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 - 18th May 2020

COVID-19 - Football Update

The Football Association – Guidance on permitted grassroots 
football activity during COVID-19

The FA has today issued guidance to all grassroots football and 
informal football activity outside the professional game.
Consistent with Government advice, published on Wednesday 
13 May, the following outdoor football activity is currently permitted:

• playing football individually e.g. practice of individual skills or 
fitness activities;
• playing football with your family or other people living in your 
• an individual can play football with one other person who is 
   not from their household.
• coaching an adult player one to one.

All social distancing guidelines must be followed.

Additionally, maintaining a grass or artificial football pitch is permitted, as long as social distancing and appropriate hygiene practices are adopted.

If an individual is symptomatic, living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if you are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at home.

The following football activity is not permitted at this time, consistent with Government guidelines:

• coaching a child (U18) from a different household one to one. In order to comply with The FA’s safeguarding policy, a child must have a parent/carer with them, which doesn’t comply with Government social distancing requirements;
• two or more people from one household playing with one person or more from outside their household.

Update - 12th April 2020

SEASON 2019-2020 - UPDATE

As you will no doubt have seen the F.A Council ratified the decision to bring an immediate end to the 2019-2020 season.

As such in line with competition rule 6.d the Management Committee have taken the decision to expunge all results in relation to season 2019-2020 which includes all Cup Competitions.

At this stage it is very difficult to even start to give any consideration to Season 2020-2021 until we are out of lockdown measures and have some certainty as to when we may be in a position to start to play football again in a safe environment.

The AGM has been postponed a new date will be advised when it is safe to do so

In the meantime please keep safe

Update - 27th March 2020


Please see below message received from Essex FA explaining the FA decision that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019 to 2020 season & that National League Leagues in steps 3 to 6 have made the decision to expunge all results. 

Clearly disappointing but inevitable in the current climate. The Management Committee are in consultation with the ECFA and other Leagues to determine next steps as we start to focus on season 2020/2021. 

You will be aware that The FA has been working across the National League System, women’s pyramid and grassroots game to bring clarity to the conclusion of this season’s competitions.

This afternoon, Essex FA have received notice that The FA has decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019/20 season.  

Leagues at Steps 3-6 of the National League System and in the women’s football pyramid have made the decision to expunge results and, as a consequence, Essex FA and The FA would ask that leagues consider doing this to support consistency across the game. 

We also strongly recommend that, when planning for next season, consideration is given to placing teams into the right division based on their capability, especially when it comes to youth football. 

In respect of cup competitions, there should be greater flexibility, with options including simply cancelling the competition, trophy sharing (if finalists already determined), or delaying of finals possibly to a ‘season-opener’ for the 2020/21 season.  

Update - 25th March 2020

Latest Update

The Management Committee fully understand that these are challenging times for grassroots football, and of course we are eager to work out if we are able to complete their seasons.

We are aware that The FA has held a meeting for leagues at Steps 5 and 6 of the National League System, but there is no confirmation at this stage as to if, or when, any resumption of grassroots football will take place. The FA are looking at the Standard Code of Rules and Essex FA are liaising with them on this. 

I understand that there are reports on social media to the effect that the FA have told Step 5/6 leagues that the 2019/20 season has officially been terminated, but with no decision as yet regarding how to determine the outcome of the season, i.e. declare it “null-and-void” or go for a “points-per-game” solution.

These reports are premature. As highlighted above a meeting was held today to seek the feedback from the Step 5/6 leagues. However, the FA’s Leagues Committee are to now consider a finalised outcome.

We are working closely with the Essex County F.A. who are currently undertaking some work to understand where each league is in relation to their current season, and intend on opening up a dialogue with all leagues very soon with a view to working through the potential options.

Updates will be provided shortly

Update - 19th March 2020

A Message from Essex County FA Chief Executive, Brendan Walshe

I hope you are well. Please find below a copy of a news story will be published on our website this afternoon to explain that staff at the Essex County FA Office will be working remotely until further notice due to Government advice surrounding Coronavirus.

I wanted to let you know, personally, that I appreciate the patience, efforts and commitment your competition is showing during what is a very testing time. While the office building will be closed, we’re still committed to supporting you, and grassroots football. Thank you.

Grassroots Thanked for Commitment and Dedication

During these unprecedented times, both locally and globally, the Essex County FA wish to say thank you for the commitment, dedication and patience members of the grassroots community have collectively shown, and we wish everyone across football good health.

This is a fast-moving scenario, which started with us putting our own competitions on hold and allowing leagues and competitions to follow suit and postpone their own games. This has since developed into an overall suspension of grassroots Essex football.

The focus has to be on public health, and football continues to play its part. The FA and the Essex County FA will continue to work closely with the grassroots game during this time. The FA are in regular communication with the Government and the situation within English football at all levels remains under regular review.

We’re aware that clubs will be suffering many financial troubles due to Coronavirus, County Cup Finals will need to be rescheduled and it’s going to be a challenge to fit matches in. We must all work together to get to a point where things are back to normal again as soon as possible.

Further local updates will follow from the Essex County FA, as needed, online at, via @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.

County Office and Remote Working

Throughout this recent period since COVID-19 has affected England, The FA and the Essex County FA have taken Government advice, with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all. Current advice is that organisations should ‘work from home’ where possible.

For the foreseeable future, staff at the County Office in Chelmsford will be working remotely from home in the interests of safety, and to play our part in reducing the potential spread of the virus. Staff can still be contacted as normal, though E-Mail is the preferred method at present.

There are a number of ‘unknowns’ in football at the moment, but the staff at the Essex County FA are committed to supporting you. We will issue a weekly update to keep you informed of the latest developments in local grassroots football.

Coronavirus: The Facts

COVID-19 is a new illness which can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called Coronavirus. People with either of the following symptoms are advised to stay at home:

    o a high temperature - you feel hot to touch on your chest or back

    o a new, continuous cough - this means you've started coughing repeatedly

Current advice is not to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. Individuals are asked to keep up-to-date with, and follow, Government and Public Health England guidance, which includes:

    o promote best practice for hygiene, ensuring cleaning is effective and soaps are provided (plus sanitiser, where possible)

    o anyone with flu-like symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering

Brendan Walshe
Chief Executive and Company Secretary

Update - 13th March 2020

Fixture - Suspension

Following on from the Football Associations announcement relating to the Coronoavirus outbreak, and in line with the professional game the Essex County F.A. have announced that they are suspending their competitions until Friday 3rd April.

The League Management Committee have therefore decided to follow the guidance of our governing body and will also be suspending ALL fixtures until 3rd April 2020.

We have not taken this decision lightly but we must be seen to take all necessary precautions to protect the welfare of all our members.

We are committed to reaching a satisfactory conclusion to the current season but will need the help and support of all clubs to achieve this.  As such there may be a requirement for flexibility in terms of fixtures, once these are re-commenced, which we hope can be achieved by Saturday 4th April.

We will be working with our governing body over the possibility of a season extension but we recognise this depends on pitch availability. 

I am sure you can understand why our governing body have made such a decision and we felt it necessary to follow their lead and guidance.

Update - 11th March 2020

Coronavirus Update

A number of queries have been received to establish/seek guidance on the pre/post-match handshakes in order to control the spread of Coronavirus.

The FA is following Government advice which, at the time of writing, does not offer any advice to say that we should not be shaking hands, but highlights and emphasises the need for good hand hygiene at all times.

However, if teams feel happier not to shake hands (or to try an alternative method like fist bumping) then that is absolutely their choice and leagues are encouraged to be understanding of teams making this choice. Should teams decide not to shake hands or opt for an alternative method this must be conveyed to the match referee before the teams enter the field of play.

Alternatively, a league may choose to issue a policy to remove the procedural pre/post-match handshake, but this would be solely at the discretion of the league.

The FA is actively monitoring and adopting Government advice, and as a matter of good practice would recommend that leagues and clubs adopt the same approach.

Included below are useful links to be aware of updated information:

This guidance has been sent to leagues sanctioned by Essex FA and will be publicised on our website,, as well as being sent to all referees registered with Essex FA.

Update - 30th December 2019

 Protocol for dealing with discriminatory abuse by Spectators

The FA has recently released guidance to participants concerning the protocol to be followed in incidents at grassroots level where discriminatory abuse is witnessed coming from spectators at games.

It aims to ensure that any discriminatory abuse directed at players, managers or match officials is effectively addressed and that participants feel protected.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you all matters of discrimination should be reported to ensure the appropriate action can be taken.

A full copy of the protocol is available via the following link, which has been posted on our website: Protocol for dealing with discriminatory 
abuse by Spectators at Grassroots level.

Further details on how The FA and Essex FA are committed to tackling discrimination and how individuals can report incidents is available on our website: Essex FA: Tackling Discrimination.

Update - 17th December 2019


Discussions regarding the full merger of the MEFL and EOFL into one structure have reached an impasse and a full merger will not now take place at the end of this season.

So much has already been achieved between the two leagues with processes, administration, fines and rules brought into line with each other.

The two leagues will continue to talk to try and make further progress to a full integration which is acceptable to both the leagues, the member clubs and the ECFA for the benefit of all.

Both Leagues are looking to hold a meeting with member clubs early in the New Year to discuss the merger with you.

Update - 3rd November 2019

Discipline and Misconduct

All Clubs are reminded that all matters relating to discipline and misconduct are dealt with by the Essex County Football Association.  The competition has no jurisdiction over these matter. 

A red card offence can only be appealed on the grounds of mistaken identity or where there has been an obvious error in law.

Please take note of the above 

Referee Marks

Once again we are seeing a mark of 61 creeping back in. We are not stupid Clubs mark at this level to avoid sending in a report. In future any clubs marking below 65 will be asked to submit a report in line with competition rule 6.h

Clubs are reminded that they must send a report to the League Secretary when marking 60 or below, note rule 23.h.

Please complete the attached when submitting your report - CLICK HERE

Update - 4th September 2019

Referee - Match Result Sheet

All Referee's please note that after each game they are required to complete the sheet below and return to John Burdett.

Click here for sheet

Update - 27th August 2019

Full Time

A reminder in terms of your responsibilities for reporting results through SMS and Result Sheets is shown on the attached guides

Entering Results On Full Time

Guides To Sending In Results By SMS

Update - 4th August 2019

Temporary Dismissals

Following on from the Temporary Dismissal Workshops that the Essex FA have delivered around the county, the FA yesterday released some further guides and support for all involved within the game for Temporary Dismissals. To find these guides and support, you can do so by going to the FA’s website ( in which you can download a ‘Sin Bin Infographic’ and also access the ‘Sin Bins Online Guide’ or by going direct to the online guides link;

Also just to provide you all with an update during the presentations one of the FAQS covered during the presentation around “What happens if the team go down to less than 7 players as a result of a Temporary Dismissal?” Previously the outcome was “If it is the
player’s second sin bin and not permitted to return – the game will be abandoned.” However it has been revised and the outcome will be “Under the Laws of the Game, if the team go below 7 for whatever reason – the game will be abandoned.”

Update - 3rd August 2019


Essex football clubs and referees at all levels are making themselves aware of the latest amendments to the laws of the game after the International Football Association Board (IFAB) confirmed several alterations for 2019/20.

Each year revisions are made to the laws so they’re more appropriate to the game. Changes for this season include updates to the laws on substitutions, team official misconduct, handballs, kick-offs, defensive walls and penalty and goal kicks.

The universality of the laws of the game means football is essentially the same in every part of the world and at every level. As well as creating a fair and safe environment in which the game is played, the laws also promote participation and enjoyment.

Please refer to the link below for the main changes