Rules (SF Inc)

Official Regulations

  • Rules

Soccer Festivals Inc. organized tournaments will be played in accordance with applicable sections of the FIFA rules except otherwise noted in this document.


  • Tournament Format & Awards

U9-U18 all teams will be grouped such that every team will play a minimum 3 games. The format will be based on the number of teams in the age group and published prior to the event.

Soccer Festivals Inc may group teams of the adjacent ages together (e.g. U11 with U12; U15 with U16 etc).

At the conclusion of the final or championship matches, first (1st) place in each age group will receive individual medals, and the coach will receive a “Tournament Champion” trophy; second (2nd) place will receive individual medals.

Awards will be presented immediately after the respective playoff game, or at the conclusion of the final game in each division. Award presentations will be held at the Tournament Headquarters.  No awards will be mailed – unless in a grouping of 5 where Champions have not been determined until the final game of the day.


  • Tournament Scoring

Teams shall be awarded points for match results as follows:

(3) Points for each win.

(0) Points for each loss.

(1) Points for each tie.

(1) Point deducted for each red card received

(2) Points deducted for a coach ejection.

(3) Player receiving a red card will serve an automatic suspension for the following one game. The tournament jury can decide about suspension for further game(s).


Ties in BRACKET standings will be broken by employing a tiebreaker. If more than two teams are involved in the tie, once the first team is eliminated the remaining teams will start back at 1. until the all ties are broken.


  1. Head to head (if all teams played each other.)
  2. Goal Differential (Max of 4 goals)
  3. Least goals allowed.
  4. Goals for (max 4 goals)
  5. FIFA penalty kicks (site and time at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

All players from each team must be ready to participate within (5) minutes of the appointed time of else that team will forfeit its opportunity to prevail in the tiebreaker.


  • Age Groupings

When possible, the organizers will put age pure groupings together, however if it is not possible, teams may be grouped with adjacent age groups. (example-U10 with U11; U13 with U12 etc.)

U6 (4 v 4)

U7 U8 (5 v 5)

U9, U10 (7 v 7)

U11, U12 (9 v 9)

U13 – 18 (11 v 11)


  1. Duration of Matches

U6: Group Play 2×15 minutes, final 2 x 15 minutes

U7, U8: Group Play 2×20 minutes, final 2 x 20 minutes

U9-U12: Group Play, and Single Elimination 2×25 min, Final 2×25 min.

U13-U16: Group Play, and Single Elimination 2×30 min, Final 2×30 min.

U17-U18: Group Play, and Single Elimination 2×35 min, Final 2×35 min.

NOTE: Injury time will NOT be added to the length of the game, except under the most extenuating circumstances. This will be at the discretion of the referee. THERE WILL BE NO OVER TIME PLAY IN ANY REGULAR GAME.

Semi Final Games If the score is tied at the end of regulation time in the semifinal games, kicks from the penalty spot will be taken per FIFA rules to determine the winner NO OVERTIME.

Championship Games: If the score is tied at the end of regulation time in the Championship games, the teams will have a 5-min. break then start over-time play for two periods of 5 minutes each. If the game is still tied at the end of the second overtime period, kicks from the penalty spot will be take per FIFA rules to determine the winner. Only players on the field at the end of Overtime are eligible to take a Penalty Kick. NO GOLDEN GOAL.

  1. Number of players/gender & Substitution Rule


All players in all age groups can be substituted out and in again, free substitution.

A team may bring more players but only the stated number may be used for each game.

It is permitted for a player from the same club to play on several teams but not in the same age group. This player has to be on the rosters of all teams he/she will play for. The player also has to be present at check in when identifying the age each specific time for all teams the player plays for.

Girls may play on boy’s teams; Teams with one or more boys will be entered in the boy’s brackets.


Substitution of Players


  1. May be unlimited in number, but shall be allowed only:

(1) On throw ins, free substitution by either team, as long as the player is ready at the half; at the discretion of the center referee.

(2) Prior to a goal kick (either team may sub), as long as the player is ready at the half; at the discretion of the center referee.

(3) After a goal (either team), as long as the player is ready at the half; at the discretion of the center referee

(4) If the referee stops play due to an injury, the injured player must be substituted, and the other team may also substitute.

(5) At half time.



  • Check In Credentials

Properly validated USYSA, US CLUB, AYSO, Player passes will be required. A properly validated team roster which contains player names as well as dates of birth and player medical releases must be present at all games. Team representatives will present these credentials at the MANDATORY check-in.  Check in information; date, time, location will be TBA sometime the week of the tournament or week prior.

Rosters may not be changed once the tournament begins. Coaches are responsible to play only the players on the tournament team roster.

Check in prior to games is NOT necessary for the players. Random checks of team lists’ and Participants’ lists will be carried out. Teams using unqualified players can be excluded from the tournament and all their prior games considered forfeits. Player check ins will be done prior to the Championship games only.

THE COACHES ARE RESPONSIBLE TO MAKE SURE THEIR PLAYERS ARE PROPERLY EQUIPED WITHOUT JEWELRY, WRIST BANDS, AND METAL HAIR PINS ETC. If a player is on the field without shin guards, or with metal hair pins the officials will send them off the field and no substitution can be made nor the player return to the field until a stoppage of play, and then allowed only with a referee’s permission. So, your team would be playing a man down until the next stoppage!

All challenges of player eligibility MUST be made BEFORE start of second half to a referee.


  • Important match details

Team list

  • The number each player has on the roster must be the same as the number of the shirt.
  • All players on the roster are considered as if they have participated in the game.
  • Random checks of rosters and Participants’ lists will be carried out.

Players’ uniforms

  • All team shirts must be numbered and the numbers must correspond to the numbers on the roster. Numbers must be on the backs of the shirts. Two players may not use the same number in any given match.
  • Home team will wear a LIGHT-colored jersey and away team will wear DARK color jersey’s. (Home team is listed 1st in scheduled games)
  • If the referee decides that one team should change shirts due to similarity to the opposing team’s shirts, the team appearing last on a scheduled game must change, or the “away” team.



  • NO HEADING ALLOWED by any U7, U8, U9, U10, U11, or U12 players – No heading allowed in games with LESS than 11 V 11 players on the field.
  • For 7v7 play: Build Out Line –The build out line promotes playing the ball out of the back in a less pressured setting

When the goalkeeper has the ball, either during play (from the opponent) or from a goal kick, the opposing team must move behind the build out line until the ball is put into play.  Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball into play (punting is not allowed)  After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build out line and play resumes as normal


Before game

  • All teams must be ready at the field no later than 15 minutes before kick-off.
  • HOME TEAM IS AWARDED BALL AND DIRECTION TO START THE GAMES – except in Semi-Final & Championship games, coin toss prior to start.
  • The team manager must make sure that his players are adequately insured.
  • All players MUST wear shin guards.
  • The teams are responsible for their supporters’ conduct.



  • Balls

U6-U8 Size 3

U9-U12 Size 4

U13 and older Size 5

All teams must be ready to provide 3 suitable soccer balls for the games, but it is the responsibility of the HOME team (listed first on the game schedule) to provide the balls.


  • Referees

For U13 and older (11 v 11 games), Referees are certified by USSF. There will be assistant referees

For U9 – U12, there may be 1 or more referees, but that will be up to the availability of the referee’s pool.

For U6 – U8, 1 referee per game.



  • Tournament Jury, Protest

The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with the play are final. (FIFA rule no. 5) No measures will be taken on protests on decisions made by referees.

PROTEST of game results or Referee decisions are not allowed.

The jury of the tournament consists of assigned members of the Soccer Festival Inc. The jury handles complaints. Their decisions cannot be appealed.



  • Cautions and Sending-Off Offences
  • Any player given a red card is automatically suspended from participation in the following match.
  • The tournament jury can decide about suspension for further game(s).
  • Yellow cards are notcumulative in the tournament: except per single game; if a player is given two yellows in 1 game that still equals a RED.
  • Severe offences will be result in player and/or team being expelled from the tournament.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If a player that is suspended is found to be participating in a game, the team with the suspended player losses automatically the game with 4-0.



  • Sportsmanship and Conduct

Good sportsmanship shall prevail. Coaches are responsible for the conduct of their players, parents and spectators. ALL PERSONS MUST REMAIN AT LEAST THREE (3) FEET BEHIND THE TOUCH LINES.

Coaching shall be done from an area ten (10) yards either side of the mid-field line.

Coaches and Managers are responsible for their supporters’ behavior. In extreme circumstances of unacceptable behavior by your team’s supporters, offending supporters may be asked to leave the premise. This may also result in your entire team being expelled from the tournament. NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN.





  • Game Forfeitures and Game Abandonments

13.1 Any team not appearing at the appointed time and place for a match without a valid excuse can be declared looser by 4-0, after a decision by the jury. If a team repeatedly fails to appear at the games, the team may be excluded from the tournament. In special cases, the tournament jury may decide to exclude a team at the first offence, i.e. if a deliberate W/O favors the own team or is unfair to another team in the group.

13.2 If a match is interrupted for some reason and can’t be played to the end the jury will decide if the game has to be replayed, if the result will be fixed or if one of the teams or both teams lose 4-0.


  • Match fields

All the playing fields are grass or artificial turf.

  • Organizer

The Soccer Festival LLC organizes the tournament which is sponsored by soccer club listed on the sanctioning document.

  • Regulations for accommodation


  • The team manager as indicated on the Participants’ list is responsible for any damage caused by his/her players.
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages is absolutely forbidden in the playing venues.
  • Before departure you have to clean up the area used by your players and supporters.
  • Smoking is prohibited in the playing venues.



  • Insurance and responsibility

Participants must have primary personal medical insurance. Make sure that all your players are insured both on and off the playing field. Soccer Festival Inc carries only an injury SECONDARY insurance policy, but does NOT carry insurance for protecting participants including but not limited to cases of illness, theft or damage to property. Soccer Festival Inc. is in no way responsible for injury or economic loss which may arise from the tournament and in the case of war, warlike events, civil war, revolution or civil disturbances or because of the actions of the authorities, strikes, lockouts, blockades or similar events.


  • Inclement weather or unexpected termination of play

Matches will be played in all weather conditions, unless the Center Referee or Tournament Director determines the conditions are dangerous and/or life threatening as per FIFA/USYSA/USYSNV regulations. The tournament standings at that time will be final.

Contingency Plan:

Plan A: All matches will be played as scheduled

Plan B: Shorten all first-round matches to 15 min. halves.

Plan C: Plan B, plus shorten all second round matches the same.

Plan D: Plan C, plus shorten all third round matches the same.

Plan E: In the event the fields become totally unplayable or the weather becomes hazardous condition, it may be necessary to decide some matches with FIFA penalty kicks.

  • 20. DISPUTES

The Tournament Committee shall settle all disputes and their decision is final. NO protests will be allowed. Any verbal abuse directed at committee members, referees or other volunteers would result in suspension and ejection of your entire team from the tournament, and may include the forfeit of all remaining matches.


The Tournament Committee is the final authority in ALL matters!

**We apologize for any misspelled words, omissions, or typographical errors in this document. **



At times, the match up of teams is such that the games are overly lop sided which the tournament has no control over. We recommend coaches of the better team discuss with the opposing coach and…

  1. agree on the final score of the game to be the maximum effective score for the tournament; then
  2. offer the opposing coach the option to add more players on to the field so more players get to play and the game may become more of a training exercise for both teams.