Official Tournament Rules


PLAYER REGISTRATION: Teams will not be considered fully registered and eligible to play until all documentation (team roster and player medical forms) required by the Tournament Director has been submitted online. Birth certificates, passports, etc. are not to be accepted at registration.  All registration fees must be received prior to the team’s first game. Tournament staff reserves the right to verify any players age. Inaccurate information is grounds for disqualification from the tournament. As this is a non-sanctioned event, teams will NOT be required to present player cards, but are required to have proof of age for each player on-hand. If the player/team in question is deemed illegal, that team will forfeit each game in which the illegal player has participated. 


AGE GROUPS: Teams should register for the age division they played in their most recent season (spring 2018). Teams will be grouped into divisions according to age, gender, and experience, and will play all their games within their assigned divisions: U6 to U16 and Adult. 
SCHEDULING: We request age breakdowns by single years and will make every effort to keep the divisions as close as possible, but it’s very likely that teams will compete in brackets based on two-year age groupings (i.e., U6, U8, U10, U12, U14 and U16). Players may “play up,” but not “play down.” Every effort will be made to create divisions of similar caliber.
REFUNDS: Entry fees for SoccerFest once received, are completely non-refundable, even in the case of event cancellation or rescheduling.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: Teams will consist of up to six (6) boys or six (6) girls or six (6) adults, with a maximum of four (4) players on the field at any given time. A minimum of three (3) players is needed to begin a match and avoid a forfeit. There are no goalkeepers. Youth girls may play on a youth boys team. Adult teams will compete in men’s, women’s or co-ed brackets as requested by the team and as compatible with tournament registrations.  All adult players must be age sixteen (16) or older. Co-ed teams must have one (1) female player on the field at all times. Teams not able to have one (1) female player on the field will forfeit that game.
SUBSTITUTIONS: Players may enter the field of play on any dead-ball situation, regardless of possession, after receiving the referee’s approval. Players are to enter and exit from midfield. There are no substitutions on the fly.
MEDICAL RELEASE: All teams are required to fill out and submit a medical release form for each player. This form is available on the tournament website. Teams will not be allowed to participate without a completed medical release form.
ROSTER: All teams and players are required to fill out and submit a roster online. Any participant MUST be on the roster at check in. Teams will not be allowed to participate without a completed roster form.
CHECK-IN: Initial team check-in is required at least one hour prior to team's first match. A team representative should also check-in at the tournament scoring station prior to your first game.
EQUIPMENT: All players must wear shin guards. Any player without shin guards will not be allowed to play. The Tournament Director, Athletic Trainer and/or referee must approve players wearing protective casts. Hard casts will not be allowed. No jewelry will be allowed, including earrings of any type, rope necklaces, and bracelets. 
UNIFORMS: Each team must wear the same color jerseys. All players must wear jerseys/shirts during play and each team must bring both a light and dark colored jersey/shirt. If both teams are wearing the same color, a coin flip in pool play will determine which team must change. In playoffs, the higher seed will have the option. Jerseys/shirts must be tucked in to shorts or pants. Numbers on jerseys are not required. Swimsuit or athletic tank tops are not considered an appropriate uniform choice. Tournament Director reserves the right to designate if a team's uniforms are unacceptable.
GUARANTEED GAMES: All teams will play at least four (4) games during the weekend, unless games are reduced or shortened due to rain or unforeseen circumstances. Each division will compete in entirety on either Saturday or Sunday, not both days.
  • THREE (3) TEAM DIVISIONS: Each team will play the other two teams in the divisions twice. At the conclusion of round robin play, the team with the most points will be declared the Champion. There will be no championship match. Every effort will be made to avoid three-team divisions, but in the interest of fair competition, this format is sometimes necessary.
  • FOUR (4) TEAM DIVISIONS:  Each team plays every other team in its division once.  The teams finishing first and second qualify for the Championship. The third and fourth place finishers will also play a consolation match.
  • FIVE (5) TEAM DIVISIONS:  Each team plays every other team in its division once.  At the conclusion of the round robin (each team play every other team once), the team with the most points will be declared the Champion. There will be no championship match.
  • SIX (6) TEAM DIVISIONS: Two three-team flights are formed. Each team plays each opponent from opposite flight once in round-robin play. Teams are then seeded 1 through 6 based on points, i.e. not by the top point-scoring team in each flight. First place and second place play each other for the championship. Remaining four teams play consolation games based on seed (3 vs. 4, 5 vs. 6) with every effort made to ensure teams play different opponents from the preliminary round, if possible.
  • SEVEN (7) TEAM DIVISIONS: Each team plays four random opponents within the bracket. The team with the most points after round-robin play will be declared the Champion. There will be no championship match.
REFEREES: Each game will have one certified USSF referee, who will call fouls and keep time. Referees will have the final say in all on-field disputes.
GAME DURATION: Games will consist of two ten (10) minute halves with a two (2) minute halftime and will fit into a thirty (30) minute time slot. If the score is tied at the end of regulation play, the game is recorded as a tie. There are no timeouts. A coin toss will determine direction and possession before the start of the game.
PLAYOFF OVERTIME PROCEDURES: Playoff overtime shall consist of a three (3) minute “golden goal” overtime period with a coin toss to determine possession and direction. The first team to score in overtime is declared the winner. If no team has scored in the overtime period, the winner shall be decided in a shootout. Three (3) open net penalty kicks for each team will be taken on a rotating basis until one team wins. The team with the most goals, after three players have shot per team, is declared the winner. If the score is still tied, teams will alternate penalty shots until a decisive goal is scored. Each player must attempt a shot before another may take his or her second attempt, unless precluded by injury or suspension.

FORFEITS: The opponent of a forfeiting team will be granted a 2-0 victory. Any team forfeiting two consecutive games will be disqualified and removed from the tournament. Any team forfeiting a game in the playoffs will be removed from the tournament. If both teams are not present at game time, both teams will be forfeited and will be granted a zero point loss. A five (5) minute grace period will be given before a forfeit is declared. All forfeit and subsequent disqualification rulings are at the discretion of the referee and the Tournament Director.
PROTESTS: No protests are allowed, except in the case of protesting a player’s eligibility. Referee judgments are not a basis for protest. Protests are strongly discouraged as this is a friendly tournament. Eligibility is determined by a player’s age and is contingent upon registering for and playing with only one team in each tournament bracket (although a player may play be rostered on multiple teams in other brackets). Protests must be filed to the Tournament Director within thirty (30) minutes of the completion of the match. Protests must be made from the head coach of the team protesting. Video tape is not an acceptable basis for review. The Tournament Director will render a decision before the teams’ next scheduled match.  The decision of the Tournament Director is final.
SLIDE TACKLING: If a player is sliding, no contact is allowed. If a player slides and contact is initiated, a free kick shall be awarded. This does not prevent players from sliding to stop/intercept a ball where contact is not initiated. Example: a player may slide to save a ball from going out-of-bounds.

HEADING RULE AT AGE GROUP DIVISIONS 11 AND UNDER: Whenever the ball strikes a player in the head, play is stopped. The proper restart depends upon whether the player deliberately played the ball with his or her head. If deliberate, the proper restart is an indirect free kick to the opposing team. If this occurs within the goal area, the indirect kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred. If the play by the head is deemed in advertent, then the proper restart is a dropped ball.

CARDS: The game official may issue yellow (warning) and red (ejection) cards at his/her discretion. A player or coach receiving two yellow cards in one game will result in a red card. Coaches receiving a red card will be suspended for the remainder of the tournament. Cards may be issued for poor sportsmanship, over-aggressive behavior and extreme rules violations, at the official’s discretion. Fans may be ejected from the field area at the official’s discretion. A player receiving a red card must sit out the rest of the game and will be suspended from the next scheduled game. The team may then continue with their remaining players. If the player is on the field of play when receiving a red card, the team must complete the game with one fewer player on the field. A second red card awarded to the same player will result in suspension from the tournament. Any player who accumulates three yellow cards during the tournament will automatically be suspended for their next game (no exceptions). The Tournament Director reserves the right to issue further discipline if warranted.
SCORING: A win is important, but it’s not the only way a team advances. Teams are ranked by the total number of points accumulated through individual games in each round of play.  The maximum amount of points a team can earn per game is ten (10).
Scoring System - Points Received
Win   6 pts.
Tie   3 pts.
Loss   0 pts.
Defensive Shutout   1 pt.
Goals scored (up to 3)   1 pt. each
Win by forfeit   9 pts.

STANDINGS: Division standings are determined by the scoring system outlined above and will be posted at the scoring station at tournament headquarters.

TIEBREAKERS: In the case of a tie at the completion of divisional play, the following tie-breakers shall be instituted: Ties will be decided with three (3) open net penalty kicks for each team on a rotating basis until one team wins. The team with the most goals, after three players have shot per team, is declared the winner. If the score is still tied, teams will alternate penalty shots until a decisive goal is scored. Should two teams be tied in the standings, and if a tie-breaker is necessary to differentiate the two for either order or finish or playoff positioning, the following tiebreakerers shall apply:
1.     Head-to-head result (if both teams played to a tie, then use the following)
2.     Fewest goals against
3.     Goal differntial 
4.     Fewest goals allowed in one single game during bracket play
5.     Most goals scored in one single game during bracket play
6.     Penalty kicks 
Should three teams be tied in the standings, and each finished 1-1 against the three opponents, then rules 2-6 shall apply.
FIELD DIMENSIONS: Playing Fields will be forty (40) yards long by thirty (30) yards wide. Goals will be either four (4) feet by six (6) feet or four (4) feet by eight (8) feet with no goalkeeper. Field dimensions are subject to change by the Tournament Director.
PENALTY ARC: The penalty arc is an eight (8) foot semi-circle located in front of the goal. No player is allowed inside the arc. If the ball comes to rest in the goal box, a goal kick is awarded regardless of who touched the ball last. If an attacking player goes into the penalty arc, a goal kick is awarded to the defensive team. If a defensive player enters his/her own arc, a penalty kick is awarded to the attacking team. Referee’s judgment shall prevail in these cases. The intent IS NOT to penalize a player who inadvertently “clips” or steps on the arc line while defending a play. The intent IS to penalize a player who assumes the role of “goalkeeper” within the arc.
GAME BALL SIZE: Teams are responsible for providing a game ball U6-U8 - Size 3, U9-U12 - Size 4, U13+ - Size 5.
GOAL SCORING: The ball must completely cross the goal line between the goal posts to score a goal. All scoring goals must be shot from the scoring team’s offensive half of the field.
RESTARTS: All restarts are indirect kicks (including the kickoff to begin each half). This does not include penalty kicks, which are direct. Kickoffs can go backwards. The ball must make one full rotation before another player touches it on a kickoff. 
THROW-INS: There are no throw-ins. All out of bounds balls will be taken as kick-ins.
KICK-INS: The ball shall be kicked into play from the sideline instead of thrown in. The defending player must be at least three (3) yards from the ball on all kick-ins. All kick-ins are indirect.
GOAL KICKS: Goal kicks may be taken from any point on the defensive end line. Goal kicks are indirect.
INDIRECT KICKS: On an indirect kick, a goal can be scored if and only if the ball subsequently touches another player before it enters the goal. If the kick directly enters the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded. If the kick directly enters the team’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team.
PENALTY KICKS: Penalty kicks will be taken from midfield on an open net, except for U6 and U8, which will shoot from 15 yards out. Penalty kicks will be awarded if, in the referee’s opinion, a scoring opportunity was nullified by an infraction. All non-kicking players must be behind midfield. Once the shot is taken, the ball is dead. Rebounds and/or follow-up play are not allowed. If the shot is missed, the defensive team is awarded a goal kick. 
FOULS AND MISCONDUCT: Regulations governing fouls and misconduct conform to FIFA with the following exceptions: All fouls taking place within ten (10) feet of the goal will result in a penalty kick from mid-field to an open goal. All fouls taking place more than ten (10) feet from the goal shall result in an indirect free kick with opponents three (3) yards away. Intentional fouls or an intentional handball in the defending half of the field will result in a penalty shot taken on an open goal. Deliberate hand ball infractions that deny the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity will result in a penalty kick being awarded and (at the referee’s discretion) the player may be awarded a yellow or red card.
OFFSIDE: There is no offside rule.
TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR DISCRETION: All conflicts and appeals, including interpretation of the rules, match-ups, scheduling, and any other unforeseen scenarios, will be resolved by the Tournament Director and/or the Associate Tournament Director.  The Tournament Director reserves the right to make the following changes in the event of inclement weather:
  • Relocate and/or reschedule a game
  • Reduce scheduled duration of a game
  • Change division structure
  • Cancel a game
Should a game be terminated due to severe conditions, the game will be considered official and the score at the time shall stand as the final score. 
The Tournament Director’s decisions are final.