Disability Leagues

Disability leagues

There are 2 Adult Leagues that take place within Durham County FA, the North East Ability Counts League and the DCFA Community & Inclusion League.  

The North East Ability Counts league takes place on a Sunday afternoon and the DCFA Community & Inclusion League takes place on a Tuesday afternoon.

The Junior Ability Counts League was a new addition for the 2023/24 season. 

Please click the links below for more information regarding the leagues.

Ability Banding Guidance

Ability banding helps to ensure that disability football is fair, and that players compete against others of similar ability. As the County Pan Disability Leagues have grown ensuring this fairness, has in some instances, become an increasingly difficult issue to deal with.

The bandings suggested are: 

Premiership Level – players able to cope physically, good levels of spatial awareness, excellent ability to understand tactics and good level of physical strength and fitness. 
Championship Level – players would be mobile, have spatial and tactical awareness, knowledge of the laws of the game and have a good level of fitness. 
League Level – players would have limited mobility, spatial awareness and fitness.

Junior Age Groups

Under 8s - Mixed gender divisions (incorporates U7, U8) if there is demand locally.
Under 12s - Mixed gender divisions (incorporates U9, U10, U11, U12).
Under 16s - Mixed gender divisions (incorporates ages U13, U14, U15, U16).

Adult Teams

Open Aged – Teams can be mixed gender (FA Dispensation must be requested and accepted to be eligible)

Get in touch

Andrea Fyall
Football Development Officer
(Disability Football)

T: 0191 3872928 (Option 4 then Option 7)
E: Andrea.Fyall@DurhamFA.com

disability leagues 

Durham County FA Community & Inclusion League

The DFCA Community & Inclusion League is for open to Pan Disability teams This is a 7-a-side league with the aim to provide inclusive, competitive games for all in the league.  

The league is played once a month on a Tuesday at Ford Quarry Hub and is open to college teams, university teams and club teams, day service providers.  If you wish to take part or would like to know more about the league, please get in touch


Durham FA Junior Ability Counts League – New 23/24 season

DCFA will be hosting a new Junior Ability Counts League in the 2023/24 season with monthly fixtures. The league is for Pan Disability junior teams who are affiliated to their County FA, we would welcome teams from under 8’s,12’s and 16’s age groups, disability football has a 4-year age banding. We will also be offering a transition league for under 18 teams who are not ready for the adult league.

North East Ability Counts League – Adult League - Open Age

The NEACL is a Pan Disability League providing competitive playing opportunities across the north and the South of the County. The fixtures take place each month during September and May, with the teams from around the North East. Teams must be affiliated to their County FA and players must be 16 years or above. 

Affiliation – Mandatory requirements

Coaches and Volunteers must have a Valid and in date FA DBS check for all teams with under 18 players.

Affiliation, Personal Accident & Public Liability Insurance

A Named Adult Welfare Officer Disability Teams & they must complete the Adult Safeguarding Course (free) -
adult safeguarding course


Volunteers would be most welcome! Clubs and Leagues rely on people to support them at training sessions and match days.
There are a variety of ways you can get involved. There are many other roles that are not mentioned but are just as important that will make a difference.


Dispensation & Wearing a Prosthetic

Player Dispensation enables children with a disability, Significant Physical Development Delay (SPDD), or who are schooled no more than one year behind the age group prescribed by their date of birth (their “prescribed age group”) to play football outside of their prescribed age group.

In the past all applications have been made manually through downloading a form and submitting this alongside evidence to the equality mailbox. The key change to the 2023/2024 season is that all applications will now be made through our online portal
Player dispensation application guidance

There is a risk assessment process that must be followed for dispensation to be granted for a player to play, to ensure the safety of everyone.

More information on this policy can be found here:
 The FA PLaying football with a prosthesis policy 

A player can apply for this dispensation by completing The FA Playing Football with a Prosthesis Application Form THE FA PLAYING FOOTBALL WITH A PROsTHESIS APPLICATION FORM