(Revised June 2017)

It is the role of ISFA to promote association football in independent schools, to oversee its development and to ensure that the Corinthian values that inspired the game at the time of its creation are still followed in the 21st Century. The ISFA Code of Conduct sets the standards which schools are expected to follow in all ISFA matches. Good sportsmanship and fair play must remain at the heart of the game.


Fixture details should be discussed by respective Masters i/c at least one week in advance of the match date.  Decisions should be reached, at this time, on the duration of the game, team colours (in case of a colour clash) and the number of substitutes permitted.  Please note that the use of "repeated" (i.e. rolling) substitutions is now part of the game for grass roots football under The Laws of The FA. It is also important that schools provide an accurate, and clearly stated, contact number in case of weather problems, postponements or travel difficulties.

Under the Rules of The FA, girls are permitted to play with and against boys in all matches up to U18 level.

All teams should be escorted to the changing rooms, or the dining facilities, as appropriate. Clear information should be provided about the collection and safe keeping of valuables for visiting teams.

Visiting staff should be given details of the medical arrangements in place at the pitch side as well as the location and nature of the School’s Medical Centre/Sanatorium


Medical matters

Each school is responsible for its own minor first aid and should provide its own first aid kit.

Every school, irrespective of whether playing at home or away, should have clear procedures planned in advance in the event of a medical emergency.

There must be a telephone available at the ground in case emergency services have to be contacted.

At all times there should be clear access for emergency service vehicles in case of serious injury


Referees should be made aware in advance of the standards expected in a school fixture, which may be different to those to which they are accustomed in local adult fixtures.

The home team should inform the referee where disciplinary reports should be sent – ISFA Disciplinary Secretary (address/e-mail)


Players clothing and equipment must conform to the Laws of the Game, in particular in relation to the safety of studs/blades.  No jewellery can be worn.

Foul, offensive, abusive or insulting language, aggressive behaviour and open dissent by players is completely unacceptable in a school fixture and should not be permitted in any circumstances, either by the referee or school staff.

Any player sent off by the referee must either return to the dressing room or stand silently by the side of the team coach. The player must not be allowed to wander at will nor make comments from the touchline.

School Staff

The role of school staff is fundamental to the success of independent schools’ football.  Schools staff should set a high standard for their pupils and ensure that boys/girls in their charge adhere to this code of conduct.  The conduct of school staff should be beyond reproach

The team coach’s emphasis should be on encouragement: public chastisement of players, particularly from the touchline, should be avoided. The coach should be discreet, positive and constructive.

Coaches must never undermine the authority of the referee. On no account should adverse comment be made towards the referee in public or in front of players.

The team coach bears the ultimate responsibility for the behaviour of his/her team.  He/she must keep in mind that the conduct of his/her team is a reflection of his/her standards.  He/she should also keep in mind at all times that school sport is an educational activity and winning is not the sole purpose of the match.


All schools are responsible for the conduct of their own spectators/supporters, both pupils and adults.  

Spectators should watch matches from at least 3 yards behind the touchline and should not stand on the touchline.  Spectators should be kept well away from the area behind the goal.   Where significant numbers of spectators are expected, the home school is responsible for ensuring that they are kept at least 3 yards away from the touchline by means of a barrier or rope. 

Criticism of the referee by spectators is completely unacceptable.

Spectators should not give instruction or advice to the players.  Any instruction necessary should be undertaken solely by the official coaching staff. 

Positive support, cheering and singing can play a part in creating excitement and atmosphere. Foul or offensive language/comments, booing and abusive chants and gesticulation towards opposing supporters are inappropriate at a school match.


The home team is responsible for ensuring that adequate changing and showering facilities are available to visiting teams and match officials

Where the visiting team has travelled a long distance, suitable refreshment should be offered by the home school.

Any yellow/red cards must be reported to the ISFA Disciplinary Secretary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Where a player has been sent off during a match, the school, as a minimum, must conform to FIFA and FA regulations and suspend the player from the next School match.** (see below).  Schools are expected to follow the FA guidelines on suspensions and impose more than a one match suspension for serious offences, particularly those involving violence or abuse.
** In a competitive match, the minimum one match suspension should be served in the competition in which the offence occurred

Problems between schools should resolved by the respective Heads.  If a resolution cannot be achieved, a letter should be sent by the Head(s) to the Chief Executive of ISFA.


Tues 24th Apr
Seven-a-Side Tournament
National Finals
(St. George’s Park, 11.00)

Thurs 26th Apr
ISFA U16 Shield Final
(St. George's Park, 6.00)

Mon 30th Apr
Smith Construction
ISFA U18 Girls Cup Final
(Bisham Abbey, 6.00)

Sun. 6th May
Scottish Independent Schools U18
English Independent Schools U17
(Airdrieonians FC)