Following a steadily increasing number of problems and disputes relating to postponements over recent seasons, the UCFL has adopted, by way of a minute rule passed by the League Executive Committee, a number of changes to the way postponements are sought and granted. These changes come into effect from 1 October 2016 and will remain in force for the rest of the season. At this stage, it is envisaged that they may become part of the UCFL’s permanent rules at the 2017 AGM.
The new rules were announced by the Hon Secretary at the management meeting on 29 September 2016. He explained the reasoning behind the new procedures and answered a number of questions relating to their operation.
The new procedures are as follows:
RULE 11 (a): - The Executive Committee shall fix dates and venues for all matches, time of kick-off, etc., and shall have power to deal with all disputes arising thereto.
RULE 11 (b): - Any Club/team failing to fulfil its fixture obligations in respect of any match on the appointed date or dates or causing the League to cancel any fixture shall be deemed guilty of misconduct; may be fined; and shall forfeit the points for the match or be eliminated from a cup competition as the case may be. If the Executive Committee is satisfied that the playing of the match was prevented under circumstances which they deem to have been unavoidable, they shall have the power to remit the said penalty and/or re-fix the match.
RULE 12 (a): - No team shall have the power to cancel or postpone a fixture without the consent of the Executive Committee. A request for a postponement must be forwarded in writing/e-mail, in the first instance, to the Honorary Fixtures Secretary, giving full details thereof, and must reach the Honorary Fixtures Secretary at least ten days preceding a match. The required fee (as set by the League) must accompany all applications for postponement (save for where a Club is in credit with the League, in which case the said Club agrees that the required fee will be debited from that Club’s account.
RULE 12 (b): - When a fixture has been made (i.e. published and/or submitted to the Newspaper), a request for a postponement will not be accommodated, unless the circumstances giving rise to such late request are outside the control of the Club and could not have been reasonably foreseen or reasonably anticipated and/or remedied prior to the match. Notice of such an application, received later than the aforesaid ten days, must reach the Honorary Fixtures Secretary, as in 12 (a) above, accompanied by the required late fee and giving precise details of the reason for the late postponement. The request will be deemed exceptional and the Emergency Committee, consisting of the Chairman, Honorary General Secretary, Honorary Fixtures Secretary and Honorary Treasurer, shall deal with it and their decision shall be binding. Any subsequent late request(s), in the same season, must be accompanied by a fee which is double the prescribed late fee.
RULE 12 (c): - A fixture is not deemed postponed until (i) it is agreed by the Honorary Fixtures Secretary who will have received the postponement request in the stipulated timeframe or approved by the Emergency Committee in respect of a late postponement and (ii) the Club seeking the postponement is informed by the Honorary Fixtures Secretary or another nominated member from the Executive Committee.
RULE 12 (d): - A request made directly to any Executive member by anyone other than the nominated contacts as per the current Secretary’s Book will not be accepted under any circumstances.
RULE 12 (e): - No more than four postponement requests, in total, may be granted to individual teams in any one season.