Rules & Regulations

As well as providing a unique football environment for over over 1,000 veteran players, the Bristol Corinthians League is keen to use this to help local charities


1. Ethos:

The Bristol Corinthians League aspires for all teams playing within it to adhere to the ‘Corinthian Spirit.’ Trying to win is perfectly fine, but trying to win by any means necessary is not. In our league the spirit in which the game is played is more important than the result.

a. All games should be played in a friendly but competitive manner. Sportsmanship and good conduct of players and officials are the most highly prized commodities in our league. Players should behave courteously and with good humour towards one another at all times.

b. Physical, sexual, racist, sexist or homophobic abuse of opponents and officials is completely unacceptable.

c. Violent conduct towards opponents or officials is also completely unacceptable.

d. Audible swearing should be kept to a minimum and whilst a competitive approach is to be encouraged, this should not be at the expense of the Corinthian ideal.

e. Referees and match official should be treated with the highest degree of respect. Officiating a BCL game should be a pleasure for any official, not a chore.

f. If a foul is committed then the offending player should always offer an apology to their opponent.

2. Players:

a. All players must be aged 35 years and over. (45 years and over in the over 45’s league.)

b. Players aged between 30 and 35 (40 and 45 in the over 45’s) are permissible, up to a maximum of 2 within a team’s matchday squad.

c. Players under 30 (under 40 in the over 45’s) are only allowed in exceptional circumstances such as:

An under aged goalkeeper is permitted if no other is available.

One son or daughter of a legitimate player per matchday squad is allowed, as the league supports the idea of a parent and their child being able to play in the same team. However, if the youngster is so good that they dominate the game or make a significant difference to the result because of their superior fitness or ability, then the opposition manager can request that they be substituted.

If there is no other way for a team to raise an XI then it can be mutually agreed between the two managers to allow younger players. This MUST be agreed before match day, not be presented as a fait accompli on the day.

d. As a matter of courtesy, opposition managers MUST be made aware of under aged players before the game kicks off.

e. There is no limit to the number of subs or substitutions. Substitutions may be made during a break in play at the referee’s discretion on a roll on/roll off basis.

f. Mixed teams of men and women are permitted.

3. Matches:

a. Teams are responsible for arranging their own fixtures. Teams must arrange home fixtures at the earliest opportunity, ideally on the date allocated on the league website. Changes from the original fixture schedule can be mutually agreed between two clubs, any such changes should be notified to the website.

b. Home teams must re-confirm with the opposition that the fixture is going ahead one week before the match.

c. Once a fixture is scheduled, then the latest time that a team can request for the fixture to be rescheduled is ten days before the arranged date. If a club pulls out of a fixture within the ten day window, then the opposing team may claim a 3-0 walkover if they choose to do so.

d. All teams must complete a minimum of 4 league games before Christmas, and a minimum of 8 games by end of season.

e. Any issues making contact with individual teams must be reported to the league at the earliest opportunity.

f. The fixtures computer is not infallible. If your team has travelled away to a particular team and would rather not travel again in the current season, then a venue swap can be arranged by mutual consent between the two teams concerned.

g. Cup fixtures must take priority and must be completed by the cut off dates set by the league. The League reserves the right to award a walkover where a team has failed to make adequate efforts to play a cup match on time.

h. The dates of the cup finals are fixed and cannot be adjusted. If a team cannot make the given date then they are deemed to have forfeited the game.

i. Games are preferably to be played on grass. They may be played on artificial pitches if these are of at least 3G standard. Teams may refuse to play on old style sand based asrtroturf pitches.

j. The cost of hiring a pitch for a match shall, unless otherwise agreed by both teams, be split 50/50, with the away team ensuring they pay their 50% on the day of the game.

k. In the event of a late cancellation for a game to be played on a pitch paid for in advance, then the club responsible for cancelling the game should bear the full cost of the pitch hire. Late cancellation is defined as within the ten day period outlined above.

l. Home sides are to provide a referee, both sides are to provide an assistant referee. Home sides should endeavor to provide a neutral referee. Referees fees are to be split between the home and away teams.

4. Administration:

a. All outstanding League subscriptions must be paid by the date agreed at the AGM. Clubs who fail to make this payment by cut-off date will be deemed to have left the League.

b. After league expenses have been paid, the remaining monies will be paid out in charitable donations, nominated by championship and cup winning sides from each division of the league and the Corinthian cup winners.

c. Each club must provide TWO contact names, mobile phone numbers and e-mail addresses to be displayed on the league website.

d. All clubs should notify the League secretary of address and postcode of their (main) pitch, home kit colours etc.

e. Each club is responsible for obtaining its own insurance cover.

f. Home and away teams must report results, match reports and Corinthian scores to the League via the website as soon as possible after the completion of a fixture.

5. Corinthian Scores:

a. Home and away teams must award their opponents a ‘Corinthian score’ after each game. The Corinthian score is a mark out of ten that reflects the opponent’s attitude and approach to the game. This must be reported with the results as soon as possible after a game has been played.

b. A rough guide on how to rate your opponent is included with these rules.

c. All teams must achieve an average Corinthian score of 8 over the course of the season. Any team failing to do so will enter a one season probationary period, offering the chance improve their approach to playing in the league. A second season below the expected average will result in them not being invited the following season.

d. Teams who are awarded a score of 6 or less in any game will be contacted by the league and asked to improve their conduct in future games. A strike may be issued as a result.

e. Three strikes will result in a team not being invited back the following season.

f. In exceptional circumstances a team may be expelled from the league mid-season, at the discretion of the committee.

g. At the end of the season a trophy will be awarded to the team achieving the highest Corinthian average.

To reduce the risk of any team being influenced in their Corinthian scoring through seeing what their opponent has awarded them, Corinthian Scores awarded are NOT made visible on the League website.

Scores are logged and totalled in the database as before, and the Corinthian Table will show each clubs' Corinthian Average Score (i.e. aggregate score total divided by games played). Each club will automatically appear in the Corinthian table once they have been scored on THREE fixtures.

6. Warning Strikes

Accruing three Warning Strikes will result in a team being automatically NOT being invited to rejoin the League the following season. A list of Strikes awarded during the season is shown on the League website.

A Warning Strike may be given against a club for the following;

  1. A Corinthian Score of four or less being awarded against them

  2. Proven breaches of under-age player rules

  3. Failure to play the minimum required amount of games either by Christmas or by end of season. (See Matches)

  4. Proven abuse/poor behaviour towards opposition or an official, where reported by an independent referee