Rules

REGISTRATION AND TEAM ELIGIBILITY

The WCSA College Invitational is open to teams that are registered to and affiliated with their state or national organizations which, in turn, are affiliated with FIFA. Applications are invited from teams that are duly registered with their State, Provincial, or National Associations. All teams and players accepted will have their rosters and players verified by their State, Provincial, or National Associations. Only approved players with player passes shall be allowed to play. Falsification of player registration forms, team rosters, player passes or other records used in the tournament shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including disbarment for the individual(s) involved and disqualification of the teams involved. All teams will determine age eligibility of their players using their birth year. Teams from outside of the United States must also conform to these guidelines.

All games will be played at the Lebanon Sports Complex in Lebanon, Ohio. The Tournament will be played April 9-11, 2021.

Coaches should bring player/coach cards, medical release forms and concussion certificates of compliance with them to every game.

Teams should mail the following official team information in with their registration materials.
A. FOR TEAMS FROM THE UNITED STATES:
1. The Players must present picture identification cards issued by the team’s Federation Organization Member (USYS, AYSO, other)
2. Teams must provide proof of approval of the team’s participation from the team’s Federation Organization Member.
3. Teams from outside the State Association, Ohio South Youth Soccer Association, where the tournament is located must provide proof of permission to travel. Teams must be in good standing with their Federation Organization.

B. INTERNATIONAL TEAMS – For a team coming from a CONCACAF nation:
1. Players must present passports at registration or, if from a nation that the United States does not require a passport, proof of entry into the United States that is required by the United States.
2. Teams are required to have and present player picture identification cards.
3. Teams must have a completed form from its Provincial or National Association approving the team’s participation in the tournament.

IMPORTANT ISSUE: CONCUSSION LAW
In order to protect young athletes, the State of Ohio has passed a concussion law, commonly called the “Return to Play” law. Therefore, all Ohio Tournaments are responsible for monitoring and tracking compliance with the concussion training requirements of the “Return to Play” law. Each coach (head coach and assistants) must receive approved concussion training prior to April 26, 2014 and that training must be renewed every three (3) years (see O.R.C. 3707.511 (c) (1)). All tournaments are required to collect and maintain certificates of compliance from the coaches.
1. All coaches MUST complete the Concussion Training Course from either NFHS (preferred) or CDC and submit a COPY of the completed certificate to the tournament. Both online courses are FREE of charge!
2. Coaches must also carry their certificate COPY of compliance with them during the event.
3. Coaches are also required per Ohio law, to have distributed a COPY of the Parent Concussion Information Sheet to the parents of all team players.
If these 3 items are not satisfied, those coaches will NOT be able to coach at this event.
Ohio’s Return to Play law features three (3) key rules that its leagues, coaches, referees, officials, and athletes and their families must abide by:
Rule One: Coaches, referees or officials must remove from play an athlete exhibiting the signs and symptoms of a concussion during practice or a game. (See O.R.C. 3707.511 (D) (1).)
Rule Two: The athlete cannot return to play on the same day that he or she is removed after exhibiting signs of a concussion. (See O.R.C. 3707.511 (E) (1).)
Rule Three: The athlete is NOT permitted to return to play until he or she has been assessed by a physician or licensed health care provider approved by the youth sports organization and received WRITTEN clearance. (See O.R.C. 3707.511 (E) (1).) The tournament shall retain the written clearance form as evidence of compliance with this obligation.

PLAYER AGE & ELIGIBILITY

A player must be legally registered to his/her team in accordance with their national registration requirements with a current and valid player pass that verifies their team and date of birth, including current player photo ID. Player passes will be presented to the referee or tournament official before each game. All player passes will be checked by the credentials committee prior to the tournament. Any guest players must have current player passes to participate in the tournament.

Ages:

U14 born after 1.1.2007
U15 born after 1.1.2006

U16 born after 1.1.2005

U17 born after 1.1.2004

U18 born after 1.1.2003

U19 born after 1.1.2002

TOURNAMENT FORMAT

All teams will play in the 11 v 11 format

ROSTER LIMITS AND GUEST PLAYERS
The following roster limits include guest players. 20 players can be rostered for teams playing 11 v 11 format but only dress 18 players. The roster submitted with the Tournament Registration paperwork will be the official roster for the Tournament and will be frozen and may not be altered. A player may only play for one team. No switching of teams will be allowed. Boys and girls teams play in separate divisions.

Four (4) guest players will be allowed for teams playing an 11 v 11 format. Guest player rosters (yours or ours) should be validated by your state association/country federation (if required by your association). Prior to the start of each game the referee shall check that each player has a current Federation player card and coaches card (if required by your state association).

PRE-MATCH CHECK-IN

Prior to the start of each match, the Field Marshall shall check that each team has the following: current player and coaches passes, Medical Release Forms, and approved guest roster (if applicable). The referee or tournament official will verify the identity of the players versus the team roster and/or player passes. The player’s equipment will be checked by the referee or assistant referee. The home team will change their jersey in the case of color conflict. The home team is listed first on the schedule. In no event will a player be allowed to participate if said player is not on the tournament approved roster. A player who arrives at the playing field after the pre-game procedure may not enter the game until after being checked by the referee or assistant referee for player pass and equipment. All shirt numbers of each player must be different.

HOUSING REQUIREMENTS

All out of town teams that are selected for participation in WCSA College Invitational must make hotel reservations for their entire team at one of the approved hotels listed on the hotel service website (www.stayplaymadesimple.com/page/Cincy-Challenge-2020).  In the event your team does not utilize our approved hotels, your team may not be accepted to participate in the tournament. This only applies to teams requiring hotel accommodations for the tournament.

RULES OF PLAY

All matches of the WCSA College Invitational shall be played according to FIFA “Laws of the Game” with the following modifications:

LAW -  DURATION OF THE MATCH

Preliminary, Semifinal, and Championship games will consist of two halves of equal length per the following:

Age Division

Preliminary/Semifinal Games

Final Games

Overtime Periods*

Halftime

U14

70 minutes

70 minutes

Two 10 minute periods

5 minutes

U15

70 minutes

70 minutes

Two 10 minute periods

5 minutes

U16

80 minutes

80 minutes

Two 10 minute periods

10 minutes

U17

80 minutes

80 minutes

Two 10 minute periods

10 minutes

U18

90 minutes

90 minutes

Two 10 minute periods

10 minutes

U19

90 minutes

90 minutes

Two 10 minute periods

10 minutes

* – Semi-final and final games only. No golden goal rule. If the games are still tied at the end of the second overtime period, they will be decided by penalty kicks (FIFA Laws of the Game).

The game clock will not be stopped because of injury to any player, except if deemed necessary by the referee. Due to the time allowed for the completion of all games, the clock should run continuously.

POST-MATCH

At the end of each game, the Referees and each coach will sign the official game cards verifying that the score shown on the card is correct, and turn it in to Field Marshall. Once signed, the score becomes official. Once the card is received at the headquarters tent, the failure of a coach to sign a card shall constitute a waiver of any error therein and the score shall be deemed official. The site scorer will be responsible for updating score board and website at www.cincychallenge.com.

SCORES and STANDINGS

Scoring summaries can be obtained at the headquarters site and on the internet at: www.warrencounty.sa.com/tournaments/wcsa-college-invitational. Bracket standings, leading to championship play, will be determined on the following basis.

Each team will be awarded three points for a win, one point for a tie and no points for a loss. In the event of ties in the group standing, the following procedure will determine the group winner/leader:

1. Team with the most wins (if tied, go to step two).
2. Winner of the game played between the two teams (if three or more teams are tied for the group lead, bypass step two and go to step three).
3. Highest number of total NET goals (goal differential). Maximum goal differential per game is three (3). (ie. for a score of 4-1, goal differential is +3 for the winner and -3 for the loser. For a score of 7-2, goal differential is also +3 and -3 as stated prior).
4. Fewest total goals allowed (gross)
5. Most defensive shut-outs
6. Penalty kicks (according to FIFA Laws of the Game) – when the results would allow a winner to advance to a semi-final or championship match.
7. Coin Toss. (Tournament Committee will determine how the coin flip will occur with the tied teams.)

FORFEITS
The score of a forfeited game shall be recorded as 2-0 in favor of the team not forfeiting, if;
1) the game has not commenced, or
2) the game has commenced and the non-forfeiting team has less than a 2-goal lead at the time of cessation.

If the non-forfeiting team has more than a 2-goal lead at the time of cessation, the score shall stand. Forfeiture will also be declared for a failure to begin play within ten (10) minutes of game time. Failure to complete a match or a team leaving the field during play may result in forfeiture. A team that has forfeited a game may not be declared a group winner or semi-finalist.

Tie Breakers in Semi-Final or Finals Matches – Two complete five-minute overtime periods for U-8 through U-11 age groups, and two complete ten-minute overtime periods for U-12 and older age groups. If the game is still tied after the second overtime period, penalty kicks will prevail.

PENALTY KICK ELIMINATION

Only players on the field at the end of the second over time period are eligible for penalty kicks. Coin flip will determine who will go first (visiting team calls the coin toss, winner of the coin toss has the decision to shoot first or second). Five penalty kickers per team. After the first round of 5 kicks, the team will continue to alternate shooters until there is 1 unmatched goal between opposing players. After all eligible players on the field of play have taken kicks, teams will start with their first kickers again and in the same order.

AWARDS

Individual awards for 1st and 2nd place in all divisions.

PROTESTS

Protests must be presented in writing to the tournament site headquarters (one will be located at each site) within 30 minutes of completion of the game and must be accompanied by a fee of $100 in cash. Referee judgment will NOT be a basis for protest. Coaches wishing to file a protest shall notify the referee of this intention as soon as possible but not later than 5 minutes after the conclusion of the game in question. The Protest Committee’s decision is final.

WEATHER

If the Site Director determines that the fields should be cleared, 3 long blasts on an air horn will signal that everyone should go to their cars. A signal of 3 short blasts will indicate that you may return to the fields. Games will be considered completed if the first half has concluded and play is stopped by either the Field Referee or the Tournament Directors. The score at stoppage of play will be the final game score. If the first half has not been completed and the game is stopped, every effort will be made to complete the game, or play to complete at least the first half and record the score as final. If the game is cancelled before it starts efforts will be made to reschedule the game. It is the responsibility of the coach to check the Tournament Headquarters for reschedule information. If rescheduling is not possible, and game cancellation creates a situation where teams within the division are unable to play equal number of qualifying games, the group winner will be determined on the basis of awarding the average tournament points earned in the other games, to the teams unable to complete an official game, followed by the tie breaking procedure if necessary. The team with the highest average points will be declared the winner of the group. IF there is a tie that cannot be resolved by point averaging, the advancing team will be determined by a coin toss, or penalty kicks, per FIFA as directed by the Tournament Directors. If the tournament is cancelled due to events beyond the control of the Committee, the tournament will not be required to make any financial remuneration.

COVID-19 REFUND POLICY

The WCSA Cincy Challenge adheres to all local, state and federal guidelines regarding Covid-19. The health and wellness of our players, volunteers and families is of our utmost concern. In the event that the tournament is cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic we will be offering full refunds of the registration fee that you had paid if you had registered and completed payment at the time of cancelation. This refund will only be given if the tournament is cancelled due to Covid-19. This refund policy does not pertain to any other cancellations outside the control of the tournament committee.

PARTICIPANT CODE OF CONDUCT

– Be respectful of the hotels and motels, keeping noise in the hallways to a minimum, refrain from kicking soccer balls inside any buildings and be respectful of others property. Should it come to the attention of the Directors that a person or persons has failed to follow these guidelines, the Director reserves the right to take immediate action. Said action, depending on the circumstances, may range from a warning, to a reduction in points in standing, to banning that team and/or team in its club from future participation.
– All coaches will remain within 20 yards of the centerline on their own half of the field.
– Spectators may be ejected from the park for improper conduct at the discretion of the tournament officials.
– NO ARTIFICIAL NOISEMAKERS INCLUDING AIR HORNS ALLOWED.
– NO PETS AND NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED

The final interpreter of the foregoing rules and regulations and also any matters not provided for in these rules will be the Tournament Directors, whose decisions shall be final.