20th August

Each Team must have 15 players registered with the League

1st February

Last day to notify the Hon. Secretary of any rule changes

4th February

Last day to return the League Trophies / Cups 

12th March

Last day to sign players on so that they can be eligible to play in a Cup Final

30th April

Last day to notify the Hon. Secretary for the entry of new / additional Teams for the new season
COVID-19 Update below
Update 14th September 2020


We know that some of our clubs have struggled with registering 
players as a result of the inaccessibility of WGS Player Registration. 

However, every team has sufficient WGS registered players to field 
teams for up and coming fixtures. 

Therefore the MEFL will continue with the existing process.

Our Registration Officer, Steve Carter, has helped Clubs where he 
can and will continue to do so.

The procedure for signing on the day has been notified to you already.

It is expected the issues with WGS will be sorted once other leagues 
have started their seasons and the amount of activity slows down.

Officers of the League know how difficult this has been with WGS 
because we also have to use the system and wait for hours to get in.

We have expressed our concern to the FA.

It looks like the system is more stable at the current time.

COVID UPDATE - 13th September 2020

Hope fully the details shared here have been received by you direct from the FA.

Key message is that we must ALL adhere to the guidelines published & accessible via the message below. Should this not be the case there is the real risk that grassroots football may be subject to more restrictive controls.

Please ensure that you & club Covid Officers etc refresh their knowledge of the guidelines & ensure all involved in your games comply with the requirements.

The UK Government has confirmed that organised sports, which include Steps 3-6 of the National League System [NLS], Tiers 3-6 of the Women’s Football Pyramid [WFP] and outdoor grassroots football, can continue as an exemption to its latest planned measures in response to Covid-19.

Organised football activity is currently permitted at these levels but it is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow both the UK Government's latest guidance on Covid-19 and respective bespoke guidelines from The Football Association [The FA].

Re-starting the game at these levels has been a significant challenge for everyone involved and we must acknowledge the hard work, passion and commitment of the football family. However, it is vital that we all adhere to these guidelines and ensure it can continue in a safe and secure way. 

As part of this exemption, The FA can also clarify that clubs at Steps 3-6 of the NLS and Tiers 3-4 of the WFP remain permitted to accommodate a phased and limited return of spectators if they follow the UK Government's latest guidance on Covid-19 and The FA’s guidelines for the NLS or WFP.

Clubs in the Regional NLS Feeder Leagues, Tiers 5-7 of the WFP and outdoor grassroots football also remain permitted to accommodate socially-distanced spectators but they too must adhere to the UK Government's latest guidance on Covid-19 and The FA guidelines for outdoor grassroots football.

Supporters are the life force of our national sport and The FA hopes to see them return in greater numbers across the country as soon as it is safe and possible. However, we must continue to work together and play our part by following all the relevant guidelines if this is to become a reality.

The FA remains in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, leagues and competitions and will provide an update on the further returns of supporters – including scheduled pilot events – in due course.

Update 6th Septempber 2020


To access the League App download Robin Road from your relevant App Store

Open the App and you should see a search screen, in the search line enter Mid Essex and you should get taken to a Welcome Page (see attached)

If you click on the menu you will get presented with the following (see attached)

If the red exclamation mark appears by ‘Refresh’ in bottom right corner select Refresh & the App will be updated with our most current details.

    -  Clubs – select this item to access all our clubs & their details 
        (see Appendix for further information below)

    -  Match Officials – details the Competition’s referees & when 
        you select the referee concerned provides his/her contact details 
        – icons appear that can be selected to contact them via 
        Phone/SMS/ Email

Update 3rd Septempber 2020


There are a number of frequently asked questions regarding operating procedures for this season given restrictions of Covid 19 Guidelines.

The answers are taken from FA Guidelines.

We expect common sense to be used by all parties


From the ECFA:

From The FA's detailed Covid-19 guidance on restarting grassroots football, issued on 18th July (Update 24 on Essex FA's Coronavirus Guidance page) and updated on 19th August (included in Update 28):

"Where possible, players, match officials and coaches must arrive changed and shower at home; toilets should be open pre-match, during the match and for 30 minutes afterwards." (page 6)

"After activity participants must maintain government mandated social distancing for social interaction. This includes in any available changing rooms, showers, and any clubhouse facilities or other venue participants congregate in afterwards." (page 9)

"After training sessions and/or matches, participants must maintain government mandated social distancing for social interaction. This includes in any available changing rooms, showers, and any clubhouse facilities or other venue that participants may congregate in afterwards." (page 11)

"After the game be aware that other users may be waiting to use the facilities. Changing rooms and showers are likely to be closed and any socialising must follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing." (page 12)


Match fees: These should be cashless where possible. Referees should agree with the paying club in advance of matchday whether payment will be by cash or BACS/electronic payment. If payment is by BACS/electronic payment, a payment timeframe should be agreed, up to a maximum of 48 hours post match. If payment is not received within the agreed timeframe, referees should contact the Competition or Appointments Officer.


Paperwork: The exchange/collecting of any team sheets should be done at a distance, with minimal physical contact. This could be done by using other methods, such as a photo, email or text.

We would suggest taking a photo.


Similar to team sheets - minimal physical contact we would not expect the opposition to be signing these forms. This could be done by using other methods. This could be email or photo to the opposition and Registration Secretary prior to or at the match.


Clubs are reminded last season came to an unscheduled end. There will be players with suspensions that are left to run from that finish.

Please make sure you check for player suspensions and if in doubt ask the ECFA.

Update 11th August 2020

Andy Chaplin Appointed as Essex County F.A. Chairman

Update 20th July 2020


Late last night the FA published their announcement in respect of the return of grassroots football. The details of their announcement are given below. I also attach the documents mentioned as available on their website relevant to our level of the game providing their guidelines for the return of grassroots.

Next step is for us to hold an MEFL Committee meeting to discuss the impacts & agree our plans so that we can then provide further details to you all. In the meantime we would recommend that you read all the guidance documents so that you can understand what is required of you & start planning accordingly.

Any further information we receive from The FA or County will be shared as quickly as we can.

Enjoy your weekend & enjoy the reading!!

FA announcement was:

We can confirm that the UK Government approved our plan for the return of outdoor competitive grassroots football late last night, Friday 17 July 2020. 

As a result, the grassroots football community now has the opportunity to return to football and prepare for the start of the new season.

We've been working hard over recent weeks to prepare guidelines for the safe return of grassroots football and, following Government approval, these are now ready for publication.

Football activity can take place with necessary modifications in place to mitigate the transmission risk of COVID-19.

We would strongly recommend a phased return to competitive football activity as follows:

• Until 31 July – When ready, you can begin competitive training, with the overall group size (inclusive of coaches) being limited to 30 people;

• From August – Competitive matches to begin, for example pre-season fixtures, festivals and small sided football competitions;

• From September – Grassroots leagues, men’s National League System, Women’s Football Pyramid tiers 3 to 6, and FA Competitions can commence.

Clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents/carers, spectators and football facility providers should read our full guidelines, which are accessible below, in addition to the latest Government guidance on COVID-19.

A return to competitive football should only happen once clubs and facility providers have completed the necessary risk assessments and comprehensive plans are in place.

A summary of key points to consider from our guidelines are listed for ease below:

• Everyone should self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms before every training session or match. If you are symptomatic or living in a household with possible or actual COVID-19 infection you must not participate or attend;

• Clubs and facility providers should ensure that their facility is compliant with current Government legislation and guidance related to COVID-19;

• Competitive training is now permitted, with groups limited to a maximum of 30 people, including coaches;

• Competitive match play is permitted, with social distancing in place before and after the match, and in any breaks in play;

• Players and officials should sanitise hands before and after a game as well as scheduled breaks throughout a game or training session;

• Ball handling should be kept to a minimum with most contact via a boot and the ball disinfected in breaks of play;

• Youth football coaches are encouraged to limit persistent close proximity of participants during match play and training;

• Goal celebrations should be avoided;

• Equipment should not be shared, and goalkeepers should ensure they disinfect their gloves regularly in breaks in training or matches and thoroughly afterwards. Where possible, coaches should only handle equipment in training;

• Where possible, players, coaches and officials should arrive changed and shower at home. Use of changing and shower facilities must follow government advice on the use of indoor facilities;

• Participants should follow best practice for travel including minimising use of public transport and walking or cycling if possible. People from a household or support bubble can travel together in a vehicle

• Clubs should keep a record of attendees at a match or training session, including contact details, to support NHS Test and Trace;

• Clubs should ensure they are affiliated with their County Football Association.

Separate guidance has been developed for clubs with teams competing in the men’s National League System (NLS) and the Women’s Football Pyramid tiers 3 to 6.

This will support these clubs on the safe return of paying spectators and also the applicability of the guidance to facilities under Ground Grading conditions, to ensure the safe return of competitive matches.

Please note that at this stage, indoor football and Futsal is not permitted. We will look to work with indoor facility providers to develop appropriate guidance for indoor formats as soon as possible.

James Kendall, Director of Football Development at The FA, said: “We're delighted that the Government has given the go-ahead for competitive grassroots football to return. The past few months have been some of the most challenging times not just for football, but across society, and today’s news will be welcomed by the grassroots football community all over the country.

“Now that we are able to look ahead to the new season, it’s crucial that we continue to do all we can to follow safety measures, both as advised by the government and specifically for football.

“I would encourage anyone returning to competitive grassroots football to take the time to read this guidance, prepare thoroughly and to adopt our recommended approach to phasing football back in. I would also like to thank you for playing your vital part in helping our great game to get going again.”

The full guidance document can be downloaded below, along with a short summary for all those involved in restarting activity.

You can also read our FAQs document around this.

Clubs and Coaches - covid-19 first aid guidance for returning to competitive grassroots football (1).pdf

Covid 19 risk assessment guidance and template.pdf

Detailed covid 19 guidance on restarting competitive grassroots football.pdf

Outdoor football facilities covid19 guidance on restarting competitive grassroots football.pdf

Update 2nd July 2020


As wider society progresses in regard to the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions we are receiving reports through of Clubs holding training sessions outside of the Government Guidance that is currently in situ, along with some reports that Clubs are looking at holding fixtures within their Club or with other teams, which is currently not permitted.

As a result we wanted to provide a reminder to all Clubs that the Current Government Guideline, along with guidance from The FA, can be found on our website here

It is important that any return to training has had full risk assessment process undertaken and made available to any individuals who will be involved in the sessions, is in line with Government and FA guidance ensuring Social Distancing measures of 2m are maintained throughout, and ensuring no contact training or small sided match play activity (e.g. 1v1 / 2v2 etc.) takes place, along with ensuring FA Safeguarding measures on coach to player ratios are maintained.  

It is very positive that the first steps on the road to a return to football can take place ,but also important to ensure that any return to training or football activity is in line with the wider Government social distancing measures.

Update 29th June 2020


Please continue to check the Essex FA website for the latest update on the impact on grass roots football.


There is an obvious need to clearly communicate with all relevant parties and therefore the following guidance should be considered: 

• Need to communicate clearly and regularly with members – setting out what you are doing to manage risk 

• Ascertain the desire of coaches/parents/participants to attend these sessions. Do you have enough interest to make these sessions practical?

• Communicate how and when people can safely arrive and leave the facility giving consideration for flows of movements to minimise cross overs

• Consider and Communicate whether or not there will be a charge for these sessions? Some clubs may have stopped memberships/subscription fees. Will the club require additional funding to support the implementation of these guidelines and/or to support the financial viability of the club?


The following areas should be taken into consideration for all U18’s and Vulnerable Adults:

• Must continue to comply with FA Safeguarding Policies and Procedures 

• Consent must be gained from parents/carers (we have asked whether this needs to be specific and new consent)

• Parents/Carers should ensure that they are in sight of the session 

• Parents/Carers are responsible for the supervising of their children at all times and to reinforce the guidelines for social distancing etc. themselves. 

• Consideration to the treatment of injuries (we have asked for further advice on recommended procedures) but coaches are unlikely to be able to attend to injuries due to social distancing 

• Consideration of tying of shoe laces (again coaches are unable to attend to this due to social distancing)

• Consideration of the psychological impact that this may have had on children and how coaches/clubs will connect with players before starting back. Outlining what will happen at training and provide them with a sense of safety. 

• The FA are working on additional guidance for Club Welfare Officers and this will be shared as soon as possible with all CWO’s. 

Travel Considerations 

The following should be considered around travel to and from sessions:

• You shouldn’t travel with someone from outside of your household

Must consider using all other forms of transport before using public transport  

• Further guidance can be found h