Youth Football in Cumberland

Cumberland FA and Youth Leagues Hold the Ladder for Youth Teams to Climb to a Positive Football Environment

This is a new initiative in the form of a Behaviour-Consequence Ladder for youth teams

Whilst last season saw 94% of all football played within Cumberland played without any incidence of disciplinary action, the start of the 23-24 season has seen a small but worrying increase in the number of reports, particularly within youth football. 

The Cumberland FA, The Carlisle Glass Longhorn Youth Football League, The Penrith & District Junior Football League, The West Cumbria Youth Football League, and The Cumberland FA U16 Women’s League have collaborated together to launch a new initiative in the form of a Behaviour-Consequence Ladder for youth teams. The ladder is a collective approach and demonstrates a shared commitment from all youth leagues in trying to ensure that football within the county is a positive and safe place in which to participate. 

The Behaviour-Consequence Ladder aims to reward teams who have installed a positive behavioural culture and regularly create a positive football environment. 

However, it also provides incremental consequences and actions for teams who demonstrate undesirable or continued unacceptable behaviour throughout the season which, in exceptional cases, could result in a team’s membership of leagues being voted upon by member clubs at a Special General Meeting. 

Cumberland FA CEO and Positive Football Environment Lead Officer, Ben Snowdon, stated: 

“The initiative is based on the work of The FA League of the Year, The Young Elizabethan League, who have a traffic light system which they use to monitor and improve standards of behaviour, and I would like to thank their league secretary for their help and guidance in creating this ladder. 

"The idea is that all teams start at the top of the ladder (Level 1 (Green) and will hopefully stay there throughout the course of the season. However, teams can move down and back up the ladder, dependent upon standards of behaviour and in particular the number of proven misconduct cases they have within The FA discipline system. 

"The related consequences look to recognise and rewards teams who consistently meet or even exceed expectations around positive behaviour, whilst working with clubs who have incidents of undesirable behaviours to ensure that responsibility and appropriate actions are taken to try to ensure that this is challenged so that behaviour improves and that team climbs back up the ladder.”

Richard Lethwaite, Chair of The West Cumbria Youth Football League, added: 

“The West Cumbria Youth League committee is delighted to be involved with the new Behaviour Ladder. We recognise that rewarding positive behaviour is every bit as important as punishing poor standards. We are sure our member clubs will buy into this new scheme and help to further build the positive environment we all want for our players.”

The Penrith & District Youth Football League Secretary, Peter Renwick, said: 

"The Penrith & District Junior League fully support this new initiative from the County FA. The message is simple, good behaviour will be rewarded, bad behaviour will not be tolerated."

The Carlisle Glass Longhorn Youth Football League Secretary, Sharron Willis, said:  

“The CGLYFL fully support and endorse the behaviour consequence ladder to support clubs to address unwanted behaviour and poor practice within their club and celebrate teams that go above and beyond to uphold the expected standards, to enable children (players and referees) to play and learn their game in a calm, controlled, safe and positive environment."

You can see more on the Behaviour-Consequence Ladder here