Rules of the game



USA 3v3 Soccer Rules ( v. 2014-0417)

This version of the USA 3v3 Soccer Rules was last edited 04/17/2014

* FIFA rules apply if not modified within * The following rules have been designed to ensure fair play for all participants. Each coach and player is expected to understand these rules prior to their participation in the USA 3v3 Soccer Event. Any questions concerning these rules should be directed to USA 3v3 Event Staff.

Master Scoreboard / Schedule Changes: It is the responsibility of the team (coach, team contact / manager, or team captain) to check the Master Scoreboard

Schedule for any changes after each tournament game (you will not be notified of changes). Check the Master Scoreboard often, as changes do occur to the schedule.

When a change does occur, USA 3v3 will attempt to notify teams, and will strive to not change any game times or locations before the first game; but teams are responsible for checking for updates to the Master Scoreboard after each game.

TEAM REGISTRATION: Requirements, Information, Rules, Guidelines, etc.

Team Registration: Teams must register and pay all team fees to participate in each event. Teams should register into divisions based upon age, gender and playing experience. Any team or player determined by the Tournament Director to have falsified age or skill level could be dismissed from the tournament. Teams that span more than one age group must register in the division of the oldest player on the team. Teams are responsible for registering in the appropriate division. In the situation where teams place themselves in the wrong division, USA 3v3 will attempt to rectify the error, but cannot guarantee proper placement. It is each Team’s responsibility to register in the proper division, failure to properly register may result in disqualification from the tournament, and registration fees will not be refunded.

Skill Level: Teams must register into the correct division based on their players’ competitive experience when applicable. When available, teams with Elite Competitive Experience should apply for the Elite divisions.

Official Team Roster Form, Player Registration & Proof of Age Requirements:

· OFFICIAL TEAM ROSTER: Each team must complete the Official Team Roster Form and Waiver, and submit the form to the USA 3v3 Event Staff during Team Check-In, or PRIOR TO THEIR FIRST GAME or they may be disqualified from the tournament. All players must be listed on the Official Team Roster prior to the team’s first scheduled game time. Teams cannot add players after the start of their first game.

· PROOF OF AGE: Tournament officials have the right to demand Proof of Age for any player included on the roster. Players are required to carry Proof of Age with them at all times during the event.

· ROSTER FROM QUALIFYING EVENT: A minimum of two players from the Official Team Roster Form from the USA 3v3 Local Event should be on the Official Team Roster Form for a USA 3v3 Regional Championships event. A minimum of two players from the Official Team Roster Form from the USA 3v3 Regional Championships Event should be on the Official Team Roster Form for the USA 3v3 World Championships event. Teams participating with less than two players from the Roster of the qualifying event may be disqualified from the event.

· NUMBER OF PLAYERS PER TEAM: Six is the maximum number of players on each team’s roster: three field players and three substitutes, but teams are allowed less than six players if they choose. (A team must have a minimum of 2 field players). Players may only play on one team per division – this includes situations such as smaller tournaments, where divisions are combined.

· FALSIFYING AGES OR SKILL LEVEL: The USA 3v3 Tournament Director / Event Director may dismiss any team from the event – and potentially future events – any player(s) or coach(es) determined by the Tournament Staff to have falsified age, identity, or skill level where applicable. This act of non-sportsmanship will not be tolerated by USA 3v3.

· WRISTBANDING OF PLAYERS AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS EVENT: All players participating in the USA 3v3 World Championships event may be required to wear tamper-resistant wristbands provided by USA 3v3, with their team’s USA 3v3 ID number posted on the wristband for every game. Coaches / Team Contact Persons will receive their team’s wristbands at the Team Check-In, and will be required to place these on each player’s wrist. Players not wearing their wristband will be disqualified from any games.

· REPLACEMENT OF LOST OR DAMAGED WRISTBANDS: It is expected that each player will wear their wristband for the duration of the event. If a wristband is lost or damaged, a $20 replacement fee will be required to obtain a new wristband, and that player will be required to check in with their parent, coach, and all players on the team’s roster prior to receiving a new wristband.

· PROTESTS OF TEAM ROSTERS: Any team wishing to Protest the roster or players on a roster may do so by submitting a $50 Roster Protest Fee and completing a Roster Protest Form to USA 3v3 Staff Headquarters. After receiving the $50 Roster Protest Fee and Roster Protest Form, and when available, a USA 3v3 Staff member will verify each player on the team by confirming the Official Team Roster, the players’ tournament wristbands (when applicable, i.e. World Championships) and each player’s Proof of Age documentation. A game in progress will not necessarily be interrupted for this process. Any team found violating the requirements for the Official Team Roster Form, Player Registration, and / or Proof of Age when protested will be disqualified from the event, and all games played will be forfeited.

Coed Rules (Adult Teams Only): An Adult Coed team consists of a combination of male and female players. During play, there must be at least one female player on the field at all times. Adult Coed teams that have only one female will forfeit their remaining games if the female participant is no longer able to participate. Adult Coed teams are allowed to play in Male Divisions, in this case the standard coed rules do not apply.

BRACKETING: Rankings, Seeding, and Tie Breakers:

Rankings and Pool Play Seeding: USA 3v3 Rankings will be used to seed the USA 3v3 Soccer World Championships Event brackets and pools; but Rankings will not necessarily be used to seed the Local and Regional event brackets and pools. Bracketing efforts will be made to separate teams from the same club/organization, and from the same state and region where possible for all events, especially the World Championships event.

Championship Bracket Round Seeding: Championship Bracket seeding for each division will be determined by Win/Loss record for each team. A forfeited game is scored as a 6-0 win for the team that is present. Referees will provide the winning coach a scorecard, which must be turned into the Headquarters Tent immediately following the game. For games where the score-card is not turned in to the Headquarters Tent, a verbally communicated score will be accepted until the score-card can be produced.

Seeding Tie-Breakers: For teams that are tied in record, if one team forfeited a game, they will automatically be considered the lower seed (unless otherwise decided by a tournament official).

When (2) two teams from one pool are tied in record following Pool Play games, ties between the two teams will be broken by the following:

  1. The team that won the game in Head to Head competition will be the higher seed.
  2. If the game between those two tied teams resulted in a tie, or if the two tied teams did not play each other for any reason; then proceed to the
    (3) three team tie breaking rules process listed below.

When (3) three or more teams from one pool are tied in record following Pool Play games, ties between the three or more teams will be broken by the following:

This process should be followed from one step to the next step if (2) two or more teams are still tied, do not revert back to previous steps prior to the final two steps.

  1. Head to Head results / head to head win-loss record in head to head games between the three tied teams
  2. Goal Difference in head to head games between the three or more tied teams
  3. Goals Against in head to head games between the two or more tied teams
  4. Goal Difference in pool play games for the two or more tied teams
  5. Goals Against in pool play games for the two or more tied teams
  6. Goal Difference in all games played for the two or more tied teams
  7. Fewest Goals Against in all games played for the two or more tied teams
  8. If only two teams are still tied at this point, revert to the two team tie breaking rule (but do not revert to the two team tie breaking rules prior to this step). If still tied in record, proceed to next step.
  9. Shootout: follow overtime rules for shootout – each team may pick its 3 players for the shootout

Weather Related Issues: The USA 3v3 Staff reserves the right to modify, reschedule, or cancel the tournament due to inclement weather. The Tournament Director has the right to move or reschedule games, as well as the right to shorten game lengths. Every effort possible will be made to play the games. Where possible, and if game/pool/division winners are discernable, awards may be distributed to winning teams, however, awards are not guaranteed if winners are not discernable. Team entry fees are non-refundable.

SPORTSMANSHIP: Yellow Cards, Red Cards, Player / Coach / Spectator Ejections:

Sportsmanship: Good sportsmanship is to prevail at all times. Coaches will be held responsible for the conduct of themselves, their players, players’ parents and spectators. Cautioned Players (Yellow Card): Players that receive two yellow cards in one game will result in a red card. (Please see red card rule). Any player accumulating three yellow cards during a tournament will automatically be suspended for their next game (no exceptions). Player Ejection (Red Card): Referee’s have the right to issue a Red Card and eject a player or coach from the game for continual disobedience or as a result of an incident that warrants sending off. The team may then continue with their remaining two, three or four players, however, if the player receiving the red card was on the field of play, the team must complete the entire game a player short. Any player(s) receiving a red card are suspended from play for their next game. If a team is found to be playing the next game with a player that received a red card in the previous game, that team may be forced to forfeit that game and/or their next game (at the Tournament Director’s discretion). Players or coaches that are red carded must leave the immediate playing area, including the fan and team areas. If the player delays or refuses to leave, the game may be forfeited in favor of opposing team (regardless of the score at the time of the incident). **If player(s) is (are) issued red card(s) for fighting, player(s) may be ejected from the tournament and is (are) subject to removal from the facility for the duration of the event.

Coach/Parent Ejection: Referees have the right to eject a coach or parent from any game for continual disobedience or as a result of an incident that warrants ejection. Coaches or parents whom are ejected by the referee or tournament official must leave the field and area around the field before play will continue. If a coach or parent refuses to leave, the game may be forfeited in favor of the opposing team.

USA 3v3 Soccer Tour Rules Continued ( v. 01112012) – Page 2 of 2


Game Duration: The game shall consist of two 12-minute halves separated by a two minute halftime period OR the first team to reach 12 goals, whichever comes first. A coin toss will determine possession and direction before the start of the game. Games during Pool Play that are tied after regulation play shall end in a tie, Games during the Playoffs / Championship Rounds that are tied after regulation play shall proceed to Overtime (see Overtime Rules for Playoffs / Championship Rounds listed below). There are no timeouts and the Game Clock does not stop in 3v3 games. In the event that a field is behind schedule, the referee may shorten the halftime period, or limit warm-up time prior to game (the referee should communicate any shortened time to each team). The Referee has the official time on the field.

Substitution: Substitutions may be made during dead-ball situations, regardless of possession. Teams must gain the referee’s attention and players must enter and exit at mid-field when prompted by the referee. Substitutions should not be made on the fly!

Kick Offs / Kick Ins / Direct and Indirect Kicks / Goal Kicks / Penalty Kicks: KICK OFF: May be kicked in any direction. You cannot score directly from a kick off (ball must be 100% over the mid-line to be considered on the offensive half of the field). The kick off is an indirect kick. KICK-INS: The ball shall be kicked into play from the sideline, rather than thrown in. The ball is considered in play when the ball is touched and changes position. This is an indirect kick, and a goal cannot be scored from this kick. DIRECT & INDIRECT KICKS: All dead-ball kicks (kick-ins, kick-offs, free kicks) are indirect with the exception of corner kicks and penalty kicks. Indirect kicks must only change position before the ball will be considered in play. If a free kick is awarded within five yards of the opposing goal box, the ball will be moved back to five yards from the box. It is the referee’s discretion where the ball will be placed. GOAL KICKS: May be taken from any point of the end line. All Goal Kicks are indirect kicks. PENALTY KICKS: Shall be awarded if, in the referee’s opinion, a scoring opportunity was nullified by an infraction (the infraction does not automatically result in a red card). Penalty kicks are DIRECT kicks taken from the center of the mid-line with all players (on both teams) behind the mid-line. Penalty kicks are dead ball infractions. If a goal is not scored, the defense obtains possession with a goal kick.

Five Yard Rule: In all dead-ball situations, defending players must stand at least five yards away from the ball. If the defensive player’s goal is closer than five yards, the ball shall be played five yards from the goal box in line with the direction of play prior to the penalty.

Goal Scoring: A goal may only be scored from a touch (offensive or defensive) within the team’s offensive half on the field. The ball must be completely on the offensive half of the field, and cannot be touching the mid-line (Example: kick-off). If a player in their defensive half kicks the ball across the midline and the ball hits another player (offensive or defensive) in their offensive half, and the ball goes in the goal, a goal will be awarded. If a ball is kicked from the defensive half and is not touched before the ball rests in the goal, a goal kick is awarded to the defensive team. A goal cannot be scored from an indirect kick, such as a kick-in from out-of-bounds. See below for “Plane of the Goal / Net Interference.”

Goal Keepers / Off-sides / Slide Tackling / Hand Ball Clarification: There are no Goalkeepers in USA 3v3 Soccer. No Off-sides in USA 3v3 Soccer! No Slide Tackling in USA 3v3 Soccer: If a player is sliding for the ball, contact with any player(s) from the other team is NOT ALLOWED. If a player slides and contact is initiated, a free kick shall be awarded. This does not prevent players from sliding to stop/intercept a ball where contact is not initiated during the slide. Example: a player may slide to save a ball from going out-of-bounds, so long as no contact is made with an opposing player. Hand Ball Clarification: Deliberate handling of the ball that denies a team of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity will result in the following: (1) A penalty kick (at the discretion of the referee) (2) A yellow or red card given to the player committing the hand ball (at the discretion of the referee).

Protests of Rules: Protests are strongly discouraged, as they are frequently based on emotions or referee judgment calls. Referee judgment calls are NOT grounds for a protest. Videotape is not acceptable as a form of protest or decision review. Only Incorrect Interpretation of the Rules (IIR) or Mis-Application of the Rules (MAR) are grounds for a protest (see above for Roster Protests). The Process for protesting an IIR or MAR should be as follows: 1) The Head Coach should notify the Referee that an IIR or MAR has occurred, and request an official ruling; 2) If available, a Referee Supervisor, or designated USA 3v3 Assistant Event Director should confirm the Interpretation / Application; 3) If #2 is not an option, and the referee does not believe an IIR or MAR has occurred and continues the game in progress, The Head Coach must verbally announce that they are playing the remainder of the game “Under Protest,” and must request the Referee to document the time of the game clock and the rule in question on the Game Scorecard; 4) The Head Coach of a team wishing to protest must complete the Protest Form and submit a non-refundable $50 protest fee to USA 3v3 headquarters within 15 minutes of the end of the game in question. 5) A USA 3v3 Tournament Official Staff Member will review the situation, and if an IIR or MAR seems to have occurred, a committee formed by the USA 3v3 Tournament Director, Referee Supervisor/Assignor, the Referee-if available (the official tournament official who will be the main source of official documentation and official information for the situation), and/or any Assistant Tournament Directors will determine the most appropriate solution for the situation. An overruling of the final score and / or final game result, or replay of the game will not necessarily occur. A protest filed from a team without following the process listed above may be discarded.

Field Dimensions, Goal Box, Plane of the Goal / Net Interference, Player Uniforms, Game Balls, etc.

Field Dimensions: The playing field is 40 yards long by 30 yards wide for ages U9 and higher. U6, U7 and U8 age groups play on 30 x 20 yard field. The goals are approximately four feet high and 8 feet wide. For U8 divisions, the playing field will NOT increase at post-season events, such as the USA 3v3 World Championships.

The Goal Box: There are no goalkeepers in 3v3. The goal box is approximately ten feet wide by six foot long located directly in front of the goal. The goals are four feet high by eight feet wide. There is no ball contact allowed within the goal box, however, all players may pass through the goal box as long as they do not touch the ball while in the box. If the ball comes to a rest in the goal box, or on the goal box line, a goal kick is awarded regardless of who touched the ball last. Any part of the ball or player’s body on the line or inside the plane of the box is considered in the goal box and an extension of such. If a defensive player touches the ball after it has entered the goal box, the plane of the goal box, or an extension of the goal box (such as any part of the ball or player’s body on the line or inside the plane of the box), a goal will be awarded to the offensive team. If an offensive player touches the ball after it has entered the goal box, the plane of the goal box, or an extension of the goal box (such as any part of the ball or player’s body on the line or inside the plane of the box), a goal kick will be awarded to the defensive team, and a goal will not be counted if scored. The plane of the goal box extends upward infinitely. The referee’s judgment call and ruling on the field will not be overturned.

Plane of the Goal / Net Interference: A goal will be awarded if the ball strikes the netting portion of the goal, even if the ball is then returned back into the field of play without completely crossing the goal line. If the ball strikes the cross bar or goal posts, and simultaneously strikes the netting portion of the goal, the referee’s judgment will determine whether the netting prohibited the ball from crossing the goal line (which should be awarded a goal); or whether the bar or post prohibited the ball from crossing the goal line (which should NOT be awarded a goal). The referee’s judgment call and ruling on the field will not be overturned. In simple terms, the net should not be the source that will prohibit a shot from scoring as a goal.

Player Uniforms, Jerseys, Protective Casts & Jewelry: All players must wear shin guards, or will not be allowed to play. All players must wear jerseys/shirts during play and each team must bring both a light and dark colored jersey/shirt. If both teams are wearing the same color, a coin flip in pool play will determine which team must change. In playoffs, the higher seed will have the option. Players wearing protective casts must receive written approval by the USA 3v3 Tournament Director and/or Referee Assignor, and will be required to check in prior to each game with the on-field referee to be permitted to play. If the referee on the field of play deems a player’s protective cast is unsafe in any way, the player will not be allowed to play until The Tournament Director, Athletic trainer, and/or Referee Assignor re-approve the wearing of the protective cast in writing. No jewelry will be allowed, including earrings of any type, rope necklaces and bracelets. The only exception will be players wearing medical bracelets.

Game Balls / Sizes: Teams are responsible for providing game balls. For post-season tournaments, such as the USA 3v3 World Championships, where the ball-size has increased for certain age-groups during fall league play (U8 and U12), the increased size should be used. Any disputations over ball size must be settled prior to the start of the game.

For the 2011-2012 USA 3v3 World Championships (January, 2012): Ball Size 3 = U6-U7 (or 05′s & 04′s); Ball Size 4 = U8-U11 (or 03′s, 02′s, 01′s, & 00′s); Ball Size 5 = U12 & up (or 99′s & older).

For the 2012 USA 3v3 Tour (February – August, 2012): Ball Size 3 = U6, U7, U8 (or 06′s, 05′s, & 04′s); Ball Size 4 = U9-U11 (or 03′s, 02′s, 01′s & 00′s); Ball Size 5 = U12 & up (99′s & older).

OTHER: Delay of Game, Forfeits, Overtime:

Delay of Game: The referee has the official time on the field and holds the right to take necessary action if he/she feels that a team is delaying the game. Any player may be cautioned with a yellow card if it is deemed by the referee that the player is intentionally wasting time, such as if a player intentionally kicks the ball long distances away from the playing field in order to waste time. The referee has the official time on the field.

Forfeits: Teams are given five minutes from scheduled game time, or from delayed start time due to unforeseen circumstances, before a forfeit is issued by the referee. All forfeits must be approved by the USA 3v3 Soccer Tournament Director before the game is considered an official forfeit. The USA 3v3 Tournament Director has the option to replay a forfeited game if deemed necessary. A team forfeiting three games during pool play may be removed from the tournament. A team forfeiting one game during the playoffs may be removed from the tournament.

Playoff Overtime: Pool Play Games shall end in a tie, if the game is tied at the end of regulation. Only Playoff Games shall play into overtime.

Golden Goal Overtime Period. Playoff Overtime shall consist of one 3-minute “golden goal” overtime period with a coin toss to decide kick-off/direction. The first team to score in overtime is the winner.

Shootout. If no team has scored in the 3-minute overtime, the winner shall be decided in a shootout with a coin toss to decide team kicking order. The three players from each team remaining on the field at the end of the overtime period will be the only players to kick for their team. The remaining three field players after overtime regulation will rotate, alternating teams with each kick. The first round of shootouts will consist of each player kicking once (round of 3 players shooting per team). The team with the most goals after the first round will be considered the winner. If the score remains tied after the first round of penalty kicks, the same 3 players will alternate in the same order in a sudden death penalty kick format until one team scores unanswered. If one team has received a red card during the game and finishes with 2 players on the field, a remaining roster player (other than the red carded player) must be chosen to kick in the rotation of penalty kicks. If the red-carded player is the last remaining roster player, one of the two field players must kick twice.

** The USA 3v3 Tournament Director will have final say on all disputes and interpretations of Tournament Rules. **