Tournament Rules


The Thanksgiving California Championship Tournament shall be played under FIFA rules as modified by CYSA-South for YOUTH Competition. Further Modifications have been made by these tournament rules.

Decisions if needed for the interpretation of these rules shall be made by the Tournament Director or his Management Staff. These Persons shall be listed on the tournament page 1 week prior to the start of the tournament play. Decisions can be made by any of the above listed staff in person, or over a communication device directly with any field administrator at the specific location. The protesting team’s coach or manager are the only persons allowed to approach the Director, Management Staff or Field Administrator. Any unofficial protests can lead to the team being dismissed from the tournament. The Decision shall be final and no secondary protest allowed.

All results, decisions, judgments and referee calls or tournament officials’ are final.

    Maximum Roster Sizes are:
  • U8-U10 - playing on short sided fields: 14 players maximum
  • U11-U16 - playing on full size fields: 18 players maximum

Players may be added or removed from the roster until the check in of the first day provided all paperwork for the additional players is in order and completed in a timely manner. If the paperwork is not finalized 45 minutes prior to the start of the first game the player shall not be added to the roster. No player can be added to the roster 45 minutes prior to the first game. This shall last for the entirety of the tournament.


Check-in will be at the field one hour prior to the scheduled start of the specific teams first tournament game. If a team plays at more than one location, the Team Manager is responsible to pick up and take the “Game Card” from the old field to the tournament staff at the new location. Failure to do so may result in the team forfeiting the upcoming game.

Player Identification cards for the season starting August 1st are the only cards accepted. All cards of players registered to play must be available at all times by the Manager for on the spot inspection in case of a challenge or referee discrepancy.

    Three documents MUST be provided for each player Cal South / USYSA Region IV Team:
  • 1) A valid, laminated Cal South / USYSA State Association Player ID card with Photo
  • 2) A copy of the legal BIRTH certificate
  • 3) A signed player registration form (medical release form)

Guest players playing on the loaning teams roster must have the above said documents.


Team traveling from outside Region IV or are Affiliated with US Club Soccer or AYSO must:
Provide Current Players Cards / Birth Certificates Copies / Player Forms – Medical Releases and appropriate Association Official Signed paperwork  including: Roster of Players authorized to travel and participate in the Thanksgiving California Championship. Your Club registrar can advise you to the needs if you are uncertain. Please allow plenty of time to apply and receive your Associations Approval papers. The Tournament will refuse the Teams playing rights and disqualify a team arriving at the tournament without correct paperwork.


Jersey Color:
The listed Away Team (second team listed) will have the choice of Jersey Color….. The Home Team (first team listed) will have to change jerseys….. if a conflict arises in the Referees opinion.

Uniform Number

The Players Roster Game Card Number MUST match the Jersey Number of the Player. The Referee has the discretion to alter the game card number provided the players card matches the player in the jersey. However, the Referee may also not allow the change of number and the Team is then responsible to find the Jersey with the matching number. Tape may be used provided it stays on the jersey. Any tape falling off will result in the Referee removing the player from the field – without any cards being shown – and allowed to return only when the number is fixed. A player may be substituted at the appropriate time relative to the substitute rules to follow.

Other Player Equipment / Accessories

Hard Casts are not permitted at any time.
Eye wear / Head Gear / Mouth Pieces / Soft Casts / Gloves must all be approved by the Referee prior to the start of the game. Any objections must be brought to the Referees attention PRIOR to the game start. The Referees decision – in the interest of safety and fair play – is FINAL. It is the Referees responsibility to protect the safety of ALL players. Anyone entering the field with the said ITEM after being told that it is not safe shall receive an automatic Red Card and the Coach Cautioned. Risk to players safety in unacceptable.


A) The HOME Team shall decide the side of the field to sit on and the opposing team shall sit on the opposite side.
No Coach, Manager, Player or Spectator can sit behind the goal at either end from the U8-U13 age group. All spectators of these age groups MUST sit between the Penalty Areas. Failure to do so can result in the spectator being removed from the field area at the Referees discretion. We ask that ALL managers make sure their parents politely oblige with the seating requirements.


B) FOR THE U14-U16 Age group.
The Players and Coaches shall sit opposite sides of the field on the halfway line and within 10 yards of either side. The parents and spectators shall sit behind the GOAL to the Right of their Coach. The spectators can sit within 10 yards of the corner flag and may not change sides at half time. The reason for this as the players get older is to prepare them for the higher level pressure and intensity around the penalty area. One half the team will have home support in the defensive area and in the other half an attacking support. For all the years parents and spectators have watched the game from the side. We believe it will also be educational and exciting for the parents to witness the other angle of the game and be closer to the Goal action. As this is a new rule we will also add specific requirements.

  • 1) All spectators MUST be at least 5 yards back off of the goal / end line.
  • 2) Any spectator entering the field of play will be ejected immediately.
  • 3) Any spectator heard to use inappropriate language to a player shall be ejected.
  • 4) Support and cheer on your players in the spirit of the game.
  • 5) This is a learning time for ALL players to experience this “pressure” so please respect all.
  • 6) Be aware at all times of the ball coming towards you around the goal area.
  • 7) A field monitor may be placed in the group for overseeing the rules. They may address the Referee at any time if needed to protect the games integrity. We ask that you all remember than this is games for youth players and to approach the support accordingly.
  • Minimum of 3 games / Maximum of 4 games
  • U8-U10 Teams must have a minimum of 5 players on the field to start the game
  • U11-U16 Teams must have a minimum of 7 players on the field to start the game
  • A team will forfeit the game if they do not have the minimum number of players to start.

There is no delay of the game. There will be a 5 minute grace period which will begin on the referees whistle. The grace time will be deducted from the first half play time if the game starts within the 5 minute grace. The Clock is RUNNING – no delay / injury time added.


A. The HOME team will PROVIDE the Balls IF the tournament does not Provide Balls. The Referee must approve any ball used and his decision is FINAL. If the HOME team cannot provide acceptable game balls then the AWAY team shall provide the balls.

B. The Games shall start on time – or made to catch up to time in the first half should the game be delayed for any reason. Halftimes are 5 minutes.

  • AGE GROUP: U8 • DURATION OF ALL GAMES: 25 minute halves • BALL SIZE: 4
  • AGE GROUP: U9 • DURATION OF ALL GAMES: 25 minute halves • BALL SIZE: 4
  • AGE GROUP: U10 • DURATION OF ALL GAMES: 25 minute halves • BALL SIZE: 4
  • AGE GROUP: U11 • DURATION OF ALL GAMES: 30 minute halves • BALL SIZE: 4
  • AGE GROUP: U12 • DURATION OF ALL GAMES: 30 minute halves • BALL SIZE: 4
  • AGE GROUP: U13 • DURATION OF ALL GAMES: 30 minute halves • BALL SIZE: 5
  • AGE GROUP: U14 • DURATION OF ALL GAMES: 30 minute halves • BALL SIZE: 5


Each team has unlimited substitutions, at any stoppage of play, with the approval of the referee. IF, in the opinion of the Referee, time is being wasted due to excessive substitutions, he/ she may refuse the substitution request. The referee’s decision is final.

C. In the event of a tie breaker the list relative to the points system shall be the criteria
  • 6 points for a win
  • 3 points for a tie
  • 0 points for a loss
  • 1 point for a shutout – even in a tie
  • 1 point for each goal, up to a maximum of 3
  • 1 point DEDUCTED for ANY red card to a player, or ejection of a Coach, Manager.
  • Forfeits will be recorded as a 2-0 win.
  • In the event two or more teams are tied on points the tiebreaker shall be as follows:
  • 1) The Winner in the Head to Head Game.
  • 2) Most goals for up to a Maximum of 5 per game
  • 3) Least Goals Against
  • 4) Most Shutouts
  • 5) FIFA Penalty Kick Shootout.
  • 6) If the Field cannot accommodate time for a shootout, a Coin Flip decides the winner. This can be performed by the team captain / coach or if unavailable a Tournament Official.

In a tie breaker for a wild card spot the above tiebreakers will take precedence. A wild card may not play the same team from a bracket it played in already. The tournament reserves the right to reschedule the opposition to support this requirement.

  • In the event of a three way tie to determine placement of each team the following shall occur:
  • 1) Team A shoots Against Team B in the Alphabetical List
  • 2) Team B shoots Against Team C in the Alphabetical List
  • 3) Team C shoots Against Team A in the Alphabetical List

Each team can afford ONE Scoring miss. The first team to Miss scoring twice is eliminated. The Next team to miss will place second. All teams complete a full round to be eliminated. If two teams miss Twice in the same round then one team automatically wins and the two must continue to shoot until one misses the next shot and thus comes third. Full rounds must be completed for the shootout goals to count.


If the tournament committee believes a forfeit occurred to rearrange the final bracket standings to benefit another team the tournament may rearrange the standings to keep the integrity of the game itself and the tournament principles of fair play and equal opportunity of success for all.

A team winning by forfeit will be awarded a 2-0 win – giving the team 9 points in the standings. 6 points for a win – 1 point for  a shutout – 2 points for the goals scored.

There is no financial recovery for either team in a forfeit game.


In the case of inclement weather, changing of field locations, lack of day light, field closures or any situation that needs the field/s to be vacated or unplayable the Tournament Director or Venue Manager may direct the referee that:

  • 1) Games be shortened
  • 2) Go straight to FIFA Penalty Kicks
  • 3) Flip of a Coin
  • 4) Cancel the Games
  • The following Rules may also apply through modification:
  • 1) 5 penalty Kicks unless worsening conditions. The Referee may stop the shootout provided  both teams have had the same amount of kicks and one is determined the winner. If tied a coin toss can decide the winner.
  • 2) A 2-1 win for the Team winning the Penalty Kicks will be awarded. 9 points and 1 point accordingly.
  • 3) In all penalty kicks every effort should be made to give both teams equal number of kicks and the Coach and Players notified if less than 5 will be taken at any time during the kicks. There will be no refunds or reimbursements of tournament fees for shortened, cancelled or forfeited games.

i. Player: Any player ejected from a game for two yellow cards will be required to sit out the next game and must sit on the sidelines with the parents and not on the bench with the team. If the Player was red carded or was ejected for the second yellow card resulting in a red card for violent conduct the Referee shall write this in the report and the player will be suspended for two games without appeal. Violent conduct will not be tolerated and any actions to incite violent conduct shall also be determined to be a red card offense.

ii. Coaches: Coaches ejected from the game for inappropriate behavior or conduct including: 1) Harassing Referees, opposing players, spectators, or tournament staff. 2) If any team parent / sideline spectator is abusive to the Referee, sideline Referee, opposing player or opposing parent, the parent will be instructed to leave the field and within sight of the game. IF the parent refuses to leave, the Coach will be ejected within reasonable time to support the Referee in removing their spectator. If the person is not a member of the playing Teams support the tournament venue manager shall be called over and the police called to resolve the removal of the instigator.

If the Coach is removed then they shall be suspended for the remainder of the game they are ejected from, plus sit out the next game as well. They will not be allowed to be within sight of the field of play for 60 minutes prior to the game and until 10 minutes after the final whistle. Any coach breaking this rule shall be ejected from the remainder of the tournament. A second carder official MUST be present to resume the duties of the dismissed coach.


Any person/s threatening any member of the Tournament support group or referee or spectator shall be immediately removed permanently from the tournament and the Police may be notified. The Referee crew may decide to cancel the game at any point of play if they feel the integrity and spirit of the game has been jeopardized and unable to be recovered. IF both teams are the cause of action then both shall be eliminated from the tournament. If ONE team is responsible they shall be dismissed from the tournament and ALL their scores reverted to a 1-0 loss. Any intentional action to deceive the player registration in relation to age, false photo ID or adding illegally registered or over age players shall result in the cards being kept and handed over, with a full report, to Cal South Association.




Any disputes not covered in the above listing shall be determined and decided by the Tournament Director, or the Committee.