Tournament Rules

 Hazlet United Soccer Association

Annual Columbus Day Classic

Rules and Code of Conduct



All tournament games will be played in accordance with the Laws of the Game as issued by FIFA unless modified herein.  The following statements of Rules and Regulations supplement the laws of the game.


Age and Eligibility

Competition is open to teams composed of not more than eighteen (18) players for full-sided, 14 player for small-sided, including guest players, who are registered with their respective state/provincial or national association.  Birth dates must be in accordance with the latest USYSA ruling.  Teams from outside NJ must have permission to travel form signed by their association.   Player passes authorized by their respective state/provincial or national association will be verified at team registration. Any team found using or utilizing a player born before the divisional year will forfeit all games.



  • Players, Coaches or Spectators:
    • Coaches are responsible for the conduct of spectators from their team.  The Tournament Committee reserves the right to suspend any player, coach or team from the tournament for unruly behavior.  Any physical or verbal abuse towards a referee or a tournament official during and after game play may be subject to review by the Tournament Committee and may result in the forfeiture of game.
    • Players, Coaches or Spectators ejected from a game by the Referee must leave the field area.  Play will be suspended until this happens.  If there is a refusal, the game will be forfeited by the team who has made the refusal.
    • Regardless of age/division, players and coaches from both teams will occupy the same side of the field, and parents and spectators from both teams will occupy the opposite side of the field.
    • Alcoholic beverages and pets are not permitted at any game site.


  • Red Cards:
    • Coaches and Players are expected to conduct themselves within the spirit of the game as well as the letter of the law.  Players and coaches ejected from a match (Red Card) must sit out the remainder of the match plus his/her team’s next tournament match.  No substitutions may be made for an ejected player during the match in which the ejection occurred.
    • Red Cards issued after the end of regulation play are subject to review by the Tournament Committee and a more serious penalty may be imposed.  Incidents of misconduct will be reported to the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association.


Fields and Game Equipment

  • The size of the field will be whatever the physical arrangements permit.
  • Teams must check in at the game site thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled start.
  • Spectators must remain behind specifically designed lines which will be drawn on the field a minimum of 3 yards from the touch line.  No spectators will be allowed to remain behind or near the goal lines.
  • Soccer shoes must meet FIFA specifications.  Shin guards must be worn by players or they will not be allowed to play.  Socks must be pulled up to cover shin guards.
  • All teams must wear uniforms with numbers and the numbers coincide with the game card.
  • No two players on the same team wearing the same number may play on the same field at the same time.  If such a situation occurs, both players will be sent off the field and a substitution will be permitted until the numbers are changed.
  • In the event of a color conflict, the home team will change jerseys.  The home team is the team listed first on the schedule.
  • No jewelry will be worn.  This includes, but is not limited to, earrings, watches, necklaces, bracelets and rings.  Medical Alert notification is permitted.
  • Eyeglasses should be either sports goggles type or made of safety glass or plastic and must be held in place with some type of elastic band.
  • A player will not wear anything that is considered dangerous to another player in the opinion of the referee.
  • A player wearing an orthopedic cast will not be allowed to participate.
  • U8 and U10 will be one single referee 
  • U11-U17 will be a three man referee crew


Failure to Show and Forfeits

  • A team will be allowed a 5 minute grace period after the scheduled kick-off in the preliminary rounds before the match is awarded to their opponent.  A minimum of 7 players constitutes a team, and if 7 players are present the match will not be delayed.  If during the course of a match a team falls below the minimum 7 players, the game will be forfeited to their opponent.  The score at the time of the forfeiture will stand.
  • A team that has forfeited a game will not advance to the finals
  • A forfeit in the preliminary rounds will be awarded as 3 points for a win


Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather the Tournament Committee will have the authority to change or cancel games as follows:

  1. Relocate or reschedule any games
  2. Change the duration of any game
  3. Cancel any game which has no bearing on the selection of division winners or second place finishers

In the event the entire tournament is cancelled before the start of the tournament, teams will be refunded 80% of the registration fee



The keeper must adhear to the six-second rule.  There will be no charging the goalkeeper.


Length of Match

  • Age groups U-8 - U10  will play 25 minutes halves (4 games guaranteed)
  • Age groups U11-U12 will play 25 minute halves ( 4 games guaranteed)
  • Age groups U-13 -U17  will play 30 minutes halves ( 3 games minimum with play off if team advance)
  • Half time will be 5 minutes long
  • The Tournament Committee reserves the right to shorten any game



Free substitution with a referee’s permission may be made at the following times:

  • At any stoppage of play.

 DELIBERATELY HEADING THE BALL (U11 Age Groups and Younger) 

Players in U11 and younger age groups my not deliberately head the ball in soccer matches.

• If a player deliberately heads the ball and the ball remains in play, the referee will immediately stop play and restart with an indirect free kick as per Law 13.

• If a player deliberately heads the ball and the ball immediately goes out of play, the referee will restart in accordance as to how the ball went out of play (throw-in, goal kick, corner kick, kick-off)

• If a player is inadvertently struck in the head with the ball, there is no rule infraction. However, if the referee will follow current practice and if the player is deemed injured, the referee will immediately stop play, have the player removed and restart with a drop ball. In all cases the referee will assess the player to determine if the player is injured.

Notes: A goal may not be scored by attacking player that deliberately heads the ball.

U8 - to U10 games will follow all rules for the build out line.  The build out line is used to promote playing the ball out of the back in an unpressured setting. 

Denying an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity does not apply to heading the ball as this action is not a foul.

Referees will enforce these rules for the U11 age groups and younger. It is the responsibility of the team's coach/manager to ensure any player aged 10 or younger who may be "playing up" on a U12 or older team, will not head the ball during the game. 


Match Stoppage

The referee may suspend play due to misconduct by players, coaches or spectators of that team.  A victory will be awarded to the opposing team with a final score of 0-3.  See Conduct section of the Rules and Code of Conduct.


If a match is suspended due to weather, the following conditions apply:

Prior to the end of the first half:

  • The game will be rescheduled or result in a 1-1 tie

At or after half-time:

  • The score at the time of stoppage will be the final score


The games will be played with running time – the Referee will not add time for injury.


Game and Score Reporting


Coaches will be responsible to see that games scores are reported correctly at the conclusion of each game.  The winning coach will sign the game card. 

Preliminary games ending in a tie will remain as such.  Overtime periods will not be played in the Championship match or any other match.  In the event of a tie at the end of a Championship match the game will go straight to 5 goal shoot outs.

All teams must check in fifteen (15) minutes prior to their scheduled games. 


Participation awards will be given to all participants in the U8 through U10 age groups

There will be no standings and/or the recording of scores in the U8 through U10 age groups

There will be no shoot outs.

All players will receive participation awards.  In accordance with NJYS rules there will be no standings or scorekeeping for any u8-u10 small-sided soccer games.

 U11-U12  will receive Trophys for First and Second

Determination of Winners

1. Won/Loss/Tie Points are awarded as follows:

  1. Win = 3 points
  2. Loss = 0 points
  3. Tie = 1 point


In the case of a forfeit, the winning team will be awarded 3 game points.  To be awarded point for a forfeit, the team must be present at the field and ready to play.


2. The winner is the team with the most points.  The following tie-breakers will be used only if a tie exists:

a. Head-to-Head (only in a two way tie)

b. Most Wins

c. Fewest Goals Allowed

d. Bonus Points


3. In the case of a 4-team flight total points after 3 matches will determine who plays in the championship and consolation matches.

a. If a tie still exists after the end of the match, then one (1) round of penalty kicks will determine the winner. 

c. If a tie still exists, then Co-Champions will be declared.

In U-8 -U10 flights (small-sided) no standings will be kept and there will be no tie-breakers.  All ties will stand and all players will be awarded participation awards.

In U11-u18 flights there are standing for first and second place .   


Bonus Points:

Bonus points are only considered in the event of a standings tie after all game points are awarded and tie breakers are exhausted.

  • Awarded for goal differential to a maximum of 3 points in a game.
  • Loss of 1 point for goal differential of greater than 6 goals
  • Loss of 1 point for issuance of each Red Card


Refund Policy

After a team is accepted to the tournament refunds will only be made if the tournament is cancelled due to adverse weather conditions, field usage, or Acts of God.  Refunds will be up to 80% of the registration fee as determined by the sole discretion of the Tournament Committee.



There will be no protests.  The Tournament Committee will rule on all matters pertaining to this tournament.



  • All decisions of the Referee are final
  • The Tournament Committee reserves the right to decide all matters pertaining to the tournament and their decisions are final
  • The Tournament Committee and the Hazlet United Soccer Association will not be responsible for any expenses incurred by any team or spectator in relation to the tournament
  • All teams should be prepared to exchange patches after each game
  • Golf Cart Policy: You must have a valid New Jersey Drivers License to operate a Golf Cart at Tournaments