DISPENSATION IS ONLY GRANTED FOR THE BELOW REASONS
A) Has a Disability
B) Has a significant physical development delay (SPDD)
C) Is schooled no more tan one year behind their prescribed age group and would be placed at a substantial disadvantage
Full Video Guide How to Complete Dispensation - Click Here
Guide on How to Submit Further Evidence - Click Here
What is the dispensation application policy?
The Policy enables children with a disability, Significant Physical Development Delay (SPDD), or who are schooled no more than one year behind the age group prescribed by their date of birth (their “prescribed age group”) to play football outside of their prescribed age group.
Why is this policy needed?
The FA’s Rules prescribe age groups for children to play in which are designed to ensure that they compete with peers of similar size and development. For some children however, playing in the prescribed age group would put them at a substantial disadvantage to their teammates, discouraging them from being involved or making it impossible for them to access football.
To apply for dispensation for your child to play outside of their prescribed age group, please fill out our dispensation application form along with supporting evidence to support the rationale for your application.
Who is covered by the policy? Any child who:
a) has a disability.
b) has a significant physical developmental delay (SPDD)
c) is schooled no more than one year behind their prescribed age group and would be placed at a substantial disadvantage if required to play in their prescribed age group.
- Claire, aged 12, has a disability which means that she is physically much smaller than her age-group peers. Claire would be at a substantial disadvantage if she were required to play in her prescribed age group. Claire may request to play in the age group below her prescribed group. •
- Alan, aged 8, has Asperger’s Syndrome. This is an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) one of the features of which is an inability to cope with change or disruption. Alan has got used to playing with a group of close friends. Due to the Asperger’s Syndrome, Alan could become significantly distressed by any forced changes to his patterns of behaviour. If required to play in his prescribed age group, Alan will be separated from those team-mates and coaches with whom he has become familiar over an extended period of time. Alan would rather not play football at all than join a team in his own age group. Alan may request to play in the age group above his prescribed group. •
- Savita, aged 10, was delivered by an emergence caesarean, as she was at risk of umbilical cord strangulation. Delivered three months early, she was born in late July as opposed to October. It was deemed appropriate that due to her young age and development, she would delay her first year of schooling
How do I apply?
Please login or create an account here: https://myaccount.thefa.com/ (please note, you will be logging in or creating an account as a parent / carer – not as a child)
- If you already have an account, and have forgotten your password, please reset it by following the ‘reset password’ flow
- If your child is an existing player they will have an existing FAN – in this case, please login to your account to access this. If you are having account issues, please get in touch with our customer support team here
When you login to my account, you will be in your profile as a parent / carer and you will see individuals linked to your account. If your child has never played football before, you can create a new account by using the ‘add individual’ feature
If your child is an existing player, and you cannot see them on your account, please get in touch with our customer support team here
Parent / Carer account showing linked children / individuals
To access your child’s profile, and start the process of dispensation, simply select them from your list of linked individuals and scroll down to the ‘Player Dispensation’ section
You will need to know the following information to complete the application for your child:
- First and last name
- Date of birth
- Sex (this will need to be inputted your child’s profile if it is missing ) for example:
- Once in the application you will need the following information to complete it:
- Child’s Height in CM
- Child’s Weight in KG
- Dispensation request type
- A description of the nature of disability
- Supporting evidence
- Season you are applying for eg 2023/2024 season
- Age group you would like your child to play in
- Age group they are prescribed by FA rules
- Your county FA
- The team your child currently plays for or NA if they are not currently playing for a team
- The team you would like them to play for
- The club the team belongs to
How do I update my information (name, DOB, sex etc.)
If you are having issues submitting your information, please go back into myaccount.thefa.com to amend this. If you still need help to change name, date of birth etc. please raise a ticket with our customer support team here
What is supporting evidence?
Supporting evidence that can be accepted will be either:
- A letter from an independent medical practitioner or other specialist which:
- Identifies the child’s disability or SPDD (Significant Physical Developmental Delay)
- Identifies any particular characteristics of the disability or SPDD which are relevant to the request to play in an age group other than the child’s prescribed age group
- Explains how the particular characteristics of the disability or SPDD would place the child at a substantial disadvantage compared to his/her non-disabled peers if he/she were required to play football in his/her prescribed age group
- Explains how playing in an age group other than his/her prescribed age group would neutralise or reduce the disadvantage caused by the child’s disability or SPDD
- Identifies any increased or reduced risk to the child and/or his/her peers by allowing the child to play outside his/her prescribed age group
- Explains why allowing the child to play outside his/her prescribed age group will not endanger the health and safety of the child or any other person
- Is dated within a year (please note for certain disabilities we may be able to accept evidence with an older date)
- A letter from the child’s school which
- Confirms which year the child is being schooled in;
- Explains why it was deemed appropriate for the child to delay a year of education;
- Explains how playing in his/her prescribed age group would place the child at a substantial disadvantage;
- Explains how playing in an age group other than his/her prescribed age group would neutralise or reduce disadvantage;
- Is dated within a year;
- Is on letterheaded paper/shows the school’s stamp.
Please note if your application has both medical and year-group based rationale you only need to submit one form of evidence.
Please note we cannot accept the following forms of evidence:
- Education and Healthcare Plan (unless clearly directed to the areas of the EHCP that relate specifically to the rationale outlined in the application form)
- Supporting statements from clubs/CFAs or any other source than a medical practitioner or educational facility
- Acceptance letters from Local Authorities to defer entry to school/be schooled below prescribed age group (unless still dated within a year)
- Letters from parents and carers
How will I know about the outcome?
The FA will then notify the parent/carer/person who submitted the application form and the relevant County FA of the outcome of the assessment. The decision either to grant or refuse the dispensation will be confirmed in writing to the parent/carer/person who submitted the application along with the relevant County FA who will support in the registration process.
How long for me to receive an outcome?
If all the correct information is provided, we aim to get back with an outcome within 2 weeks. If there is missing information and we have to request further information, it will take slightly longer.
What happens once my child has been given approval?
An approval letter will be sent to you cc’ing in your local County FA who will support on the registration process
It’s not letting me progress without inputting my child’s sex?
You need to add your child’s sex in ‘My Account’ before being able to begin the application process.
My child is very talented and not being challenged in their age group, can I apply for dispensation for them to play in an older group?
No. The dispensation is specifically to support children with a disability, Significant Physical Development Delay (SPDD), or who are schooled no more than one year behind the age group prescribed by their date of birth (their “prescribed age group”) to play football outside of their prescribed age group.