be lots or rules and regulations. How can we find them and what are the most important ones?

A. This document will hopefully outline the most frequently arising issues, but you should not rely on anyone else. It is your duty as a team official to ensure you are familiar with local, regional and national rules and you should therefore read and keep copies of all relevant constitutions to ensure you operate within the rules at all times. Protests and appeals are frequently won and lost because of (lack of) adherence to the stated rules. The National, Regional and WLAYFC Secretaries will offer appropriate advice if you seek it.

Q. Who makes up the disciplinary committee and how often do they meet?

A. Disciplinary guidelines with regards to players and officials committing disciplinary offences can be found on the SYFA website www.scottishyouthfa.co.uk The WLAYFC hold disciplinary meetings regularly to deal with reported cases within the WLAYFC leagues. The committee is made up of the WLAYFC Executive committee and elected officials from member WLAYFC teams. (Total of 9).

Q. How do we make a protest about a game that has been cast?

A. Refer to rule 40 onwards from the WLAYFC constitution regarding protests, and also the relevant rules from the SYFA constitution.

Q. How can I get involved with helping league squads and/or regional squads?

A. Your local and Regional Associations are always looking for help, either with coaching or administration and are very unlikely to turn away any volunteers willing to help. Simply contact your local Association Secretary to progress.

Q. Why do we need a permit for all friendly games/tournaments?

Permits are required to cover participation in all friendly or tournament games not organised by your local league, region or by the SYFA. Failure to obtain a permit means you have no authorisation to participate and therefore have no insurance cover. All participants and club officials could be rendering themselves liable to legal action should you play a game without a permit and an accident or incident occurs.
Two forms are available to download from this page. Please read the following information before downloading and completing the appropriate form.

The WLAYFC Permit Form below should be completed by all “home” teams in membership of WLAYFC who wish to participate in a friendly match against another team in membership of the SYFA.
This form should be completed in BLOCK CAPITALS and sent with a SAE to the WLAYFC Association Secretary along with a cheque for £5, payable to "WLAYFC". Any incomplete forms or forms submitted without the appropriate fee will be rejected. Successful applicants will receive a permit which must be handed to the referee along with completed teamsheets, before commencement of the match.

The SYFA Permit Form below should be completed by all teams in membership of WLAYFC who wish to participate in:
1) a friendly match against another team not in membership of the SYFA or
2) a tournament whether to be played at home or abroad.
This completed form should be sent with a SAE to the WLAYFC Secretary (without payment) who will grant permission from the WLAYFC by signing and returning the form. Once you have received written permission from the WLAYFC Secretary, you are required to send the form with a SAE and cheque for £10, payable to "The Scottish Youth F. A." to the SYFA for final approval.

Q. When do the cup finals take place?

A. In order to add to the occasion and to provide a sense of importance for all participants, we attempt to play all cup finals at local Junior grounds. However, this does mean that cup finals may have to be scheduled at short notice.

Q. What is the duration of games and which cups involve replays?

A. Only Scottish Cup ties are replayed (one replay, then extra time and penalties). All other cup ties are played to a finish. Duration of games are as published in the SYFA handbook rules 124 and 125:

90 minutes – Under 21’s, 19’s and 17’s & 30 minutes extra time if appropriate                        
80 minutes – Under 16’s and 15’s & 20 minutes extra time if appropriate                  
70 minutes – Under 14’s and 13’s & 20 minutes extra time if appropriate

A size 4 ball is used for Under 13’s, all other age groups use a size 5 for all competitions.

Q. Who pays for the referees?

 A. Both teams split the cost of the referee for all ties, with the exception of Scottish Cup ties where the home team pays for the referee plus his travelling expenses. The cost of officials for all cup finals are usually borne by the organising Association.

Q. What happens if we don’t have enough players to play in any match?

A. It is your responsibility to ensure you have an appropriate squad size to fulfil all fixtures. You should discuss unforseen problems with your fixtures secretary or the Association Secretary but you may lose the tie if you fail to fulfil it, and a fine may also be imposed. You should ensure you know the reliability of your squad, and ask for early notice of any planned holidays.

Q. Are we allowed to play league and cup games on an astroturf pitch?

A. Yes, as long as both teams agree.

Q. When do player bans take place?

A. No ban takes place until written confirmation is sent from the Association Secretary to the player, detailing the dates and length of ban.

Q. Do bans and bookings carry on to the next season?

A. Bookings are not carried over to the new season, but sending offs and bans are. See the WLAYFC constitution which highlights when any bans come into force.


Q. How should we complete our teamsheet?

 A. Teamsheets are a vital requirement for all competitive and friendly games, and incorrect completion of teamsheets can result in fines and bans of players and/or officials. A sample teamsheet can be downloaded from the WLAYFC web site (www.wlayfc.org). It is advisable to pre-print all player details on a saved copy of your teamsheet, therefore minimal changes will be required on a weekly basis. Players not present should be scored off the teamsheet. Any trialists require to be marked with a T next to their allocated number, and any player who is serving a ban MUST be left on the team sheet, and the letter B must be marked next to their name when they are serving their ban.

Q. What should we know about playing trialists?

A. Trialists cannot play in any cup ties. You can play 4 trialists in any league game, and you can play the same trialist in 4 separate games. A trialist must not be presently registered with any other team.

Q. How and when do we contact referees?

A. Referees are in short supply therefore it is HIGHLY recommended that you contact your referee as soon as you are notified, usually at least 7 days before the date of your fixture. This will allow you the maximum opportunity of obtaining a replacement referee if your original referee cannot fulfil your fixture. Contact the Referee’s Secretary immediately if your allocated referee is unavailable.

Q. How do we deal with results and fixtures?

A. BOTH teams MUST phone the respective fixtures secretary informing them of the result of any played match, and this is when your next fixture will be confirmed, with the allocated referee if you are the home club. It is the HOME club’s responsibility to contact the AWAY team to confirm the venue and kick off time for the fixture.

You should inform both the Regional contact and your local fixtures secretary of the result of any Scottish and Regional cup tie as interaction with other Associations and Regions may be required.