Tournament Rules

1. Playing Area. Pitches will have dimensions of 45m x 30m except for U7/U8s which will be 35m x 30m. The penalty area will be marked by a rectangle.

2. The Ball. For each game the first-named team must provide a match-quality ball. The ball will be size 3 for U7s
to 9s, size 4 for U10s to 14s, and size 5 for U15s and 16s.

3. Number and Ages of Players. All players must have been under their respective ages before 1.9.2015, e.g. U7 = under 7 on 1.9.2015. However, children reaching the age of 6 during the season can be registered to play at U7s (only). U7s and U8s teams may field 5 players from a named squad of up to 9 players. At U9s and above, teams may field 6 players from a named squad of up to 8 players. No player may play for more than one team in any age group. Any number of substitutes may be used at any time with the permission of the referee. Entry into the field of play will only be allowed during a stoppage in play. A player who has been replaced may return to the playing area as a substitute.

4. Playing Equipment. Players must wear shin guards. Goalkeepers must wear a distinguishing playing strip. In the event of a colour clash, the team named second in the schedule will be required to change their shirts, or wear bibs, or make other changes to avoid any colour clash. Shin guards must be covered entirely by the stockings. Players without shin guards will not be allowed to play. Both trainers and football boots are allowed.

5. Referees. Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which they have been appointed. The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play are final. The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at their discretion, provided that play has not restarted.

6. Assistant Referee. In finals, an Assistant Referee may be appointed to carry out duties as prescribed by the referee.

7. Duration of the Game. All matches with the exception of finals (and special circumstances as advised by the Tournament Director) are 8 minutes long with no half-time. Finals are 10 minutes long with no half-time.

8. Start and Restart of Play. The team named first in the schedule will have choice of ends. Their opponents will kick-off. A kick-off is taken at the centre of the playing area to start the game and after a goal. The ball must be played forward. A goal may be scored directly from the kick-off.

9. Goalkeepers. As per the laws of the game. Additionally, the laws concerning the back pass to a goalkeeper will apply (except at U7 and U8) and will be punished by a free kick where the infringement took place (i.e. where the goalkeeper picked up the ball). There are no restrictions on how the goalkeeper may release the ball.

10. Method of Scoring. As per the Laws of the Game, with the following points being awarded: 3 points for a win, 2 points for a score draw and 1 point for a 0-0 draw. Ties for league and conference places will be resolved in order by:

(a) the result of any game between the two teams
(b) the most wins
(c) the most draws
(d) the most goals scored
(e) the least goals conceded
(f) the drawing of lots by the tournament director.

Drawn matches in the play-offs will be resolved by penalties. Only players on the field of play at the final whistle may participate. The team named first in the schedule will take the first penalty. Each team will take 3 penalties alternately, using different players. If the scores are level, teams will continue to take alternate penalties, firstly by the remaining players and then in the same order as before, until one team scores and the other team fails.

11. Offside. There is no offside.

12. Fouls and Misconduct. Any player cautioned by the referee is suspended from playing in their team’s next match in the tournament. Any player sent off will take no further part in the tournament. Misconduct by club officials or supporters may result in sanctions determined by the tournament director being applied to their team, including deduction of points or forfeit of the result.

13. Free Kicks. All free kicks are direct and are awarded as per the Laws of the Game. Opposing players must be at least 3 metres from the ball.

14. Penalty Kicks. If a player or players commit an offence at the taking of a penalty kick, their team shall not be allowed to gain an advantage (i.e. the kick is retaken or the goal is allowed/disallowed depending on which team offended). If players of both the defending and attacking team offend, the kick shall be retaken.

15. Kick-in. A kick-in is awarded if the whole of the ball passes over a touch line, either on the ground or in the air. A kick-in is taken from the place where it crossed the touchline. The kick-in is awarded to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball. The player taking the kick-in may not play the ball a second time until it has touched another player. The ball is in play immediately after it is kicked or touched. The players of the defending team must be at least 3 metres from the place where the kick-in is taken. A goal cannot be scored directly from a kick-in.

16. Goal Kick. A player of the defending team kicks the ball from any point within the penalty area. Opposing players must remain at least 3 metres from the ball until it is in play. For U7s to U10s, all opponents must retreat behind the half-way line for goal kicks.

17. Corner Kick. Opposing players must remain at least 3 metres from the ball until it is in play.

18. Over Head Balls. For U7/U8s the ball is not allowed above the head height of the referee – infringements will result in a free kick to the non-offending team and any goals scored as a direct result disallowed.