FC COPA CUP - RULES OF PLAY

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General:
Teams must be duly registered with and in good standing with an appropriate governing body. Players must be instructed to compete in the spirit of the game and according to the laws of the game. FC Copa Tournaments shall use only USSF referees, in a three referee system at U11 and older to the fullest extent possible. Field Marshals will be assigned to fields and will assist in the safe and orderly completion of events, and should expect cooperation from all tournament participants.

Injuries:
In the event of an injury contact your field marshal or the tournament control center. An EMT will be dispatched to assist you.

Abusive Behavior:
While at the fields, any coach, parent, team official, player or spectator threatening violence or engaging in verbal abuse will be subject to ejection from the tournament and the team may be ejected from the tournament as well if appropriate. This type of behavior is not acceptable at this event and will not be tolerated.

SMOKING AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE NOT PERMITTED ON OR NEAR ANY PLAYING FIELD, ANY FOOD SERVICES OR ANY AREA WHERE THE PUBLIC CONGREGATES.

PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON OR NEAR ANY PLAYING FIELD OR EXTENDED AREAS DECREED BY TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS. SERVICE ANIMALS MUST BE CLEARLY MARKED AS SUCH.

IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH COACH / MANAGER TO INFORM THEIR PLAYERS AND PARENTS OF THESE GUIDELINES.


1. General Rules of the Game

a. All games shall be played under the laws set forth by F.I.F.A., except as modified by these rules.
b. US Soccer rules requiring the exclusive use of US Soccer registered referees shall be strictly enforced.


2. Registration and Eligibility


a. Tournament administrative offices for the direction of all administrative matters is FC Copa Academy 402 Main Street Suite 300, Metuchen NJ 08840. 732-662-5202. The contact person is Roberto Aguas -- roberto.aguas@fccopa.com

b. All teams must register at least one full hour before their first game at the Field Headquarters at the site of their first game. (Should a pre-Registration be made available, team managers will be notified by email communication.)
c. At initial registration each team shall provide a photocopy of the official team roster. The roster must include a uniform number for each rostered player and each guest / loan player, which must remain constant for the entire event and match the number on the Player Profiles submitted. If circumstances require a change in uniform number for any game, that change must be reported in advance to the
officials on-site.
d. At Check-in, one hour prior to game time, a team representative must present and leave a copy of the properly certified roster for the team for the event (specifically indicating which players will be participating each day of the event). The team representative must also present player passes with photo IDs for each participating player and an Authorization for Medical Treatment form (commonly referred to as a Medical Release) executed for each player. The Authorization must have been executed within the last twelve months and preferably should be notarized. Information will be presented to the site HQ registration desk designated as such at each venue at the event.
e. All players must be registered youth soccer players in good standing with an appropriate governing body. Players must either be on a team’s official roster or be an approved loan player or a guest player duly registered with a separate team.
f. Rosters submitted at registration for full-sided teams may contain up to twenty-two (22) players who will be deemed eligible to play for the team during the event, including any combination of both rostered players and up to five (5) guest / loan players from outside teams. For 9v9 teams, eighteen (18) players can be made eligible, including up to five (5) guest / loan players. For 7v7 teams, sixteen (16) players can be made eligible, including up to three (3) guest / loan players. Secondary passes are allowed, but count toward the guest player limit.
g. Up to eighteen (18) players may be in uniform and present on the team’s sideline technical area for any single full-sided game at the event. Sixteen (16) players may be in uniform and present on the team’s sideline technical area for any single small-sided 9v9 games. Fourteen (14) players may be in uniform and present on the team’s sideline technical area for any single small-sided 7v7 games. The players eligible to participate in any given game can vary from game to game at the event, provided all the players used are listed on the roster submitted at registration. Any player ineligible for a given game may not be in the vicinity of the team’s technical area if wearing a game jersey or team warm-up.
h. Players may only play with a single team during the course of an event. Should a player appear on more than one roster, the first team with which the player participates on the field shall be deemed the player’s primary team for the event. Should a player participate with more than one team, the player can be barred from further participation at the event with any team. Teams that allowed such player to participate can also be sanctioned with a forfeit in any game where such ineligible player was used, and the Tournament Committee may fashion such other remedies as are deemed appropriate under the circumstances.
i. All players on the same team, rostered or guest, must use Player Passes from the same governing body.
j. USA teams must present picture identification cards issued by the team’s Federation Organization member (USYS, AYSO, US Club, etc.). Teams must provide proof of approval for participation from the team’s Federation Organization. Teams from outside the State Association where the tournament is located must provide proof of permission to travel, if their governing body so requires.
k. Foreign teams must present a passport at registration or, if from a nation from which the United States does not require a passport, proof of entry into the United States in a form that is accepted by the United States. Teams must present player picture identification cards. Teams must have a completed form from its Provincial or National Association approving the team’s participation in the tournament.


3. Player’s Equipment and Field Regulations


a. All soccer equipment must adhere to FIFA laws. A player must not use equipment or wear anything
that is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewelry).
b. Shin guards are mandatory.
c. Knee braces, if worn, must be covered completely.
d. In general, rigid casts are not allowed. Some casts may be wrapped with a cushioning material to permit play. The Game Referee has final authority whether any cast is permissible in that game.
e. Players’ numbers must coincide with numbers listed on the roster.
f. All teams must have two sets of jerseys in contrasting colors. All players must wear matching color team shorts and team socks; one set of each will be acceptable for the team. Players can wear long sleeve undergarments, but all such gear must be the same color on a given team (which need not match the uniform colors).
g. In the event that team colors are similar, the home team will change colors. The home team is the team listed first or above on the schedule, if not explicitly designated.
h. Each team’s players and coaches shall take one side of the field, and all spectators shall take the opposite sideline. On the team’s sideline, the home team has the choice of side with respect to the centerline, and coaches and players must stay within their side.
i. On the spectators’ sideline, spectators are to remain behind the designated line. No one will be allowed behind either end line.
j. Player picture identification cards are expected to be checked by the referee prior to each match.


4. Substitutions


a. Unlimited substitutions are allowed, with the referee’s permission, at every stoppage in play (for example, throw-ins, goal kicks, corner kicks, after goals, upon stoppages for fouls, etc.) . Free substitution is allowed for all age groups unless teams are advised in advance otherwise.
b. Players must be clearly standing and waiting AT THE MID-FIELD LINE to be substituted (and not merely waiting “in the vicinity of mid-field”), and the referee’s assistant should be alerted, to the extent possible, of the request to substitute at the next stoppage of play.
c. Players standing at midfield should be substituted into the game at the next stoppage of play, unless they remove themselves from the mid-field position prior to the stoppage of play.

5. Game Duration, Number of Players & Ball Size


a. Games are two (2) halves of thirty (30) minutes each for ages U11 and older, and two (2) halves of twenty-five (25) minutes each for small-sided competition at U8 through U10.
b. U8 through U10 games will be 7v7. U11 and U12 small-sided games will be 9v9. U13 and older full-sided games will be 11v11.
c. FIFA Inspected/Approved size 5 balls shall be used at ages U-13 through U-19, and FIFA
Inspected/Approved size 4 balls shall be used at ages U-8 through U-12, to be supplied by the Tournament.


6. Forfeit


a. A ten-minute grace period will be allowed from scheduled kickoff time. Teams must be present and ready to play at the scheduled time or potentially forfeit the game. Nonetheless, Tournament officials are mindful that unforeseen circumstances may occur, and will have the option to shorten, reschedule or otherwise create such circumstances as will allow a game to be played on the field rather than be won by forfeit.
b. A minimum of seven players constitutes a team.
c. A forfeit will be recorded as a two to zero result.
d. The Tournament Committee will review abandoned games on a case-by-case basis.
e. No team that forfeits a game will be eligible to win any championship awards at the event.
f. The determination of the Tournament Committee is final.
g. In the event that a forfeit is anticipated, teams will NOT release their players until the team
manager has conferred with the Tournament Director / Committee. Teams must recognize that
the cancellation of a competitive game creates a lost developmental opportunity, and is disrespectful to teams that travel significant distances to attend the Tournament. (The Tournament Committee will consider numerous possibilities to permitting game action, including the possible availability of guest
players, mutual agreements to play 10v10, 9v9 or 8v8, or declaring a forfeit but then scrimmaging with guest players supplied by the opponent.)

7. Inclement Weather


a. All teams and coaches must show up at the scheduled field and time regardless of weather conditions, unless otherwise notified by a League Official. Failure to appear may result in a forfeit, which is scored as a two to zero loss, and may result in the rescheduling or loss of a team’s future games at the Tournament.
b. In the event of stoppage of play due to severe weather conditions, teams should retreat to a safe location; teams should ensure in advance that there is a means to communicate with team members in the event of stoppage. One team representative is required to report to the venue HQ fifteen minutes after stoppage has occurred, at which time notice will be provided whether the remaining schedule will be resumed, cancelled, modified or further postponed for another defined length of time, pending receipt of information allowing formulation of a definitive resolution. Do NOT assume comments by anyone other than Tournament personnel at HQ are authoritative on issues regarding the resumption or cancellation of the schedule in the event of stoppage.
c. In the case of inclement weather, the Tournament Committee has the authority to change, cancel or reschedule any game and / or its format.
d. The determination of the Committee is final.


8. Discipline


a. Coaches, players and spectators are required to conduct themselves within the Laws of the Game.
b. All disciplinary measures imposed by the Tournament Committee shall be limited to participation in the Showcase.
c. Notwithstanding section 8.b. above, cautions and ejections beyond the normal course of play (such as violent behavior, referee assault, outrageous conduct, racial, ethnic or sexual abuse) may be referred to, and in some cases are required to be referred to the appropriate league or governing body, which may pursue their own sanctions. This includes referral to the host league sponsoring the event.
d. A player or coach receiving a red card in a game will normally be suspended for one game. A player or coach accumulating 2 yellow cards in one game will be suspended for one game. Violent behavior may subject a player or coach to multiple game suspensions or ejection from the tournament. A player or coach receiving a single yellow card in multiple games will not be subject to a yellow card accumulation penalty. Suspended players and coaches will not be with the team during the next match(es). They can be on the opposite side of the field and watch the game as spectators, unless notified otherwise.
e. Spectators ejected from the field must leave promptly, and failure to do so may result in forfeiture of the game in which their team is participating and / or resort to civil authorities.
f. Additional penalties may be imposed, as deemed fit and necessary by the Tournament Committee.
g. Appeals and protests may be filed with the Tournament Committee immediately after the incident in question, and in all events before the next game involving the team in question is played. Such notices  shall be lodged at the HQ station designated at each venue. The determination of the Tournament Committee, should a review be granted, is final.


9. Standings and Championships


a. All game scores are recorded and will be posted on the website after the Tournament. During the event, manual scoreboards at HQ will be controlling, and any concerns about posted scores should be
brought to the attention of the scorekeepers at HQ as soon as possible, and certainly before the start of any subsequent game.
b. Game cards will be used by the referee to record game results and disciplinary actions. A team coach or team manager should approach the game referee following the game, verify the score and initial the game card. Field marshals will deliver the game cards to the HQ scorekeeper desk.
c. Where brackets are created for championship play, the following rules apply to Playoffs

Consolation Rounds:


1. Teams will normally only be scheduled for a maximum of one playoff or consolation game
during the tournament.
2. In an eight-team bracket, Group A first will play Group B first in a bracket Final.
3. In a six-team bracket, Group A first will play Group B first in a Final.
4. In a four-team bracket, Group A first will play Group A second in a Final.
5. In the event of a tie playoff game, only the Final requires a winner; in those instances, the teams proceed directly to PKs to determine a winner (See Section 9.d.8. for procedure).
6. In a five-team bracket, teams play a four-game round robin schedule without playoff rounds.
First and Second places are determined solely by standings after Group Play. See Section 9.f.
below.
7. Other-sized brackets may have alternative group and playoff game set-ups.
8. At U8, U9 and U10, consolation games may be scheduled to ensure all teams participate in at least two games each day.


d. Where brackets are created for championship play, the following rules apply to Group Play:


1. In Group Play, team standings are based on won-lost record.
2. Wins count for three points, ties for one point.
3. Forfeits are recorded as a 2-0 score.
4. In the event of tie between two teams, head-to-head results determine placement.
5. In the further event of a tie, goal differential determines placement, with up to plus-4 or minus-4
units awarded per game.
6. In the further event of a tie, accumulated goals scored with a limit of 4 per game determines
placement.
7. In the further event of a tie, accumulated goals against determines placement, favoring the
teams that allowed the fewest goals.
8. Finally, teams will conduct a Penalty Spot Shootout. Should a team fail to show up for the
scheduled shootout, the tiebreaker will be awarded to the team prepared to participate.


a. Each team will designate eleven players to take shots including one goalkeeper.
b. 5 initial shots per team, in an ABABABABAB pattern, until a decisive result is
reached.
c. If still tied, single alternating penalty kicks, in an AB/AB pattern, until a decisive result is achieved.
d. Shootouts may be assigned to a designated goal, separate from the field the game was played on, if necessary for tournament schedule purposes.


10. Communications


a. The official Tournament website is found at www.fccopa.com. Teams are responsible for accessing the website for schedules and other relevant information. The Schedule Homepage in GotSoccer.com will usually first display emergent updates during the event. Note that upon accessing a frequently updated web page, individuals should click Refresh on their web browsers to ensure that the information being accessed is the most current.
b. Teams must leave a cell phone number at the registration desk at the start of each weekend event, at check-in, as well as the name of their hotel if requested, to assist in communications in the event of weather-related issues. The Team Contact’s cell phone must be in operation over the course of the event.
c. Event officials will attempt to update the website, email and text team members, and call cell phone numbers to provide necessary information, but are not responsible for any failure to reach any given team or its members, during the course of an event.


11. General Information


a. Only USSF registered Referees will be utilized, assigned by a USSF certified Referee Assignor.
b. Coaches, players and their fans are expected to conduct themselves within the Spirit of the game. In this regard the Tournament Committee reserves the right to take disciplinary action as necessary.
c. Only individuals with a valid Driver’s License may operate a golf cart or other motorized vehicle at the event. No unauthorized use is permitted.
d. In the event that the tournament is cancelled prior to the start of play, teams will receive no less than a 70% refund of their entry fee, or a credit toward a future event, at their option. In the event that the tournament is shortened after play has commenced, any refunds or credits will be solely at the discretion of the Tournament Committee.
e. Under no circumstances will the Tournament Committee or staff be responsible for any part of any
other expenses, incurred by any team due to, but not limited to, part or whole cancellation of the
Showcase due to circumstances beyond the Committee’s control (e.g., weather, facility operations, road closings, etc.).
f. The Tournament Committee reserves the right to decide on any/all matters and its interpretation of these rules shall be final. No protests will be entertained. No team or team official shall claim that the Tournament Committee approved a divergence from the posted Rules and Regulations unless they can provide documentation of such approval in writing.
g. All teams shall shake hands at the end of each game as a gesture of friendship and sportsmanship.
h. Referee decisions may not be protested or disputed.
i. The Tournament Committee may photograph and / or video participants and spectators at the event, on the playing fields, in areas adjacent to the fields, at the medal stand and in food and event courts adjoining the event. Such images may be posted on websites and in social media, and used in connection with providing information about, and coverage of the event. No individuals will be identified by name in connection with such images, without their consent.
j. Teams, players, coaches and team officials acknowledge, by their participation in the event, that they have reviewed these rules and regulations as instructed in several communications and postings prior to the event, and that they will abide by said rules and regulations.