Promotion & Relegation Rules 2021-2022

Brightside

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I have started a new thread by request that this information will be lost in the other thread (https://www.nonleaguematters.co.uk/...tions-2021-22-the-reality-thread.4437/page-17)

Promotion & Relegation information involving non-league teams




Step 1 Relegation - 3 Relegated (bottom 3)

Step 2 Promotion - 4 Promoted (1 Automatic, 1 playoff per division)

Step 2 Relegation - 6 Relegated (bottom 3 relegated per division)

Step 3 Promotion - 8 Promoted (1 Automatic, 1 playoff per division)

Step 3 Relegation - 16 Relegated (bottom 4 relegated per division)

Step 4 Promotion - 16 Promoted (1 Automatic, 1 playoff per division)

Step 4 Relegation - 16 Relegated + 16 Relegation Playoffs (Bottom 2 relegated per division, 3rd and 4th bottom playoff with Step 5 runners up)

Step 5 Promotion - 16 Promoted + 16 Relegation Playoffs (1 Automatic, 2nd place playoff with Step 4 club)

Step 5 Relegation - 32 Relegated (bottom 2 relegated per division)

Step 6 Promotion - 32 Promoted (1 Automatic for all divisions, 1 playoff per division except SWP)

Step 6 Relegation - Upto 51 Relegated (Bottom 3 at risk of relegation, reprieves to be done by PPG but all 3rd bottom clubs first then 2nd bottom clubs etc.)

No mention of how exactly to fill any of the vacancies from Steps 3 to 6, so it is left to teams to try to work it out for themselves.
It is now believed that Step 2 will revert to 44 clubs for 22/23 rather than 48 clubs so the vacancies per step are;

Step 3 - There is 1 Step 1 vacancy, 1 Step 2 vacancy & 1 Step 3 vacancy, to revert to 88 teams, I would therefore expect 3 reprieves @ Step 3 . 87-8+6+16-13=88

Step 4 - There are a further 2 vacancies @ Step 4. To revert to 160 teams would therefore expect 5 Step 4 teams not to enter the playoffs and 5 runners up to be automatically promoted from Step 5. 158-16+13-16+21= 160 - With 11 playoffs not affecting the numbers. This is the most difficult division to predict.

Step 5 -There is a further vacancy @ Step 5. To revert to 320 teams, I would expect 6 reprieves @ Step 5. 319-21+16-26+32= 320

Step 6 - There are a further 5 vacancies (the original 3 + Wem + King's Lynn Town Reserves. To revert to 340 teams, if 51 teams were relegated, there would be spaces for 62 Step 7 promotions, I'm not sure if Step 7 promotions are limited to 1 per division, if it is limnited to 1 per division then a theoretical maximum of 49 teams that could be promoted and therefore only 38 teams would be relegated, I would be surprised if any 3rd bottom teams are relegated next season. 335-32+26-51+62

 

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Swindon Addick

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I know nothing about the FA should surprise e by now, but I'm confused why they would release a one-off set of procedures for this coming season that covers how they increase the number of teams at step 1 but doesn't acknowledge any of the other known vacancies. Am I missing something obvious?
 

Unicorn

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I know nothing about the FA should surprise e by now, but I'm confused why they would release a one-off set of procedures for this coming season that covers how they increase the number of teams at step 1 but doesn't acknowledge any of the other known vacancies. Am I missing something obvious?
I think it has because different steps are the responsibility of different committees.
I have not studied it yet but increasing the size of divisions can only be done by reprieves or extra promotions and it will probably come down the committees desecration when the time comes.
 

Brightside

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I know nothing about the FA should surprise e by now, but I'm confused why they would release a one-off set of procedures for this coming season that covers how they increase the number of teams at step 1 but doesn't acknowledge any of the other known vacancies. Am I missing something obvious?
It's possible that they've only released the one off information for Steps 1 & 2 as they're not sure how many teams will be at Step 2 in the future whereas they know how many teams they want at Steps 3 to 6 and therefore can release the ongoing promotion & relegation rules.

It really isn't that difficult to discuss with the two committees whether reprieves or additional promotions fill the vacancies that already exist BEFORE the season starts.

I hope for additional promotions but anticipate reprieves despite 2 years of no relegations.

Upfilling the Step 4 vacancies is more complicated though due to the Inter-step playoffs.
 

Unicorn

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It's possible that they've only released the one off information for Steps 1 & 2 as they're not sure how many teams will be at Step 2 in the future whereas they know how many teams they want at Steps 3 to 6 and therefore can release the ongoing promotion & relegation rules.

It really isn't that difficult to discuss with the two committees whether reprieves or additional promotions fill the vacancies that already exist BEFORE the season starts.

I hope for additional promotions but anticipate reprieves despite 2 years of no relegations.

Upfilling the Step 4 vacancies is more complicated though due to the Inter-step playoffs.
I thought that it was already decided that step 2 would have 24 team divisions.
Is that not the case?

So in an ideal world they want Step1 24 per division, Step 2 and 3 22 per division, Step 4,5,6 20 per Division.
As we stand that is the plan ? Looking no further than 2022/23 which is far enough.
 
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paulh66

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I know nothing about the FA should surprise e by now, but I'm confused why they would release a one-off set of procedures for this coming season that covers how they increase the number of teams at step 1 but doesn't acknowledge any of the other known vacancies. Am I missing something obvious?
I wouldn't regard the advance extract of this coming season's NLS Regulations as a 'one-off', other than the fact that it's been released in advance of the full regulations this time (presumably for reasons of practicality). It looks like this will now be the preferred approach to promotion and relegation throughout the restructured NLS going forward.

The release of the full regulations for next season is obviously still pending but note they typically also include provisions for filling vacancies. These tend to focus on vacancies arising either during a season or at the end of it, but the principles behind them have also been applied to filling pre-existing vacancies when desired.

It wouldn't surprise me if they decided during the season to do that next summer (less so at step 6), but that's pure speculation. However I very much doubt the question has been overlooked or forgotten about! As Brightside says, it would normally be done via reprieves rather than additional promotions, which is consistent with the language in, and balance of, the regs anyway (e.g. clubs can merely be liable relegation but pretty much obliged to go up if they finish in a promotion position).

The VNL wanted and needed topping up, for various reasons, and none of the above needed to preclude that being addressed now. Whether the previous plan to top up VNL to 72 clubs still has legs remains to be seen. In the absence of any news to the contrary, one would assume it's been deferred, not dropped.
 

The Gasworks End

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I understand the increase in numbers to 24 in each division at step 2 is going to go back to the clubs to still if this is still something they desire.
 

Brightside

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I understand the increase in numbers to 24 in each division at step 2 is going to go back to the clubs to still if this is still something they desire.
I also understand that it's being deferred, so as per the regulations it is unlikely that there will be more than 44 teams @ step 2 in 22/23.
I wouldn't regard the advance extract of this coming season's NLS Regulations as a 'one-off', other than the fact that it's been released in advance of the full regulations this time (presumably for reasons of practicality). It looks like this will now be the preferred approach to promotion and relegation throughout the restructured NLS going forward.
You've partially clarified after this but I just wanted to emphasise that the following is a one-off as it's obviously not sustainable.

Step 1 relegating 3 and Step 2 promoting 4
Step 2 relegating 6 and Step 3 promoting 8

I guess we'd all expect the relegations to increase to 4 & 8 respectively under 'normal' circumstances whether that is the rules for 22/23 or later (If Step 2 is increased)
 

paulh66

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You've partially clarified after this but I just wanted to emphasise that the following is a one-off as it's obviously not sustainable.

Step 1 relegating 3 and Step 2 promoting 4
Step 2 relegating 6 and Step 3 promoting 8
I doubt anyone in their right mind would suggest otherwise but if that constitutes a "one-off" to you then hey ho. In reality it's a relatively minor compensating adjustment of numbers rather than any change in approach or principle.
 
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Sacristan.Revenant

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I understand the increase in numbers to 24 in each division at step 2 is going to go back to the clubs to still if this is still something they desire.

The NL isn't being asked to relegate eight clubs to Step3 at end of 2021-22 season, so the matter is safe in abeyance for a year - likely because only 42 teams exist at Step2 atm. Also, it looks like they don't want to be in a position to have to relegate fewer than four clubs in a season.
 

windydcfc

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⦁ DEFINITIONS
In the interpretation of these Regulations: any words and expressions, unless otherwise defined herein, shall be words and expressions as defined as follows:-
“The Association” means The Football Association Limited.

“Club” means a football club for the time being in a League in membership of the NLS or Feeder Leagues (as applicable).
“Committee” in these Regulations means the relevant Committee appointed by the Association.
“Competition” in these Regulations means a League in the NLS.
“Conditional Licence” means a Licence with conditions attached to be met by a Club within a period determined by the Competition in which the Club holding the Licence is allocated by the Committee. Such period is not to exceed 1 March in the Membership Year to which the Licence relates. Save in exceptional circumstances a Conditional Licence cannot be granted to a Club for successive Membership Years in respect of the same Criterion.
“Criteria” means the Criteria for participation in Play Off Matches and Inter-Step Play Off Matches as set out in regulation 9 of these Regulations.
"Feeder Leagues" means Regional NLS Feeder Leagues from where a Club can enter the NLS.
“Inter-Step Play Off Match(es)” means matches played between Clubs at Step 4 and Step 5 who finish in an Inter-Step Play Off Position.
“Inter-Step Play Off Position” means the position of a Club at the end of a Playing Season which is provided for in Regulation 5.2 and facilitated by Standardised Rule 12 as qualifying the Club to take part in an Inter-Step Play Off Match to qualify for promotion to Step 4 (in respect of the Club in Step 5 in the current Playing Season) or retain its position in Step 4 (in respect of the Club in Step 4 in the current Playing Season) for the next Playing Season.

“League” means any competition sanctioned by The Association and/or an Affiliated Association in membership of the NLS or Feeder Leagues (as applicable).
“Licence” means an annual licence required to be held by a Club to be a member of a Competition that may be either an Unconditional Licence or Conditional Licence.
“NLS” means the National League System of competitions controlled by The Association where promotion and relegation links exist between participating Leagues.
“Playing Season” means the period between the date on which the first competitive fixture in the League is played each year until the date on which the last competitive fixture in the League is played. For Clubs participating in Play Off Matches this does include the period when Play Off Matches are played.
“Play Off Match(es)” means matches played between Clubs in a Play Off Position on a format to be determined by each League provided that the format is the same across each Step.
“Play Off Position” means the position of a Club at the end of each Playing Season which is provided for in Standardised Rule 12 as qualifying the Club to take part in a Play Off Match to qualify for promotion to the next Step for the next Playing Season.
“Regular Season” means the period between the date on which the first competitive fixture in
the League is played each year and the date on which the last competitive fixture in the League is played, excluding Play Off Matches.
“Regulations” means these regulations.

“Rules” means The Association’s Standardised Rules or The Association’s Standard Code of Rules under which a League is administered.
“Step” means the level at which a Club participates in the NLS or Feeder League (as applicable).
“Unconditional Licence” means a Licence without any conditions attached.
⦁ Due to the impact of COVID-19, a number of regulations were temporarily amended or disapplied for the 2020/2021 season. It is intended that any temporarily amended or disapplied regulations will be reinstated for the commencement of the 2021/2022 season, save where any further amendments have been approved by FA Council. A number of existing regulations have also been amended.

⦁ THE NLS SHALL BE OPERATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS.
The aims and objectives of the NLS are to provide:

⦁ Clubs with a level of competitive football appropriate to their playing ability, stadium/ ground facilities and geographical location.
⦁ A framework for discussion on matters of policy and common interest to Leagues and Clubs.
⦁ The seasonal movement of Clubs.

⦁ A co-ordinated approach between Leagues regarding the final date of the Playing Season.

All Leagues are bound by the Regulations. A Club is bound by the Regulations from the date it has qualified for placement into the NLS until such time as it leaves the NLS for whatever reason.

⦁ NLS LEAGUE STRUCTURE
⦁ The current structure of the NLS is set out below:


The Leagues currently at Steps 5 and 6 are set out at the end of the Regulations.


Each Step shall have the following maximum number of Clubs: Step 1 – 24, Step 2 – 48, Step 3 – 88, Step 4 – 160, Step 5 – 320, Step 6 – 340. Clubs will be placed in the most geographically appropriate division.
⦁ Any league wishing to become part of the NLS must apply to the Committee by 31st December in the relevant year in such form and/or providing such information as shall be required by the Committee from time to time. The decision as to whether or not a league should be admitted to the NLS shall be made by the Committee which will then decide on the Step at which the League will compete.
⦁ Any League wishing to propose an adjustment to its position within the NLS must apply in writing to the Committee by 31st December in any year for such proposal to be determined by the Committee in order, if approved, to have effect in the following Playing Season.

⦁ RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR PROMOTION AND RELEGATION
The Committee shall provide for the seasonal promotion, relegation or the movement of Clubs.


⦁ DETAILED PROMOTION AND RELEGATION ISSUES
⦁ The criteria for entry to the NLS and the criteria for ground/stadium facilities and the Criteria for participation in Play Off Matches shall be determined by the Committee. All criteria so determined shall be published by The Association from time to time.
⦁ Subject to 5.5, at the conclusion of each Playing Season, the following procedures will apply to promotion / relegation subject to the application of the Rules:
Step 1 and Step 2

These regulations do not deal with promotion from Step 1

The Clubs finishing in the bottom three places at Step 1 at the end of the Playing Season will be relegated and placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 2 for the following Playing Season. They will be replaced by the Clubs finishing in 1st position in each of the divisions at Step 2 together with a further two Clubs determined by a series of Play Off Matches. Where a Club finishes in 1st position but does not meet the criteria for promotion to the next Step, the Club finishing in 2nd position shall be promoted. The Clubs finishing in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th positions shall be eligible to take part in the Play Off Matches. The Play Off Matches shall be played so that in each Step 2 division there is a qualifying round, semi-finals and a promotion final with all ties being played over a single leg at the ground of the higher placed Club. The winner of the promotion final in each Step 2 division will be promoted. If a Club is not eligible to enter Step 1 then it shall not take part in any Play Off Matches. In that event, such Club shall not be replaced and the Play Off Matches structure and draw shall be adjusted as necessary by the Competition on the basis of the remaining Clubs’ final league positions.
Step 2 and Step 3

The Clubs in the bottom three places in each of the two divisions at Step 2 at the end of the Regular Season will be relegated and placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 3 for the following Playing Season. They will be replaced by the Clubs finishing in 1st position in each of the four divisions at Step 3 together with a further four Clubs determined by a series of Play Off Matches. Where a Club finishes in 1st position but does not meet the criteria for promotion to the next Step, the Club finishing in 2nd position shall be promoted and the Club finishing in 3rd position (and so on) shall be the Club in the next eligible position to take part in the Play Off Matches. Where a Club finishes in a Play Off Position but does not meet the Criteria for participation in Play Off Matches the Club finishing in the next eligible position shall take part in the Play Off Matches. In each division at Step 3, the Play Off Matches shall be played so that the highest placed of the eligible Clubs plays against the lowest placed and the other two Clubs play each other. The ties will be played on a single match basis with the home Club being the Club with the best points per match ratio in the Regular Season. If there are only three eligible Clubs then the highest placed shall receive a bye to a second match where it will play the winner of the other Play Off Match and the winner of that match will play in the further Play Off Match described above. Clubs finishing below position 7 will not be eligible to take part in Play Off Matches.
The promoted Clubs will be placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 2 for the following Playing Season.
Step 3 and Step 4

The Clubs finishing in the bottom four places in each of the four divisions at Step 3 at the end of the Regular Season will be relegated and placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 4 for the following Playing Season. They will be replaced by the Clubs finishing in 1st position in each of the eight divisions at Step 4 together with a further eight Clubs determined by a series of Play Off Matches. Where a Club finishes in 1st position but does not meet the criteria for promotion to the next Step, the Club finishing in 2nd position shall be promoted and the Club finishing in 3rd position (and so on) shall be the Club in the next eligible position to take part in the Play Off Matches. Where a Club finishes in a Play Off Position but does not meet the Criteria for participation in Play Off Matches, the Club finishing in the next eligible position shall take part in the Play Off Matches. In each division at Step 4 the Play Off Matches shall be played so that the highest placed of the eligible Clubs plays against the lowest placed and the other two Clubs play each other. The ties will be played on a single match basis with the home Club being the Club with the best points per game ratio in the Regular Season. If there are only three eligible Clubs then the highest placed shall receive a bye to the second match where it will play the winner of the other Play Off Match and the winner of that match will be promoted. Clubs finishing below 7th position will not be eligible to take part in Play Off Matches.
The promoted Clubs will be placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 3 for the following Playing Season.
Step 4 and Step 5

The Clubs finishing in the bottom two places in each of the eight divisions at Step 4 at the end of the Regular Season will be relegated and placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 5 for the following Playing Season. The Clubs finishing in 3rd and 4th bottom in each of the eight divisions at Step 4 at the end of the Regular Season will take part in Inter-Step Play Off Matches against the Clubs finishing in 2nd position in each of the sixteen divisions at Step 5 to determine whether they remain at Step 4 or are relegated to Step 5 for the following Playing Season.


The Clubs relegated for finishing bottom and 2nd from bottom in each of the eight divisions at Step 4 will be replaced by the Clubs finishing in 1st position in each of the sixteen divisions at Step 5. The Clubs finishing in 2nd position in each of the sixteen divisions at Step 5 will take part in Inter-Step Play Off Matches against Clubs finishing in 3rd and 4th from bottom in each of the eight divisions at Step 4 to determine whether they remain at Step 5 or are promoted to Step 4 for the following Playing Season. Where a Club finishes in 1st position but does not meet the minimum criteria for promotion to the next Step, the Club finishing in 2nd position shall be promoted and the Club finishing in 3rd position (and so on) shall be the Club in the next eligible position to take part in the Inter-Step Play Off Matches. Where a Club finishes in an Inter-Step Play Off Position but does not meet the Criteria for participation in Inter-Step Play Off Matches, the Club finishing in the next eligible position shall take part in the Inter-Step Play Off Matches. Clubs finishing below position 7 will not be eligible to take part in Inter-Step Play Off Matches.
Inter-Step Play Off Matches:
Each Club at Step 4 which finishes the Regular Season in an Inter-Step Play Off Position will be drawn at home against a Club from Step 5 which finishes the Regular Season in an Inter-Step Play Off Position. The conditions of Inter-Step Play Off Matches (such as the criteria of how ties are drawn, associated financial matters, extra time, and player eligibility) will be confirmed by the Committee from time to time. Ties will be a one-off match with the winner being allocated to Step 4 for the following Playing Season and the defeated Club being allocated to Step 5 for the following Playing Season.
The Clubs allocated to Step 4 will be placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 4 for the following Playing Season. In addition, a Club allocated to Step 4 shall comply with the Licencing System provision as set out in Appendix 1 to the Standardised Rules.
Step 5 and Step 6

The Clubs in the bottom two places in each of the sixteen divisions at Step 5 at the end of the Regular Season will be relegated and placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division of Step 6 for the following Playing Season. These Clubs will be replaced by (i) the Clubs finishing in 1st position at the end of the Regular Season in each of the two divisions operated by the South West Peninsula League; (ii) the Clubs finishing in 1st position at the end of the Regular Season in each of the remaining fifteen divisions at Step 6; and (iii) a further fifteen Clubs determined by a series of Play Off Matches within those remaining fifteen divisions (i.e. not including the two divisions operated by the South West Peninsula League). Where a Club finishes in 1st position but does not meet the criteria for promotion to the next Step, the Club finishing in 2nd position shall be promoted and the Club finishing in 3rd position (and so on) shall be the Club in the next eligible position to take part in the Play Off Matches. Where a Club finishes in a Play Off Position but does not meet the Criteria for participation in Play Off Matches, the Club finishing in the next eligible position shall take part in the Play Off Matches. In each division at Step 6, the Play Off Matches shall be played so that the highest placed of the eligible Clubs plays against the lowest placed and the other two Clubs play each other. The ties will be played on a single match basis with the home Club being the Club with the best points per game ratio in the Regular Season. If there are only three eligible Clubs then the highest placed shall receive a bye to the second match where it will play the winner of the other Play Off Match and the winner of that match will be promoted. Clubs finishing below 7th position will not be eligible to take part in Play Off Matches.

The promoted Clubs will be placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 5 for the following Playing Season.
Step 6 and relegation

At the end of the Regular Season the Clubs in the bottom three positions of each of the seventeen Step 6 divisions will be liable to relegation. The final number of Clubs to be relegated will be confirmed once promotion candidates from Feeder Leagues and any vacancies are known. If reprieves are required the Clubs 3rd from bottom will be ranked on a points per match basis (then goal difference, then goals scored if required) - the Club(s) with the best points per match will be reprieved. If all 3rd from bottom Clubs are reprieved, and a further reprieve(s) is required, the same process will apply for Clubs 2nd from bottom (and so on).
⦁ At Steps 2-5 the Club finishing in last place in the table at the end of the Regular Season will be relegated and not reprieved.
⦁ At Steps 1 to 6, if a Club becomes eligible to take part in a Play Off Match and refuses to take part in that match or if a Club qualifies for promotion and refuses to be promoted then that Club shall be relegated from the division it last played in and shall play the following Playing Season in the division at the next Step level below. If the refusal/ineligibility applies to a Club currently operating at Step 6, the Club will be removed from the NLS and placed in the appropriate Regional NLS Feeder League, provided there is an eligible Club at Feeder League level to replace them.
⦁ Where a vacancy occurs within the NLS the following procedures will apply:

End of the Playing Season

⦁ (a) Where a Club notifies its decision to resign from its League at the end of the Playing Season, then a vacancy is created on the date the notification of that decision is formally recorded by that League. Such resignation can only be withdrawn by the end of that Playing Season with the consent of the Board of that League.
⦁ In all cases, that Club is treated as a relegated Club. The final table of that division is not affected.
⦁ In cases where the vacancy is created after the end of the Playing Season but before the League’s AGM, the vacancy will be filled in accordance with Regulation 5.5.2 below.

⦁ (a) Where a vacancy occurs at Step 1 and Step 2 following the completion of a Playing Season the best ranked Club in a relegation position is reprieved.
⦁ Where a vacancy arises at Step 3 to 6 following the completion of a Playing Season it shall be dealt with at the sole discretion of the Committee.
⦁ Where a vacancy occurs at Step 3 and 4 after the allocations for the following season have been published and prior to the holding of the League's AGM. The vacancy created shall be dealt with at the sole discretion of the Committee in order to minimise disruption.
⦁ Where a vacancy occurs after the date of a League AGM then a League is not able to replace the Club(s) concerned for the following Playing Season.
Prior to the end of a Playing Season

⦁ (a) In cases where the vacancy is created prior to the end of the Playing Season, at Steps 1 and 2 the vacancy will be filled by the best ranked Club in a relegation position at the end of the Regular Season, eligible of being reprieved in that same division. In the event of there being more vacancies than Clubs eligible to be reprieved, such vacancy or vacancies will be filled by Clubs eligible to be reprieved in the Competition’s other division(s) on a points per match ratio. At Steps 3 to 6, the vacancies shall be filled at the sole discretion of the Committee.
⦁ Where, prior to the end of the Playing Season, a Club notifies its decision to resign from its League with immediate effect or where a Club is removed from the League for any reason, then the playing record of that Club will be expunged and a vacancy is created on the date the resignation or removal is formally recorded by that League.
⦁ In all such cases that Club is treated as a relegated Club and the vacancy will be filled in accordance with 5.5.3(a) above.
⦁ Only internal changes to the constitution of a League are allowed following the holding of a League’s Annual General Meeting.
⦁ Clubs are not allowed to enter into a ground share agreement in order to gain promotion or to retain membership at a particular Step where the Club has failed to attain or maintain the relevant Grade.
⦁ Ground grading requirements will be in accordance with the Rules. In order to be considered for promotion, the following requirements will apply.
Step 1 - Clubs must comply fully with the requirements of Grade A.
Step 2 - Clubs competing at Step 2 must comply fully with the requirements of Grade B. To be considered for promotion to Step 1 or to be included in the Play Off Matches, Clubs must meet the requirements of Grade B together with any additional requirements by 31st March in the year in which they seek promotion. Clubs must also attain Grade A by 31st March in the year following promotion.
Step 3 - Clubs competing at Step 3 must comply fully with the requirements of Grade C. To be considered for promotion to Step 2 or to be included in the Play Off Matches, Clubs must meet the requirements of Grade C and attain Grade B by 31st March in the year following promotion.
Step 4 - Clubs promoted to Step 4 must comply fully with the requirements of Grade E by 31st March in the year following promotion and comply fully with the requirements of Grade D by 31st March in the year following that. Clubs competing at Step 4 must comply fully with the requirements of Grade D. To be considered for promotion to Step 3 or to be included in the Play Off Matches, Clubs must meet the requirements of Grade D and attain Grade C by 31st March in the year following promotion.
Step 5 - Clubs competing at Step 5 must comply fully with the requirements of Grade F.

Step 6 - Clubs competing at Step 6 must comply fully with the requirements of Grade G. To be considered for promotion to Step 5, Clubs must meet the requirements of Grade G and attain Grade F by 31st March in the year following promotion. Clubs promoted from Feeder Leagues must install floodlights in working order by 30th September following promotion. Failure to do this will result in a sanction being imposed at the discretion of the League of which the Club is a member. If by 31st March in the year following promotion the floodlights are still not installed then the Club will be a relegated Club and be dealt with accordingly.
⦁ If a Club is relegated for not achieving the required Grade for the Step at which it is playing it will not be eligible for promotion again until it has attained the required Grade for the Step to which it wishes to be promoted. The Club must have that Grade at 31st March in the year in which it seeks promotion.
⦁ Where a Club resigns from a League that Club will not be eligible for promotion for at least one Playing Season following the Season in which it resigned.
⦁ In the event of any question arising regarding the interpretation of these Regulations it will be decided by The Association in its sole discretion.

⦁ THE MOVEMENT OF CLUBS WITHIN THE NLS OTHER THAN BY PROMOTION OR RELEGATION

⦁ Movement of a Club from participation in one League to another is not permitted other than by promotion and relegation or otherwise as set out in League Rules save with the approval of the Committee.
It may be necessary from time to time to move Clubs laterally at the same Step. Each year the Committee (or sub-committee thereof) will consider whether any lateral movements may be necessary at each Step and the final decision shall rest with the Committee / sub-committee. A Club may appeal the decision of the Committee / sub-committee to an Appeal Board and such appeal shall be conducted in accordance with the Appeal Regulations.
⦁ Any Club wishing to move from one League to another must make application in writing to the Committee on or before 31st March in each year to be effective for the following Playing Season. In the event of such application being successful the League from which the Club is moving shall not levy a financial penalty on that Club.
⦁ (i) If a Club (whether a Members’ Club or a Company) is wound up, liquidated, or is removed from its League or withdraws from football competition (‘the Former Club’), and a new Club (‘the New Club’) is established which wishes to be placed within the NLS, it will be allowed to make an application only to join a League/ division at Step 5 of the NLS unless the Former Club was in either Step 4 or Step 5 when the event which caused it to cease its membership occurred in which case it must re-join the NLS at a minimum of two Steps below the level at which it was at the time the event occurred, or withdrew from football competition, whichever is lower. Where the Former Club was a member of Premier League or EFL then the Committee shall at its absolute discretion determine in which League the New Club shall be placed for the following Playing Season and will set out at its complete discretion the requirements to be met by the New Club.
In order for consideration to be given to the placement in the NLS of the New Club in the following Playing Season, an initial application must be received by the Committee by 1st March or within twenty-one days of the Former Club being wound up, liquidated, resigning or being removed from its League or withdrawing from football competition, if such date is later than 1st March.
The full application accompanied by all necessary documents including evidence of security of tenure having been granted to the New Club and affiliation to a County Football Association must be received by 31st March or within twenty-one days of the Former Club being wound up, liquidated, resigning or being removed from its League or withdrawing from football competition, if such date is later than 1st March. The application shall be copied to the League of which membership is being requested. The application will be determined by the Committee.
In considering any application, the Committee will set out at its sole discretion the requirements to be met by the New Club.
In the event of more than one application being received within twenty-one days of the Former Club being wound up, liquidated, resigning or being removed from its League or withdrawing from football competition, the Committee will consider at its discretion which application will be considered in accordance with this Regulation.
(ii) If a Club is removed from its League and wishes to remain in the NLS it shall apply to the Committee within five working days of it receiving written notification of its removal from its League. The Committee will consider such application and will place the Club in what it considers at its sole discretion to be the most appropriate League/division for the following Playing Season.
⦁ If a Club (whether a Members’ Club or a Company) ceases to be a member of its league and that Club (that is not a New Club as defined at 6.3 above) wishes to be placed within the NLS for the immediately following Playing Season, then unless otherwise determined by the Committee, it may be allowed to make an application to join a League/division below the most recent League/division of which the Club was a member.
In order for consideration to be given to the placement in the NLS by the Club in the immediately following Playing Season, an initial application must be received by the Committee in accordance with the procedures set out at 6.3 above. The application shall be copied to the League of which membership is being requested. The application will be determined by the Committee at its absolute discretion.
In considering any application, the Committee will set out at its sole discretion the requirements to be met by the Club in determining whether to approve the application.
⦁ If two or more Clubs (“the Merging Clubs”) are proposing a transaction or series of transactions that result in the merging or consolidation (“the Proposed Merger”) of those Clubs into one Club (“the Merged Club”) then a formal application to do so must be received by the Committee and the league(s) of which the Merging Clubs are members by 31st December to be valid for the following Playing Season.
A Deed of Agreement, which shall be legally binding on all parties must be submitted to The Association by 31st March in the year immediately following receipt of the application. The Committee shall determine at its absolute discretion where the Merged Club is to be included in the NLS for the following Playing Season subject to the provisions of item 6.5.5 below.
A Deed of Agreement, which shall be legally binding on all parties must be submitted to The Association by 31st March in the year immediately following receipt of the application. The Committee shall determine at its absolute discretion where the Merged Club is to be included in the NLS for the following Playing Season subject to the provisions of item 6.5.5 below.
In arriving at its decision the Committee may apply the following minimum criteria:

⦁ The requirements of Standardised Rule 2.9 for the current Playing Season must be met by each of the Merging Clubs. If one or more of the Merging Clubs is subject to an insolvency event then Standardised Rule 2.9.2 shall be applied to such club(s), otherwise Standardised Rule 2.9.1 shall be applied;
⦁ The proposed playing name of the Merged Club must be acceptable to the Committee; and
⦁ The Merged Club must have security of tenure to a ground that meets the relevant ground grading requirements;
⦁ Any other criteria that the Committee may from time to time deem to be appropriate;
⦁ The Merged Club will ordinarily be placed at the lower of the Steps at which the Merging Clubs ended the Playing Season in which the application is made. For the purposes of this Regulation, if one of the Merging Clubs has finished that Playing Season in a relegation place, then they will be deemed to have ended the Playing Season at the Step to which they would have been relegated without the Proposed Merger proceeding.
Any decision regarding whether a proposed transaction or series of transactions falls to be considered under this Regulation shall be determined by the Committee at its absolute discretion.

⦁ PLACEMENT OF A CLUB INTO A LEAGUE
⦁ Usually a club can only enter the NLS at Step 6 via a Feeder League. However a League may seek approval from the Committee to receive a club or team not currently in membership of a League within the NLS provided that there is: (a) exceptional circumstances, (b) a vacancy within its constitution, (c) the club meets the entry criteria and (d) promotion and relegation issues have been satisfied. Such request must be received from the league by no later than 1st February. Any decision shall only be capable of Appeal to The Association by the affected League.
⦁ Reserve teams, including a team from a club or Club which is not considered by the Committee to be sufficiently separate from another club or Club, will not be permitted to compete above Step 6 in the NLS. There must be a minimum of two Steps between a first and reserve team. This does not apply at Steps 6 and Feeder League level. No two teams from the same Club can play at the same Step.
⦁ Teams from Higher Education or Further Education establishments are not permitted to compete above Step 5. This does not prevent any such establishment forming a Club which complies with all entry criteria and which is separate from the establishment itself.
⦁ Where a Club moves from one League to another, for whatever reason, the League from which it is being moved must provide the League to which the Club is being moved with a certificate confirming that the Club being moved does not owe any money or other property of any nature to the League from which it is being moved. The Club being moved cannot compete in its new League until such certification has been provided and the onus will be on the Club being moved to ensure that it has cleared all indebtedness to its previous League.

⦁ PROCEDURES FOR THE DETERMINATION OF ANY MATTER, DISPUTE OR DIFFERENCE BY THE COMMITTEE
⦁ The Committee may adopt such procedures for the determination of any matter, dispute or difference as it considers appropriate and expedient, having regard to the aims and objectives set out at Regulation 2. The Committee may require the attendance at a meeting or the written observations of any League or Club, as it considers appropriate to assist its determination.
⦁ (a) Any dispute or difference between a League and a Club relating to promotion and relegation issues, lateral movement and/or other eligibility criteria must be referred for determination to the Committee; such determination shall be final and binding subject only to Arbitration in accordance with Rule K.
⦁ Any decision of the Committee shall be subject to a right of appeal to an Appeal Board. The decision of that Appeal Board shall be final and binding on all parties.
All referrals of appeals shall be conducted in accordance with the Appeal Regulations save for appeals in relation to Ground Grading decisions where the procedures are outlined in 8.2(c) below.
⦁ Procedures for Ground Grading Appeals

⦁ The ratification of the Ground Grading decision must be sent in writing within 14 days of the final decision date, currently 31st March.
⦁ Appeals in relation to Ground Grading Appeals must be submitted to The Association’s Judicial Services Department within seven days from the date of the written decision outlining the Grounds of Appeal, with a copy to The Association’s National League System Department.
⦁ The Committee will appear before an Appeal Board with the Appellant to respond to the application and there is no requirement to make a formal response in writing.
⦁ In all cases the Committee will submit any documentation including the Ground Grading report that was considered by the Committee in relation to the Ground Grading decision, (which the appellant would already have received).
⦁ Dates would be set annually in advance by the Judicial Services Department for the hearing of Ground Grading appeals and details of the dates would be notified to all Clubs in the correspondence from the Committee notifying the decision of the Ground Grading assessment.
⦁ The Committee may, at its discretion, delegate the resolution of any matter, dispute or difference arising under these Regulations to anybody it considers to be appropriate (including a sub- committee or commission which may include members of council not on the Committee or a body constituted by a County Football Association).

⦁ CRITERIA FOR THE PARTICIPATION IN PLAY-OFF MATCHES
In order to qualify for Play Off Matches and Inter-Step Play Off Matches a Club must comply with:
⦁ Security of Tenure – see Standardised Rule 2.3.2
⦁ Solvency – see Standardised Rule 13.B.2
⦁ Ground Share requirements, i.e. not ground share in order to gain promotion – see 5.7 of these Regulations
⦁ Ground Grading – see 5.8 of these regulations and the relevant criteria document

⦁ ARBITRATION
The fact of participation in the NLS and signifying agreement to be bound by the Regulations shall constitute an agreement between each League and Club to refer to Arbitration any challenge in law arising out of, or in relation to, the Regulations in accordance with the provisions of FA Rule K.

⦁ LICENSING SYSTEM
A Club shall be required to hold a Licence to be a member of a Competition at Steps 1 to 4 of the NLS.

⦁ The Association shall through the appropriate Committee operate a Licensing System to apply to all Clubs competing at Steps 1 to 4 of the National League System ("NLS"). A Club is required to hold a Licence to be a member of a Competition at Steps 1 to 4 of the NLS. The Licensing System to be applied is as shown at an Appendix to the Standardised Rules.
⦁ Each Competition at Steps 1 to 4 of the NLS shall be responsible for the operation, assessment and granting of the Licence in respect of its Clubs through the Standardised Rules as approved by a Committee of The Association. A Competition at Steps 1 to 4 shall take all reasonable and practical steps to co-operate with The Association in the application of the Licence.
⦁ In the event that a Competition fails to apply the Licensing System set out in the Standardised Rules to the satisfaction of The Association, then The Association shall have the powers of the Board of that Competition as set out in the Standardised Rules to apply such Licensing System. In addition, The Association may, if necessary, bring an action against the Competition for Misconduct under the Rules of The Association.

⦁ PRECEDENCE
In the case of conflict between the Regulations for the Operation of the NLS and the Rules, the Regulations take precedence.



LEAGUES/DIVISIONS AT STEPS 5 AND 6 OF THE NLS (SEASON 2021-22)


STEP 5 STEP 6
Combined Counties League Premier Div North
Combined Counties League Premier Div South
Eastern Counties League Premier Div
Essex Senior League
Hellenic League Premier Div
Midland League Premier Div
North West Counties League Premier Div
Northern League Div 1
Northern Counties East League Premier Div Southern Counties East League Premier Div
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Div Southern Combination Football League Premier Div United Counties League Premier Div North
United Counties League Premier Div South
Wessex League Premier Div
Western League Premier Div Combined Counties League Div 1
Eastern Counties League Div 1 North
Eastern Counties League Div 1 South
Hellenic League Div 1
Midland League Div 1
Northern Counties East Div 1
North West Counties League Div 1 North
North West Counties League Div 1 South
Northern League Div 2
South West Peninsula League Premier Div East
South West Peninsula League Premier Div West Spartan South Midlands League Div 1
Southern Combination Football League Div 1 Southern Counties East League Div 1
United Counties League Div 1
Wessex League Div 1
Western League Div 1























APPENDIX A
Regional NLS Feeder League Regulations

⦁ League Structure

⦁ The Leagues currently operating as Feeder Leagues are set out at the end of the Appendix.

⦁ At Feeder League level the maximum number of Clubs in each division shall be determined by the Sanctioning Authority taking into account all relevant factors. In any case, this shall not be more than 18 Clubs. The minimum amount of Clubs should be 14.
⦁ Any league wishing to become a Feeder League must apply to the FA Leagues Committee by 31st December in the relevant year in such form and /or providing such information as shall be required by the Committee from time to time. The decision as to whether or not a league should be admitted as a Feeder League shall be made by the Committee.
⦁ Rules and Regulations for Promotion and Relegation

⦁ All Feeder League Clubs seeking promotion to Step 6 must make an application using the prescribed form direct to The Association, copied to their existing League, by 31st December in the relevant year. In order to be considered for promotion Clubs must finish in 1st position in their Feeder League. If the Club finishing in 1st position does not wish to be promoted or fails to meet the entry criteria then the Club finishing in 2nd position will be eligible for promotion. If the Club in 2nd position does not seek promotion or fails to meet the entry criteria then Clubs down to 5th position may be considered for promotion provided that they meet the appropriate entry criteria. Clubs finishing below 5th position may not be considered for promotion and only one Club may be considered for promotion from each League. Each application must be accompanied by the agreed application fee, as determined by the Committee, which is non-refundable.
⦁ Clubs competing in a Feeder League must comply fully with the minimum requirements in force. To be considered for promotion to Step 6, Clubs must meet the requirements of Grade H and attain Grade G by 31st March in the year following promotion. Clubs can be promoted from Feeder Leagues to 6 without floodlights, provided that that all other requirements of Grade H are met by 31st March in the Playing Season in which the Club wishes to gain promotion and that the Club has the following in place:-
⦁ Planning permission granted for floodlights.
⦁ That by 30th September following promotion that floodlights are installed and in working order.
⦁ A development / business plan
⦁ Quotations / estimates for the work to be carried out.
⦁ Funding applications submitted, if required.

Failure to install floodlights in working order by 30th September following promotion will result in a sanction being imposed at the discretion of the League of which the Club is a member. If by 31st March in the year following promotion the floodlights are still not installed then the Club will be a relegated Club and be dealt with accordingly.
⦁ Placement of a Club in a League

⦁ The matter of draft placements for Clubs in Feeder Leagues is for the League in conjunction with its Sanctioning Authority. Once drafted, proposed placements are to be submitted to the Committee for ratification by and appropriate date as prescribed by the Committee from time to time. This is save for Clubs being allocated to Feeder Leagues having been relegated from Step 6, which is a matter for the Committee.

⦁ Reserve and 'A' teams may participate in Feeder Leagues. Clubs should note the provision concerning Reserve teams at Step 6 under Regulation 7.2 in the 'National League System Regulations'.
⦁ MOVEMENT OF A CLUB BETWEEN LEAGUES
⦁ Movement of a Club from participation in one League to another is not permitted other than by promotion and relegation or otherwise as set out in League Rules save with the approval of the Committee
It may be necessary from time to time to move Clubs laterally at the same Step. Each year the Committee (or sub-committee thereof) will consider whether any lateral movements may be necessary at each Step and the final decision shall rest with the Committee/sub-committee. A Club may appeal the decision of the Committee/sub-committee to an Appeal Board and such appeal shall be conducted in accordance with the Appeal Regulations.
⦁ Any Club wishing to move from one League to another must make an application in writing to the Committee on or before 31st March in each year to be effective for the following Playing Season. In the event of such application being successful, the League from which the Club is moving shall not levy a financial penalty on that Club.

⦁ PROCEDURES FOR THE DETERMINATION OF ANY MATTER, DISPUTE OR DIFFERENCE BY THE COMMITTEE
⦁ The Committee may adopt such procedures for the determination of any matter, dispute or difference as it considers appropriate and expedient, having regard to the aims and objectives set out in Regulation 2. The Committee may require the attendance at a meeting or the written observations of any League or Club, as it considers appropriate to assist its determination.
⦁ (a) Any dispute or difference between a League and a Club relating to promotion and relegation issues, lateral movement and/or other eligibility criteria must be referred for determination to the Committee; such determination shall be final and binding subject only to Arbitration in accordance with Rule K.
⦁ Any decision of the Committee shall be subject to a right of appeal to an Appeal Board. The decision of that Appeal Board shall be final and binding on all parties.
All referrals of appeals shall be conducted in accordance with the Appeal Regulations save for appeals in relation to Ground Grading decisions where the procedures are outlined in 5.2(c) below.
⦁ Procedures for Ground Grading Appeals
⦁ The ratification of the Ground Grading decision must be sent in writing within 14 days of the final decision date, currently 31st March.
⦁ Appeals in relation to Ground Grading Appeals must be submitted to The Association’s Judicial Services Department within seven days from the date of the written decision outlining the Grounds of Appeal, with a copy to The Association’s National League System Department.
⦁ The Committee will appear before an Appeal Board with the Appellant to respond to the application and there is no requirement to make a formal response in writing.
⦁ In all cases, the Committee will submit any documentation including the Ground Grading report that was considered by the Committee in relation to the Ground Grading decision (which the appellant would already have received).
⦁ Dates would be set annually in advance by the Judicial Services Department for the hearing of Ground Grading appeals and details of the dates would be notified to all Clubs in the correspondence from the Committee notifying the decision of the Ground Grading assessment.
5.3 The Committee may, at its own discretion, delegate the resolution of any matter, dispute or difference arising under these Regulations to anybody it considers to be appropriate (including a sub-committee or commission which may include members of council not on the Committee or a body constituted by a County Football Association).

Leagues with Regional NLS Feeder League status - 2021-22 season:

LEAGUES
Anglian Combination Premier Div
Bedfordshire County League Premier Div Cambridgeshire County League premier Div
Central Midlands League Div North
Central Midlands League Div South
Cheshire League Premier Div
Devon League Premier Div East
Devon League Premier Div West
Dorset Premier League
Essex & Suffolk Border League Premier Div
Essex Olympian League Premier Div
Gloucestershire County League Premier Div
Hampshire Premier League Senior Div
Herts Senior County League Premier Div
Humber Premier League Premier Div
Kent County League Premier Div
Leicestershire Senior League Premier Div
Lincolnshire Football League Premier Div
Liverpool County Premier League Premier Div Manchester Football League Premier Div
Mid Sussex Football League Premier Div
Middlesex County League Premier Div
Midland League Div 2
Northamptonshire Combination Premier Div
Northern Football Alliance Premier Div
North Riding Football League Premier Div
Nottinghamshire Senior League Senior Div
Oxfordshire Senior League Premier Div
Peterborough & District League Premier Div
Salop Leisure Football League Premier Div
Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Div
Somerset County League Premier Div
Southern Combination Div Two
Spartan South Midlands League Div 2
St Piran Football League Premier East
St Piran Football League Premier West
Staffordshire County Senior League Premier Div
Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Div

Surrey Elite Intermediate League Intermediate Div
Thames Valley Premier League Premier Div
Wearside League
West Cheshire League Div 1

West Lancashire League Premier Div
West Midlands (Regional) League Div 1
West Yorkshire League Premier Div
Wiltshire Football League Premier Div
York Football League Premier Div
Yorkshire Football League
 

windydcfc

Reserve Team Starter
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
763
Team{s}
Derby County, England & Borussia Mönchengladbach
No mention of how exactly to fill any of the vacancies from Steps 3 to 6, so it is left to teams to try to work it out for themselves.
It is now believed that Step 2 will revert to 44 clubs for 22/23 rather than 48 clubs so the vacancies per step are;

Step 3 - There is 1 Step 1 vacancy, 1 Step 2 vacancy & 1 Step 3 vacancy, to revert to 88 teams, I would therefore expect 3 reprieves @ Step 3 . 87-8+6+16-13=88

Step 4 - There are a further 2 vacancies @ Step 4. To revert to 160 teams would therefore expect 5 Step 4 teams not to enter the playoffs and 5 runners up to be automatically promoted from Step 5. 158-16+13-16+21= 160 - With 11 playoffs not affecting the numbers. This is the most difficult division to predict.

Step 5 -There is a further vacancy @ Step 5. To revert to 320 teams, I would expect 6 reprieves @ Step 5. 319-21+16-26+32= 320

Step 6 - There are a further 5 vacancies (the original 3 + Wem + King's Lynn Town Reserves. To revert to 340 teams, if 51 teams were relegated, there would be spaces for 62 Step 7 promotions, I'm not sure if Step 7 promotions are limited to 1 per division, if it is limnited to 1 per division then a theoretical maximum of 49 teams that could be promoted and therefore only 38 teams would be relegated, I would be surprised if any 3rd bottom teams are relegated next season. 335-32+26-51+62
With Whyteleafe’s resignation step 4 has 3 gaps to fill(7 in total, after the gaps at steps 1-3 are added)
With Abingdon Town’s resignation step 6 has 6 gaps to fill
 

Brightside

Reserve Team Regular
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
1,003
I believe the vacancies are now;

Step 1 - 1
Step 2 - 1 (or 5)
Step 3 - 1
Step 4 - 3
Step 5 - 1
Step 6 - 6

Which makes the upfills;

Step 1 - 1
Step 2 - 2 (or 6)
Step 3 - 3 (or 7)
Step 4 - 6 (or 10)
Step 5 - 7 (or 11)
Step 6 - 13 (or 17)

Numbers in brackets are for if Step 2 is increased to 48 teams)
 

Terrierdave

Junior Team Hopeful
Joined
Jan 8, 2020
Messages
9
Team{s}
Nottingham Forest, Bedlington Terriers
The Clubs finishing in 2nd position in each of the sixteen divisions at Step 5 will take part in Inter-Step Play Off Matches against Clubs finishing in 3rd and 4th from bottom in each of the eight divisions at Step 4 to determine whether they remain at Step 5 or are promoted to Step 4 for the following Playing Season.

This is hurting my (clearly limited) brain - does the runner off have to play (and beat) both 3rd and 4th bottom (in that order) to achieve promotion?

There are 8 x 3rd and 4th bottom teams vs 10 x runners up, how will games be allocated.

Have to say I am old school on this topic, at this level promotion/relegation should be straightforward.

Apologies in advance for my lack of understanding (or if missing several previous answers)!
 

Brightside

Reserve Team Regular
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
1,003
This is hurting my (clearly limited) brain - does the runner off have to play (and beat) both 3rd and 4th bottom (in that order) to achieve promotion?

There are 8 x 3rd and 4th bottom teams vs 10 x runners up, how will games be allocated.

Have to say I am old school on this topic, at this level promotion/relegation should be straightforward.

Apologies in advance for my lack of understanding (or if missing several previous answers)!
There are 16 2nd place Step 5 teams and they will play away from home either at a 3rd or 4th bottom team from Step 4 in a one off playoff.

There will therefore be 16 playoff matches.

The unknown is how they will be allocated. It's assumed it will be Regional of some kind. So for instance you'd expect the 2 Isthmian South East clubs to host the SCEFL & SCL runners up.

There are a number of vacancies at Step 4 and above so there will actually be fewer than 16 playoffs but the above is how it works in principle.
 

Sarumio Whites

Reserve Team Sub
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
628
Why are they over complicating things?

In my opinion 4th bottom sides in a 20 team division should not be involved in such madness.

Just relegate the bottom 3 in each Step 4 and have done with it. 24 relegations. Then promote the champion Step 5 club in each league (16 promotions) and get all the Step 5 runners up to play against each other in set pairings.

i.e. NL runner up v NCEL Runner up - winner goes up
NWCL runner up v UCLN runner up - winner goes up
ML runner up v UCLS runner up - winner goes up
Hellenic runner up - SSML runner up - winner goes up
and so on and so forth.
 

Sacristan.Revenant

Junior Team Star
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
120
Team{s}
Bo'ness Utd, Yeovil Town, Dynamos (Zimbabwe).
Why are they over complicating things?

In my opinion 4th bottom sides in a 20 team division should not be involved in such madness.

Just relegate the bottom 3 in each Step 4 and have done with it. 24 relegations. Then promote the champion Step 5 club in each league (16 promotions) and get all the Step 5 runners up to play against each other in set pairings.

i.e. NL runner up v NCEL Runner up - winner goes up
NWCL runner up v UCLN runner up - winner goes up
ML runner up v UCLS runner up - winner goes up
Hellenic runner up - SSML runner up - winner goes up
and so on and so forth.

While I 95% agree, the other 5% whispers, "Good plan, that'll chuck a few moggies at somewhat complacent chickens!".
 

Terrierdave

Junior Team Hopeful
Joined
Jan 8, 2020
Messages
9
Team{s}
Nottingham Forest, Bedlington Terriers
Why are they over complicating things?

In my opinion 4th bottom sides in a 20 team division should not be involved in such madness.

Just relegate the bottom 3 in each Step 4 and have done with it. 24 relegations. Then promote the champion Step 5 club in each league (16 promotions) and get all the Step 5 runners up to play against each other in set pairings.

i.e. NL runner up v NCEL Runner up - winner goes up
NWCL runner up v UCLN runner up - winner goes up
ML runner up v UCLS runner up - winner goes up
Hellenic runner up - SSML runner up - winner goes up
and so on and so forth.
Far too simple and sensible!
 

Brightside

Reserve Team Regular
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
1,003
Why are they over complicating things?

In my opinion 4th bottom sides in a 20 team division should not be involved in such madness.

Just relegate the bottom 3 in each Step 4 and have done with it. 24 relegations. Then promote the champion Step 5 club in each league (16 promotions) and get all the Step 5 runners up to play against each other in set pairings.

i.e. NL runner up v NCEL Runner up - winner goes up
NWCL runner up v UCLN runner up - winner goes up
ML runner up v UCLS runner up - winner goes up
Hellenic runner up - SSML runner up - winner goes up
and so on and so forth.
I think an even simpler 4 down & 2 up would be better. Some think relegating 4 from 20 is harsh but I feel promoting fewer than 2 from 20 is harsher.

3 up / 3 down or 2 up / 4 down throughout the pyramid is how I'd like to see it.
 

Sungater

Junior Team Star
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
163
Team{s}
None
Football used to be a simple game.
Score more goals then your opponents and you won the game, score the same and you drew, score less you lost.
If you won a game you got 2 points, if you drew you got 1 point, if you lost you got 0 points
Get more points than the other teams in a season and you won the league, get the second highest number of points you finished second and so on.
If you won the league (or finished second or third) you got promoted.
If you finished bottom (or in the bottom 2 or 3) you got relegated.
Referees made binding decisions, they made the odd mistake but were generally honest.
Everyone involved understood the Laws (even offside & handball)
What went wrong?
 

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