RULES: This competition will run under the Holiday Cup laws set by the tournament director and by the FIFA Laws of the Game 2016/2017. FIFA laws will apply for anything not specified herein.

Tournament Management

1. Coach and/or Manager must be 21 years of age; and, must physically sit with their team during play.

2. Coaches/Managers are responsible for sportsmanship of their teams on and off the playing field.

3. Coaches/Managers are responsible for making sure that trash is removed from their bench area at the end of each game.  If you arrive to find a trashed-out area left by the previous game, please report this offense to the tournament director immediately.  Each offending team will automatically have one point deducted from their total round-robin points.

4. A player and/or coach-manager may be removed and suspended from the tournament if their conduct warrants ejection.  This action will be at the sole discretion of the tournament director in consultation with the Head of Referees .

5. Yellow Cards:  All Divisions–Mandatory sit and chill upon receiving a yellow card.  Player may re-enter at the discretion of the coach.

6. Traveling yellow cards are in use throughout the tournament for all divisions except elementary. A player must sit out the next game after receiving a second tournament yellow card. A player issued a third tournament yellow card  will be suspended for the next two (2) games and, at the discretion of the Tournament Director, may not be allowed to return for the balance of the tournament.

7. Game balls will be provided by the tournament. Elementary will play with a size 4 ball; all other divisions will use a size 5. The home team must wear pennies in case of a conflict of color. Pennies will be available at the tournament table. Shin guards are mandatory and must be covered with a sock.

8. Team benches will be located on the right side of the field house. The next teams on deck will stage their players behind the net (to the right of the entryway) to be designated by a sign: “Next Home/Away team”

9. The referee shall keep official game time.  Each game has a one-hour time slot during the round-robin seeding portion of the tournament, which includes a 5-minute warm-up, two 25-minute halves and a 5-minute halftime. Game time is forfeit time, unless, in the opinion of the referee, the game has a likelihood of commencing with sufficient players at the conclusion of the 5-minute warm up period. To keep the tournament on track, the referee may start the clock if both teams are sufficiently present but not ready to immediately start play after the 5-minute warm-up period. In case of a stoppage of play, the clock will not be stopped.

10. The winning team coach/manager or designee must confirm the winning game score at the tournament director’s table with the referee right after the game.  Referees will be responsible for filing the game score as soon the game is concluded.  Teams winning by more than 6 goals in elementary to high school divisions loose a point in round robin seeding standing.

  • Laws of the Game

11. Before a kick-off at the start of the match or extra time, a coin is tossed and the team that wins decides which goal it will attack in the first half of the match or the extra time. The other team takes the kick-off to start the match or the extra time. A goal can be scored directly from the kick-off. During kick-off, opposing players must be at least 5 yards away from the ball. The ball is in play when it moves in any direction.

The referee is responsible for signaling the start and end of the game, including half and overtime periods. Before starting the game, second half, and overtime periods, the referee signals to the tournament table to start the clock. The referee will signal the end of the half, overtime periods and end of the game.

12. Referee decisions regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.

13. Div I, Elementary:  8v8, 6 males and 2 females must be playing at all times.  Minimum # to begin game: 5 players, 3:2 gender ratio.  Maximum 12 Players per team.

Div II, Middle School: 7v7, 3 members of the opposite gender must be playing at all times. Minimum # to begin game: 5 players, 4:1 ratio.  Maximum 12 Players per team.

Div III, High School: 7v7, 3 members of the opposite gender must be playing at all times. Minimum # to begin: 5 players, 4:1 ratio.  Maximum 12 Players per team.

Div IV, V, VI—Senior, Masters and Classics: 7v7, 3 members of the opposite gender must be playing at all times. Minimum # to begin game: 5 players, 4:1 ratio. Maximum 12 Players for Senior Division. No Maximum for Masters and Classic

In the event that a team has no substitutes for one or both genders and one player is injured during play and cannot continue; or has been dismissed; the team will be allowed to continue the match shorthanded but with no less than 5 players. The opposing team will have the option to reduce to equate.

First Infraction of the Opposite Gender Rule: whistle blown when offending team regains possession of the ball.  Ball is moved to center and an indirect kick for the non-offending team resumes play.  Second and Subsequent Infractions:  indirect kick 5 yards outside the Penalty Area.

14. Free substitution is allowed throughout the game. The player being removed from the game must leave the field at or near the halfway line between the team benches and shall be off the field before the new player enters the game. Substitutes must enter the field at or near the halfway line between the team benches. Infractions of this rule shall result in an indirect kick to the opposing team from the location of the ball when the whistle was blown to stop play, taking into account rule 16 below.

15. Players may not play for two teams; they must commit to one team or be suspended for the balance of the tournament.  After a date set by the Tournament Director, players are not generally allowed to be added to team rosters.  However, in the interest of fair and equitable play, the Tournament Director may allow for roster additions on a case-by-case basis.

16. Unless specified in these rules, all free kicks follow FIFA Laws of the Game. For all infractions committed by the defending team within its Penalty Area and resulting in an indirect kick, the ball must be moved 5 yards outside the Penalty Area. For all free kicks other than a kickoff, players on the non-kicking team should not be closer than 10 yards from the ball.

17. A ball that hits the ceiling or structure above the field of play is considered out of bounds and an indirect kick is awarded directly below the point where the ball contacted the structure unless it hits the structure above the Penalty Area, then the indirect kick is taken 5 yards outside the Penalty Area from the area nearest to where the ball hit the structure.

18. For goal kicks or when the goalkeeper releases the ball in a throw or punt/drop kick, the ball must first bounce or be touched by a player before or by the halfway line.  A goalkeeper may choose to roll the ball and play it like a field player as long as the ball is not bouncing by the time it is kicked. If an infraction occurs, an indirect kick is taken from the mid-field.

19. Intentional passes to the goalkeeper will not be allowed unless the keeper plays the ball with his/her feet. Violation of this rule will result in an indirect kick taken 5 yards outside the Penalty Area.

20. Field players are strictly prohibited from sliding against an opponent and or slide tackling. Infractions of this rule will result in a direct free kick (PK if in the penalty area), and a yellow/red card if warranted based on the referee’s opinion. A goalkeeper is allowed to slide within the Penalty Area; however a goalkeeper may not slide tackle. Slide tackling by the goalkeeper inside the Penalty Area will result in a penalty kick being awarded to the attacking team.                                 

21. Tie/Won Games and Overtimes:  Ties will stand in the round-robin seeding portion of the tournament; teams are awarded 1 point for a game ending in a tie and 3 points for a win.

Overtime periods will occur in the bracket phase portion of the tournament as follows:

Five minute overtime—if still tied…

Three minute sudden death overtime, no switching sides —if still tied…

Kicks from the Penalty Mark (KFPM): A coin is tossed and the team that wins decides to kick or defend first.

  • Only players on the field at the end of the second OT are eligible to participate in KFPM.
  • Because of time constraints, goalkeepers may not be substituted after the start of the final overtime.  The goalkeeper of the last sudden death overtime must be the keeper during the PKs.
  • If the teams are of unequal numbers, the team with more eligible players must “reduce to equate” on a gender-by-gender basis.
  • Both teams take five initial kicks alternately.
  • Each kick is taken by a different player and all eligible players (including goalkeepers) must take a kick before any player can take a second kick.
  • If, before both teams have taken 5 kicks, one has scored more goals than the other could score, a winner has been determined and no more kicks need be taken.
  • Kicks from the mark proceed past the initial round of five if the score is still tied after five kicks by each team. At this point, a winner has been determined if one team has scored in its pair but the other team has not.
  • If kicks from the mark proceed beyond all eligible players into a second or subsequent round, players are not required to kick in the same order as in any previous round, however all eligible players must take a kick before any player can take a subsequent kick .

22. The penalty mark is at 10 yards from the mid-point of the goal posts, coinciding with the penalty box boundary.

23. There is no offside in this Holiday Cup tournament.

24. A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player (including Jewelry).

Changes to this year’s HC

  • Players on the non-kicking team should not be closer than 10 yards from the ball during free kicks – Section 16

Referee Signals for Direct and Indirect Free Kicks

      DIRECT Free Kick                                                INDIRECT Free Kick