News Story

2014 Kick-Off! - UPDATED

Published: 28/03/2014 4:41:00 PM

We've put together the complete information guide for the 2014 ESFA season.

Throughout the year, all the information you need will be on our website, so you can keep up to date when you come and check your results each week.


Competition dates 2014

29/30 March

First weekend of AAM Championship and Small Sided Football

5/6 April

First weekend of competitions

19/20 April

No football scheduled (Easter, middle weekend of school holidays)

7/8 June

No junior football scheduled (June Long Weekend – may be used for wet weather reschedules)

5/6 July

No junior football scheduled (middle weekend of school holidays)

23/24 August

First weekend of Junior Grand Finals

30/31 August

Last weekend of Junior Grand Finals

6/7 September

First weekend of Senior Grand Finals

13/14 September

Last weekend of Senior Grand Finals

NB: Dates for Grand Finals will be dependent upon each age group/division. 

Season dates may change due to external factors such as wet weather or ground closures. 

Checking the draw

The draw for Round 1 is out. Further rounds will be released shortly after and as soon as practically possible.

We strongly encourage that you check our Draws and Results Page regularly for the latest fixtures and results.

You can register for email updates for your matches including fixture changes and reminders using SP Passport. 

You can also view your fixtures with the official FoxSportsPulse app for iOS and Android:

·       Click here to download for a link to the app on the iOS App Store. 

·       Click here to download for a link to the app on the Google Play Store. 

The official app is the only one that fully supports our draws and results system. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or support of any other mobile app.

Wet weather

Checking for wet weather announcements is the same as last year. To find out if your ground is closed, you can use any one of the following methods:

ESFA does not make the decision to close a ground in the event of wet weather. Ground closures follow a set decision making hierarchy:

  • Ground owner: All closure notices from owners are final and absolute.
  • Ground hirer: A hirer may close a ground at any time if it is not fit for play. Hirers may take advice, but it is the hirer’s responsibility to monitor the situation on their grounds and must close any grounds that are unfit for play. Hirers cannot re-open grounds closed by owners.
  • Referee: The appointed match official must ensure that each match is played on a safe ground. Referees cannot close a ground but may declare that a field is not safe to play on. A referee cannot re-open grounds closed by owners or hirers.

Once a ground is closed, it cannot be re-opened that day.

NB: We only update our wet weather information on weekends and competition match days. To find out if your ground is closed for training you will need to either contact your Club or the council directly.

Visit our Wet Weather Page for full details.

Finding your field

Our competition matches are played on parks across the entire Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. If you're not sure where to go, we have a list of all the fields that we use, including a Google Maps link, on our Grounds page.

We've also set up a handy custom Google Map that shows the boundaries of ESFA and where the parks are in relation to each other. You can view the map also on our Grounds page.

Player cards and ID sheets

ALL players must have a player ID to be eligible to play. This will be enforced from Round 1.

Player cards have been produced and this year clubs can also use the ID sheets from MyFootballClub. Your club registrar can generate these for each team – they’ll need to run the ‘Registration Card – A4 Size’ report and print that out in colour.

ID checks must be completed before the start of the match. The referee will need to cite that an ID check has occurred on the match sheet. The referee does NOT check the IDs themselves. This is the role of your team’s RTO. Please ensure the referee is aware that you have completed an ID check before the match to avoid any issues.

If there are any disputes you must notify the referee and note it on the back of the team sheet.

Your Club Secretary

If you have any questions about your match, your Club Secretary should be your first point of contact. They will need to know your team's situation before we do. If ESFA needs to be informed your Club Secretary will do that because in many cases they need to complete and sign the relevant form themselves.

Some situations where you must speak to your Club Secretary may include:

  • You cannot attend your match/need to forfeit
  • The referee did not attend your match
  • You request a game amendment
  • You need to report an incident
  • Your results are wrong and want to submit a discrepancy
  • Submitting any other special request

Competition documents

New Match sheets

This year’s new match sheets are available in our ESFA Library.

Only the official ESFA Match Sheet will be accepted for sanctioned matches.

We have also uploaded blank team sheets in our library:

Competition rules

Other Forms

All of these documents are directly relevant to the competition. Please ensure you are aware of them.

All of the above documents and many more (including meeting minutes, circulars and other polices) can be found in our Library.

Local competition rule changes

These are the changes specific to the local ESFA competitions.

All Competitions

Player & RTO ID Cards - All players & RTO's need an ESFA produced ID card. Players are to present their ID for checking prior to the game or prior to entering the field. IMPORANT this season a Coloured copy of the ID Sheet is acceptable. This is the document, obtainable from ESFA or via My Football Club which prints a copy of all player ID's on 1 or 2 pages.

Match Cards & Pre Match checking - Each teams needs to hand the Referee a completed Match card (NB must be the ESFA approved version; refer to the website) at least 5 mins before the game is due to commence. RTO's are then to check opposing team’s IDs.

Junior Football Update

Mercy Rule - the maximum goal difference in any game will be 6 goals. In essence regardless of the actual score only a margin of 6 goals will be credited and added to a team's goal difference, e.g. a team wins 8 -0 then only 6-0 will be recorded. If the score was 8-2 that score would stand as the "difference" is 6. This rule has been introduced to remove pressure on teams to maximise their scoring in games which are uneven and thus hopefully avoid wipe-outs.

Forfeits - In line with the above Mercy rule a 6 -0 result will be recorded where a team forfeits. Further, an explanation will need to be provided. ESFA via the JFMC then reserves the right to impose further sanctions including monetary fines where it believes the forfeit was not for genuine reasons

No Playing up within same grade - there is no longer any option for players to play-up where a club has more than 1 team in the Championship. Last season players from the "lower" were allowed to play however it was perceived some teams took advantage of this rule

Pennant Final Series - confirming that the popular Pennant Finals series for all teams who do not qualify for the main Finals Series will again be held this year

Championship Finals - Previously referred to as Division 1 the top grade in each age group is now referred to as "The Championship". The grand final for these competitions will be played at Hensley Field on the excellent synthetic surface.

Regrading of Competitions - In each age group a review of standings will be conducted at the conclusion of the first full round of the Championship Division. At that time it will be determined if any regrading is logical.

Senior Football Update

ESFA Cup, ESFA Trophy – We’ve added Adding an ESFA Trophy competition for men’s teams from Division 5 and below and Over35 Division 2 and below

Men’s Championship – All-Age players are now permitted to play up into the Men’s Championship, but are subject to the normal regrading rules

Squad size – the rules now permit 7 interchange players in All-Age competitions.

Competition guidelines


FIFA have also made Law changes in regard to players wearing headscarves. If a player, now only a female player, wishes to wear a headscarf during a match then the following regulations apply. The headscarf must:

  • be of the same colour as the jersey
  • be in keeping with the professional appearance of the player’s equipment
  • not be attached to the jersey
  • not pose any danger to the player wearing it or any other player (e.g. opening/closing mechanism around neck)
  • only be worn by female players

This does NOT affect the wearing of any head-covering for religious reasons

Jewellery policy

Jewellery or anything dangerous is NOT to be worn. Referees will continue to strictly enforce this. These include:

  • Taping of earrings/rings 
  • Anything metallic, including bobby pins or hair clips (fabric may be used to tie up hair)
  • Casts/splints
  • Wrist bands
  • Spectacles that are hazardous may not be worn and will be at the discretion of the referee. ‘Sports goggles’ are both safe and acceptable

Remember that the jewellery policy is put in place for your safety.

No smoking

There is to be NO SMOKING at all ESFA matches. The NSW Government has introduced a ban on smoking in spectator areas of sports grounds or other recreational areas while organised sporting events are being held.

No alcohol

Please remember that many of the fields we use are on public parks and there is a NO ALCOHOL policy for all ESFA matches. We ask everyone to please be mindful of this for the forthcoming season.

Referee dissent

The dissent of the referee or assistant referees, whether by a player, coach, manager or spectator, will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

The Referees Branch have expressed their gratitude that the respect shown from players, coaches and spectators has improved and hope that this can continue.

Please keep in mind that many of our referees are still young and are learning. There are also a number of new referees this year and we ask everybody to stay patient as referees do occasionally make mistakes.

Incident reports

If an incident occurs and you wish to report it you can download and complete our Incident Report Form. You will need to report and submit the form to your own Club Secretary. They will sign the form off and submit it to us for you. All reports will be taken seriously so please provide as much factual detail as possible.

Injury report form

If you get injured, either whilst playing or training, we encourage you to complete our injury report form.
This will allow us to keep track of the number of injuries that occur whilst playing football so we can build a profile of the value of football insurance and it will provide you with a point of reference should you lodge an insurance claim.

Please note that this form IS NOT an official insurance claim. You will still be required to complete an Insurance form if you choose to do so. 

Click here to complete our Injury report form.

Referee evaluation forms

As in previous years, we have an anonymous Referee Evaluation Form that teams may submit. Constructive feedback is always appreciated. Only constructive reports will be considered.

You can either complete the form online or fill out a paper form and submit via fax, mail or email:

Code of conduct

ESFA would like to remind all players, coaches, managers and spectators about our policies and expected behaviour for the season.

General behaviour should be respectful to others, particularly including refraining from using bad language or harassing players, coaches, officials or other spectators.

Our Code of Conduct document outlines what is expected. 

Score Entry

As with last year, clubs will be entering their scores online directly into SportingPulse. Our SportingPulse Score Entry Guide is the best resource for clubs to train their volunteers how to enter scores. Club officials should get in touch with us directly if they’re having any troubles.

RTO Guide

ESFA has produced a shorter, simpler RTO guide that talks you through what you need to do as a RTO on matchday. Click here for the new guide: 2014 RTO Guide

Updates during the season

Competition updates

This season we will publish a brief, weekly “Competition Update” article on the ESFA website. This will notify you of any updates including competition changes, new documents and other Association news.

We will also be sending Age Group/Division specific emails if we need to notify you about important changes to your division.

Coaching opportunities

During the season we aim to run a number of coaching courses. These will give the opportunity for you, or your coach, to learn some of the fundamentals of grassroots coaching using the FFA recognised education pathway.

We'll be announcing the courses on our website, in our newsletter and on social media when we have more details.


We will continue to publish our monthly e-newsletter, Offside, in addition to updates on our website. You can read back issues of Offside and subscribe by clicking here.

Social media

You can join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter: 


ESFA is considerate of private schools and school holidays and accommodates these commitments wherever possible. Please note that the information may be subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances such as withdrawals and wet weather.

Let’s hope we get a season of fine weather. Good luck to everyone! We hope that everyone in the community enjoys the 2014 season. 

If you have any other competition questions please email us at and we’ll answer them as soon as possible.

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