18th September 2023

Dear Team Contacts

I am sure most of you are familiar with the following statement which I seem to have been repeating for years now: –

Goal Difference DOES NOT COUNT in the Girls’ Divisions of the SCWGL. Please refer to League Rule 22 for details of how the Championship is determined.

Teams “thrashing” the opposition do not help anyone. The winning team will gain very little (or even nothing!) from such a display and who could blame the players on the losing team if they decide they never want to put themselves through such humiliation again? It may come as a shock to those of you who think you are playing in the UEFA Champions League, but some teams are only there for the enjoyment – they know they will never win the League, but they turn up every week simply because they enjoy playing football and, without them, you would not have a League to play in.

I appreciate that it is difficult to stop your players scoring goals (since that is the point, after all) but I would urge the Managers to stop and think about the long-term effect they are having on the opposition. Managers should consider switching their players around or even taking some players off the pitch to be fair to the opposition. What is the likelihood of teams wanting to play you in the return match later in the Season? Or even for the weaker teams to refuse to play you at all? Yes, you would be awarded the points, but wouldn’t your girls rather be out there playing on a Sunday than sitting at home earning 3 points?

At the moment there are no “rules” on such matches, but the FA take a very dim view on these issues and, if it occurs on a regular basis, it is likely that they will end up imposing something along the lines of “matches must stop at 8-0” or “8-0 is the highest score that may be recorded”. I am sure none of us want that so I would ask you all to use your common sense.

Regrettably, a lot of teams have chosen to ignore these guidelines and have been submitting some quite extraordinary results. The Executive Committee have therefore taken the decision that the highest margin which may be recorded in the SCWGL is a win of 8 goals, i.e., 8-0, 9-1, 10-2, 11-3, 12-4 etc.

Teams should still enter the ACTUAL result of any match they play in, and any adjustments will be made by the League Administrators when dealing with the Match Reports on Full-Time.

This decision has not been taken lightly but the Executive Committee feel that it is essential to try and keep girls playing the beautiful game. We realise that these players still run the risk of losing a match 25-0 against the unscrupulous teams but the highest defeat which will be recorded and published will be 8-0.

I would again ask all teams to try and play within the guidelines repeated above but I hope you will agree that the 8-goal margin will go some way to alleviate the humiliation being suffered by the weaker and inexperienced teams and players competing in the SCWGL.

Yours in sport

Karen Bailey
General Secretary
Surrey County Womens & Girls League