Q: What time should I arrive?
A: Everyone needs to be there by 7.30am LATEST for registration before an 8am kick-off. All players must register at the start of the day and no unregistered players are allowed to take part.
Q: When will it finish?
A: We should be finished by approximately 8.30pm. All teams will finish at the same time – you can’t get knocked out and go home early. Everyone will then get a beer to celebrate their achievement and to watch the final with.
Q: How do I sign up?
A: Go to the page for your event from the Tackle website, click the register here button, complete the form and email it to . You’ll need the names, contact details and t-shirt sizes of each of your players.
Your registration is complete once all players have made their £20 registration donations – details of how to do this can be found on the team application form. You then get to pick your shirt colours and we’ll send you all sorts of useful further information.
Note that the deadline for registering teams is 4-5 weeks before the event – check the relevant event page for full details.
Q: What if someone drops out?
A: No problem – you can replace squad members at any time up to registration at 7.30am on the day. Just send us an updated version of your application form and/or fill in the new details at registration on the day. New players don’t have to make an additional registration donation but should pledge to raise any outstanding balance from the player they replace.
Q: Do I have to be good at football?
A: No. The standard is extremely mixed and men and women of all abilities are welcome. You just have to be over 16, in reasonable physical health (contact your GP if unsure) and have a positive attitude.
Q: How does the fundraising work?
A: Each player donates or raises £20 at the time of registration in order to secure their place in the tournament. Each player then has a further fundraising target of between £120 and £200 depending on location. There will be incentives for teams who hit/exceed their fundraising targets by the day of the tournament, but we will of course continue to accept donations after the tournament finishes.
Most people find it easiest to raise money online. We’ll show you how to set up an online team or individual fundraising page for the event, and send you guides and advice on how to ask people to support you by email, social media and in person.
Those collecting cash can either bring it on the day, send us a cheque or pay it online to a team fundraising website. Note that we can only count cash towards your fundraising target once we’ve received it.
If some of your team are better at fundraising than others that’s no problem – team target is the main thing.
Fundraising is a lot easier than you might think – it requires some effort and commitment but it’s not a huge amount of money and pretty much anyone can do it. We’re here to help so give us a shout if you’re worried.
Q: What’s the tournament structure?
A: The tournament is designed so that everyone plays the same number of games, everyone plays as many different teams as possible, the successful teams an advantage but also every result means something.
There will be two group stages in which you play every other team in your group once or twice. Performance in the group stages – along with any bonus points from fundraising – determines seeding for the knock-out rounds. Winning teams in the knock-out rounds progress to an eventual final, losing teams play off against each other to determine final positions.
Games are approximately 20-25 minutes long, and during the group stages teams play about 7 games to every rest period (this reduces a bit in the knock-out round). During your rest periods, some players from each team will be scheduled to referee (basically keep score) in other games. There will be short breaks after both group stages for rest, food, rehydration and new match schedules.
Q: What rules will we play?
A: Games will be 6-a-side with unlimited rolling substitutions. Rules are the same as 11aside football with the following exceptions:
- No offsides
- Unlimited subs from the max 8-player team you signed in with
- 3 yard retreat from set pieces
- Underarm roll ins
- Pitches are usually 50m by 30m with a marked penalty area. Goals are usually 12 ft by 6 ft.
What do I need to bring?
Other than your A-game and a positive mental attitude, what else will you need?
Our recommendations are below – you can also download our Survival Guide. If you are pushed for time and space, the priorities are sun cream, water, sandwiches and football kit.
We recommend bringing a small shoulder bag or similar that you can stock up with water, suncream, snacks and your team schedule. You can then carry this from pitch to pitch and save a trip to your base camp.
- Shorts and socks
- Your most supportive and comfortable pair of pants
- Footwear. The ground will probably be too hard for studs – we recommend astros or mouldies/blades. Bring both if possible
- A cap or hat of some type for protection from the sun
- Shin pads
- Goalkeeping Gloves
- Something warm and/or waterproof just in case
- As much water as you can carry. More if possible.
- Sports drinks including lucozade
- Rehydration sachets such as Diarolyte
- More water
- Complex carbs such as pasta, sandwiches, cereal bars
- Simple carbs such as haribo, jelly babies or jaffa cakes
- Snacks such as flapjacks, protein shakes, bananas
Health and Safety
- High factor suncream – apply regularly even if it’s overcast
- Blister plasters
- Heat rubs/sprays
Bonus items if you have them:
- A gazebo
- Golfing Umbrella
- Camping/deck chairs
- Ice box
- Thermos flask full of tea
We’ll provide you with team shirts, but you need to bring the rest of your kit.
Some Football Marathon venues have cafes, food vans or shops on site, but you need to take responsibility for your own nutrition and hydration – in other words bring lots of food and water. We’ll send you a shopping list.
Spare socks, waterproofs, towels, vaseline, heat spray and ice are all valuable Football Marathon commodities.
Also check out our tips and tactics from previous Football Marathon veterans.