2015 Heartland Invitational Tournament




With the exception of rules listed here, the rules of US Youth Soccer and FIFA “Laws of the Game” shall govern this tournament.



Age:  The age groups for this tournament shall be in accordance with the US Youth Soccer age groups for the current seasonal year.  Divisions for single age years will be implemented provided that there are sufficient entries.


Registration:  All players must be currently registered with their respective US Youth Soccer State Association.  All teams from outside the State of Kansas must have an approved “Application for Travel” form.


Team Rosters:


U8                                                           11 players

U9 & U10                                              14 players

U11 & U12                                           14 players

U-12 (11 v11)                                       18 players

U9 to U12 Recreational                     16 players

U13 to U19                                           22 players (18 eligible to play in each game)


 Any team with more than 18 players will be required to submit a game roster identifying the eligible players for each individual game. 

2.             A maximum of five (5) guest players will be allowed.

3.             A player may play for only one team in the tournament.

4.             A certified state roster must be submitted to the Tournament prior to the opening game of the tournament.  5.            Approved Guest Player Forms must accompany the roster for all guest players.

6.             No changes to the roster will be permitted once play has been initiated in the first game.


Proof of Age:  All players and coaches must have current ID cards.  The card must contain a current photo of the coach or player, and must be laminated. Teams are allowed a maximum of five coaches. If teams fail to present their passes prior to the game, the game will be started, however, if the team cannot present their passes by half time, the game will be declared a forfeit and terminated at that time. All teams must have a representative who is carded to that team present throughout all games. Coaches who are are carded to that club may assist, but a representative who is carded to that team must be present. Failure to have a representative who is carded to that team present through the duration of the game will result in a forfeit against the team.  


Recreational Brackets:  No premier/competitive teams may play in the recreational bracket.  No premier/competitive players may be guest players on recreational teams.




  1. All teams must have Certified rosters and ID cards issued by an organizational member of the US Soccer Federation (e.g. A State Association, US Club, AYSO, USSSA, etc.)  and medical release forms approved by the Tournament staff at the team check-in, which will be held on the evening prior to the beginning of the tournament.

    2.             All teams must complete the tournament check-in procedures prior to the first game. Laminated cards (with stickers attached) must be presented for all players and coaches to one of the game officials before each game. A team representative is responsible for ensuring that the referee returns all cards at the end of each game.











    The length of games for each age group shall be as follows:


    Preliminary Games:                        

    U10 & Below        Two 25-minute halves

    U12                        Two 25-minute halves

    U12 (11 v 11)       Two 30-minute halves

    U14                        Two 30-minute halves

    U16                        Two 35-minute halves

    U19                        Two 35-minute halves


    Halftime periods shall be a maximum of five (5) minutes.


    Semi-finals and Finals:     As listed above.


    Overtime Rules.  A tie in a preliminary game will be considered a complete game.  In the event of a tie in a semi-final or final game, penalty kicks (as defined in FIFA “Laws of the Game”) will be used to determine a winner.


    IMPORTANT:  The game clock will not be stopped because of injury to any player unless, at the discretion of the referee, the injured player must be removed from the field by medical personnel.  In case of extremely hot, humid conditions, water breaks may be designated by the referee.  Due to the time allowed for the completion of all games, the clock must run continuously.


    Inclement Weather/Unplayable Field Conditions.  In the event of inclement weather, the Tournament Committee reserves the right to modify all tournament rules in order to safely and fairly end the tournament successfully. Games may be shortened or eliminated in case of inclement weather or unplayable field conditions.  Coaches are asked to be patient and remain flexible - changing the format of the tournament is a major undertaking.   In the event that semi-final and/or final games are canceled, the division winner will be determined in accordance with the tiebreaker rule, points 1-4.  If still tied, co-champions will be declared.


    The referee and/or Tournament staff have the authority to temporarily suspend play due to unsafe weather conditions.  Teams should remain (safely in cars or under shelter) in the vicinity until game resumption.  If lightning is sighted, the referee will immediately suspend play and clear the field.  Play will resume once it is deemed to be safe to do so.





  1. Under 9 & 10 Competitive will play 6-a-side. Under 9 & 10 Recreational will play 8- a-side.

  2. Age-appropriate fields will be used.

  3. The maximum number of players on the field at any one time is six (6), one of who shall be a goalkeeper.  Minimum number of players on the field is four (4), one of whom shall be a goalkeeper.

  4. Offside will be called.  Penalty and direct kicks will be awarded.

    5.             See additional rules included in this program.



1.             Under 11 Competitive and Under 11 & 12 Recreational will play 8-a-side.

2.             Under 12 Competitive may select from 8-a-side or 11-a-side. All U-12 games, including 11 v 11 games, will be played with a sized 4 ball.

3.             Age-appropriate fields will be used. With 8-a-side the maximum number of players on the field at any one time is eight (8), one of who shall be a goalkeeper.  Minimum number of players on the field is five (5), one of whom shall be a goalkeeper.

4.             Offside will be called.  Penalty and direct kicks will be awarded.

  1. See additional rules included in this program.


    REFEREES All divisions will use a three-person referee system.  The Tournament Committee shall have the right to select a club linesperson from a team if necessary.



  1. Each team’s jersey must be all the same color, and they must be numbered (no duplicate numbers).

  2. The home team is responsible for changing jerseys in case of color duplication.  The home team is the first team listed in the schedule.

  3. Shinguards are required for all players.

  4. Players are allowed to wear approved headgear as long as the referee does not have reason to believe it is dangerous to the player or other players.

  5. Casts must be completely covered with at least two (2) inches of foam padding and totally wrapped with an elastic bandage.  Any player playing with a cast must have a written release from a doctor.

  6. In the interest of safety, any player sustaining an open wound MUST be removed from the field of play immediately.  The player may be substituted at this time.  Such players are not allowed to return to the field until any wounds are treated, bandaged, and all blood is removed from their uniforms.




Substitutions shall be unlimited.  Substitutions may be made with the consent of the referee at the following times:

  1. The team in possession of the ball for a throw – in may substitute. If the team in possession chooses to substitute, the opposing team may also substitute.

  2. Prior to a goal kick by either team.

  3. After a goal by either team.

  4. After any injury by either team when the referee stops play (only one player may be substituted per team).

  5. At half time.

  6. A yellow-carded player may be substituted for, but this must be done before restart of play.  The other team may substitute one player with the permission of the referee.



In the preliminary rounds, points will be awarded as follows:

                                3 points for a win

                                1 point for a tie

                                0 points for a loss



Tie Breakers.  In the event of a tie in points in the preliminary round standings, the following procedures will be used to determine the group winners:

  1. Winner of most games.

  2. Winner of head-to-head competition.

  3. Goal spread (goals scored minus goals against) with a maximum differential of four (4) goals per game.

  4. Team with the most defensive shutouts.

  5. Fewest goals allowed.

  6. Penalty kicks.

    The group winners will advance to the semi-final/final rounds in all age divisions with six (6) or more teams. Quarterfinals may be played in certain brackets.


    Wild Cards.  In cases of an odd number of groups, a wildcard team will be selected to advance to the semi-final round.  The selection of the wildcard team will be made on the same basis as the determination of group winners.


    If applicable, quarterfinal opponents will be decided after preliminary rounds per the rules committee.


    For semi-finals seeding in which there are an A, B, and C bracket, with B and C having played “cross-over” games, the following will apply:

                    Winner of A bracket plays 2nd place (second top points) out of B & C (combined) brackets.

                    Winner (top points) out of B & C (combined) brackets plays the wild card.

                    Top points from the remaining teams will advance to the semi-finals as the wildcard.


    Wildcard teams will not be scheduled to play the division winner of their group in the quarter or semi-finals.  If such a pairing results in two teams that have played each other in preliminary rounds, the Tournament Director may decide to adjust the pairings to avoid a repeat of a preliminary game.


    Byes.  If there is a “bye” in a bracket, teams will be awarded a 4-0 win (3 points).




  1. A forfeit will be declared if a team fails to report at game time with at least seven (7) rostered players.  For 8 v 8 games at least five (5) players shall be required to start the game. For 6 v 6 games at least five (4) players shall be required to start the game.

  2. Any team that leaves the field of play before the conclusion of the game will forfeit the game and is subject to disqualification in the tournament at the discretion of the Tournament Committee.

  3. When the situation warrants, the Tournament Committee can declare a double forfeit to both teams with no points scored for the game.  This could be done in the case of unsportsmanlike behavior by both teams, etc.

  4. A team that forfeits a game will be assessed a 0-4 loss to the other team with full points awarded.




  1. Protests will be accepted only in the case of a suspected violation regarding illegal teams or players. Judgment calls, including player or team official cautions and/or ejections, may not be protested. Only those teams involved are permitted to protest a game result, and the protests must be filed by one of the involved team officials (coach or listed team contact).

  2. All protests must be filed with the Tournament Director in writing within thirty (30) minutes of the completion of the game.

  3. The Tournament Director shall appoint a three (3) person Tournament rules and protest committee who will be authorized to act on the behalf of the full committee in the interpretation of the rules and regulations of the tournament, and their decision will be final.  The decision of the Tournament rules and protest committee may not be appealed to a higher authority.



  1. A player or team official who is ejected from a game will be suspended for the next tournament game for that team.  An individual may receive more than a one-game suspension.  Two game suspensions may be handed down in cases involving violent conduct or racial abuse. Multiple game suspensions may be given at the discretion of the tournament committee. No substitution will be permitted for an ejected player.

  2. If a coach or team official is ejected from a game, from the point of ejection until the period of suspension is satisfied, the suspended individual must remain out of sight or sound of the playing field.  The “sight and sound” rule may be invoked in the case of an ejected player, at the discretion of the referee or the Tournament Committee.  At minimum, an ejected player must leave the player/bench are of the field and must remain silent for the duration of the game.

  3. The referees may suspend play when necessary due to spectator interference until the individual(s) creating the disturbance leaves the playing area (minimum of 100 yards from the field).  Said individual(s) shall remain silent for the duration of the game.  Failure to observe this rule may result in forfeiture of the game as well as further disciplinary action.




    In the event that the tournament is cancelled with no games played, all teams will receive a refund of the registration fee less $75. In the event that any team does not play three games, they will receive one third of the registration fee for each game lost minus the $75 administrative fee. 



The Tournament rules and protest committee shall determine any matter not provided for in the tournament rules.  In addition, the Tournament rules and protest committee may amend the tournament rules when, in its judgment, the amendment will be beneficial to the conduct of the tournament.  The decision of the Tournament rules and protest committee shall be final.

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