Lincs League clubs vote to stage alternative competition... with one rule change

North and South divisions planned to kick off on April 10...

Action is due to resume in April.

Teams in the Balcan Lighting Lincolnshire League will return to action after clubs voted to stage an alternative competition.

However, a rule change means no new players will be allowed to sign on for the clubs.

Two regionalised eight-team divisions are planned to return to action from April 10, with Brigg Town CIC the only one of the 17 member clubs not competing due to the club carrying out maintenance work on their pitch.

"The playing option will be a North and South league," league chairman Julian Rinfret said.

"It'll be two leagues of eight, North and South, culminating in the winners of the leagues playing for the Challenge Cup and the runners-up playing for the Supplementary Cup.

"It's all subject to getting back playing football and we're waiting for Government guidance."

The Lincs League was declared null and void earlier this year, but clubs voted to continue playing via a new competition at Thursday night's Special General Meeting.

It was also agreed that players would only be eligible to compete if they were signed on with their clubs last year.

Mr Rinfret explained: "The was a rule change. It was felt that with higher level leagues being declared null and void and probably not playing again this season in any format, there was concern that players could sign on to Lincs League teams, which could make the competition look a farce.

"It was felt only fair that a ruling that you must have been signed on to the Lincs League by December 4 - the last time we played competitive football - and that was voted on by all clubs.

"The rule change was passed. We didn't want to see players who had played in the league being pushed out.

"This wasn't just aimed at clubs with first teams in higher divisions, anyone could have moved to a club. We felt it was a fair way to do it.

"It will be competitive football, which is good, and will hopefully allow teams to play football."

Under the Government's current roadmap out of lockdown, grassroots football can resume on March 29, giving clubs almost two weeks to prepare for the first matches.

The clubs competing are: Epworth Town Colts, Immingham Town, Keelby United, Grimsby Borough Reserves, Nunsthorpe Tavern, Appleby Frodingham, Bottesford Town Development, Tetney Rovers, Louth Town, Wyberton, Grantham Town Academy, Lincoln Moorlands Railway, Lincoln United Development, Nettleham FC, Horncastle Town, Sleaford Town Rangers.