Ability Counts Leagues
The Bedfordshire FA Ability Counts League, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Dunstable, No Limits and IL Stein Foundation have provided wonderful opportunities for people with disabilities to play in football competitions for over ten years.
Every Friday here at the Bedfordshire FA headquarters there is a day of fixtures, with four league formats played out;
Ability Counts - Academy
This league is made up of local SEN schools and mainstream schools (with SEN departments). The players participant in this league age between 12-17 years old. The abilities of the players vary considerably which is why we have introduced a loan system where players can support other teams during fixture weeks.
This will encourage to create equal teams and enhance the social development of players/teams. Teams will be rewarded for their hospitality whilst players could earn points for their own teams by supporting the opposition.
Ability Counts - Super League
In this league games are 10 minutes in length. Teams are made up of less able players with more severe special needs. Often this league is the most competitive and fun spirited.
Ability Counts - Championship
In this league games are 10 minutes in length. Teams are mad up of players with mild special needs and/or mild physical impairments. This league is a bridge between the Super League and the Premiership allowing players to develop both socially and physically at their own rates.
Ability Counts - Premiership
In this league games are 20 minutes in length with a half time break included. Players are generally more physical and confident and therefore games are played at a quicker pace and intensity in comparison to the Super League and Championship. With this in mind anyone can participate (16 years +) including players looking for options to get back into football and trying to keep active whilst looking for employment.
Results / Dates
The most significant aim of the leagues is enjoyment! Results are therefore not published and nobody will know who has finished at the top of the overall competition until the end of the season.
This season (2017) will see the introduction of small but significant changes to the league. New division names now represent player ability rather than a tiered structure. Another shift in focus will be social development now being one of the primary outcomes of the leagues. We want to ensure they get as much life experiences as possible. Players and managers will be encouraged to contribute to the spirit of the leagues.
Ability Counts Points - NEW
This season (2017) will see the introduction of 'Ability Counts Points' as well as the traditional results. Points will awarded for the below:
- Good Humour
- Role Model
- Clear Development of Players
- Improvements in Confidence
- Positive Environments
- Players Enjoying Themselves
'Ability Counts Points' will help determine who is rewarded with trophies at the end of the season. Therefore off the field is now as important as those participating on the field of play.
Should your centre, school or organisation wish to enquire and enter a team, please get in touch.
Josh Spavins – 07432 700589 / Josh.Spavins@BedfordshireFA.com
Bedfordshire FA, Century House, Skimpot Road, Dunstable, LU5 4JU
3G AGP Pitch so no metal studs or blades. Astro trainers or dimple moulded studs must be worn. Bring plenty of fluids, lunch if necessary and any medicines or medical information with you.