Read a statement from the WFA Executive regarding national competition Age Exemption.

Over the summer break the WFA were asked to consider IF a change or exemption on a players age would be considered, and after careful consideration the WFA executive agreed that the age limit of 8 years old would remain. FA safeguarding and disability department members of staff were consulted about our decision and were supportive.

This decision meant that there was no need to seek further statements, observations or opinions on an individual cases.

The reasons being, these are generic to any player wishing to participate:

  • The age of the player.
  • The national league is a high level competition.  Whilst we hope the game will always be played in the correct “spirit”, we cannot guarantee the correct/safe environment for the player.  The psychological element of our sport has to be considered as part of the “safety” of the player.
  • At this stage of the player development it is important they are playing in a fun and relaxed environment.
  • The player can access match experience within the “local” regional league and club friendlies in order to continue their development.
  • Due to the extensive travel (and possible overnight accommodation) required to attend the fixture weekends and multiple fixtures per day results in a high physical demand.  If a player was to travel a long distance to not earn playing time, they would be better to play in a “local” game where they will receive more minutes on the pitch.

It has been quoted the age of 5 is written in the FIPFA Laws, this is also the same in the WFA Laws, but this is a competition regulation not a Law infringement. The Law states the minimum age to play the game and does not look at the different competitions. Every sport competition has regulations to stipulate who can participate in that particular event.  FIPFA World Cup as a minimum age of 16, whilst we agree that powerchair football is different to the running game (and other impairment groups), we have been granted dispensation by The FA in regard to age and gender.  However, this doesn’t mean it can be disregarded from regulations.

The WFA Executive informed the club that this decision would not change for the 2017/18 season, but stated a full review would be carried out over the course of this season.

The WFA Trustees