SCWGFL [Women's Division - FA Championship Pilot]

By Paul Preston

The FA allows SCWGFL to revolutionise how League winners are determined.

The FA authorised the SCWGFL to trial a pilot scheme to remove goal difference as the method of determining who should win the Championship if teams are level on points at the end of the season.

To summarise the pilot scheme:
When teams are level on points for determining who has won the League has changed

  • Season 2016-2017 - Goal Difference
  • Season 2017-2018 - League points obtained in matches between only those teams who finished level on points.

Example - End of season 2017-2018
Team A has 56 pts
Team B has 56 pts

In the two matches between the teams, Team A beat Team B 3-1 and Team A drew 2-2 in the other match. Team A receiving more points (4 to 1) over Team B will be declared Champions.

If the points were equal then a play-off match would be arranged.

What the Competition would expect to see?

  • A decrease in unfulfilled fixtures.
  • A decrease of matches where there were 10 goals or more between the teams (11% in 2016-2017).
  • Teams towards the top of the table using all of their squad during a matchday and not chasing as many as goals as possible as goal difference is not used to determine Championship.
  • Teams towards the lower end of the table fulfilling all of their fixtures knowing that matches are not going to go be as one-sided as they were in previous seasons.

This is similar to the system used in La Liga so if it works for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico then it should work for the SCWGFL.

Teams in the Women's Division will be contacted at mid-season and end-season to get the views, opinions of whether this is a scheme worth continuing.

The SCWGFL has a great opportunity to improve grassroots football not only for Sussex and women's football but also a possible extension for use in youth football and other grassroots leagues around the country so the focus is no longer on winning 20-0 or 2-1, all that is awarded is the same three points, goals scored and against are no longer considered going forward.

Where next?

Match centre

Sussex County Women & Girls Football League

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