MTOC Rules and Procedures
Congratulations to all of the teams participating in the 30th Annual Massachusetts Tournament of Champions and a tradition of high quality competition and a high degree of sportsmanship. Qualifying for the MTOC is an achievement of which all participants should be extremely proud and each team should be extremely honored to represent their league. MTOC is founded on the observance of the Spirit of the Game. Sportsmanship, fair play and respect for fellow players, coaches, spectators and referees are values we hold in high regard.
TOURNAMENT RULES AND PROCEDURES
A. TEAM REGISTRATION
Each league is required to fill assigned slots for the MTOC. Failure to fill a slot will result in a fine to the league of $1,000 per slot. Teams should report to the Field Pavilion at least 40 minutes prior to their game time to register. For all preliminary round games, teams check in only before their first game of the day. For all semifinal and championship games, teams must check in prior to each game. The following documents are required and must be presented at check-in:
a. Rosters. Rosters must be typed with players in alphabetical order and must be completed to show the jersey number of each player. Jersey numbers will be verified during the check-in process. Rosters eligible for MTOC play are frozen as of June 1st each year. Rosters are limited to 18 players (15 players for U12). The roster you present at your first registration check-in is your roster for the entire tournament. Each team must bring four (4) official game roster forms to the tournament. These rosters must be the same rosters approved for use in your home league and must be stamped or signed by your league registrar. No more than three (3) out-of-state players are allowed on a team’s roster.
b. Pass Cards. Each player and coach must have a current pass card. Pass cards must be on a Massachusetts Youth Soccer format ID card, typed and contain the following information:
i) Player or coach’s name
ii) Player’s birth date
iii) Current season (i.e. 2012-13 or a MTOC sticker with the year on it)
iv) A passport sized picture (current or within two years)
v) Signed or stamped by your league registrar
vi) All cards must be laminated.
If these criteria are not met, the player or coach may be declared ineligible.
c. Each team will be issued three (3) non-transferable Coach Passes. These Coach Passes are required in order to gain access to the sideline coaching areas. If a team’s official team roster only provides space for the names of two (2) coaches and you intend to have a third coach on the sidelines, this individual must be registered with Massachusetts Youth Soccer, have a currently valid coach’s pass card and be specifically identified to the Registration Staff during the team registration process.
d. Uniforms. Players must be in full uniform and ready to play at the check-in. Teams will line up in roster order (alphabetical) and will then be checked-in. Teams must play in the same uniforms in which they have checked in (see uniform information in next section).
e. Failure to supply rosters and/or players cards will result in the head coach being suspended for each game that the documents are not available. If the information is not available prior to the completion of the game, the game will be recorded as a forfeit.
1. Each player’s uniform shall consist of the following:
a. A soccer jersey with visible, legible numbers that match the players listed on the roster.
b. There shall be no numbers duplicated on any roster or team.
c. Soccer shorts of matching color and style
d. Socks that match each other and those of their teammates.
e. Pair of soccer shoes. No “spikes” will be permitted.
f. Shin guards are mandatory. Players will not be allowed to check-in or play without them.
g. If the game involves teams with similar color jersey colors, the team designated the “Home Team” (the team listed first on the schedule) will wear alternate colored jerseys or mesh pinnies that permit the uniform number to be read. The referee shall have final authority on color conflicts.
2. Players shall not be permitted to wear the following:
a. Cut off shorts
c. Spandex that does not match the color of the players’ shorts
d. Boxer shorts
e. Jewelry of any kind (string bracelets, barrettes, hairpins, earrings, etc.)
f. Casts, splints, hats, or unprotected braces
g. Unnecessary face or body painting or other offensive displays
i. Tournament officials will inspect each team during the check-in process, giving special attention to potentially dangerous items (casts, splints, jewelry, faulty cleats) as well as assuring that protective items like shin guards are in place.
3. Final Determination. Any item worn that, in the opinion of the Tournament Officials involves or poses a risk of harm will be referred to the Referee Director and his/her determination shall be final.
C. GAME LOGISTICS
1. Team Benches. Both teams will be located on the same side of the field. All spectators will be located on the opposite side of the field. Only the players and up to three (3) coaches per team are allowed on the team side of the field. Coaches must wear their MTOC coach’s pass on the sidelines so referees and tournament officials can easily identify them as team representatives.
2. Substitutions. Substitutions are unlimited. Both teams may substitute on a goal kick, after a goal and at half time. As to throw-ins, however, only the team in possession has the initial option of substituting, but if it does make a substitution, the opposing team may substitute as well. All substitute players must be ready at midfield and substitutions are made only with the referee’s consent. If a game is stopped to allow for substitution for an injured player, the opposing team may also substitute as well on a one-for-one basis.
3. U12 Goalkeeper Distributions. In U12 matches, the goalkeeper’s distribution may carry the full length of the field, but it cannot go directly into the opponent’s penalty area in the air.
4. Game Time – Round Robin. All preliminary round robin games will consist of 25 minute halves with a 5-minute halftime. Game time is kept by the referee and is running time, with no allowance for injury time. There will be no overtime periods in the preliminary round of play. Teams must be ready to play at their appointed time.
5. Weather Delays. In the event that a portion of the game schedule is suspended due to weather (or for any other reason), the following rules will apply:
a. In the event of a stoppage, games that have completed a half, or are in the second half, will be deemed completed and the score at the time of the stoppage will stand.
b. In the event of a stoppage, games that are in the first half will be re-played in their entirety (both halves), subject to time and field constraints of the tournament.
c. In the event of a stoppage, the Tournament Committee and the Referee Director will determine when it is safe to restart games. Games will resume on the original schedule with the next schedule time slot due to play. (i.e. if it is safe to play at 3:45 PM, games will recommence with those teams scheduled for 4:00 PM.)
d. Games with the first half not completed or games not played due to stoppage, will be rescheduled in available time and field slots. Games not completed or played Friday and early Saturday will most likely be played late Saturday. Games not completed or played late Saturday may be played Sunday morning, with semi -final games delayed. Specific details will be available at scoreboards and registration area.
6. Playing Surface. Assignment of playing surfaces (either grass or synthetic) is at the sole discretion of the Tournament Committee and is not subject to discussion, protest or appeal.
7. Change in Length of Games. Should conditions warrant, the length of games is subject to change by the Tournament Director and the Referee Director. Coaches will be notified before the start of the half in which such a change is made. In the event of unsafe conditions, a game may be terminated at any point by the referee.
8. There will be a spectator line (dashed line about 1-yard outside the touch line) on the spectator side of the field. Spectators must stay entirely outside this line.
9. NO PETS of any kind allowed are permitted in any portion of the field complex.
10. NO CANOPIES shall be located within fifty (50) feet of any field. Canopies must be properly anchored and must be taken down when not in use. The Massachusetts Youth Soccer Facilities Manager has final authority as to whether a canopy or canopies in general may be permitted to be erected on the complex. Due to high winds at Progin Park, canopies can pose a serious risk of harm.
CONDUCT DURING MTOC
1. Players, coaches and spectators are expected to conduct themselves within the letter and the spirit of the game and its laws. All players, coaches and spectators shall uphold the spirit of ZERO TOLERANCE policies. Displays of temper or dissent by word or action against opponents or referees are cause for ejection from the game, suspension from the MTOC and/or ejection from the Fields at Progin Park.
2. No player ejected (red carded) may re-enter that game, nor may the player have a substitute. The ejected player must also remove him/herself well away from the general area of the game field. It is the responsibility of the team’s coach(s) to enforce this. Any player ejected from a game will be ineligible to appear until after the completion of the team’s next game. Penalty kick procedures are not considered games.
3. If two (2) red cards are assessed to a team in a single game, that team will forfeit the game. The Tournament Committee and the Referee Director will determine whether further action is warranted.
4. Coaches receiving a Red Card for any reason will be suspended for the remainder of the MTOC.
5. Each coach is responsible for his/her spectators’ behavior. Coaches should inform their spectators of the rules (i.e. behavior, spectator line, etc.). Each coach is expected to monitor his or her spectators and take corrective action if necessary. Each coach is expected to support the referee or tournament official if action against a spectator is required.
6. Protests. Any protest must be in writing and submitted to the MTOC Committee located at the Field Pavilion along with a $100.00 cash protest fee. The protest must be filed within one (1) hour of the completion of the match in question. The protest fee of $100.00 will be returned if the protest is upheld.
ADVANCEMENT TO THE SEMI-FINALS
1. Official Scores. The official scores will be posted only at the Field Pavilion. The Coach of each team shall be responsible for checking scoreboards at the Field Pavilion to determine if their team is advancing to the semifinals, and to obtain their scheduled time and field location.
2. Divisions With 3 Groups. In divisions of competition with three (3) groups of teams, the winners of each preliminary round robin group of play together with a “Wild-Card” team will advance to the Semi-finals. The Wild Card team will be that team with the best record of those teams not qualifying as group winners.
3. Divisions With 2 Groups. In divisions of competition with two (2) groups of teams, the winners and runners-up in each group of play will advance to the Semi-finals.
4. Tie-Breakers. The determination of order of finish will be made according to the following procedures:
a. Aggregate points earned in round robin games (3 points shall be awarded for a win, 1 point will be awarded for a tie);
b. Head-to-head results. Except, however, in the event of a three way tie within a section, the head-to-head results tiebreaker will not be considered;
c. Goal differential. There shall be a maximum goal differential of four (4) earned per game
d. Fewest goals allowed overall, to a maximum of four per game;
e. Most shutouts;
f. Penalty kicks. The teams involved shall take penalty kicks in the manner prescribed by FIFA Laws of the Game. Penalty kicks shall be conducted immediately after the preliminary round robin phase of the tournament is completed.
i) The time and location for each tie breaker shootout will be set at the Field Pavilion generally one to two hours after the ties are determined. The Coach of each team is responsible for obtaining the time and field location scheduled for the penalty kicks;
ii) Each team shall select seven (7) players from the MTOC roster. The goalkeeper (or goalkeepers) will come from the seven (7) listed players. Each coach will provide a written list of the seven (7) players in shooting order, along with their player pass cards, to the referee in charge of the penalty kicks;
iii) If more than two (2) teams are tied, they will all kick penalty kicks at the same time with the order of teams participating to be determined by coin toss;
iv) Each team will take five (5) kicks from the penalty mark with each team alternating kicks and adhering to the written shooting order provided by the coach. The team shooting first shall be determined by a coin toss conducted by the referee;
v) If the teams are tied after five kicks, each team will have their sixth shooter take one additional kick. If the tie remains unbroken, the seventh shooters repeat the process. If additional kicks are needed, the referee will continue the process, going through the list of players again until the tie is broken.
g. In the event of a forfeited game, the non-forfeiting team will be awarded:
i) 3 points for a win;
ii) A goal differential equal to the average goal differential of the other games the forfeiting team played vs. other teams in the same section;
iii) A goals allowed of zero.
h. Team Placement Into Semifinals:
i) Winner of Section A plays Winner of Section B; and,
ii) Winner of Section C plays the Wild Card team, except when the wild card team comes out of Section C, in which case A plays C and B plays WC.
SEMIFINALS AND FINALS
1. All semifinal and championship games shall be as follows (schedule permitting):
a. U12 = 30 minute halves
b. U14 = 35 minute halves
c. U16 = 40 minute halves
d. U18 = 45 minute halves
e. U19 = 45 minute halves
Overtime periods will only be played in the semifinal and championship rounds of play. All overtime periods will conform to current FIFA rules and games that go into overtime will no longer be decided by a “golden goal”. Overtime in all age groups will consist of two (2) 5-minute overtime periods. Both overtime periods will be played in their entirety.
2. If teams remain tied after regulation and overtime play, regular FIFA penalty kick procedures will be followed to determine a winner. These will take place immediately following the completion of overtime play.