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US Club Soccer Approval Letter
Summary of Rules
Here is a summary of the rules you will likely need the most! The full tournament rules can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Tie Games - semi-final or final: In case of a tie after regulation of semi-final or final, FIFA style penalty kick shootouts will determine the winner. (The best of five kickers, then sudden death between kickers)
Point System: 3 points for win, 1 for tie, 0 for loss.
Tie Breakers: If at the conclusion of the preliminary rounds a tiebreaker is needed the following criteria will be utilized:
- Head-to-head (not used if more than two teams are involved in the tie breaker)
- Goal differential (i.e., goals scored minus goals allowed with 3 goal maximum differential)
- Most shutout wins
- Fewest goals allowed
- Sudden death penalty kicks
Forfeits: The purpose of this rule is to deter teams from not showing for their last games if they have already mathematically advanced. Worthy reasons for a forfeit would include but would not be limited to highway traffic jams, team going to the wrong facility etc.
A 5-minute grace period will be extended beyond the scheduled kick-off time before a forfeit shall be declared. Failure to complete a match, or a team leaving the field during play, will result in forfeiture. No team that has forfeited a match will be declared a group winner for advancement purposes, unless the tournament director deems the reason for the forfeit worthy.
For tie-breaking purposes, the score of a forfeited game shall be set as the average of goals scored by the winning team rounded up to the nearest whole number, against the average of the goals given up by that team rounded down to the nearest whole number, at a minimum, the score will be recorded as 1-0.
- A minimum of 5 players constitutes a team for 7 v 7 games.
- A minimum of 6 players constitutes a team for 9 v 9 games.
- A minimum of 7 players constitutes a team for 11 v 11 games.
Goal Kick Rule for 10U and Younger Age Groups: When a team is awarded a goal-kick, the opposing team must have all of their players behind the midfield line on their own side of the field before the goal-kick is taken.
Offside: Offside will be called for all age groups as per FIFA.
Heading – 12U and Younger: For player safety in 12U and younger matches, no heading, or playing the ball with the head, will be allowed. The restart for a heading infraction will be an indirect free kick.
Substitutions: Players may be substituted only during certain stoppages of the game. The number of substitutions shall be unlimited. Substitutions may be made, with the approval of the referee, at the following times:
- Prior to a throw-in by the team in possession, with the exception, if the team in possession is substituting, then both teams may substitute provided that both team’s substitutes are ready to come in at mid field.
- Prior to a goal kick, by either team.
- After an injury, by either team.
- At half-time.
- Before the taking of a kick-off.
- After a caution has been awarded, a substitution may be made for the player receiving the yellow card. This is NOT a required substitution.
- In any case, a substitute may not enter the middle of field of play until he/she has been given a signal to do so by the referee and the player being replaced has come off the field.
Official Tournament Rules
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