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America's Cup Series

Official Rules

Official Rules



A. Participation in this America's Cup Series (ACS) event is open to accepted boys and girls teams composed of a maximum of:

  • Twenty-two (22) players. All 22 players are eligible to play in this showcase style event.
  • Meeting the age limit of the specified division; Players must have been born during, or subsequent to, the divisional year, as defined by US Soccer Guidelines.

B. Age groups*:

  • 19U (2001 birth year and younger)*
  • 18U (2002 birth year and younger)*
  • 17U (2003 birth year and younger)*
  • 16U (2004 birth year and younger)*
  • 15U (2005 birth year and younger)*
  • Combining of age groups will be done at the ACS Committee’s discretion.

C. Guest player limit: 5

  • A team using guest players must have no more than a maximum of twenty-two (22) players

D. Guest players are considered "any age appropriate player not on your league approved roster". Guest players may be from your clubs recreation league or from another travel team but they must be registered players to ensure they are covered by insurance.


A. All games shall be played in accordance with FIFA Laws, except as specifically modified by these rules.


A. Divisions: ACS will create appropriate competitive groups based on applied teams. Combining age groups and creating cross-age games is at the discretion of the event staff.

B. Bracket and game schedule

  • 4 Team Bracket | Each team plays the other 3 teams in the bracket
  • 5 Team Bracket | Each team will be scheduled to play against 3 of the 4 teams in the bracket
  • 6 Team Bracket | 2 Groups of 3 teams. Teams in one group will play the other 3 teams in the opposite group
  • 8 Team Bracket | 2 Divisions will be created of 4 teams. Each team will play the other 3 teams in their bracket


A. The duration of ACS games will be:

  • 15U - 19U | 80 minutes, consisting of 40 minute halves           

B. All games will be played with a running clock. The referee may only stop the clock for serious injuries or other serious incidents.  Absent these extraordinary circumstances, the referee will terminate each half at the expiration of the allotted time with the sole exception that if a penalty kick is awarded during the allotted time, the penalty kick may be taken. The referee is the official timekeeper and therefore all decisions regarding game duration are solely at the referee's discretion and shall not be protested. Under no circumstance will the game end after 105 minutes from when the scheduled start time is listed. The referee may, at their discretion, give water breaks at the mid-point of each half if heat-related issues are a concern.


 A. Players must wear numbers visible on the back of their uniforms and these numbers shall coincide with those listed on the Team Roster.

B. Players shall wear shin guards in accordance with FIFA laws.

C. No metal cleats will be allowed, and no jewelry will be allowed.

 D. Hard (must be covered and wrapped) and soft casts are permitted with the approval of the referee.

 E. Where opposing team’s uniform colors are similar, the designated home team will change colors. The designated home team is listed on the schedule. Managers may contact the opposing team manager in advance of the game  to deconflict uniform colors. In good practice, bring both sets of uniforms.

 F. ACS will provide game balls at each field. If no game ball is present the designated home team must provide the game ball. The designated home team is responsible for supplying a game ball acceptable to the referee. 

  • A size 5 ball is used for 15U through 19U play

 G.  Players and coaches of both teams will take the same side of the field. All other supporters will take the opposite side. Only three team officials are permitted on the sidelines with their players.


A. Teams must upload their roster, player cards and team medical release form to GotSoccer, by the Monday before the tournament

. Teams must keep with them the "approved" team roster that is uploaded to their GotSoccer team account after all documents are received and approved.

C. Pregame Official Check-in

  • Officials will check player equipment and introduce themselves to the coaches and players
  • No roster check is required


A. Team and Spectator Field Position

a. Players and Coaches will occupy one side of the field. The home team will have choice of their bench area. Teams may have up to 3 team officials in their technical area. Coaches will remain in their technical area and be restricted to the area between their side of the center line and 18 yard line. Coaches may enter the field of play only upon approval of the referee.

b. Spectators will occupy the side of the field opposite the player’s bench area. Home and visiting spectators shall occupy areas opposite their team benches. Spectators shall remain in the area between the 18 yard lines (penalty areas).

c. No spectators will be to sit/stand in the immediate areas behind the goal lines with the exception of official event photographers.


A. There will be no protests allowed.

B. All disputes for non-referee decisions are submitted thru the Site Coordinator in writing to the ACS Committee (consisting of the ACS Director, and other ACS staff) at the field registration tent for approval by the end of the day that the dispute occurred. All decisions by the ACS Committee are final and may not be appealed.

C. No protests & disputes for referee decisions are allowed; decisions by referees may not be appealed.


A. Substitution Times:

a. Unlimited substitutions may be made at the discretion of the referee at all stoppages of play in this Showcase format.


A. Referees and Field Marshall’s will also provide complete and accurate information on the teams’ players/officials receiving yellow/red cards during the game including their full name and shirt number, if applicable.

B. Referees will report game scores online following the procedures provided to them by the ACS Referee Assignor.  Game scores should be reported as promptly as possible.  Online reporting applies to game scores only.


A. Players, coaches, and spectators are expected to conduct themselves within the spirit of the LAW as well as the letter of the LAW. Displays of temper or dissent are cause for ejection from the game and the surrounding field area. Repeated violations may result in the suspension of the team from the tournament as decided by the ACS Director.

B. Players, coaches and team officials ejected from a game by the referee are eligible for the next scheduled game, unless notified by the ACS Director for an ejection deemed worthy.

C. It is the responsibility of the team’s coach or the person acting in the coach’s behalf to control the conduct of its parents and other spectators. Failure to do so may result in a warning to the coach or the person acting in the coach’s behalf by the referee. If unacceptable conduct continues, the referee may eject the team’s coach, or the person acting on the coach’s behalf, from the game.

D. A coach or authorized team official who commits a cautionable or sending-off offense under Law 12 shall be shown a yellow or red card, as appropriate, by the referee.

E. Accumulated yellow cards, over multiple games, resulting in player suspension is not in effect for ACS events

F. Artificial noise making devices are prohibited.

G. Smoking, alcoholic beverages, and verbal abuse of anyone are not permitted at any of the field sites.


A. This is not a playoff or championship style event.


A. Every effort will be made to keep a game scheduled and played at this event. The priority is to allow the teams to play.

B. A team shall be allowed a fifteen (15) minute grace period after the scheduled kickoff time before the match is considered a “no show” and that team forfeits it’s game. A minimum of number of players is required to start the game and avoid a forfeit:

  • Eight (8) players 15U-19U age groups
  • The ASK site coordinator must get final approval from the ACS Director or a representative at the Command Center before marking a team as forfeiting due to tardiness. Exceptions to this rule are at the discretion of the ACS Director.

C. Forfeited games will result in a 3-0 scoreline.


A. In the event of inclement weather, the ACS Director or official representative(s) will have the authority to:

a. Relocate or reschedule any game(s);

b. Change the duration of any game(s);

c. Cancel any game(s);

d. Consider any game terminated by ACS officials after one half of play official at of the time of termination


A. Under no circumstances whatsoever will the Virginia Youth Soccer Association, Inc., Alexandria Soccer Association, the ACS Committee, or any of their official representatives be responsible for any expenses (including the ACS entry fee) incurred by any team. This includes a situation whereby ACS or any game(s) is canceled in whole or part.


A. The ACS referee assignor will be in charge of placing referee’s in appropriate environments.

B. Every game will have a center and two (2) AR's scheduled


A. An ACS Field Marshall or event representative will be present at each field location.

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