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Following several recent last minute and repeat forfeits across the adult contact league, BAFA would like to remind clubs that our contact competition rules make provision for disciplinary or financial consequences to be applied where appropriate.

These consequences may be applied where a forfeit is deemed to be for a reason within a team’s control, and where there are clearly evidenced and unrecoverable financial consequences for teams forfeited against.

Competition management has already been in contact with teams recently impacted to discuss their individual situation and identify any unrecoverable core expenses, such as facility hire, medical costs or team travel.

BAFA CEO Pete Ackerley commented: “We appreciate that sometimes unexpected situations arise that may lead to a team making the hard decision to forfeit a game because they feel it would be unsafe to play. However, we also expect our teams – especially those in our top tiers – to have adequate numbers and planning in place to be able to flex around injury, illness, or availability issues at specific positions. We also expect a good level of engagement with competition management around developing situations so we can try to support or resolve issues where possible.

“I want to be very clear that as a result we will be reviewing the league status of teams who have forfeited games this season at short-notice for reasons deemed to be within their control and who have had poor communication with competition management about this. We need to reflect fairly and honestly as to whether their current league position would remain appropriate for them next year, or if they would benefit from being moved to a lower level with less pressure or to associate status to enable them to rebuild and address the recruitment and retention issues behind their forfeits.

“There has been some discussion on our decision to remove the ‘red and yellow card’ provision from our contact competition rules. Over the last two years we have tried to avoid penalising teams during what has been a time of national recovery for all. However, our underpinning competition rules still very much enable us to make fair and appropriate disciplinary decisions where appropriate or to impose additional league entry requirements for specific teams, such as bonds or the repayment of costs.”


You can find our contact competition rules here:

Some of the key rules specific to forfeits and their consequences are:

13.18 – detailing circumstances considered within a team’s control
13.20 – allowing competition management to take such disciplinary action as it deems appropriate in the event of a forfeit
13.22 – detailing the core costs that may be incurred as the result of a cancelled fixture
13.26 – detailing the penalties that might be incurred by a visiting or hosting team that, without reasonable excuse, fails to show up for a game cancels a game our tournament for any reason within its own control
13.32 – giving competition management discretion to request teams who have made multiple forfeits provide a surety of £500 against the completion of their next season