Tournament Rules

Please ensure you read these carefully as they may differ in some respects from your local league and are non-negotiable on the day

1. Playing Area. Pitches will have dimensions of 45m x 30m except for U6s which will be 35 x 30. The penalty area will be marked by a semi-circle except for U6s when a line across the pitch may be used instead.

2. The Ball. For each game the first-named team must provide a match-quality ball. The ball will be size 3 for U6s to 9s, size 4 for U10s to U14s, and size 5 for U15s.

3. Number and Ages of Players. All players must have been under their respective ages before 1.9.2019, e.g. U7 = under 7 on 1.9.2019. However, children reaching the age of 6 during the season can be registered to play at U7s (only).

All age groups will play 6v6 from a named squad of up to 9 players. – No extension beyond that will be permitted and breaches could result in penalties on the day.

No player may play for more than one team in any age group. All the 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 or will not be allowed to play. Goalkeepers must wear a distinguishing playing strip. No team will be permitted to play in a strip featuring solid black front or rear. 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. Both trainers and football boots are allowed.

5. Referees. Each match will be controlled by a referee who will have 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 and 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 normally 8 minutes long with no half-time. Finals are 10 minutes long with no half-time. In the event of a no-show or gap in a conference, games will be extended, normally to 11 minutes.

8. Start and Restart of Play. The team named first in the schedule will have choice of kick-off or ends. A kick-off is taken by kicking the ball either backwards or forwards at the centre of the playing area to start the game and after a goal, but a goal cannot 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 U6 – U8) and will be punished by a free kick where the infringement took place (i.e. where the goalkeeper picked up the ball). Fly-kicking is not allowed to 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:

  1. the result of any game between the two teams
  2. the most wins
  3. the most draws
  4. the most goals scored
  5. the least goals conceded
  6. 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 and the teams may switch one of these players as goalkeeper.  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 or playing while suspended 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. All misconduct will be notifiedto the relevant County FA.

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. Throw-in. A throw-in is awarded if the whole of the ball passes over the touch line to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball when it was in play. The throw-in is taken from the place where the ball crossed the touch line. Players of the offending team must not attempt to obstruct the player taking the throw-in. The player who takes the throw-in may not play the ball again until it has been touched by another player. A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.

(U6 – U8).  As for U9 to U16s except the throw-in can be either under-arm or overhead.

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 5 yards from the ball until it is in play. Fly-kicks are not permitted in open play.

16a. (U6 – U8)There are no goal kicks for U6 – U8s and the ball must be delivered into play by an under-arm throw from any point within the penalty area.

16b. Retreat Line. For U7 – U10s all opponents must retreat behind the half-way line for all goal kicks or under-arm throw-ins for U7s and U8s unless the goalkeeper opts to deliver the ball early.

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

18. Over Head Balls. For U6 – U8s the ball is not allowed to be deliberately kicked above the head height of the referee except at corners – infringements will result in a free kick to the non-offending team and any goals scored as a direct result disallowed.