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Rules for the 2024 Buckeye Cup

TOURNAMENT HEADQUARTERS: Alford-Reese Park on Baker Blvd: 600 Baker Blvd, Newark, Ohio, 43055. The onsite tournament telephone number is 740 - 366 - 7033.
EMAIL: buckeyecup.oh@gmail.com
Tournament web site is: www.buckeyecup.com or www.newarkareasoccer.com

1. Team check-in for the tournament will all be done via email. Check in items may be scanned in PDF format and emailed to buckeyecup.oh@gmail.com prior to April 26, 2024.

2. When checking in, a team representative must provide the following documents;
1) Team roster copy, All teams must also send via email a typed list of the players that will be attending the tournament when sending check in information.
2) Approved player and coach passes from their state association or other recognized sanctioning body.
3) Approved travel permit for teams outside of the Ohio Soccer Association boundaries,
4) if any, Approved guest roster, player pass, and liability form for each guest player.
5) Buckeye Cup 2023 Waiver

3. In addition, teams are required to be at their assigned fields, 30 minutes prior to the Kick-off time of their scheduled matches.

1. The tournament is open to boys and girls teams in the U-9 through U-15 age groups that is affiliated with the USYSA with acceptable roster and liability insurance coverage. U9/10 teams may have a roster up to 14 players and will play in a 7 v 7 format. U-11 and U-12 age teams may have a maximum of 16 players on their team roster and will play in a 9 v 9 format. U-13, U-14 and U15 age teams may have a maximum of 18 players on their team roster and will play in an 11 v 11 format.

2. A maximum of 4 guest players may be rostered to a U-9 to U-10 team, up to 5 guest players to a U-11 or U-12 team, and up to 5 guest players may be rostered to a U-13 or U-14/15 team for participation in the tournament.

3. Players are only allowed to play for one team taking part in the tournament, unless given permission by the tournament director. This will only happen in uniquely extenuating circumstances..

1. For each match in the tournament, the team that is listed first in the schedule shall be the home team.
2. If in the opinion of the referee there is a uniform conflict, the home team will be required to change. Therefore, all teams should bring two sets of uniforms to every match.
3. Each team will be on the same side of the field. Spectators will be on the opposite side as their team, and are asked to not cross the mid line of the field. Spectators will be on opposite ends, other side of the half way line.

1. Player passes (this can include digital player and coach passes) and or official roster of all players that will be participating in a match must be present and available at all times during the match.
2. All players must wear a separate unique number within their team uniform set, except for those teams in the U9 division.

Modification - Notes on the Laws of the Game:
1. All matches will be played under international rules (FIFA) with the following exceptions:
Division-Time Period - Game Ball Size
• U-9 & U-10 Boys & Girls-25 Minute Halves-# 4
• U-11 & U-12 Boys & Girls-30 Minute Halves-# 4
• U-13, U-14 & U-15 boys and girls - 35 Minute Halves-# 5
No stoppage time shall be added at the end of each half.
Half time will be 5 minutes in all games.

A. Substitutions. Free substitution may be made in all age groups with the permission of the referee as follows:
1. Before a throw-in in your team's favor. (The referee may allow both teams if players have been waiting at the substitution flag).
2. Before a goal kick for either team.
3. After a score by either team.
4. At half-time.
5. After an injury, 1 for 1, if the injured player is substituted.
6. After a caution, 1 for 1, if the cautioned player is substituted.
7. No stoppage time shall be added at the end of each half.
8. Half time will be 5 minutes in all games.
B. Player equipment. All players must wear shin guards. Any hard casts must be wrapped and covered, and must be approved by Referee HQ before play. Soft casts are permitted. No items may be used or worn that has the potential to injure in the opinion of the referee.

Referees: A diagonal system (3 person) will be used for U-13 and higher games, U-11 & 12 will be a dual system of control (2 person) and U 8 & 9’s will be a single referee. When the situation warrants, the Tournament Director/Referee Coordinator may change the system of control, such as a 3 person becomes a 2 person.

What is the rule for Offside?

-U11 through U15: The full Offside rule is in effect in accordance with FIFA and LOTG.
-U8, U9 & U10 Divisions specific rules: The Build Out Line in each attacking end of the field
will be used instead of the mid-line for determining offside position and offside

Restrictions for U8, U9 & U10 play

-There will be no punting allowed for these age groups. This includes drop kicks.

-Attacking players must actively retreat behind the Build Out Line when the goalkeeper has
position of the ball, for goal kicks and all free kicks (DFK and IDFK). Once the ball is put into
play the attacking players may re-enter their attacking zone.

Clarifications on “When the Ball is in Play” (and WHEN the defense can pressure beyond the Restraining
• when the ball is touched by any player after the goalkeeper releases the ball from his/her hands
or feet from within the penalty area
• when the goalkeeper touches the ball outside the penalty area after releasing the ball from
his/her hands or feet
• when a Goal Kick (or other Free Kick from taken from Inside the Penalty Area) is touched by a
player inside or outside the penalty area, other than the kicker.
• when a Free Kick taken from Behind the Restraining Line, BUT Outside the Penalty Area is
touched by a player other than the kicker
• as soon as the ball crosses the Restraining Line
Clarification on “Playing Quick” from the Goal Keeper
• The Goal Keeper Can Elect to Hold the Ball Until the Defense Retreats Behind the Restraining
• IF the Goal Keeper Elects to “Play Quickly”, he/she does so at THEIR OWN RISK

• IF the GK “Plays Quickly” BEFORE the Defense has Retreated AND the Possession is LOST
by the Goal Keeper’s Team, PLAY CONTINUES

There will be no heading allowed for U11 age groups or below as per US Soccer guidelines. If a player
heads the ball for a U11 or lower level game the restart is an IDFK. If a younger player plays up on an
older team, such as a U11 player plays for a U13 team, they will be allowed to head the ball. This rule is
for players on U11 teams and younger.


1. Tournament Format. Teams will be organized into groups of 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9 teams. Teams will be scheduled for either group or round robin play (with a minimum of 3 games scheduled over 2 or 3 days). The point system of 3 points for a win, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss will be totaled to determine first and second place teams in round robin play. The winner of each group will advance and play in a final division match to determine first and second place teams.
Additional information on divisions with 9 teams:
-there are 3 groups (A, B & C). Teams will play the 2 other teams in their group on Saturday (or one Friday). At the end of Saturday’s games we will post the games for Sunday.
The teams that come 2nd or 3rd in their respective groups will play a consolation game on Sunday. This will be their only game on Sunday.
For teams who come 1st in their group, they will go into a new group with the other group winners for Sunday. This new group will start fresh; points will not carry over from Saturday. When the 3 teams in this group have all played each other, the team in 1st with most points, will be the champion, and the team in 2nd will be the finalist.
2. Preliminary and round robin matches may end in a tie with no overtime period played. If at the conclusion of a championship match, the score is tied, two full 5 minute overtime periods will be played to the conclusion of each of the overtime periods (No golden goal). If the score remains tied after both overtime periods, the winner will be determined per FIFA procedures for “Penalty Kicks”.
3. Referees. The tournament will attempt to provide referees as follows for each game, but realize modifications might be made due to availability of referees when a game is to be played.
U13, U14, & U15 will use a diagonal system of control (3 person crew)
U11 & U12 will use a dual system of control (2 person crew)
U10, U9 & U8 will use a single referee.
4. Match Delays, Suspensions, and Cancellations. Inclement weather is always a possibility and such types of weather may result in delayed, abbreviated or cancelled matches. The tournament committee will attempt to reschedule matches to insure that each team will play a full schedule for the tournament. Matches may be shortened or postponed or scheduled at a different site in order to meet this goal. All decisions of the Tournament committee are final.


1. Championship games will be the same length in time as the preliminary group games.
2. Stoppage time for championship games will be at referee's discretion.
3. If a championship game ends in a tie, the game will go to extra time. Extra time will be 2 x 5 minute periods and will start 3 minutes after regulation time ends. The visiting team will call the coin toss for extra time. The full 2 x 5 minute periods will play to completion in extra time, and the team winning at the end will be champions.
4. If the teams are still tied after extra time, the game will go to Penalty Kicks from the mark. There will be a flip of a coin to determine which end the kicks will take place, followed by a flip of the coin, with visiting team calling, to decide which team takes the first kick. Only players who were on the field at the end of extra time can take a kick. Each team will alternate kickers and take up to 5 kicks (it may end early if one team has scored more than is possible for the other team to get). If there is no winner after 5 kicks each, the shootout will continue with sudden death, so one v one, with the remaining players who were on the field at the end of extra time. If a team scores and the other misses, the game is over. If all players on each team have taken and the shootout is still tied, then teams go back to their first kicker, and go through in the same order, until there is a winner.

CANCELLATION: In the event of tournament cancellation there is no guarantee of a refund.


1. Teams not reporting to the field within ten minutes of the scheduled starting time of their match may be required to forfeit that match.
2. U-9 and U-10 teams must have at least five players to start a match. U-11 through U-15 teams must have at least 7 players to start a match.
3. If a team forfeits a match, for any reason, (to include but not limited by using an ineligible player, disorderly conduct, inability to field a team or fail to arrive at the field with an appropriate number of players) they may be required to forfeit all of their remaining matches in the tournament as determined by the tournament committee.
4. A forfeit will be recorded in the standings as a 3 - 0 loss for the team that forfeited the match(s).


1. The tournament committee is responsible for interpreting the rules and scheduling tie breaker activities. Tie-breaker procedures, in the following order, will be used to determine a group winner:
a. Result of the match between the tied teams. This does not apply if three teams are tied.
b. Cumulative goal differential of all matches played; defined as total goals scored minus goals allowed, using a maximum of a three goal differential per match.
c. Lower number of goals allowed, with no limit on goals allowed.
d. Penalty kick elimination, as per FIFA rules of the match.
e. Coin Toss.


1. Following each match, the referee will hold the game card to deliver to the tournament scorekeeper electronically. The referee shall record all red and yellow cards issued during the match on the game card. In addition, the referee shall turn over to the field marshal the pass of any player or coach to whom a red card was issued.
2. At the conclusion of all matches, a member of the coaching staff of each team must sign the game card in order to confirm the accuracy of the information on the game card, including the final score of the match.


1. No protests will be allowed.


1. Team and Spectator Conduct: All teams, including players and coaches, their supporters and other spectators are required to conduct themselves in a manner befitting the ideals of FIFA, USSF, and the Ohio South Youth Soccer Association as they relate to FAIR PLAY and good sportsmanship. Persons not conducting themselves in that manner may be required to remove themselves from the vicinity of a particular match, be removed from the entire venue, or not be permitted to participate or attend any function of the tournament for the remaining portion of the tournament. This conduct includes inappropriate berating of match referees.
2. General Rules.
a. No air horns are permitted. The tournament committee will be using air horns in cases of emergency, i.e. lightning, tornado, etc.
b. No pets of any kind or size are permitted at the fields. Anyone with a pet will be instructed to leave the fields.
c. Players, coaches, spectators and referees are not permitted to use any form of alcohol or tobacco in the vicinity of any match field.
d. Spectators must wear masks and social distance in accordance to Ohio Department of Health requirements.
3. Ejections.
a. Players who are sent off (red card) during a match may not play in their next match. Coaches may be given cautions or sent off. Players who are sent off may sit with their team during the team’s next match in the tournament but may not be in uniform. Coaches who are sent off cannot participate as a coach or a spectator in the next game of the tournament with team whom they were coaching when receiving the red. They can still coach other teams they have in the tournament. The Tournament Committee will hold the player or coach pass if possible, until the suspension is served in the tournament. If the physical card is not present, our referee coordinators will be in place at the next game to enforce the suspension. If a player or coach is sent off during the final match of the tournament, that player or coach's card will be held by the tournament committee and mailed to the league office which has registered the player or coach. A third preliminary match shall be considered the final match if the team does not advance to the championship.
b. The tournament may take additional action against teams, players, coaches and spectators for serious acts of misconduct, including suspension from the remainder of the tournament.

4. Reports of Disciplinary Action.
a. For all USSF teams, all reports of any disciplinary action will be sent to the team State Association or National Association that registered the team.
Everyone is needed for a good game and no one will be perfect…..mistakes are part of the game…..relax, enjoy and be a good sport!

Good luck to everyone!


Buckeye Cup
Paul Wise, Tournament Director 740-366-7033
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