All games will be played in accordance with FIFA laws of the game, except as specifically superseded by tournament rules.
All age groups play in a “tournament” format, where each team will play for a spot as the championship team. All players on the first and second place teams will receive medal and the championship team will receive a team trophy. Each team will be guaranteed three games.
- The tournament committee reserves the right to accept or reject any team application.
- No team shall be deemed accepted unless its name has been posted on the tournament website “accepted list”.
- Once accepted by the Tournament Committee, the application fee is non-refundable.
Roster and Player Documentation
Team shall register with tournament officials by September 15, 2017 at a time and place determined by the tournament officials. This information will be sent to all accepted teams and posted on the tournament website. No Saturday morning registrations will be allowed. A team representative should bring the following to registration:
NCYSA and other USYS teams:
- A medical waiver for each player in alphabetical order.
- Laminated and properly stamped state player pass for all players in alphabetical order. (NCYSA Recreational teams do not need player passes, however any recreational player guest playing with a classic or challenge team DOES need a player pass.)
- One current official red stamped match roster with player jersey numbers (for all teams Classic, Challenge, and Recreational) and four black/white copies.
- One red stamped guest player roster with player jersey number(s) for any guest player on a team and four black/white copies.
- If the team is from outside NC, a properly executed notification to travel form.
US Club and other affiliates
- A medical waiver for each player in alphabetical order.
- Laminated and properly stamped US Club or other affiliates player pass for all players in alphabetical order.
- One current official roster with player jersey numbers and four black/white copies.
- If applicable, one official guest player roster with player jersey number(s) for any guest player on a team and four black/white copies.
- If the team is from outside NC, a properly executed notification to travel form.
11U to 14U Teams are allowed a maximum of three (3) guest players. 9U to 10U Teams will have to follow the NCYSA Academy rules and policies pertaining to guest players. Guest players must be registered as a member of an association of USYSA or USSF Affiliates. Do not add guest players’ names to your original roster. Guest players must have a Guest Match Roster form and validated by the appropriate State or Association Registrar or USSF Affiliates.
No player shall play for more than one team during the tournament. Players must play on their own team if their team is playing in the 2017 Tournament and are not eligible to play as a guest player with another team. All teams will comply with the 2017 Tournament rules and the Tournament Director’s decisions are final.
Required forms for Guest Players:
- USYS Player card (laminated) with photo and registrar stamp/signature
- USSF Affiliate player card (laminated) with photo and registrar stamp/signature
- USSF approved Medical Waiver/Liability Release for each player for each player
- State approved Medical Waiver/Liability Release for each player for each player
- Guest Player Roster
Divisions and Advancement
Divisions are determined by the number of entrants. The tournament committee reserves the right to combine age divisions and levels of play when appropriate and necessary.
4 TEAM DIVISIONS: Three matches will be guaranteed in a round-robin format. The top 2 teams will advance to a championship match.
5 TEAM DIVISIONS: Four matches will be guaranteed in a round-robin format. 1st and 2nd place decided by points.
6 TEAM DIVISIONS: Three matches will be guaranteed. Teams will be divided into 2 groups (A and B) with each team playing 2 games within its group. Then, the top team in group A will play the number 2 team in group B and the top team in group B will play the number 2 team in group A as a semi-final match. The winners of these games will advance to a championship match that will determine first and second place. The number 3 teams in each group will play a consolation match.
8 TEAM DIVISIONS: Three matches will be guaranteed. Teams will be divided into 2 groups (A and B) with each team playing 3 games within its group, with the top team in each group advancing to a championship game.
MORE THAN 8 TEAMS DIVISION: Generally teams will be split into 4, 6, or 8 team divisions and will play as such. Awards for first and second place will be given in all divisions.
For the purpose of determining bracket standings and semi-final match participants, the following point system will be used:
WIN = 3 points
TIE = 1 point
LOSS = 0 points
SHUTOUT = 0 points
Ties will stand at the end of regular play for the preliminary round matches and the consolation matches.
Any team that Forfeits a match will receive 0 points for that game and the other team will receive 3 points via a 3-0 goal victory.
In the event of 2 or more teams tied on points at the end of the group stage, the following criteria will be used to determine rankings. If 3 or more teams are tied on points, the following criteria will be used until a team is eliminated, the remaining teams will start the tiebreaker scenarios back at Head-to-Head.
- Goal Differential – Max +/-3 per game
- Least Goals Allowed
- Most Goals Scored (no limit)
Extra-time for Semifinal and Championship Matches
The teams will be given a five minute rest and immediately proceed with two successive full five (5) minute overtime periods. If the teams are still tied at the end of the two overtime periods, the winner will be determined using Kicks from the mark method. Only the players on the field at the end of the second overtime period will be allowed to participate. The process for Kicks will be as follows:
- All participating players will immediately meet at the center of the field. A coin toss will determine who kicks first. If a team is playing short (e.g. due to a red card) then the opposing team must reduce its on-field players to match the number of players on the “short” team.
- The referee will decide which goal will be used.
- Five (5) players will be selected from each team to participate in the first round.
- With teams alternating, each team will take 5 kicks. The team scoring the most goals will be declared the winner.
- If the teams remain tied after the first round, the remaining participating players from each team will take their kicks. Teams will alternate and the first team to score with the opposing team missing will be declared the winner.
- Each team may select any of their participating players on the field to serve as the goalkeeper. In the event that the goalkeeper becomes injured, any player can replace him, including players not currently on the field.
Substitutions may be made with the permission of the referee based upon FIFA rules. All age groups will have unlimited substitutions and players may re-enter the game. The substitute must wait until the player is off the field before entering the field (unless the referee waves him/her on). Players must exit and enter, at the halfway line, on their own team side of the field. No substitutions will be allowed for a player sent off. Substitutions will be allowed as follows:
Before a throw-in in the substituting team's favor
Before a goal kick by either team
After a goal by either team
When the referee has stopped play to attend to an injured player (by either team)
At half time
Before either overtime period
At the time of the infraction, a cautioned (yellow card) player may leave the field and may be replaced with a substitute, if available, or play short. The cautioned player may reenter the game at a later time. The opposing team may also substitute at this time.
If a keeper is sent off (red card), he/she must leave the game and the team must play down. If the player sent off is a keeper, a new keeper must then be designated either from the current field players or a substitution of a field player with the new player becoming the keeper.
Any player, coach, or team supporter sent off during this tournament will be reported to the team's home state association. Upon receipt of the report, the team's home state association and/or league may impose additional sanctions. Matters involving referee assault or abuse will be reported immediately to the team’s home state association as required by USSF Policy 531-9. Any player sent off (red-carded) from a match will not be replaced and will not be allowed to participate in the remainder of the match and the team's next match. Two (2) yellow cards in one match are equivalent to a red card and the above rule applies. Any coach sent off from a game will not be allowed to coach in the remainder of the match or the team’s next match. A player, coach or team supporter sent off during a match must immediately leave the vicinity of the field and not be visibly present at the next match. A send off for serious verbal or physical altercations will result in the player, coach or team supporter being expelled and subject to be banned from tournament facilities. Coaches are responsible for the conduct of their players and sideline team supporters on his/her team. Coaches not taking responsibility for their sideline’s conduct may be cautioned and/or ejected. NCYSA rules state that coaches, players, or spectators ejected must not be within “sight or sound” of the playing field. In accordance with FIFA rules, only players will be shown a card (yellow or red) when being cautioned or sent off.
Start of Game and Field Check In
A maximum grace period of 10 minutes will be allowed after the scheduled kick-off time. 9U and 10U, five (5) players must be present to begin a match. 11U and 12U, six (6) players must be present to begin a match. For all other age group matches, 13U-14U, a team must have seven (7) players present in order to begin a match. A match forfeited will be scored 3-0 and the winning team will be awarded 3 points. It is requested that teams be present 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to aid in the timely start of play. At the conclusion of the match the two coaches are to verify the score of the match with the referee and sign the match report.
Inclement Weather/Game Delays
Coaches and their players must appear at the field ready to play as scheduled, regardless of the weather. Failure to appear will result in a forfeit of the match. Only the Tournament Director may cancel or postpone a match. At the sight of lightning all games will cease and play shall not resume until Tournament Director determines that a minimum of 30 minutes has passed with no visible lightning. Additionally, the Tournament Director has full authority to cancel any match at any time if deemed the players, coaches, referees, and supporters are at risk. Should a preliminary match in progress be terminated due to weather or field conditions, the match will be considered official if, at least the first half has been played and the score at that time shall stand, even if the score is a tie. For other matches, rescheduling attempts will be made as fairly as possible, considering referee and field availability and normal progress of the competition. In age groups where the competition cannot be completed through the championship match due to poor weather conciliations, the Tournament Director will determine the division winner and runner-up. The Tournament Director’s decision will be final and will not be subject to protest or appeal. Should games or the entire tournament be cancelled due to inclement weather, there will be no refunds.
- Shin guards MUST be worn by all players, and covered by socks
- Appropriate size game balls will be provided for each scheduled match by the tournament.
- With the exception of medical ID, no rings, watches, earrings or other jewelry of any kind may be worn. Medical ID medals must be taped to the chest. Medical ID bracelets must be taped to the wrist so that a finger may not become trapped under it. The referee, prior to the match must approve any protective device or cast worn by a player. Casts must be padded and wrapped.
- When the color of the jerseys is similar or identical, the designated home team will change jerseys (The team listed first on the schedule is the home team).
- Goalkeepers must wear a different colored shirt, which distinguishes them from all other players and referees.
- Each team’s field player must have a unique number on his/her jersey and all jerseys shall match in color. Shirts must be tucked in during entire game.
- No equipment changes may be made after the referee's equipment check without his/her permission. No item of clothing shall extend below the shorts, including the keepers clothing (except compression shorts if they are the same color as the outer shorts, but above the knee.)
- U10 and Younger - (2) 25 minute halves
- U11 and U12 - (2) 30 minute halves
- U13 and Older - (2) 35 minute halves
a) Coaches and spectators must remain between their penalty area and centerline as marked on their respective side of the field.
b) Spectators must sit across the field from their respective teams. Spectators are expected to remain behind a designated line away from the touch line, generally 8-10 feet back, so that linesman have clear visibility and space.
c) No tents, exposed stakes, ropes or strings are allowed within 5 yards (15 feet) of any playing field. The Tournament may require that tents or other items or spectators be moved at their discretion. Tents must be properly anchored.
d) No pets, No firearms, No alcoholic beverages allowed on tournament facilities.
e) All decisions of the referee are final and binding. No protests will be allowed.
f) The Tournament Director or his/her designee reserves the right to decide all matters pertaining to the tournament and his/her judgment is final.
g) At the discretion of the Tournament Director or his/her designee matches may be shortened or other means used to preserve schedule integrity.
h) All Referees will be USSF registered. The referee shall keep a record of the match and keep the official time on the field. Club linesmen may be used in some age divisions.
i) At the conclusion of each match, both coaches are to sign the match report and the field marshals are to ensure that the match reports are turned into the scorers.
j) NO HEADING is allowed in any small sided match (12U and younger). In matches for 13U and older in which a 12U player or younger may be on the roster, heading will be allowed due to the fact that it would be very difficult for a referee to be able during the run of play to determine if a player that heads the ball is 12U or younger vs 13U and older. As stated by the Federation, it will be the coach and parent’s responsibility to “police” a child 12U and younger on heading in a 13U and older match.
The Tournament Director, Tournament Committee, Event Sponsor, Gaston United Soccer Club, and their volunteers will not be responsible for any expenses incurred by any team or club if the tournament is canceled in-whole or in-part. The Tournament Director and Committee reserves the right to decide all matters pertaining to the tournament and the judgment is final.