All M.A. Hart Bournemouth Football League Clubs shall enter the relevant Cup Competition for which they are qualified under the rules. Clubs with more than one team who qualify for the same competition may enter a second team if they wish.

The Rules of the BFL where applicable shall apply in all cases not covered by Cup Competition Rules.


1. The entire control and management of the above competition shall be vested in the Management Committee of the M. A. Hart Bournemouth Football League.

2. The Cup shall be called the Mark Hart Sunday Senior Challenge Cup, and shall not become the property of any one Club.

3. This Competition shall be open to teams in Division 1 of the M.A. Hart Bournemouth Football League, on payment of the entry fee of £40.00 which shall be paid on or before the Annual General Meeting in each year.

4. The Management Committee shall have power to group the competing Clubs for purposes of the draw, or exempt any Club or Clubs from taking part in earlier rounds.

When competing Clubs are grouped in mini leagues in the early stages of the Competition the Rules of the M.A. Hart Bournemouth Football League will apply until the knock out stage is reached.   (e.g When scores are level after 90 mins the result is a draw and there is no extra time or penalties. Also, in the event of a Club being found guilty of playing an ineligible player in the group stages, the sanctions taken by the Management Committee are as if it were a League game and they not removed from the Competition. )

5.(a) All Players must be recognised members of their respective club and be duly signed and registered by midday on the day before the scheduled date of any Cup Match. (No player may be signed on and play on the day of a cup match). A bona-fide player is one who has signed a form for his Club on a recognised League Registration form and duly registered by that league’s registration secretary. Therefore Registration Forms must be received in the BDFA Office by midday on the day prior to the date set for playing the fixture.  No individual shall be allowed to play for more than one competing team, and a player shall not be permitted to play in the final tie unless he has previously played for his Club during the current season in a match under the jurisdiction of the BDFA or M.A.Hart Bournemouth Football League.

(b) No transfers will be allowed. Provided he is otherwise eligible, a player who has been suspended may play in any rearranged cup-tie, if the term of his suspension has expired. Up to five nominated substitutes may be used in any match in this Competition provided they are named to the Referee no later than five minutes before the officially nominated time of kick-off.

6.(a) Unless otherwise mutually arranged, the Clubs first drawn in each ballot shall have the choice of ground unless the Precedence List applies when the fixture shall be reversed. In the case of a tie being abandoned at the end of 90 minutes or during extra time through no fault of either Club, the choice of ground shall be reversed.   If a tie at a Club’s home ground has been postponed on two occasions because of the weather the fixture shall be reversed. 

(b) If the ground should be unsuitable for a Cup match their opponents may on depositing a sum of £25.00 with the Secretary of the League (which may be forfeited at the option of the League Management Committee, should they consider the objection trivial), appeal to the League Management Committee, who may order the match to be played on a neutral ground. Such appeal is to be made within seven days of the draw being made.

(c) The League Secretary shall arrange the Semi-Finals on a neutral pitch and competing Clubs shall share all expenses.  The Club first drawn in all Rounds except the Final shall be responsible for making all payments and notification to officials and opponents and shall notify their opponents prior to the game of the total amount due, half of which shall be reimbursed by their opponents immediately after the game at the latest.

 (d) When a gate is taken at a Semi-Final tie the total receipts shall be offset against the match expenses. The remainder, (whether income or expense) shall be shared, equally, between the two competing teams.

(e) The cost of any BCP Council Parks Pitch allocated by the M.A. Hart Bournemouth Football League must be paid by return or by the due date shown on the invoice sent to clubs. Clubs in default shall be fined £25.00 and may also have their Fixtures Suspended and dealt with as the Management Committee decides. 

7.(a) Any objection relative to ground, goal posts, bar or other appurtenances of the game must be made to those responsible for the match half-an-hour before the time fixed for the kick-off. Any defect shall be remedied if it is possible without unduly delaying the game. Failing this the objection shall be made to the Referee prior to the start and cannot be withdrawn without the consent of the League Management Committee. All other protests or appeals must be intimated to the Referee at the time the violation takes place with full particulars. Each of the above conditions must be lodged with the Secretary of the League, in writing within four days, accompanied by a deposit of £25.00, which may be retained or otherwise as the League Management Committee direct.

(b) Protests regarding the eligibility of players must be lodged with the Secretary of the League in writing within four days, accompanied by a deposit of £25.00, which may be retained or otherwise as the League Management Committee direct. Where a protest is sustained or in the absence of a Protest, the League Management Committee subsequently discover that any Rule has, in their opinion, been violated by mutual arrangement by two clubs or otherwise, it shall be in the power of the League Management Committee to disqualify one or both teams from further competing in the competition or order the match or matches to be replayed. 

In the case of a frivolous protest, the M.A. HART BOURNEMOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE Management Committee may impose such further penalties as may be warranted by the circumstances reported.

(c) (i) A Club playing an unregistered or otherwise ineligible player and subsequently found guilty of the offence, shall be fined a sum not exceeding £100.00 The Management Committee may take further action against the Club and/or players as it may decide.

(ii) In addition, a Club having played an unregistered or otherwise ineligible player and having been found guilty, shall if having won the match in question, be removed from the competition and their opponents reinstated into the next round of the competition (the League Management Committee may only go back  one round within the same competition) in the event of the match in question having ended in a draw, the offending Club shall be removed from the Competition and the match awarded to their opposition

(iii) In the event of both teams being in breach of this rule, both will be removed from the Competition.

In the event of a Club/team being removed from a Competition in respect of clause (ii) and (iii) above, after winning the Final Tie, the Management Committee may award the trophy and player awards to the beaten finalists. The Management Committee may also withhold trophy and player awards for the beaten finalists if removed from the Competition or found to have broken the Rules.

  1. 8. A Club not fulfilling any fixture on the scheduled day shall incur a fine of not less than £30.00 and be removed from the Competition and may have to pay expenses incurred by their opponents. For the purpose of this rule, inability to field a complete team shall not in any circumstances be deemed a satisfactory explanation as decided by the Cup Committee. All Clubs shall observe the order of precedence outlined in M.A. HART BOURNEMOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE Rule 20(e)(ii) when competing in Cup matches. A Club withdrawing from the Competition shall be liable to a fine of not less than £30.00 and not exceeding £52.00.                                                                                                                                                                               
  2. 9. (a)The Ties shall be drawn by not less than three Members of the Cup Committee and an independent adjudicator, and the Competition matches shall be played on the dates fixed by the League Secretary (subject to the Precedence List).                                                          (b) In all Ties, including the Final, which result in a draw after 90 minutes, the match shall be decided by penalties as laid down in the HFA Ltd Handbook.Extra time will NOT be played in any M.A. Hart Cup Competition.                                                                                     (c)  The home Club shall mark out the ground and provide two, fit for play, match standard footballs and dressing rooms.                            In the Final Tie the match shall be played on a ground selected by the League who will make all arrangements and allmembers and ticket holders shall pay admission charges to the ground and stand.                                                                                                                            (d) When two teams play in the same or similar colours, the visiting team shall make some distinctive change, unless otherwise mutually agreed, but in the Final Tie both teams shall change.                                                                                                                                                                
  3. 10. In the event of any Club failing to play their tie on the appointed date, they shall be expelled from the Competition, unless sufficient reason is given to the Management Committee for an extension of time.

Any team that cannot fulfil a fixture in the competition due to Covid related issues will be removed from the competition and their opponents will be awarded the match, in the Final Tie the Competition Subgroup shall have the power to re-instate the club beaten in the semi-final by the defaulting club. No further sanction will apply, unless any circumstances warrant further sanctions as determined by the League Management Committee.

  1. The dimensions of the field of play shall not be more than 130 yards long by 100 yards wide, or less than 100 yards long by 50 yards wide. The home team shall mark out the field of play in accordance with the Laws of the Game. Goal nets must be used in every match.                                                                                                                                                                                    
  2. 12. Particulars of each match, shall be entered on the Full-time result card (starting 11, substitutes used, unused substitutes, Goal Scorers, Captain, any red or Yellow cards received during the game and the marks awarded to the referee (out of 100). This information shall be submitted by the team administrator within one day of completion of the match. Failure to do so will incur a fine of £20.00 and/or the Club being dealt with as the Management Committee decide. Any Club playing in a M.A. HART BOURNEMOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE Cup whether HOME or AWAY and where scheduled games are not played for whatever reason shall enter the relevant details on the Full-Time website by the scheduled time.                                                   
  3. 13. The Winners of the Competition shall be presented with the Challenge Cup, which shall be held by that Club for the current season and in addition to the Cup the League shall provide 16 suitable awards for presentation to the competition winners and losing finalists. When a player taking part in the final tie of a Competition is ordered to leave the field of play for misconduct, the medal to which he would be entitled may be withheld at the discretion of the League Management Committee. The League shall insure the Cup and arrange for it to be engraved with the winners name and year, the cost of which shall be paid for by the winning Club. The Cup shall be returned in its box and in good condition to the BDFA Office on or before 5th January the following year. A fine of £200.00 will be imposed in cases of default.  Further medals may be sanctioned by the League Management Committee and ordered and paid for by the Clubs subject to Hampshire FA approval. In the event that a Club ceases to exist after winning the competition, the Cup will be returned immediately to the League Secretary                                                                                                                                                                                
  4. 14. The League Management Committee shall have the power to reinstate any team whose opponents have infringed the Rules of the Competition. All questions of eligibility, qualification of competitors, as well as other matters of dispute, shall be left to the League Management Committee, whose ruling shall be final. Should either of the Clubs in connection with any dispute as to cup ties have a member on the League Management Committee, the said representative shall not be eligible to vote on any motion connected with the protest.                                                                                                                                                     
  5. 15. Both teams must hand a correct team sheet of participating players and substitutes, available to download from the BDFA website to the Honorary Secretary and to the match official fifteen minutes prior to the official kick off time. The players’ names entered against the numbers on the team sheet must correspond with the shirt numbers they wear during the game. Failure to comply may result in the Club being fined a sum of not less than £19.00. Any team failing to be available to kick off at the official time may be fined a sum of not less than £20.00 failing a satisfactory explanation within seven days of the offence. Prior to commencement of the match the Referee shall inform the captain or other responsible official of a Club that he intends to report a late start. Unless otherwise approved by the League Secretary times of kick-off in all ties shall be:

Morning competitions: 10.30am throughout the Season. (Except Remembrance Sunday)

  1. 16. In the Final Tie, after charges for the Ground, Referee and Assistant Referees expenses, Police, Stewards, Travelling Expenses, Gatekeepers, Advertising and Printing have been paid; the remainder is to be divided equally between the two participating Clubs.                                                                                                                                                                              
  2. 17. The Referee, for all Ties, except the Final, shall be appointed by the HFA (Bournemouth Division) Referees’ Committee. For all Cup Finals the Referees’ Appointment Secretaries shall select and nominate Referees and Assistant Referees to the M.A. HART BOURNEMOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE Cup Committee for approval. All appointed match officials in Competitions under the jurisdiction of HFA must wear uniforms comprising of plain black shirts with white collars, black shorts and socks shall be black or black with white top.

Subject to any limits/provisions laid down by the sanctioning Association Match Officials appointed under this Rule shall be paid a match fee of :- Referee £35, Assistant Referee £25, inclusive of travel expenses .