Skip to content

NSW Primary Schools Sports Association – Handbook

Section 6.1 – Knockout Competition – General Rules

Amended 2020

6.1.1 Championships

State knockout competitions on a Department of Education school basis may be conducted in sports such as

Australian Football

Basketball – Boys and Girls

Cricket – Boys and Girls

Hockey – Boys and Girls


Rugby Union – Boys

Rugby Union – Girls 7’s

Rugby League – Boys  

Football – Boys and Girls

Softball – Boys and Girls

Tennis – Boys and Girls

Touch – Boys and Girls

and in any other sports as may be determined from time to time by the State Association.

The highest possible level of competition is not provided for girls in the sports of Boys Australian Football and Boys Rugby League. 

Therefore, girls will have access to these sports. Where school resources do not permit the formation of a girls team, girls will have access to the boys team.

Any access for girls should take into account strength, stamina and physique.

6.1.2 Rules and conditions

(a) Competition shall be on a school basis. Schools whose combined school enrolment does not exceed two hundred and fifty (250) pupils, may form teams to compete in New South Wales Primary Schools Sports Association Knockout Competitions.

The names of all combining teams must be indicated on the entry form.

(b) Players must be bona fide pupils of the school, or group of schools, they represent.

(c) Coaching: no coaching shall take place during the actual competition and no Team Manager or Coach shall be allowed on to the court or field of play unless specifically called upon by the umpire or referee (except in the specific case of Softball and Basketball).

(d) All teams must be accompanied by a teacher from the school, or group of schools where applicable, and if this does not occur, that team will automatically lose the match by forfeit.

(e) In Knockouts where there are both boys and girls competitions provided girls will have access to the girls competitions only except where school resources do not permit the formation of a 'girls team'. In this instance girls will have access to the boys team.

(f) In the event of a drawn or tied game or match refer to the sport specific rules. The criteria for drawn or tied games and matches as listed are to be applied in the order they are written. For example Rule 1, then if no results refer to Rule 2 and so on until a result is determined.

6.1.3 The draw

(a) The State Convener, shall circulate the draw, through the Senior Education Officer, as soon as practicable after the advertised closing date for entries. The draw shall be conducted strictly on a knockout basis.

(b) All competitions are to begin at Round One (1).

(c) The format for the semi-finals and finals may be altered a the Conveners discretion.

6.1.4 Determination of venues

(a) The competition shall generally be conducted on a home and away basis.

(b) In Round One (1) the 'home school' shall be the one first mentioned in the draw.

(c) The 'home school' in Rounds Two (2) to Six (6) shall be the school which visited in the previous round.

(d) A bye or forfeit is classed as a "home game".

(e) Where both schools were either both away or both at home in the previous round, and where the number of home and away games are equal in number

(i) The first (1st) mentioned school shall be the 'home school' for Rounds Three (3) and Five (5) and all other odd rounds.

(ii) The second (2nd) mentioned school shall be the 'home school' for Rounds Two (2), Four (4) and Six (6), and all other even rounds.


(i) Where both schools were either both away or both at home in the previous round and where the number of home and away games are not equal in number      

(ii) The school with the least number of home games shall be the home school.

(g) In matches where the home team does not use its home option, for the purpose of the draw, the home and away status remains as determined by the published draw.

(h) Where sections of knockout competitions are conducted at a central venue the allocation of home and away games will be made according to 6.1.4.

(i) The 'home school' shall wear an alternate strip of playing colours and/or design, if a clash occurs with the uniform of the visiting school.

(j) The finals and/or semi-finals will be played at a venue nominated by the Convener.

6.1.5 Fixtures

(a) All fixtures shall be played at the earliest possible date.

(b) Each fixture must be played on, or before, the designated date set down in the draw.

(c) An extension of time can only be granted by the State Convener and only in exceptional circumstances.

(d) The 'home school' shall

(i) Give the visiting school five (5) school days’ notice with a choice of at least two (2) dates or play on a date mutually agreed upon.

(ii) The offered dates, unless mutually agreed upon, shall not be the visiting school's Primary Schools Sports Association Zone sports day.

(iii) Provide billets if required by the visiting school.

(iv) Make all the necessary arrangements for the conduct of the match as set out in the knockout rules for that particular sport.

(v) Make suitable social arrangements for hosting the visiting team, before, and after the match.

(e) The schools failing to abide by the above rules shall forfeit the match to the opposing school.

(f) If any two (2) schools cannot agree upon a date and/or venue, the matter shall be referred to the State Convener of the sport concerned for decision.

6.1.6 Results

(a) Results must be forwarded by telephone, email, or fax, by the winning school, to the State Convener of the sport concerned or his/her designates, as indicated on the draw, within three (3) school days of the match.

(b) Failure to notify results will disqualify the winning school.

6.1.7 Protests

(a) Notice of intention to protest must be made, to the opposing team on the day of the match.

(b) Protests must be forwarded within three (3) days of the date of the match to the State Convener of that sport with a copy to the Principal of the opposing school.

(c) Protests must be signed by the Principal of the protesting school.

The State Convener, in consultation with nominated members of the Executive shall adjudicate and that decision will be final.

6.1.8 Medals

The New South Wales Primary Schools Sports Association shall supply the required number of medals for the winners and runners-up in each knockout competition. In the event of a drawn result, in the final, an additional set of winner's medals will be awarded.

6.1.9 Suspensions

If a player is sent from the field of play, he/she is given an automatic one (1) match suspension. This suspension is to be served in the next knockout match of the current competition. The State (and Association, if applicable) Convener must be notified of the incident.

6.1.10 Serious incident

In all knockouts when an incident of a serious nature occurs the following people should be immediately notified.

School Principal(s)
Relevant Sports Coordination Officer(s)
Relevant NSWPSSA Convener
Executive Officer NSWPSSA
Relevant Director, Public Schools NSW

A serious incident report is available from the Executive Officer, NSWPSSA or the Sports Coordination Officer.

6.1.11 Small schools

(a) The Small Schools Knockouts will be organised, independently of all other NSWPSSA Knockout Competitions, by the NSWPSSA Small Schools Knockout Convener in three divisions for D of E Schools.

(b) All competitions will be mixed gender competitions.

(c) There will be no limit to the number of players in each squad and unlimited interchange will be allowed.

(d) The following Divisions shall apply:

Division 1 Total school population of up to 30 Touch
Division 2 Total school population of 31 – 60 Football
Division 3 Total school population of 61 – 100 Football

Schools in Division 1 may combine but only if the combined K-6 enrolments remains below the maximum of 30.

The classification of the enrolment will be determined by the February Staff Return.

(e) Entries are to be forwarded to the NSWPSSA by the designated date.

(f) Small schools may still access all other NSWPSSA Knockouts either as a single school and/or by combining with other small school(s) as per NSWPSSA rule 6.1.2 (a).

Back to table of contents