All games shall be played in accordance with FIFA Laws, except as specifically modified by these rules.
**Rules are subject to change and final version of rules will be available at the tournament.

Players on the Field, Rosters, and Eligibility:

All games are 7v7 (6 field players and a goalie). There must be at least 2 female players on the field at all times and this does NOT include goalkeeper; teams without one woman will play down.

A team must have 5 players physically present at game time or a forfeit will be called; the scorekeeper’s watch is the official time in establishing a forfeit.   

A team roster must consist of a minimum of 7 and a maximum of 15 players; the roster will be set at the time of kickoff for the first game of the tournament and may not be changed thereafter.

Each player on a team roster MUST sign a player waiver; a player will not be allowed to participate otherwise.

Participating teams will be required to wear the team t-shirts provided to them by America SCORES New York during all tournament games.

Offside: There will be no offside.
Ball:  A size 5 ball will be provided for each game.
Slide tackles are illegal; this also extends to goalkeepers who attempt to save the ball outside their area. This rule will be strictly enforced, first with a warning, and then with a yellow card.

Length of games:

All group games will be 15 minutes long with no half-time.

All semi-finals are 2 x 10 minute halves with a 1-minute break for turnaround of teams.

Finals and ¾ play-offs are 2 x 12 minute halves with a 1-minute break for turnaround of teams.

Games are started by referee whistle and finished as per schedule according to scorekeeper whistle.

Start of play:

The home team will kick off the match. The game will start with a team taking a place kick while the ball is stationary in the center spot of the field. After a goal has been scored the game shall be restarted in the same manner; the kickoff will be taken by a player of the team that did not score the goal.

A goal can be scored directly from a kickoff and from anywhere on the field.

Putting the ball back into play:

When the ball leaves the arena, it will result in an indirect kick, rather than a throw-in. If the ball hits the ceiling, it will result in an indirect free kick from the location it hit the ceiling. If this is inside the box, the ball will be moved outside of the box.

Goals can be scored directly from a goal kick and kickoff.

After a goalkeeper makes a save, they cannot throw the ball over the half-way line. If this occurs, it will result in an indirect free kick at the half-way line for the opposing team.

Referees may use their discretion regarding putting the ball back into play if they feel as though a team is deliberately time-wasting. When the ball is placed on the ground for a kick-in or corner kick, the team has four seconds to put it back into play, otherwise the referee can whistle for a delay of game infraction, resulting in an indirect free kick for the other team.


A player who intentionally commits one of the following infringements shall be penalized by the referee awarding a free kick to be taken by the opposing team from the point of infraction:

·         Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent

·         Trips an opponent

·         Jumps or throws themself at an opponent

·         Charges an opponent in a violent or dangerous manner

·         Charges an opponent from behind unless the latter is obstruction

·         Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent or spits at him (either a time penalty or EJECTION will be assessed)

·         Holds an opponent

·         Pushes an opponent

·         Slides in attempt to play the ball, whether touching an opponent or not

·         Handles the ball (i.e. carries, strikes or propels the ball with a hand or arm, except for the goalkeeper when in his/her goal area)

·         Obstructing an opponent when not playing the ball 


Yellow/Red Cards: 

Team captains are responsible for the actions of their teammates, coaches and spectators and should be the only player who addresses the referee.  If a team is deemed out of control and the captain is not able to resolve the situation, that team may be asked to withdraw from the tournament.

Anyone who uses profanity, displays poor sportsmanship, instigates and/or fights with another participant will be ejected. Anyone ejected must leave the field area immediately; any further harassment from an ejected player/coach may result in a forfeit.

An ejected player will not be allowed to play in their team’s next game (including any playoff games).

A player receiving TWO yellow cards (within the same game) will be ejected but will not have to sit out the following game.

Another player may replace an ejected player after the time penalty has elapsed (see rules: fouls/misconduct/penalties for more information on penalty times).

Any player receiving a YELLOW card will be required to make a $25 donation in support of good sportsmanship to America SCORES New York.

Any player receiving a RED card will be required to make a $50 donation in support of good sportsmanship to America SCORES New York.

A player shall be ejected from the playing field, if, in the opinion of the referee he/she:

·         Is guilty of serious foul play

·         Is guilty of violent conduct

·         Uses foul or abusive language

·         Is guilty of persisting in misconduct after being cautioned

A yellow card results in a two minute penalty for the player who has committed the infraction, with his or her team playing down a player for those two minutes. The time of the penalty is to be kept by the scorekeeper. 

A red card results in an expulsion of the player committing the infraction and results in his or her team playing down a player for five minutes. 

Yellow cards will result in a mandatory $25 donation and red cards in a $50 donation to America SCORES. 

Penalty Kicks:
If a player of the defending team intentionally commits one of the above offenses within his penalty area, he shall be penalized a penalty kick regardless of the position of the ball (as long as it is in play).

Goalkeeping Restrictions:

The following infractions shall cause the referee to stop play and award a free kick:

·         Passback – on any occasion when a player deliberately kicks the ball to his own goalkeeper, the goalkeeper is NOT permitted to touch it with his hands. This is an indirect free kick.

·         Six second distribution – a goalkeeper, with possession of the ball within the penalty box, must distribute the ball outside of the penalty box to another player within 6 seconds of gaining possession. Possession shall be defined as control with hand.

·         Handball outside area – Situations whereby the goalkeeper first handles the ball legally within the penalty box but the momentum of his actions carries him outside the penalty box shall not be deemed “severe in nature”, but will result in a direct free kick.

·         NO PUNTING.

Official decisions:

Once ejected, the player concerned may not re-enter the game, nor may he/she sit on the substitutes’ bench. He may only be replaced by a different player 5 minutes after the ejection occurred, regardless of whether a goal has been scored before the 5 minutes have elapsed. The 5 minutes is of running time. In the case involving a team being at less than three (3) players on a side due to a player serving a 2 minute penalty the following shall apply: penalties will be stacked.

Free Kicks:

Opposing players must give 4 yards on all sides from the point where the ball is to be kicked.

Penalty Kicks:

At the moment of the kick all players, with the exception of the goalkeeper and player taking the kick, must be outside the area.

The goalkeeper may move his/her feet prior to the ball being kicked, but must remain on the goal line.

The player taking the kick must kick the ball forward; he/she may not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player.

Corner Kicks:

Players of the opposing team may not encroach within 4 yards of the ball until it is in play. The player taking the kick shall not play the ball a second time until it has been touched or played by another player.

A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick.


The number of “on the fly” substitutions made during a match are unlimited, except in the case of a goalkeeper who can only be replaced when the ball is not in play. A player who has been replaced may return to the field as a substitute for another player. A substitution “on the fly” is one that is made when the ball is still in play, and for which the following conditions shall be observed:

·         The player leaving the field shall do so from the designated player entrance at midfield or as designated by the referee.  

·         The player entering the field shall not enter the field until the player leaving the field has completely passed over the touchline. The entering player must remain off the playing field until the exiting player leaves the field.

·         A substitute shall be subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the referee whether called upon to play or not.

·         A goalkeeper may change places with any other player, provided that in each case the referee has given permission and that the change is made during a stoppage in play.

·         If during an on the fly substitution the new player enters the field before the replaced player has exited, the referee will stop the game. The substitute player will be sent off, cautioned, and the game will restart with an indirect free kick to be taken by the opposing team from the spot where the ball was situated when the game was stopped. If inside the penalty area the kick will be taken from the spot on the penalty area box line nearest to the position of the ball before play was stopped.

Tie Games:

All preliminary games that end with a tie will remain as such, with each team receiving 1 point.

During the playoffs, a tie at the end of regulation will proceed directly to PENALTY KICKS, during which the following procedure will be used:

·         The referee shall determine at which goal all of the kicks will be taken.

·         The referee will toss a coin to determine who kicks first.

·         Three (3) kicks will be taken alternately by each team, by choosing amongst those five (5) players including the goalkeeper who are on the field at the conclusion of the period. In event that either team finishes the game with less than 5 players a substitute player will be chosen to bring up the number of players taking the penalty kicks to five (5).

·         If, after both teams have taken three (3) kicks, both sides have scored the same number of goals or haven’t scored any goals, the taking of the penalty kicks shall continue in the same order, until such time as both have taken an equal number of kicks and one team has scored a goal more than the other (not necessarily three (3)).

·         Any additional penalty kicks will be taken by the substitute players, including the goalkeeper. After these players have taken a kick, the players mentioned above shall continue in the same order.

·         Any eligible player may change places with the goalkeeper in the event of a LEGITIMATE injury.

·         While the penalty shoot-out is in progress, all players shall be on the playing field, on the opposite half to that where the penalty kicks are being taken. The scorekeeper will control this area of the field and the players who are positioned here.

Group Stage Tie-Breaker Rules:

The ranking of each team in each group will be determined as follows:

1) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
2) head-to-head results;
3) least number of yellow/red cards accumulated in all group matches (1 point per yellow, 2 points per red)
4) goal difference in all group matches (maximum differential of 10 per game);
5) least number of goals allowed in all group matches;
6) shut-outs

If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above criteria, their rankings will be determined as follows:
1) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
2) least number of goals allowed in all group matches between the teams concerned;
3) drawing of lots by the Scores Commissioner

Player Equipment:
No player may wear anything that could injure another player or themselves (jewelry). Either cleats or turf shoes are recommended, but metal studs are strictly prohibited. Shin guards should be worn by all players at all times.
Goalkeeper Equipment:
Goalkeepers must wear an identifiable jersey provided by his or her team. The jersey color must be different than that being worn by either team.