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Tournament rules

AYSO AREA 2-A Silicon Valley

Serving Northern Santa Clara and Southern San Mateo Counties
Playing Rules, Guidelines, and Policies
Governing Inter-regional Play


IX. Addendum for Area Tournament Play (including Madison League play-offs): All regular season rules apply unless otherwise indicated.
The purpose of this addendum is to provide a consistent set of rules that govern area tournament play and play-offs. Tournament directors should seek the advice and consent of the Area Director before modifying these rules or instituting additional rules that may conflict with these rules. The Madison League Coordinator for U16/19 play is the named tournament director for play-offs in those divisions.

1. The Area board is responsible for determining:
(a) The weekend for all Area tournaments,
(b) Which age and gender divisions to support (generally U12 and above),
(c) Which region is to host each age and gender division,
(d) The number of teams in each division (nominally 16), and
(e) The allocation of teams from each region to the division tournament

2. The host region of a tournament is meant to:
(a) Appoint a tournament director who serves at the approval of the Area Director,
(b) Provide adequate fields and related equipment to support the tournament, and
(c) Organize the games, referees, and other items necessary to provide a fun, safe, and fair tournament for all to enjoy

3 omitted as it applies only to the Madison League. 

4. The area will cover the costs of and generally arrange for the awards and a participation gift. Host regions are encouraged to enhance this with token gifts for referee volunteers as well. Host regions are expected to cover other costs they may incur otherwise.

5. A region may choose its representative team(s) to the area tournament by any reasonable means consistent with AYSO rules and philosophies. However, each team must consist only of their regular season team members assigned to that team. No members may be added or dropped and no teams may be formed specifically for the tournament unless approved in writing by the Area Director with documented cause.

6. The Tournament Director shall have jurisdiction over all games played in the tournament. All disputes will be resolved immediately by the Tournament Director or as soon as possible thereafter.

7. Rosters should be provided as soon as feasible to the tournament director but not later than 6 days before the tournament. Rosters previously approved and stored in a region management system accessible to the tournament director can simply be referred to if certified by the regional commissioner as accurate. Tournament directors should try to get schedules out to the teams no later than five (5) days before the tournament but preferably at least ten (10) days before.

8. Play on the first tournament date will consist of pool play. The winners of pool play will advance to play on the second date. Whenever possible, the first date will be a Saturday and the second date will be the next day. All teams that advance to play on the second date should play the same number of games. Tournament directors should distribute teams with better records and from the same region among the pools as best as may be determined. Pools are created by dividing the teams into reasonably and similar size groups; nominally 4 pools of 4 teams each. Each team in a pool plays every other team in a pool (i.e. round-robin play). Points are awarded for each game result and the winner in points determines the winner of the pool. Tie game results are allowed in pool play games.

9. The winner of a pool is determined by the team with the most points. Pool play points are awarded as follows:
a. Six (6) points for a win,
b. three (3) points for a tie,
c. one (1) point for each goal (up to a maximum of three points per match).
d. Minus one (-1) for each send-off (i.e. red card) or coach dismissal,
e. One (1) point bonus for a defensive shutout.
Maximum point total for any game is ten (10). A 0-0 tie does not count as a defensive shutout for either team as the emphasis is on scoring goals. A forfeit is scored as 1-0 and the appropriate points calculated for each team. Pool play scoring is different from regular season scoring as we are trying to enhance point differences over fewer games. Numeric values are calculated per match and then summed across the pool play.

10. Tiebreakers: If two or more teams have a tie in points at the end of pool play, one team shall be eliminated by going through the ranked, winning criteria set below, and will continue until all other teams are eliminated.
a. Team record in Head to Head competition (only when two teams tied in points)
b. Least number of goals allowed
c. Most Goals Scored
d. Fewest Red Cards
e. Coin Flip by Tournament Director

11. The recommended format for the second date (pool play winners) and for Madison League play-offs is a single elimination ladder. The winner of each pool will play a semifinal against the winner of one of the other pools. The winner of each semi-final will play a final championship game. The losers of each semifinal will play a consolation game. For the second date, pool play can be used with the remaining four teams but is not recommended.

Tie game results in ladder play are not allowed. FIFA rules for determining the winner of a match are to be followed using two equal halves of 5 minutes each for extra time. If still tied, then Kicks from the Penalty Mark are used until the tie is broken.

12. No team should play more than three games in a day. Successive games for a team should have a break between them; nominally the duration of a game.

13. Duration of games may be shortened from regular season matches but should be no shorter than 40 minutes per half for U16 and above, 25 minutes per half for U14 and 20 minutes per half for U12. Games must be shortened if 3 games are played in the same day.

14. How to handle disruptions in the schedule due to weather or other influences are at the discretion of the tournament director.

15. Host regions should be ready to provide game balls and team pinnies at every field in case they are needed.

16. For Area Tournaments, line-up cards should be verified by the tournament staff at the beginning of the day's play. Verified cards should be marked so the referee knows the team has checked in and the line-up card has been verified as matching the roster.

17. Teams failing to show for a game to give their opponent an advantage in points will cause the region and coach to be sanctioned; possibly in the following season. Similarly, teams not playing to their full potential to bias the point score will be sanctioned by the tournament director for unsporting play.

18. The tournament director has the final authority to make any decision not covered by the rules. The Tournament Director may disqualify any team, at any point in the Tournament, if that team refuses to abide by the Rules and Regulations of the Tournament or the Tournament Directors' decision. The Area Director has the authority to remove a tournament director but otherwise only point out discrepancies with standard written policy and rules.