Criteria For Entry & Continued Membership

Last updated: July 11th, 2021.


Premier Division
Requirements for Other Division
Disciplinary Record
The Team
Changing Rooms
Shower Facilities
Toilet Facilities
General Requirements
New Club Application Form



Clubs in our Premier (Regional NLS Feeder) Division must play on grounds that comply with the
Regional National League System Feeder League (Step 7) minimum grading guidelines.

Clubs seeking promotion from Division One must meet the NLS Feeder League (Step 7) minimum
grading guidelines before being considered for promotion.

Your attention is drawn to section 5.9 of the National League System Regulations.

Step 7 Ground Grading Requirements


Clubs wishing to apply for entry into the league must play in a Saturday adult league and their grounds shall be situated within the County of Essex or adjoining County border areas.

A club shall be properly constituted, with a committee elected by the members at an A.G.M.

Regular committee meetings shall be held and minuted

Records shall be kept of the club’s finances, duly audited and accepted by the members at an A.G.M. Clubs must submit a copy of their latest Balance Sheet, which shall not be more than twelve months old, to be able to apply to enter the league.

The minute book and accounts shall be made readily available upon request by the League.

In order to allow time for inspections to be carried out, applications for entry must be received on or before March 31st in each year.


Clubs applying shall have a satisfactory record and shall supply details of any disciplinary action against itself, officials and players proven during the last 2 competitive seasons.


The first team of a Club seeking entry from a junior league must finish in the top division of the league they are leaving.

Teams joining the league having been relegated from either level 5 or 6 of The National League System shall be placed in the Premier Division.

Teams joining from level 7 of The National League System or junior leagues shall be placed in a division at the discretion of the management committee.

New Reserves teams of teams either already in the top five divisions of the Constitution or Reserve teams of teams in a League higher up in the National League System, shall be placed in a Division at the discretion of the Management Committee.

Whilst not mandatory, clubs shall be encouraged to enter a second team into the competition.

No club will be allowed to have more than two teams in the main six divisions of the Constitution unless there are exceptional circumstances.


The Ground shall ideally be available for the season for the period from the beginning of September until the second week of May as a minimum

Preferably a Clubhouse with bar facilities should be provided

A telephone, either mobile or land line, must be available at the ground on match days

Free Car parking facilities must be made available close to the ground

The size of the playing area must be no less than 96 metres in length and 62 metres in breadth (105 yards in length and 68 yards in breadth), and consist of a good playing surface.

The playing area must be a reasonable distance from the changing rooms and have a physical barrier around all four sides, behind which all spectators must stand.

As a minimum requirement, the physical barrier may be a boundary rope, which must be no less than 1.22 metres (4 feet) from the edge of the playing area and at a height to prevent encroachment. The playing pitch must be completely isolated and free from the encroachment of spectators, substitutes and club Officials

The rope must be supported by a minimum of 7 stakes along each side of the playing area and 4 stakes at each end of the playing area.

If such an area is provided, only two persons at a time shall be allowed within the Technical Area to convey tactical instructions in accordance with the Laws of The Game.


There shall be separate changing rooms for each team, having a minimum floor area of 9.29 square metres (100 square feet) excluding shower and toilet facilities.

Separate provision shall be provided for the match officials which shall have an integral shower and toilet facilities, and a minimum floor area of 4.55 square metres (49 square feet), excluding the shower area.

Access shall be without going through team changing rooms or clubhouse area open to non-playing members.

All changing room areas must be independently locked on match days.

All changing room areas must be maintained to the highest level of cleanliness on match days.


Hot and Cold Washing Facilities must be provided.

Adequate shower facilities must be provided.

Where the shower facilities are separate there must be a minimum of 4 showerheads per team.
There must be a minimum of 8 showerheads where shower facilities are shared

Access to the shower facilities must be such that neither team shall have to enter the changing room of the other team to gain access to the showers.


Where toilet facilities are separate, a minimum of 1 WC shall be provided in each changing room.

Where toilet facilities are shared, there must not be less than a total of 3 WCs/Urinals, of which at least 1 must be a WC.

Where toilet facilities are shared, access must be such that neither team has to enter the others used changing room to gain access to the toilets.


Clubs who do not have approved facilities available for Saturday football from the first Saturday of October at the latest, or whose facilities are not available up to the third Saturday of April, shall not be allowed to enter another team in the competition

To avoid fixture congestion, clubs with dual County affiliations shall be allowed to enter their PARENT County Cup Competition only.

Clubs playing Senior and Reserve/Other team matches on their own pitch on the same day, shall play the higher division match first.

Clubs should make every effort to produce a match day programme particularly clubs within the Premier Division

Clubs must ensure that the Code of Conduct as detailed in Appendix B is adhered to.

Clubs should at all times be looking to maintain and improve their all-round facilities.