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Checkatrade Trophy format and rules

3 October 2016

A reminder of the Checkatrade Trophy format and rules ahead of the Group F fixture with Peterborough United at ABAX Stadium.

FORMAT
Group Stage
Participating clubs have been divided into 16 groups of four with eight northern groups and eight southern groups. Each group has been made up of one invited club and three EFL Clubs. There will be at least one EFL club from each of League One and League Two in each group.

Each club will play against each other club once. Each invited club will be the home club in only one match, with all its other matches being played as the away club.

Group matches will be of 90 minutes duration, with no extra time. If the scores are level at the end of the group match then each club is awarded one point. In addition, the match will be followed immediately by penalties and the club that wins the shootout will be awarded an additional point.

Three points are awarded for a win and none for a defeat.

If two or more clubs are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied in the order give to determine their rankings:
- goal difference.
- higher number of goals scored in the group matches.
- number of wins after normal time (i.e. not the result of any drawn match followed by penalties).
- the record against each other in the group match, taking into account in order of precedence, points gained, goal difference, higher number of goals scored.
- if the Clubs still have an equal ranking after the application of (A) to (C), by the drawing of lots.

Round of 32
The eight winners and eight runners up of the north and south group stages qualify for the round of 32.  All other clubs are eliminated from the competition.

The round of 32 pairings are determined by means of a draw whereby the winner of a group will be drawn at home and will play a runner up of a group from the same region (but not from the same group).

Subject to the requirement above, the EFL shall determine the format of, and conduct, the draw to determine the round of 32 and the allocation as home club and away club.

Matches will be of 90 minutes duration, with no extra time. If the scores are level then the match will be determined by penalties.

Round of 16
The 16 winners from the Round of 32 will contest the round of 16.  

The round of 16 pairings are determined by means of an un-seeded draw.

Matches will be of 90 minutes duration, with no extra time. If the scores are level then the match will be determined by penalties.

Quarter-finals
The eight winners from the Round of 16 will contest the quarter-finals.  

Quarter-final pairings are determined by means of an un-seeded draw.

Matches will be of 90 minutes duration, with no extra time. If the scores are level then the match will be determined by penalties.

Semi-finals
The four winners from the quarter-finals will contest the semi-finals.  

Semi-final pairings are determined by means of an un-seeded draw.

Matches will be played by way of only one leg and be of 90-minutes duration.  The Board can determine whether extra time will be played or not. If the scores are level at the end of the match (whether normal time or after extra time if applicable) then the match will be determined by penalties.

Final
The two winners from the semi-finals will contest the final.

The final shall be played on a date and at a time to be determined by the League at Wembley Stadium.

The match will be of 90 minutes duration.  The Board can determine whether extra time will be played or not.  If the scores are level at the end of the match (whether normal time or after extra time if applicable) then the match will be determined by penalties.

RULES
Players
Each EFL Club must field a minimum of five first-team players in the starting 11.

For invited Clubs, six of the starting 11 must be under 21 as at June 30th.

No player may play for more than one club in the competition in any one season.

Substitutions
Each team is permitted up to 7 substitutes of whom not more than 3 may take part.

Where the EFL determines that the Semi-finals and/or Final will also include extra time, each club participating in those matches will be permitted to use an additional substitute in extra time only.

Disciplinary
New disciplinary rules for the revamped cup competition mean that cautions and sending-offs are exclusive to the tournament.

Therefore, any EFL or Premier League player who is serving a ban or is set to serve a suspension for a yellow or red card offence committed in another competition, will be eligible to play in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Likewise, any cautions or dismissals collected in the Checkatrade Trophy won’t affect other EFL or Premier League fixtures.

Dismissals from the field of play
A player who is dismissed from the field of play in a Checkatrade Trophy match will automatically be suspended from the subsequent Checkatrade Trophy match.

The table below sets out the number of matches a player will be suspended for depending on the offence that has been committed. The offences referred to below are as defined in the Laws of the Game:
Serious Foul Play - 3 matches
Violent Conduct - 3 matches
Spitting at an opponent or any other person - 6 matches
Denial of an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity - 1 match
Using offensive or insulting or abusive language/gestures - 2 matches
Receives a second caution in the same match - 1 match
 
Cautions
If a player accumulates two cautions in the Checkatrade Trophy up to and including the Quarter-final fixtures, he will be suspended automatically from the next Checkatrade Trophy match.

A player who has already been subject to disciplinary action as a result of receiving two cautions, and then proceeds to receive a further two cautions during the Checkatrade Trophy up to and including the quarter-final matches, will be suspended automatically for a further two matches.

Outstanding suspensions
Any suspension or part thereof which remains outstanding at the end of a season resulting from these Disciplinary Procedures, must be served at the commencement of the next season’s Checkatrade Trophy competition.

Tickets for the Checkatrade Trophy tie with Peterborough are priced at £8 adults and £3 under-18s if bought by 2pm on the day of the game.

To purchase tickets click here, visit the Box Office/centre:mk kiosk or call 0333 200 5343.


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