RULES OF PLAY Except as otherwise provided herein, the rules of USYS, US Club and FIFA “Laws of the Game” shall govern this tournament.
Age: The age groups for this tournament shall be in accordance with the US Club and/or USYS age groups for the current seasonal year. Divisions for single age years will be implemented if there are enough entries as determined by the tournament committee.
Registration. All players must be currently registered with their respective USSF National Affiliate. Travel forms are required based on your national affiliation requirements.
1. Teams shall have no more than (22) rostered players for those teams that play 11v11 format, (16) rostered players teams that play 9v9, (14) for 7v7.
2. A maximum of five (5) guest players will be allowed for all age groups. Players may be dual-rostered as long as they are in different divisions.
Proof of Age: All players and coaches must have current USSF National affiliation Player ID cards. (Except for U7-10)
1. All teams must have their official rosters, National affiliation ID cards (except for U7-10), Out-of-State Travel Papers (if required), Guest Player forms (only if your state association requires them) and Medical Release Forms (do not need to be notarized) approved by the Tournament Committee at the official registration and team check-in, which will be held on the evening prior to the beginning of the tournament.
2. There will be a $50 check-in fee for any team not checking in their team during the official registration period. The official registration period will be from 7 – 9:30 pmon the night prior to games.
3. Game check-in will be done at the field by the referee or field marshal.
DURATION OF THE GAME & TEAM SIZES
The length of games for each age group shall be as follows:
Age Bracket Game Times Format Team Size
U 7-8 Two 25-minute halves 4v4 8
U 9-10 Two 25-minute halves 7v7 14
U 11-12 Two 30-minute halves 9v9 16
U 13-14 Two 30-minute halves 11v11 22
Halftime periods shall be a maximum of five (5) minutes.
Semi-finals and Finals: Same game lengths as above.
Overtime Rules: A tie in a preliminary game will be considered a complete game. In the event of a tie in a semi-final or final game, the following procedure will be followed:
1. Two (2) five-minute regular overtime periods will be played.
2. If still tied, penalty kicks (as defined in FIFA “Laws of the Game”) will be used to determine a winner.
Unfinished Games: If the referee terminates a game and neither team is at fault, it shall be considered a completed game if the first half has been completed.
IMPORTANT: The game clock will not be stopped because of injury to any player unless, at the discretion of the referee, if the injured player must be removed from the field by medical personnel. In case of extremely hot or humid conditions water breaks may be designated by the tournament director. Due to the time allowed for the completion of all games, the clock must run continuously.
Inclement Weather/Field Conditions: In the event of inclement weather, the tournament committee reserves the right to modify all tournament rules in order to safely and fairly end the tournament successfully. Games may be shortened or eliminated in case of inclement weather or unplayable field conditions. Coaches are asked to be patient and remain flexible – changing the format of the tournament is a major undertaking. In the event that semi-final and/or final games are canceled, the division winner will be determined in accordance with the tiebreaker rule, points 1-5. If still tied, co-champions will be declared.
The Tournament Director has the authority to temporarily suspend play due to unsafe weather conditions. Teams should remain (safely in cars or under shelter) in the vicinity for game resumption. If lightning is sighted, the tournament director will immediately suspend play and clear the field. Play will resume after 25 consecutive minutes of no lightning.
* NO refunds are given once teams have been accepted.
Small Sided Rules
1. Age-appropriate fields will be used.
2. The maximum number of players on the field at any one time is based on format listed above, one of who shall be a goalkeeper (4v4 has no GK).
3. Offside will be called at 7v7 and older. Penalty and direct kicks will be awarded.
Using the Build Out Line:
Used as a retreat line when:
As soon as either of these situations occurs in a game, all opponents must begin to retreat to behind their Build Out Line. Players not retreating may be cautioned by the referee (same as not retreating when defending a free kick).
* To further promote playing the ball out of the back, goalkeepers may not punt or dropkick the ball.
All divisions will use a three-person referee system (except 4v4 games). The Tournament Committee shall have the right to select a club linesperson from a team if necessary or modify for small sided games.
1. Each team’s jersey/shorts must be all the same color, and they must be numbered.
2. The home team is responsible for changing jerseys in case of color duplication. The home team is the first team listed in the schedule and should wear their club's lightest color uniform jersey.
3. Shinguards are required for all players.
4. Goalkeepers are allowed to wear headgear.
5. Casts must be completely covered with at least two (2) inches of foam padding and totally wrapped with an elastic bandage and approved by the head referee of each game. Any player playing with a cast must have a written release from a doctor.
6. In the interest of safety, any player sustaining an open wound MUST be removed from the field of play immediately. The player may be substituted at this time. Such players are not allowed to return to the field until any wounds are treated, bandaged, and all blood is removed from their uniforms.
1. Prior to a throw-in in your favor.
2. Prior to a goal kick by either team.
3. After a goal by either team.
4. After any injury by either team when the referee stops play (only one player may be substituted per team).
5. At half time.
6. A yellow-carded player may be substituted for, but this must be done before restart of play. The other team may substitute one player with the permission of the referee.
In the preliminary rounds, points will be awarded as follows:
3 points for a win
1 points for a tie
0 points for a loss
Tie Breakers: In the event of a tie in points in the preliminary round standings, the following procedures will be used to determine the group winners:
1. Winner of most games
2. Winner of head-to-head competition
3. Goal differential (goals scored minus goals against) with a maximum of plus four (4) goals per game.
4. Fewest goals allowed (no limit).
5. Most goals scored (no limit).
Tournament committee may also use discretion in discussion with both coaches at the 6th tiebreaker (i.e. coin flip). The group winners will advance to the semi-final/final rounds in all age divisions with six (6) or more teams.
Bracket Grouping: In age groups with 16 teams, there will be 4 brackets with A vs D and B vs C in the semi-finals round. In age groups with 6 or 8 teams, there will be 2 brackets. The tournament committee may decide to have semi-finals for those groups. In brackets of 5, the teams will simply play a round robin format with the winner and runner-up declared based on points. In groups with 4 teams, the top 2 based on point system above will advance to a final.
Wild Cards: In cases of an odd number of groups, a wildcard team will be selected to advance to the semi-final round. The selection of the wildcard team will be made on the same basis as the determination of group winners. Wildcard teams will not be scheduled to play the division winner of their group in the semi-finals. If a semi-final pairing results in two teams that have played each other in preliminary rounds, the Tournament Director may decide to adjust the semifinal pairings to avoid a repeat of a preliminary game.
For semi-finals in divisions in which there are an A, B, and C bracket, the following will apply:
Winner of A bracket plays wild card.
1st place B vs 1st from C.
If wildcard comes from group A, then B vs wildcard and A vs C.
1. A forfeit will be declared if a team fails to report 10 minutes before the scheduled game time with at least seven (7) rostered players. For 8v8 and younger, at least five (5) players shall be required to start the game.
2. Any team that quits the field of play before the conclusion of the game will forfeit the game and is subject to disqualification in the tournament at the discretion of the Tournament Committee.
3. A team that forfeits a game for any reason will not advance.
4. When the situation warrants, the Tournament Committee can declare a double forfeit to both teams with no points scored for the game. This could be done in the case of unsportsmanlike behavior by both teams, etc.
5. A team that forfeits or drops from the tournament will receive a 0-3 loss to the other team with full points given. Any team that drops after the team acceptance will be placed in bad-standing with the tournament and will be reported to their appropriate National and/or State Association.
NO refunds will be given to teams who drop after the team acceptance notifications have been sent.
There are no protests.
1. A player or team official who is ejected from a game will be suspended for the next tournament game. An individual may receive more than a one-game suspension. No substitution will be permitted for an ejected player.
2. If a coach or team official is ejected from a game, from the point of ejection until the period of suspension is satisfied, the suspended individual must remain out of sight or sound of the playing field. The “sight and sound” rule may be invoked in the case of an ejected player, at the discretion of the referee or the Tournament Committee. At minimum, an ejected player must leave the player/bench are of the field and must remain silent for the duration of the game.
3. The referees may suspend play when necessary due to spectator interference until the individual(s) creating the disturbance leaves the playing area (minimum of 100 yards from the field). Said individual(s) shall remain silent for the duration of the game. Failure to observe this rule may result in forfeiture of the game as well as further disciplinary action.
MATTERS NOT PROVIDED FOR
The Rules Committee shall determine any matter not provided for in the tournament rules. In addition, the Rules Committee may amend the tournament rules when, in its judgment, the amendment will be beneficial to the conduct of the tournament. The decision of the Rules Committee shall be final.