For the 2017/18 Season there are specific rules relating to Promotion and Relegation From Step 4. These are defined in the FA Handbook here.

Step 4 Promotion

The Clubs finishing in last place in each of the three divisions at Step 3 at the end of the Playing Season will be relegated to a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 4 for the following Playing Season. Nineteen Clubs will be promoted from Step 4 comprising of the twelve Clubs finishing in 1st and 2nd position in each division, together with the highest ranked 3rd place Club on the basis of points per game during the Playing Season plus six further Clubs determined by a series of Play Off Matches.. Where a Club finishes in 1st or 2nd position but does not meet the criteria for participation at Step 3, the Club finishing in 3rd position shall be promoted. If neither the 1st or 2nd place Club meets the criteria for participation at Step 3 then the 3rd and 4th placed Clubs shall be promoted. The Clubs finishing in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th position in each Step 4 division shall be eligible to take part in the Play Off Matches. Where a Club finishing in 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th position does not meet the criteria for participation at Step 3, the next eligible Club shall take part in the Play Off Matches, save that no Club finishing below 8th position will be eligible to take part in Play Off Matches.

The Play Off Matches shall be played so that the highest placed of the eligible Clubs plays against the lowest placed and the other two Clubs play each other in semi-final matches over a single leg at the grounds of the higher placed Clubs. The winners of each semi-final match will play each other in a promotion final over a single leg at the ground of the higher placed Club and the winner of that match will be promoted. If there are only three eligible Clubs then the highest placed shall receive a bye to the promotion final match where it will play the winner of the other semi-final match and the winner of that promotion final match will be promoted.

The promoted Clubs will be placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 3.

In the event of vacancies arising at Step 3 on completion of the season, the losing Step 4 Play Off finalists shall be ranked on a points per game basis during the regular Playing Season, with vacancies being filled by the highest ranked Club(s).

Step 4 Relegation

At the end of the Playing Season the Clubs finishing in last place in each of the six divisions at Step 4 administered by the Northern Premier League, Southern League and Isthmian League will be relegated and placed in the most geographically appropriate League at Step 5. These relegated Clubs will be replaced by the highest placed Club in each Step 5 division which is eligible to enter Step 4 together with the twelve highest ranking 2nd placed Clubs on the basis of points per game during the Playing Season.

The Clubs to be promoted from Step 5 will be allocated to the most geographically appropriate division at Step 4.

 
 
 

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