The Football Association’s Discipline Handbook for 2012/13 is now online as an interactive reference guide to aid leagues, clubs and players throughout the forthcoming campaign, providing a useful explanation of the disciplinary process as it details the changes which have taken place over the last few years.
Amongst the principal subjects of the new book is the adoption of the ‘match-based’ discipline system in youth football.
After its successful introduction in the adult game, this form of discipline is now being rolled out to all youth football in the 2012/13 season, making grassroots more consistent with the professional game.
This year’s online guide also includes videos and resources which go into greater depth to explain the whole disciplinary process. The videos comprise of an introduction from FA Disciplinary Manager Mark Ives and support on Respect and processing misconduct charges, as well as a ‘walk through guide’ on the Members Services available at www.essexfa.com.
Resources provided include a template suspension notification form, a club and league statement, misconduct paperwork, board of appeal and alternate charge example paperwork and information on multiple charges and penalty points. Plus there is a new section to provide help for administrators regarding the powers and duties of a league.
Youth football clubs and leagues got to grips with the new system at a range of specially-arranged ‘roadshow’ events organised by the Essex County FA in August which highlighted the merits of the new “fairer and more streamlined” procedures as well as assisting with any questions or queries. Governance Manager Greg Hart was involved in the delivery of the roadshow and he explained the County Office’s role in admin support.
He said: “There have been many changes over the last few years and, now all football is covered by match-based discipline, this interactive booklet gives an opportunity for anyone with a query to look at this first. If anything’s still unclear, we’re always available in person at the office, over the telephone, via E-Mail, or through our Twitter and Facebook accounts.”
“If the query is charge-specific, say if a player has been sent from the field of play and a club wants to check on any progress, the office is the first calling point as we’ll have all the necessary information. We’ve been working with the match-based discipline system for six years, so each member of staff should be in a position to answer any query, however trivial you may think it is. If an answer can’t be given straight away, we’ll find out and let you know.”
The FA Discipline Handbook is available to read/download at www.essexfa.com via ‘Players’ then ‘Rules and Regulations’. Meanwhile, the Governance Department at the County Office in Chelmsford are available from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, to assist with any questions or queries. Contact details can be found at www.essexfa.com, on Twitter @EssexCountyFA or on Facebook at ‘EssexFootball’.