South African Virtual Football League

SQUAD REGISTRATION

All teams have a maximum squad size of 15 players.

Premier League teams have a minimum squad size of 6 players.

Any player that isn't registered to your club or is ineligible for any reason and plays will result in your club forfeiting the match and the other team receiving a 3-0 score line. In the event that both teams infringe upon this rule, both teams will forfeit the game.

Players are only allowed to represent a maximum of two clubs a season, meaning that they can only be registered twice. Once a player leaves a club for the second time in a season, they will not be eligible to play again until the next season commences.

Players are not allowed to simultaneously play in multiple divisions, players are restricted to playing for 1(one) team in 1(one) division. This rule extends to cup games as well.

GAME REQUIREMENTS 

Every team must have a minimum of 3 players to be able to play a match, in the event of load shedding the minimum for each team will be 2 players or a reschedule may be requested.

Streaming of games is optional, both mangers will be responsible for taking record of end results via screenshot/photo and posting it to the results discord channel.

PRE-GAME PROCEDURES 

Managers are allowed to call for time (temporarily stop the game from proceeding for 10mins), as long as it is messaged to the opposition Captain at least 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the game. Preferably this message would be sent in both the captain’s chat as well as in a private message.

If a team calls time on a game, they have to inform the opposing team and/or manager once they are ready to proceed with said game. Non-communication of this will be regarded as the team defaulting on the scheduled time and will receive a forfeit. 

If you are in the lobby with the minimum required to play a game (minimum 3 players), you must be making an active effort to get into the game. It is okay to wait for a player to quickly get back online and into the lobby, but it is not okay to make another team wait 10-15 minutes, waiting for one person to become available.

If one team is having an issue with one or more players not being able to get into the pro clubs team lobby, that team’s manager must make that explicitly clear to the opposition and notify the other manager as soon as their entire team is ready.

If one manager appears to be stalling and no invite has been sent for 5 minutes after the scheduled match time without communication and a clear evidence as to why, the team is allowed to send an invite (home or away) and make an effort to get the match started. Simply sitting in the lobby and waiting to claim your forfeit will not be tolerated. 

The grace period for teams that fail to show up on time for their games is 10 minutes.

If the previous game finished after the 10 minute grace period (21:10 for a first game, 21:40 for a second game etc.), the manager of the team in that game needs to contact the next game’s manager immediately. Once this has been done, the team that finished late must get back into the lobby ASAP and be ready to play.

If a manager has not heard anything from the opposing manager or co-managers through a DM, party invite, or discord chat by 10 minutes after (21:10, 21:40 etc.), they may submit a formal call for a default win, which the admins will review.

If it’s clear and obvious that one team did not make an effort to play and were stalling or not communicating in good faith, the admins have the right to award a default

If a team wishes to concede a forfeit, they should do so 1 hour prior to kick-off to avoid the opposing team needlessly preparing themselves. If a team forfeits minutes before their scheduled game time they will receive punishment in the form of point deductions.

Teams are limited to 3 forfeits a season which will include both cup and league games. If a team forfeits more than 3 games in a season they will be kicked from the league and face a possible ban for future seasons.

A manager cannot call a default or claim against a team for not showing up on time, after the match is played. Teams that don't meet the match times set by admins will receive a forfeit unless a reschedule is agreed by both managers and admins. If a team fails to meet said rescheduled time, they will receive a forfeit. You are only allowed to reschedule a game once, indefinite rescheduling of games will not be allowed. In the event that a team is found to be continuously postponing certain games without good reason they will forfeit said games and be docked points.

In the event that both teams default on the scheduled times without good reason both will receive a forfeit.

RESCHEDULE PROCEDURES 

Managers who wish to reschedule any games must have the opposing manager agree as well as obtain admin approval in order to move a game. A team can not deny another team a reschedule nor force a fixture to be played at a specific time. If managers can not come to agreement with regards to a reschedule then an admin should be consulted to mediate and organise a new fixture time and/or date.

We would prefer if game times could be adhered to but we will try to be as flexible as possible with regards to the match times.

In the event that a reschedule is agreed upon, it is the team that requested the reschedule responsibility to report the reschedule with an exact date and time to admins and post it in the relevant channel on discord. If a match is not played as a result of miscommunication regarding the reschedule, the team that requested the reschedule will forfeit the match. 

Cup matches that are rescheduled must be played before the end of the next gameweek (Ex: FA Cup match rescheduled from a Sunday night must be played by end of the night the next Thursday).


CONNECTION ISSUES *DURING GAME* 

If a player lags out of a match under 10 minutes of game time or if the team is experiencing screen skipping, disconnection from the game etc., the following procedures should be taken; you may restart the match up to two times without penalty as long as your entire team has backed out before 10 minutes have passed. If a player lags out of a match over 10 minutes of game time, you cannot restart the match and must finish the game with the remaining players. If players are exiting the match for a restart and they run over the 10 minutes while doing this, their request for a restart is still valid. Any goal(s) scored before a team quits or lags out before or during the 10 minute window still stand when the match is restarted.

HOSTING

The team that is entered in the schedule as the home team must be the one that sends the away team the friendly invitation. The team on the left-hand side of the Match Report is always the host. Each team must have a good host. Make sure your host is the best person on your team for connection. In the event that the home team cannot connect to or find the away team, captains are allowed to handover hosting responsibilities.

Each team needs to have at least the minimum of 3 players to start the game. If a team does not have the squad numbers needed to start a match they should either reschedule or forfeit their game. With that said, this has to be communicated well in advance and not 5mins before you are due for a match, please respect people's time.

Each team's host needs to be a player with stable connection and the best connectivity to other players on the team. The host will be responsible for lag.

GAME SETUP

To begin a game, each team must make sure they are within these rules:

·       Each player in the match lobby must be on the team’s online roster. 

·       “Any” player position is allowed only under the event that the number of players in your squad is equal to or less than 3. If a team plays an “Any” and the number of players in the squad is found to be above the amount stipulated they will receive a forfeit for their match.

If the game starts and you notice the other team is breaking a rule, you have until the 10-minute mark in game to back out and provide proof of the rule break. If you see a rule being broken after the 10th minute, you must finish the game and record said rule being broken and report said infraction to the league admins. Admins cannot take action against teams based purely on a captain's word, if evidence cannot be provided for rule infractions there is no case.

GAMEPLAY RULES

How each team runs their line-up is up to the manager of the team. 3 backs, 4 backs, and 5 backs are all allowed formations.

Running down of the clock through running to any corner flag on the field and shielding or holding the ball for a period of 2-5+ minutes is only permitted during stoppage time i.e. 45+, 90+. It is prohibited during any other period of the game. If sufficient evidence is submitted through video clips longer than 30 seconds a default win may be awarded to the team that was on the receiving end of the time-wasting. To make it absolutely clear to all, the goalkeeper holding the ball and using their allocated time is not deemed time-wasting. Teams moving the ball around and keeping possession is also not time-wasting. 

If you feel a team has done this against your team, take as much video evidence as you can and get in contact with an admin. Admins will review each case and give a warning or default if the situation warrants it.

Blocking the opposition goalkeeper during free-kicks and corners is NOT allowed. If you score using any bumping glitches or obstruct the goalkeeper the goal scored will be taken off you. If a goal is scored using these techniques please continue the game and then submit proof after the game. If evidence deems a goal to have been scored using these techniques it will be removed from the final scoreline, a default win will not be given under these circumstances.

Managers have the right to challenge for a default if they believe that the opposing team (a) blocked your goalie at anytime or (b) deliberately wasted time. As these rules need to be reviewed by admins, it is recommended that your team take as much video evidence as possible while also finishing the game in case the admins determine no rule was broken so that your team does not receive a default for backing out after 10 minutes. If the admins decide that the rule was broken, a default loss will be given to the offending team. If the admins decide that no rule was broken, the result of the game will stand.

In the event a team abandons a game for whatever reason, any goals scored will be awarded as well as the standard 3-0 forfeiture scoreline added to obtain a final result.

TRANSFER RULES

Once a player is signed to a team, he is required to play a minimum of 10 league games for that team before they are eligible to transfer out to another team.

Team registration windows will be on the 1st and 3rd Week, from Monday 08:00 until Tuesday 23:30.

During registration windows teams are given free reign with the incoming and outgoings of their squad, meaning you are allowed to make an unlimited number of transfers in and out of your team but captains still need to report to admins when they’ve signed or released players in order for us to update the team sheets accordingly.

Teams will be allowed three free transfers outside the registration windows, if a team requests to make more transfers they will have sacrifice league points to do so. 1 extra transfer will cost 5 points, 2 extra transfers will cost 8 points, 3 extra transfers will cost 12 points.

Teams are also allowed to loan a maximum of 2 players. Loans can be requested at any time during the season 

Loan duration will either be for a game day (e.g. Saturday night matches) or game week (e.g. Thursday-Sunday).

Loans cannot be extended once duration has been chosen. If teams do seek to extend loans, they will be able to do so at the cost of 1 loan option.

Once a player is signed on loan he is not allowed to play for any other team for the duration of their loan 

Teams are allowed to sign 3 free agents per season if the window has been closed (FREE AGENT – someone who is not registered at a club, associated to a club, or has signed for a club during that season)

Any signings made, whether it be loan or transfer need to be communicated with admins in order for them to be valid.

In special cases where a team gets disbanded mid-season, the admins will determine the status of the players affected and give a ruling of whether they can be signed to other teams or not.

For a Transfer to be valid, the player and managers (current and future manager) need to acknowledge the transfer, as well as informing an admin. Ultimately it is up to the player to decide which team they want to play for, but failure to make all parties aware of this will result in the transfer being null and void.

PLAYER CONDUCT

All players are expected to follow the rules of conduct whether it’s on the site, community group chats or in game. We ask that during games all rules stated are followed and fair play is conducted and no prejudice or harassment partakes in the league. Breaching of these rules and all other rules stated will result in punishment via bans.

Harassment is something that is unacceptable in the league and if sufficient evidence is found or provided, action will be taken. We allow banter and grudges but we do NOT allow any racial, religious, political, disability or sexual attack against any of our members (This involves all text or imagery in profiles too). Every offense of this nature will result in a ban without any warning and we reserve the right to keep you out the league permanently.

If you have a complaint that needs to be filed please do not do it in the community group chats. If you have an issue, state your complaint to any one of the admins in the league. If you have a complaint involving an admin please do so via PM to Mpumi (OceansKaione).

Advertising without permission is strictly prohibited. It will be followed with a ban if found out.

ADMIN CONDUCT

All admins are expected to show respect to all members at all times. The only exception is when there is some rant done against himself or his team. Then he has all the right as a member to comment on this. However, the admin is NOT allowed to use any of his admin-given powers if he decides to participate in such comments. The admins are the heart of the league, please try to show them the respect they give you. Note that a member of the admin team is also a member of the league. All admins can join in on debates, suggestions, and all array of discussions. If the admin abuses his given powers, report it to Mpumi (OceansKaione). If the admin has a record of said complaints, a meeting will be held to hear said admin's side and to make a judgement on his accreditation as admin.

LEAGUE STRUCTURE

The SA VFL currently only has two divisions, the Premier League and the Championship.

Teams will play each other twice per season.

For league games, the score after 90 minutes will be the final result. Extra time and penalties do not count.

At the end of the season, the bottom 3 teams from the Premier League will be automatically relegated to the Championship and the top 3 teams from the Championship will be automatically promoted to the Premier League.

League games will take place on the following days and times:

Thursday – 21:00 and 21:30 CAT

Friday – 21:00 and 21:30 CAT

Saturday – 21:00 and 21:30 CAT

End of season standings will be decided based upon the highest point totals. If necessary, the following tiebreakers will be used to sort any teams that are level on points - Goal Difference, Goals For.

Knockout Cup games will take place on the following days and times:

Sundays– 21:00 CAT

The Admins reserves the right to update/add/remove rules at their own discretion based on any issues that may or may not affect the league.

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