Spartan South Midlands League newsletter – November 2016

Tony Weight, 1 November 2016


Now that we are well into the season, a chance to draw breath and take stock of how things are going. Listed below are some key messages for you. Please take note of and apply them as we move into November.


Please note that for fixtures from November 1st, Mike Desborough will be making appointments of assistant referees for matches on the Premier Division, Premier Division Cup and Challenge Trophy, in addition to his current duties Terry Hunt will continue to make appointments of match referees for the SSMFL and Essex Senior League.


Please do yourself and the League a favour by closing dates as soon as you know you are not available. If you do not, then Mike Desborough will take it that you are free and give you a game. There have been too many examples of officials not closing dates and causing maximum inconvenience to Mike and their colleagues.


When Mike appoints, he does so on the basis that officials will travel together. This is particularly important for Pool matches as appointment of assistants is now made before the referee is appointed. Please always assume you are meant to travel together. We try to keep costs down for clubs, so please cooperate. It is the match referees’ responsibility to make travel arrangements when making contact with his/her assistant referees prior to the game.


Some of you will know this has been causing a few problems. However, we now have a clear set of guidelines from the Football Association. If you are appointed to a County Senior Cup, this takes precedence over all SSMFL matches. If you are appointed to any other county competition, appointments to Premier Division and Division 1 take precedence. If you are appointed to a Division 2 or Development Division match, other County Cup competitions take precedence. So bear that in mind when appointed to a game on the SSMFL. If applicable, close the date with your County if you are appointed to a match on the SSMFL which takes precedence. Do not forget to do this.


We have had a number of occasions when some officials have not been appropriately dressed for matches on the League. Please remember to dress in collar and tie and trousers/slacks. Track suits, ‘T’ shirts jeans and trainers are not permitted.


Please note that the electronic copy of the Match Report Form must be sent to Bob Flight at If you run out, Match Report Pads are available from myself, from Charlotte at Beds FA or from Mike Taylor (details in Pool Handbook). The form must be completed by hand immediately after the match, white copy to home club, yellow to away club and green copy kept by referee and then sent electronically.


Please note that for Development Division matches, teams may nominate up to 5 substitutes and all substitutes can be used. In addition, repeat substitutions can be made, but the correct substitution procedure must be carried out at all times. While the League try to appoint neutral officials on all Development Division matches, this is not always possible. In this case each club must provide a suitable person to act as assistant. If that is not possible it was agreed to relax the League Rule to allow substitutes to be assistants but to limit the use to two individuals each game.


Please ensure that when team-sheets are brought in, the physiotherapist is clearly indicated. If they are not, please ensure that another official of the club listed on the team-sheet is designated as the physiotherapist for the match.


The latest revision to the Pool Handbook has just been updated and sent to all of you. This contains all details of officials, club officials and other essential information. The Pool Handbook is available on-line at the following address:

The Spartan South Midlands Handbook is available at:


Finally, thanks to all of you for your commitment to the League. It is much appreciated. The last few months have not been an easy time, but I would like to think that by working together, we can continue to provide a high quality of officiating on the Spartan South Midlands League.

Tony Weight