Tournament Rules

RULES OF PLAY Except as otherwise provided herein are in line with the rules of US CLUB and FIFA “Laws of the Game”.

Age:  The age groups for this tournament shall be in accordance with the USSF age groups for the current seasonal year.  

Registration:  All players must be currently registered with their respective USSF National Affiliate. Travel forms may be required based on your national affiliation requirements.

Tournament Participants: All teams must abide by the US Club Soccer policies, rules, and regulations and are subject to their disciplinary actions. 

Team Rosters:

  • Teams shall have no more than 18 rostered players in U13-U14 age groups. Players may be dual rostered as long as they are in different divisions
  • Teams shall have no more than 16 rostered players in U11-U12 age groups. Players may be dual rostered as long as they are in different divisions
  • Teams shall have no more than 12 rostered players in U9-U10 age groups. Players may be dual rostered as long as they are in different divisions
  • Teams shall have no more than 8 rostered players in U7-U8 age groups. Players may be dual rostered as long as they are in different divisions
  • Teams may have a max of 5 of guest players unless approved by the tournament committee.

Proof of Age: All players and coaches must have current USSF National affiliation (i.e. US Club or USYS) Player ID cards (can be physical or digital).  No ID cards will mean the player is not eligible to play. 

Division/Bracketing Process:  The primary objective of bracketing is to place teams in brackets such that the resulting bracket becomes the most competitive bracket possible for all teams in all brackets.  After applications are received, the tournament committee will review all division requests and establish the most competitive brackets.  Any additional changes will be subject to approval by the tournament committee.  Once a division is scheduled, there will be no bracket changes.

Division/Bracketing Criteria:

  • Requested division provided in the application
  • The number of teams in a divisions for the age group.
  • Team history found in youth soccer rankings and gotsoccer rankings.
  • Every effort will be made to place multiple teams from the same club in different divisions.
  • Every effort will be made to create divisions to allow clubs to play different teams from around the region versus playing the same teams they traditionally play locally.
  • Team history found in our previous tournaments. 
  • Team history against teams within the division based upon previous performance.
  • For teams which have little to no history will be randomly bracketed, but every effort will be made to place multiple teams from the same club in different divisions, and the requested division will be strongly considered.

Formats For Various Bracket Sizes:

Bracket of Four: Played as a single group of four teams in a round-robin format, with the two teams accumulating the most points advancing to the final.

Bracket of Five: Played as a single group of five teams in a round-robin format, with the team accumulating the most points will be the champion and the team accumulating the second most points will be the runner-up.

Bracket of Six: Played as two groups of three teams. Each team will crossover and play the opposite bracket's 3 teams so that all teams are playing the same competition. The top 2 teams accumulating the most points will advance to the finals to determine which team is the champion. It is possible that the finalists could have played each other already.

Bracket of Seven: Played as a single group of seven teams with all teams playing four (4) matches. The team accumulating the most points will be announced as the Champion. The team accumulating the second most amounts of points will be the Finalist.

Bracket of Eight: Played as two groups of four. The winner of each round-robin group will play a final game to determine the Champion and Finalist.

Team Acceptances: In the event the tournament is a sell out, teams will be accepted using the following criteria listed below in no certain order:

  • Date of application and payment received.  Teams that submit payments after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list.
  • Travel accommodations status
  • Team/club history and participation in previous TSC events
  • Geographic balance
  • Club affiliation

CREDENTIALS/TEAM CHECK-IN:

  • All teams must have their official rosters from TGS for this specific event, National Affiliation ID cards, travel permission (where required), guest player forms (where required).
  • Game check-in will be done at the field by the referee prior to each game.

DURATION OF THE GAME: 

The length of games for each age group shall be as follows:

Age Bracket Game Times Format
U7-U8 20 Minute Halves 4v4
U9-U10 25 Minute Halves 7v7
U11-U12 30 Minute Halves 9v9
U13-U15 35 Minute Halves 11v11
U16-U19 40 Minute Halves 11v11

Halftime periods shall be a maximum of five (5) minutes.

Tie Breaker Information:  The following criteria used for a team to advance:

  1. Head to Head
  2. Goal Differential
  3. Goals For
  4. Goals Against
  5. Shutouts

**** In the event there is a tie of 3 teams or more, using the tiebreaker criteria above, the 1st step is to determine the top team of the 3 or more teams tied.  Once a top team has been determined, the 2nd step is the tiebreaker criteria will start all over again from the top with the remaining 2 or more teams that are tied, and continue this same process until all teams and their placement have been decided as necessary.

Semi-Finals and Finals:   In the case of a draw at the end of regulation time in a Semi-Final or Final, the winner will be determined as follows: 

  1. The best of five penalty kicks taken alternately by each team will determine the winner.
  2. Only those players on the field at the end of regulation time may compete in the penalty kicks.
  3. If the penalty kick score is tied at the end of the five kicks, the teams will continue to take penalty kicks alternately until there is a winner.
  4. All players on the field must kick before any player may kick a second time.
  5. In the event all players have kicked, and the score remains tied, the process of penalty kicks shall start over in the same order in which it began utilizing the same players that were on the field.

Unfinished or Abandoned Games:  If the referee or tournament official terminates a game for any reason at any time during the game, the game shall be considered a completed game and the score at the time of the game ending shall be conisdered final and posted as such. 

Game Clock:  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.  

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.   

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. 

REFEREES:

U7-U8 Age divisions will use a one-person referee system. U9-U14 Age divisions will use a three-person referee system.  The Tournament Committee shall have the right to select a club linesperson from a team if necessary.

EQUIPMENT/UNIFORMS:

  • Each team’s jersey/shorts must be all the same color, and they must be numbered (no duplicate numbers).
  • HOME team will wear light colored jersey. VISITOR will wear dark color jersey. The home team is responsible for changing jerseys in case of color duplication.  The home team is the first team listed in the schedule.
  • If uniforms are similar the home team shall be required to change uniforms.
  • Shinguards are required for all players.
  • Goalkeepers are allowed to wear headgear
  • 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.
  • 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.

Substitutions: Substitutions shall be unlimited and may be made with the consent of the referee at any stoppage.

SCORING: 

Points will be awarded as follows:

                                    3 points for a win

                                    1 points for a tie

                                    0 points for a loss

FORFEITS:

  • 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 U-12 and younger, at least five (5) players shall be required to start the game.
  • 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.
  • A team that forfeits a game for any reason will not advance.
  • 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.
  • 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.

PROTESTS:

  • In the Showcase format, no protests will be accepted and the referee’s decisions will be considered final.
  • In the tournament format, protests will be reviewed by the tournament committee and a ruling shall be issued and considered final.

PLAYER and/or TEAM OFFICAL SUSPENSIONS:

  • An individual may receive more than a one-game suspension (i.e. if for violent conduct/fighting suspension shall be 2 games plus the game in which they received the ejection/red-card).  A substitution will not be permitted for an ejected/red-carded player.  An ejected/red-carded player must be suspended from that game and one additional game thereafter regardless if the game is a semi-final or final.  However, that player may participate in the next scheduled “showcase” game (unless the incident was for violent conduct/fighting).
  • 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.
  • 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  Tournament Committee shall determine any matter not provided for in the tournament rules.  In addition, the Tournament 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  Tournament Committee shall be final.