Tournament Rules

All games will be played in accordance with FIFA Laws, except as specifically modified by the following tournament rules.

General Rules

This tournament is approved by EPYSA (Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association), which is affiliated with USYSA, USSF and FIFA.

The Tournament Committee members, Tournament Director, Site Coordinators, Field Marshals, Horsham Soccer Association, its officers and EPYSA will not be responsible for any expenses incurred by any individual, team or club. All teams are responsible for their own medical and liability insurance coverage. In the event of an accident or injury while in transit to or from, or while participating in the tournament, the Tournament Committee members, Tournament Director, Site Coordinators, Field Marshals, Horsham Soccer Association, its officers and EPYSA shall not be held liable. All teams must have proof of insurance. Check with your club or state office about your proof of insurance.

Each team is scheduled to play 3 games. A single referee will be used for 8v8 games (U8-U12). A 3 referee system will be used for 11v11 games (U13 and above).

Individual trophies will be given to first and second place team members. Patch (or other team memento) trading is encouraged.

The Tournament Committee and Tournament Director reserve the right to decide all matters pertaining to the Tournament and their judgment is final.

General Conduct

GENERAL CONDUCT - Only the coach who registers the team may speak with the Field Marshal on matters pertaining to the tournament. Each team shall have a designated speaking captain during the games. Coaches are responsible for the actions of their players, assistant coaches, parents and spectators.

NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES are allowed at any field site.

NO FOUL OR ABUSIVE LANGUAGE is allowed at any field site.

NO HARASSMENT of referees (including assistant referees/linesmen) will be tolerated.

NO DISSENT of referee’s decisions (including assistant referees/linemen’s) will be tolerated

NO SMOKING at any fields.

NO DOGS at any fields.

The coach is expected to control his/her sideline and to put an end to any conduct detrimental to the good of the game. The coach is also expected to address any problem that the referee may bring to his/her attention. Failure of the coach to keep control of self, players, assistant coaches, parents or spectators may result in forfeiture of a game or the suspension of the team for the balance of the tournament by the referee, referee coordinator, Field Marshal, site coordinator or Tournament Director without refund.

PERSONS EJECTED – Coaches or Parents ejected from a game by the referee or asked to leave by tournament officials will leave the tournament grounds immediately and in an orderly fashion. Failure to leave the grounds immediately or continued abusive or threatening behavior will result in the manner being turned over to the Horsham Police. Abusive behavior by parents, players, or coaches may also result in forfeiture of the current game and/or expulsion of the team from the tournament and forfeiture of all remaining games.

Team and Spectator Location

For both teams, players and coaches will take one side of the pitch. Supporters and spectators will take the opposite side of the pitch. The designated Field Marshal will indicate to the referee and to the teams which sides will be designated for players/coaches and which is for spectators.

No coaches, players, or spectators are authorized within 18 yards of the end of the field and no one is permitted behind the end line.

All spectators must remain behind the spectator’s lines.

It is the responsibility of the team’s coach or the person acting in the coach’s behalf to control the conduct of the parents and other spectators. Failure to do so may result in a warning by the referee to the coach or the person acting in the coach’s behalf.

Player/Coach Conduct

Two yellow cards in the same game result in the ejection of the player from that game and the player must sit out the next game. There shall be no substitution for the ejected player.

One red card results in the ejection of the player from that game and the player must sit out at least the next game. Based on the referee report, the site coordinator, field marshal or referee coordinator may impose additional penalties for violent or dangerous play up to and including banning the player from further participation in the tournament. There shall be no substitution for the ejected player. Two ejections of the same player during the tournament result in the banning of that player from competition for the rest of the tournament.

Coach ejections will be treated the same as player ejections. In order for the game to continue after a coach ejection, an assistant coach must show a valid pass to the referee or the game is forfeit. If no assistant is available for the next game, then that game is also forfeit. Ejected coaches must leave the field area immediately and may not attend the following game. If not, the game is forfeit.

Per EPYSA tournament rules, all referee assaults and all yellow and red cards will be reported to EPYSA and the respective state associations.

Age, Eligibility and Guest Player Policy

  • U08-U12    8v8: up to 14 players
  • U13-U16 11v11: up to 18 players
  • U17-U18 11v11: up to 22 players on Tournament Roster but only 18 dressed and rostered per game
  • All teams may include up to 3 guest players

All players (including guests) must be registered with their respective state, provincial or national association. All teams from outside EPYSA must supply a copy of their Permission to Travel Form signed by their state, provincial or national association. From EPYSA rules, secondary players registered on your roster are considered guest players for the purpose of traveling to tournaments and will be counted toward your 3 guest maximum if they attend.

Current player passes authorized by their respective state, provincial or national association will be required as proof of age for each player, including guests. Current coach passes authorized by their respective state, provincial or national association will be required as proof of good standing.

Official team rosters will be checked against coach and player passes during registration. The Field Marshal or referee may use a copy of this tournament approved roster to verify player eligibility before or during each game. Use of an illegal player (a player not registered with the tournament or a player who received a red or 2 yellow cards in the prior game) will result in the immediate dismissal of the team from the tournament without a refund. No player may play on more than one team throughout the duration of the tournament.

Laws of the Game

All matches will be played in accordance with FIFA Laws of the Game, except as specifically superseded by these rules.

Player Equipment

Each team is required to have alternate colored jerseys or pinnies. When the referee determines that the colors are similar, the home team is responsible for changing their jersey. The home team is the first team listed (left) on the schedule. In consolation or championship games, the home team will be determined by the referee’s coin toss.

Shin guards must be worn during all games and socks are to cover shin guards during the match. All players must wear numbered jerseys. Players from the same team must wear different numbers and the numbers must match the player’s number that is turned in on the tournament roster.

Goal keepers must wear a jersey color that contrasts with both team’s jerseys and the referee’s jersey.

Players may not play if they are wearing a hard cast, regardless of covering. No metal cleats may be worn during soccer games. Players may not wear jewelry on the playing field, including metal hair clips, earrings (taped or otherwise), and non-sports approved eyewear.

Any additional safety restrictions or requirements are at the discretion of the referee. All decisions made the referee will be final!

Substitutions

There will be no limit to substitutions subject to permission of the referee: after either team has scored a goal, at the beginning of the second half, at either team’s goal kick or on possession of a throw-in. When a yellow card is given, the carded player MUST be substituted for. The player may re-enter at the next available opportunity, subject to the permission of the referee. The opposing team has the right to one substitute at that time. If an injured player is attended to on the field, the injured player MUST be substituted for. The player may re-enter at the next available opportunity, subject to the permission of the referee. The opposing team has the right to one substitute at that time.

Balls

BALLS – Under-12 and younger play with a size 4, everyone else a size 5. The home team supplies the game ball.

Protests

There will be no protests. In matters pertaining to the game, all decisions of the referees are final. All scheduled center referees are USSF certified and are assigned by a local, state approved, referee assignor. The Tournament Committee, Tournament Director, Site Coordinators, Field Marshals, Horsham Soccer Association and its officers have no control over referee assignments.

Forfeits

A 5-minute grace period will be allowed after the scheduled kick off time before the game is awarded to the opponent. A minimum of 7 players constitutes a team (6 players for 8 v 8 games). Teams that fail to field the minimum at the start of the game or who fall below the minimum during the game forfeit the game regardless of the score at the point of forfeiture. Every team must have a coach with a valid pass at each game or the game is forfeit. A forfeit will be recorded as a 0-3 loss for the forfeiting team and a 3-0 win for the opponent.

Duration of Play

Weather permitting, games for

  • U8 and U9  groups will play   8v8   with 20 minute halves with a 5 minute half time
  • U10 to U12 groups will play   8v8   with 25 minute halves with a 5 minute half time
  • U13 and up groups will play 11v11 with 30 minute halves with a 5-minute half time

The referee, the site coordinator or the Field Marshal may shorten or cancel games to preserve the field or to keep the tournament on schedule. A game will be deemed official and its score stand if 20 minutes of the game have been played as of the scheduled start of the next game.

TOURNAMENT CANCELLATION POLICY

INCLEMENT WEATHER or POOR FIELD CONDITIONS BEFORE A GAME: An individual game may be cancelled or the players may be prohibited from warming up on the field and the game length may be reduced. Only the Tournament Committee, the Tournament Director, the site coordinator, the referee or the Field Marshal may shorten or cancel a game.

INCLEMENT WEATHER or POOR FIELD CONDITIONS DURING A GAME : In the event of lightning or other severe weather: the tournament committee will be notified by local authorities of approaching severe weather and may take the action of stopping tournament play before the severe weather is observable at the tournament sites.

The Referee, Field Marshal, or Site Director will also have the authority and responsibility to stop play if lightning or other severe weather is observed locally.

The Site Director at each tournament site will sound an air horn 3 times as a signal that that games are being stopped due to severe weather. Upon this signal the referee should immediately stop all games and everyone should take cover. The safest place to take cover is in cars away from the trees.

The game in progress may be terminated or the length of this and subsequent games may be reduced upon resumption of play. Only the tournament director, site coordinator, the referee or the Field Marshal may shorten a game. Should a game be terminated with 20 or more minutes played, the game will be considered official and the score will stand.

Cancelled games or games terminated before 20 minutes of play shall be considered a 0 to 0 tie for purposes of tournament standings.

See below for special case rule handling terminated championship and playoff game brackets.

ALL CLEAR - The Tournament Committee will determine when to give the All Clear Signal. Instructions for resumption of play will be given to the Field Marshals who will then inform the referee and coaches.

The All Clear Signal will be 1 long blast from an air horn.

EXCESSIVE HEAT - exists when there is a combination of high temperatures, high humidity and/or bright sunshine and can be very dangerous to anyone performing physical activities out doors but even more so to young athletes participating in a highly competitive activity such as soccer. In the event of excessive heat, the tournament committee will add an additional 5 minute water break at the midway point of each half. This will essentially change the games to quarters.

In the event that games are switched to quarters while games are in progress: the Field Marshal will be notified by the Tournament Director and will then inform the referee at the next stoppage of play. The referee will then inform the coaches of each team.

If the current half is less than half way complete then the referee will stop the half at the midway point for a 5 minute break.

If the current half is past the midway point but still has more than 5 minutes remaining then the referee will stop the game at this point for a 5 minute break.

If the current half has less than 5 minutes remaining then the game will continue to half time (if in the 1st half) or to the conclusion (if in the 2nd half).

Teams will switch goals only at half time, not at the quarters.

HURRICANE or TROPICAL STORM – In the event of an approaching hurricane or tropical storm, the tournament committee may elect to cancel the tournament. Cancellation will be made at the earliest possible time in order to minimize inconvenience to participants.

UNSEEN FORCES: Water Main breaks High Voltage wire damage or any condition that causes adverse field conditions that cause cancellation of entire or part of tournament, a partial refund will be issued after review of the Tournament Director and the board.

 

Score Reporting

A Field Marshal will fill out a game report for each game played. The report will include game related information such as goals scored, yellow card and red card information and injuries. Coaches will be asked to sign the card to insure that there is score agreement. In the event of disagreement, the referee’s score is final. At the conclusion of each match the Field Marshal will take this information to the site headquarters where the scores will be posted. Yellow and red card information will be used for tie breaker scoring and for the Post Tournament report to the state.

Ranking

Results are based on the following scoring criteria.

  • Win - 6 Points
  • Tie - 3 Point
  • Loss - 0 Points
  • 1 point per goal differential up to a maximum of 3
  • 1 point for a shut-out win (except for a 0-0 tie game.  A 0-0 tie game is not considered a shut-out win so each team will simply receive 3 points for the tie as noted above)

Maximum points that can be awarded for a team winning a game is 10 points (6 points for the win + 3 points for maximum goal differential of 3 + 1 point for a shut-out win)

 Teams tied in points at the end of regulation games follow this tie-breaker order:

  1. Head to Head competition if there are only 2 teams involved
  2. Fewest Goals Allowed up to 3 per game.
  3. Head to Head competition if there are only 2 teams left.
  4. Goal Differential up to 3 goals (+ and -) per game for all games played.
  5. Head to Head competition if there are only 2 teams left.
  6. Fewest Red Cards.
  7. Head to Head competition if there are only 2 teams left.
  8. Fewest Yellow Cards.
  9. Head to Head competition if there are only 2 teams left
  10. Weather permitting a penalty kick shoot out will be utilized to resolve a tie.
  11. If any event a penalty kick shoot out is not possible due to weather or other circumstances, then the team with the earliest online application will be declared the winner (determined by the date and time stamp of each team’s submitted application).

 

4 team bracket - For any 4 team bracket, each team will play the other teams in their bracket.  Tournament points shall be the total points earned from the 3 games played by a given team.  

6 team bracket - For any 6 team bracket, there will be two flights of 3 teams within the bracket. Each team will play each of the teams in their flight plus 1 game will be scheduled where they play a team from the opposite flight (randomly selected). In this bracket format, each team will not play 2 other teams assigned to this bracket.  Tournament points shall be the total points earned from the 3 games played by a given team.

Ties

Ties stand in all games except championship/playoff games. Teams that are tied at the end of regulation in a championship/playoff game will play:

  • for 8v8 game formats: two 10 minute overtime periods with a golden goal rule applied (first team to score wins the match).
  • for 11v11 game formats: two 15 minute overtime periods with a golden goal rule applied (first team to score wins the match).

If the teams are still tied at the end of overtime then the game will be decided on FIFA penalty kicks.

Special case: For brackets that have a championship/playoff game where the game is terminated before 20 minutes of play then the team leading in that game will be declared the winner (i.e. the 20 minute game time rule does not apply for Championship/Playoff games). If the game is tied at the point that the game is terminated, then the team with higher points awarded during regulation play will be the winner (i.e. higher seeded team will be the game winner).  If in the event that both teams have same regulation play points, then the above tie-breaking will apply.