2019 Tournament Rules


COPA ESPN  5v5 Nov 2-3, 2019 


Tournament Headquarters:

Tournament Headquarters will be located at Cutler Ridge Park, 10100 SW 200 Street, Miami, Fl 33157. Graeme Griffith, Tournament Director (404) 431-2053.

Registration and Team Eligibility:

The Copa ESPN 990 5 V 5 Tournament shall be open to all teams comprised of properly registered youth players (as defined by the rules of the affiliated organization) in all age groups listed in the “Tournament Rules”, provided such team is in good standing with its youth association. 

Tournament officials shall conduct all credentials checks:

·         At the initial registration. At Tournament Headquarters Nov 1, 2019 Time 4:00-8:00 PM

·         At the field before each game.  Teams should be available to check-in with the referee or field marshal 30 minutes prior to the scheduled game time.

·         There will be no roster changes and/or additions once a team’s first tournament game has started. 

Documentation required at initial registration:

Arrange player passes/books/passports/birth certificates/waiver forms in alphabetical order to match roster.

Teams from the United States:

·         The Players and bench personnel must present picture identification cards issued by the team’s Federation Organization Member (USYS, USClub, AYSO, other)  or Birth Certificates for each player.

·         Identification cards must be verified, photo attached, and laminated (if your association does not allow lamination, cards must be encased in plastic sleeves). 

·         Teams must provide a tournament roster

·          Teams must provide a completed COPA ESPN Waiver Form for every rostered player up to the age group maximum and bench personnel (Coaches/Trainer/Manager) maximum 3 per team). 

Foreign Teams:

·         No foreign teams will be accepted for this tournament. 

Documentation required for pre-game check-in:  

All Teams

·         Teams are required to have and present player and bench personnel picture identification cards or birth certificates

·         Identification cards/birth certificates will be checked against the tournament generated game reports. 

·         Each team is limited to three (3) registered coaches on the bench. In no case will a team be allowed to participate without a properly registered coach unless approved by a tournament official.

·         The jersey number of each player must be the same as the player’s jersey number on the tournament roster. If not the referee is not to allow the player to take part in the match until the numbers are the same (jersey or roster changed). 

·         A player who arrives late at the playing field after the pre-game procedure may enter the game once the game’s official(s) verify the player is eligible and with the permission of the center referee. 

·         Only at the pre-game procedure may a player be challenged by an opposing manager/coach. Challenged player(s) will be noted by the Referee on the game report and will be allowed to participate in the game (if said player has been certified as eligible by the ESPN COPA 990 Tournaments Credentials Committee). A late arriving player may be challenged at the time he/she is allowed to participate by the Referee. ANY TEAM USING AN INELIGIBLE PLAYER WILL FORFEIT ALL TOURNAMENT MATCHES PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE.  A report will be filed with the offending teams National Organization or National State Association. If you are not sure of a player’s eligibility, ask, in writing, the Tournament Director.   


All teams, except as noted below, are subject to book lodging through the COPA ESPN 990 designated travel provider as a condition to compete at the event. 

·         Teams that are located within a 75 mile driving distance of the Tournament Headquarters are not required to book.

·         Teams that are located within a 90 mile driving distance of the Tournament Headquarters and have a drive time of 90 minutes or less are not required to book. 

·         All teams over 90 miles are expected to book with the designated travel provider as a condition to compete - no exceptions

·          Addresses used for the determination of the distance/time will be the address ESPN COPA 990 Headquarters and the Club’s physical address or the physical address of the Club’s home fields whichever is closer.

·         Google Maps TM or other approved online mapping services will be used to determine driving distance and time. 


All teams must enter a preliminary roster complete with bench personnel into the tournaments on-line scheduling system no later 1 week prior to team check-in. The minimum required information is Name, Date of Birth, player ID number, Uniform number and gender. Revisions can be made to the roster up the start of the first match (Player must be certified as eligible by the COPA ESPN 990 Tournaments Credentials Committee). This information will appear on the tournament game reports to be used by the referees for check-in on the field prior to each game. Teams failing to input this information are subject to removal from the event. 

Player Age and Eligibility:

AGE DETERMINATION:  the player’s playing age is determined by the following USYS guidelines for 2019/2020. 




Age Division

Birth Year

Maximum Roster

Guest Player Limit

Under 8 Boys and Girls Division




Under 9 Boys and Girls Division




Under 10 Boys and Girls Division




Under 11 Boys and Girls Division




Under 12 Boys and Girls Division




Under 13 Boys and Girls Division




Under 14 Boys and Girls Division




Under 15 Boys and Girls Division




Under 16 Boys and Girls Division




Under 17 Boys and Girls Division




Under 18 Boys and Girls Division




Under 19 Boys and Girls Division





**Players born after December 31, 2012 are not eligible to participate in this event Playing Up Guidelines 

FYSA teams must follow FYSA Rule 211.3 which states: "It is FYSA's policy that all players compete at a level they are capable of both physically and developmentally. In order for a player to move up more than one birth year it will require approval from the affiliate's Director of Coaching or Agent of Record and the FYSA Director of Coaching.    Failure to obtain proper permissions may result in the player being removed from the team's roster and sanctions against the team/club.   Non-FYSA teams must follow guidelines set by their National Governing Body (NGB). In no case in age groups U6-U14 players will not be allowed to play more than 2 years up without the approval of the Tournament Committee.  

A player must have reached the age of 11 at the time of the event to be able to play U13. 

**Each team will be allowed to have guest players, who are properly registered through their National and State Association, Federation or any other USSF affiliated organization. FYSA teams and players must follow FYSA Rule 208 "Guest Playing" and will not be allowed to guest play with or have guest players from a non USYS affiliate organization.  Crossover between USSF affiliates and FIFA Federations will be allowed except as stated in FYSA Rule 208. Guest players must have permission to participate/travel from their National and State Association, Federation, School or any other USSF affiliated organization. 

Players may not play for more than one team in the tournament. 

CONCUSSIONS:    Pursuant to Florida Statutes (FS 943.0438) Florida in 2012 enacted a very stringent Head injury and Concussion Law. If the referee (or assistant referee) believes that, in his/her opinion, a player has suffered a head injury or possible concussion, the match must be stopped IMMEDIATELY. The injured player if able to leave the field on their own must be escorted to their coach and the coach must be told that the player cannot return for the duration of the match. If a trainer is brought onto the field because the player is incapacitated, the referee must still notify the coach that the player cannot return to the game. It is the responsibility of the coach and the player’s parent(s) or legal guardians to seek medical attention. The player may not resume participation in the tournament unless a medical doctor licensed in the state of Florida or Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) has cleared the player. The Referee HAS NO FURTHER responsibility beyond removing the player from the match in which the player was injured. The referee crew must ensure, that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES or due to the appeal from any coaching staff that the player is allowed to return to the game. Any coach or parent insisting on returning the player to the game without approved clearance will result in the referee or tournament official ending the match. 

Discipline: Yellow cards result in an automatic substitution. The delinquent player may not re-enter the game until 2 minutes has passed.   Offside There is no offside. 

Heading: Intentional heading is not allowed for age groups 12 and under. The restart is an indirect free kick. 

Point System: 3 for a win 1 for a tie 1 for a shut-out 0 for a loss 

Tie Breaker: Head to Head, Best Goal Differential, Penalty Kicks  

Penalty Kicks:  Penalty kicks that are scored off a studder step, pause tactic, or similar motion will result in a rekick. Penalty kicks that are missed in this fashion will not be retaken. All players other than the defending goalkeeper and the pk shooter must be inside the center circle until the pk shooter kicks the ball forward. Rebounds are allowed if the ball remains in play after it moves forward, however the pk shooter may only touch the rebounded ball if it did not only impact the post(s) or cross balls.  

 Overtime:  Semi-Final and Final games that are tied at the end of regulation will go into overtime. A winner will be determined by golden goal (the first team to score wins). Overtime periods are 5 minutes. The maximum amount of overtime periods is two. If no clear winner can be determined after two golden goal overtime periods, the match will immediately go to penalty kicks. Each team will take 3 penalty kicks. If there is still a tie, than the penalty kick rounds will resume into sudden death. The first 5 penalty kick takers (if applicable) must be 5 players that were on the field at the time that the second overtime period ended. If all the players that were on the field at the time that the second overtime period ended shot a penalty kick and the score is still tied, than the substitutes will be called to kick. If a team has no substitutes or the amount of penalty kicks surpasses the amount of players on the team, than any player that has previously may shoot. In this case, the order of who kicks may change (the kickers do not have to go in the same order.) 

Performance: No refunds will be given for teams that drop out of the tournament after the schedule is posted. The Tournament Director reserves the right to reassign any team into a different bracket based on goal differential between the rest of the bracket and performance. Teams that show up late for games without the permission of the Tournament Director will be subject to a 5-0 forfeit. Games that are abandoned due to unsportsmanlike behavior will result in a 5-0 forfeit. Games that are abandoned due to weather in the first half will be suspended. Games that are abandoned due to weather in the second half will end at the score of the game at the time of the abandonment decision. 

Miscellaneous:  All matters not mentioned in this document will be determined by discretion of the Tournament Director. 


All matches must be played in accordance with the FIFA Laws of the Game, except as specifically modified as follows in the tournament rules.

LAW 1: Field of Play  All games will be played on a 30 yds (w) by 35 yds (l) field. 

Law 2:  Ball Size:  Ball Size U8 Size 3 U9/U12 Size 4 U13/U17 Size 5 

LAW 3: Number of Players – all groups will have a maximum of 8 and a minimum of five players on their roster.  Five players will play on the field at a time.  Game roster shall have a maximum of 8 players. Players not on the game roster are allowed to sit on the bench in the team’s opposite uniform or in street clothes


• Substitutions shall be unlimited at any stoppage approved by the referee.  Substitutions may be made only upon proper notification of the referee through the linesmen.

 • The substitute shall not enter the field of play until the player he/she is replacing has left, and then, only after receiving a signal from the referee.

• When an injured player (inclusive of the goalkeeper) is attended to on the field of play, the player must leave the field of play for treatment and evaluation.  A substitution may be made for the injured player. 

LAW 4: Players’ Equipment Player equipment must conform to FIFA rules.  All players will wear shin-guards (under the socks).   Orthopedic casts can be worn at any sanctioned FYSA tournament with written approval from a doctor and written permission from a tournament official, final judgment as to its safety is at the discretion of the referee.   It is the policy of FYSA that no player be allowed to wear ANY jewelry while participating in any FYSA sanctioned match.  The only exception that may be allowed is a medical alert bracelet or necklace when taped to the body.  The referee shall make the decision as to the safety of the player and the referee’s decision is final.  Teams will wear uniforms of matching design and color with a minimum of six (6) inch numbers affixed to the back of the uniform shirt.    In case of similar team colors, the designated home team per the tournament schedule will be required to change to a color accepted by the referee. In cases where the schedule does not designate a home team the first team listed on the game report will be considered the home team.     The uniform of the goalkeeper must be distinctly different in color from the basic colors of the competing teams and the referee. 

LAW 5: The Referee The center referee for all matches must be certified by the Federation. Visiting international referees must be approved by the Federation.   Referees are required to submit a completed official USSF or a tournament specific game report to the Site Director containing game scores and any information relating to any game incidents involving players/coach, spectator misconduct, or injuries.  In the event, the assigned referees fail to appear and the assignor and/or Site Director fails to provide a replacement, the senior assigned assistant referee shall assume the duties and shall find an alternate assistant. The game will be played as scheduled and will be deemed official. 

LAW 6: The Duration of the Match  The duration of the game will be:  2 X 12=24 for all age groups

CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE It shall be solely the team's responsibility to determine the status of its players. Any suspension from a tournament, local league, etc. is the responsibility of the team to notify the Tournament Director of this suspension at the time of the player's check in.  

Per Florida Youth Soccer Association Rule 504.1-Red Card suspension or send off suspensions can only be served with the team with which the suspension was earned in games played by their team. Players may not serve suspensions as “guest players.”  COPA ESPN 5V5 Soccer Tournaments will have a Discipline Committee of no less than three (3) members. The Discipline Committee will review and rule on all reports of unacceptable conduct by players, manager, coaches, referees, spectators, etc. using the Florida Youth Soccer Association standards as set by Rule Section 502. The committee’s decision is final and not appealable.  All players and managers/coaches shall be subject to Florida Youth Soccer Association Section 502 - Discipline and Sanctions. 

A player, manager, or coach ejected will have an automatic minimum one (1) game suspension regardless of the cause of the ejection. Duration of suspension is cumulative based on further misconduct after receiving the initial dismissal.

Depending on the severity of the unacceptable conduct, the Discipline Committee may recommend the suspension of up to the duration of the tournament with further disciplinary action by the appropriate National and State Association, Federation or any other USSF affiliated organization. The Discipline Committee recommendations will be available to the affected parties no later than before their next scheduled game. 

FORFEITS Games should start at the given start time. In case the team does not have the minimum number of players there will be up to a fifteen (15) minutes grace period. At that time the Tournament Director may extend the wait time based on unforeseen circumstances or make the decision to declare a forfeit and award the victory to the other team. A forfeit will be scored 4-0.  The tournament discipline committee will review the circumstances of the forfeit and may add additional penalties such as:

• Not allowing the team to be declared a division winner or wild card team

• Forfeit one you forfeit all. The forfeiting team may play all remaining Group Play matches (using referees) as official exhibitions.

• The decision of the committee will be final 


·         Within five (5) days after notification that the team is not accepted by their application.

·         Within five (5) days upon cancellation of the tournament.

·         Within ten (10) days of withdrawal request of the application by a team prior to acceptance of that application by the tournament.