Alliance Cup Rules 2020



Alliance Cup
1045 East Atlantic Avenue, #209
Delray Beach, FL 33483

T: 561-266-9596


The Alliance Cup will incorporate the US Soccer Player Development Initiatives, which will include:

Age Division Birth Year Maximum Roster Guest Player Limit
U-9 1/1/2011 12 4
U-10 1/1/2010 12 4
U-11 1/1/2009 16 5
U-12 1/1/2008 16 5
U-13 1/1/2007 22 6
U-14 1/1/2006 22 6
U-15 1/1/2005 22 6
U-16 1/1/2004 22 6
U-17 1/1/2003 22 6
U-18 1/1/2002 22 6
U-19 1/1/2001 22 6

Participation in the Alliance Cup is open to accepted teams consisting of players meeting the age limit and roster size of the specified division. Players must align with the new birth year standard, as defined by US Soccer guidelines. A team using guest players may have no more than four (4) to six (6) loan/guest players depending on age group.

Competitive teams, except for foreign/international teams, must be registeredwith a National Soccer Association affiliated with US Soccer/US Youth Soccer and must present a valid State roster. For these teams, the only acceptable proof of age will be a valid US Soccer/US Youth Soccer, State, or National registration card that includes a signature and a photograph of the player. Players on these competitive teams who do not present valid player passes will not play.

Recreational team must produce, at registration, a roster signed by an official of the club (which club must be affiliated with US Youth Soccer or some other national soccer organization) of which they are affiliated and played for, listing each player, including their date of birth, and must provide, at registration, a birth certificate or state or national certified player pass, for each such player evidencing that player’s eligibility to play on that team based on birth date.

A player may compete for only one team participating in the tournament. In the event a player is found to have played for more than one team in the tournament, the second team on which the player played for in the tournament shall be deemed as the team that fielded an ineligible player. Any team fielding an ineligible player will be disqualified from the tournament and their tournament fee will be forfeited.

Teams participating in the tournament must provide a medical release for each player in a format as required by the Tournament Committee and as posted on the tournament web site. These authorizations shall be presented at registration and a copy kept by the team at the field available for presentation in the event of an emergency.

Where required by the State or National Association for which a team/player is registered, all competitive teams/players traveling from within the United States but outside the State of Florida must have a copy of their Permission to Travel Forms, approved and signed by a USSF or duly authorized State, or National Association representative.

U9-U10 age group teams will play 7v7 and roster size cannot exceed 12 players. 4 guest players are permitted.

U11-U12 age group teams will play 9v9 and roster size cannot exceed 16 players. 6 guest players are permitted.

U13 – U19 age group teams will play 11v11 and roster size cannot exceed 22 players. 6 guest players are permitted. The game roster for a given game may not exceed 18 players.

The above roster sizes are for the entirety of the tournament in that the same players must be on the maximum tournament roster for the entirety of the tournament. Players may not be listed on more than one tournament roster for the tournament. The Tournament Committee must approve teams applying to “play up” an age group.


All games shall be played in accordance with FIFA Laws, except as specifically modified by these rules. Law 11, Offside, will be enforced in all divisions, including U9-U12

  1. If the age group is 15 years and under, free substitution is allowed.
  2. For age groups 16 years and older, free substitution is allowed providing the tournament is not an official competition (but a friendly club tournament) and the age category does not include matches between national teams of CONCACAF member countries. If it does include national teams, then up to six substitutions are allowed.

FIFA’s rules specify that the following:


Players up to 8U age groups (born in 2012 or later birth years) will be allowed to roster up 1 year

Players in the 9U to 14U age groups (2000 to 2011 birth years) will be allowed to roster up 2 years, subject to the restriction that no player may participate in an FYSA sanctioned competition in which heading is permitted before their 11th birthday

Players in the 15U and older age groups will be allowed to roster up to any older age groups


In conjunction with US Soccer and US Youth Soccer, Florida Youth Soccer Association will be instituting a heading ban for players’ age 10 and younger. In accordance with the recent U.S. Soccer recommendations on concussion risk management: FYSA has eliminated heading in matches for player’s age 10-years-old and younger (2009-11u and younger), per the new calendar year registration guidelines. 2008-12U teams will participate in nonheading divisions until December 31, 2016 and then heading divisions shall be permitted Jan 1,. The guidelines apply to leagues, tournaments, and other FYSA sanctioned events that include 2009-11u and younger age group teams (2008-12U in 2020) heading will not be permitted. Leagues and tournaments shall allow for 2005-12u heading age divisions after January 1, 2017. Leagues and tournaments will be permitted to form 2006/2007-12u non-heading divisions. (see playing up guidelines) Teams that opt for 2006-2007-12u nonheading divisions shall only participate in non-heading divisions in league play, tournaments, and all events. Sanctions will be made against teams that do not follow this guideline.


Orthopedic casts are permitted; however, soft braces cab be worn with written approval from a doctor, and judgment as to safety is at the discretion of the referee, the ultimate authority is the referee.

  1. It is 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.
  2. No player may participate while wearing a hard cast.
  3. Player equipment must forms to FIFA rules. All players will wear (under the socks).
  4. 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. These numbers shall coincide with those listed on the team’s roster.
  5. Where uniform colors are similar, the designated home team will change colors. Home team is listed first on the schedule.
  6. Both teams will take the same side of the field. All other supporters will take the opposite side. Only three (3) carded team officials are permitted on the sidelines with their players.
  7. No one is permitted behind either goal/end line.
  8. Spectators must remain behind the spectator line and coaches must remain in the coaches’ area.
  9. In the event the assigned assistant referees fail to appear, the referee must find suitable assistant referees.
  10. The home team will provide the game ball.
Age Group Ball Preliminary Games Playoffs
U9/U10 4 25 min. halves 25 min. halves
U11/U12 4 25 min. halves 25 min. halves
U13/U14 5 30 min. halves 30 min. halves
U15/U16 5 35 min. halves 35 min. halves
U17/U18/U19 5 35 min. halves 35 min. halves
  1. Water Breaks: Will be mandatorily provided at the midpoint of each half of regulation play during a natural stoppage in play. They will be no shorter than 1 minute in duration and the game clock will continue to run.
  2. Mercy Rule: All games will be subject to a mercy rule of an 8-goal differential at any time after the completion of the first half.
  1. The Head Referee will ensure that the game report forms are properly completed and presented to the Site Director at the completion of each game. Uniform numbers must be accompanied by player names if a card is issued.
  2. The Head Referee will ensure that the correct score for each game is reported to the Site Director after each game in a timely manner.


If a game is abandoned, meaning the referees have to cancel the game while in progress due to actions or behavior of players, coaches, or spectators, the score will be recorded as follows:

  1. If either team is at fault for the abandonment of the game, that team in fault shall forfeit the match and the score will be recorded as a 4-0 win for the opposing team.
  2. If both teams are at fault the score will remain as is at the time of abandonment.
  1. A team shall be allowed a ten (10) minute grace period after the scheduled kick-off time before the match is awarded to their opponent. A minimum of seven (7) players constitutes a team for ages U13 and older and if seven (7) players are present, the game will not be delayed. For ages U9 and U10 the number of players required is five (5). For ages U11 and U12, the number of players required is six (6).
  2. In no case shall a team that forfeits or does not show-up for a game be declared a division winner. If an apparent division winner forfeits a game, or does not show up for play, the division team with the next best record shall be named the division winner.
  3. A forfeit in the preliminary round (group play) will be awarded as three (3) points for the win and maximum of 4 goals scored. If the score is 0-0 at the time of the forfeit, the score will be recorded as 4-0.
  4. Should a referee call the game and/or deemed abandoned, the winning team will be awarded three (3) points for the win and maximum of 4 goals scored.
  5. Forfeits in the play-off rounds shall be recorded as 1-0 games.
  1. Decisions by referees may not be appealed.

The Alliance Cup 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, managers, coaches, referees, spectators, etc. using the Florida Youth Soccer Association standards as set by Rule Section 502.

  1. 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 surrounding field area and/or the Tournament. Repeated violations may result in the suspension of the team from the Tournament as decided by the Tournament Director.
  2. A player, coach, or team official ejected from a game shall receive 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. The Discipline Committee shall determine the appropriate sanction for the action resulting in the ejection, said sanction will be determined and communicated to the affected parties as soon as practicable, but no later than prior to the next scheduled game in which the offending party would have an opportunity to participate, which is no sooner than two games after the game in which the offending party was ejected, since there is at least a one game automatic suspension.
  3. Any player, coach, team official or parent exhibiting or threatening violence to anyone (player, coach, referee, spectator, or Tournament official) will be grounds for immediate expulsion from the tournament, such determination to be made by the appropriate referees and tournament officials. When serving a suspension, the suspended party must check in and remain at the site tent through the duration of the game, or alternatively may be asked to leave the park.
  4. All players and managers/coaches shall be subject to Florida Youth Soccer Association Section 502 – Disciple and Sanctions.
  5. 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.
  6. In accordance with US Youth Soccer Tournament Hosting Agreement, all red and yellow cards and other matters involving team conduct will be reported to the home club and State Association of the team involved as well as US Youth Soccer National Office within seventy-two (72) hours of the conclusion of the tournament for possible further discipline.
  7. Alcoholic beverages, smoking, use of profanity and animals are not permitted at the fields or parks.
  8. Mechanical and artificial noisemakers are prohibited.

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. Until the suspension is served the player/coach is suspended from any other team(s) to which the player/coach may be registered. Games may not be scheduled to “work off” suspension. Players may not serve suspensions as “guest players” nor may they “guest play” with any other team(s) until such time as the original suspension is served.

  1. Issued during league game must be worked off during next scheduled league, Cup or tournament game(s).
  2. Issued during (American) District, Regional or President's Cup, they must be worked off during remainder of the competition. If no competition remains, suspension must be worked off in next scheduled league and/or tournament game(s).
  3. Issued during Tournament Play: Tournament Red Card Report filed along with game reports as required by Post-Tournament rules. FYSA office to send copy of Red Card Report and appropriate game reports to the DC in the next immediate mail out. DC to notify club of a discipline/sanctions remaining.
  4. Issued during "friendly games" must be worked off during the next scheduled league, Cup or tournament game(s). "Friendly games" may not be scheduled to work off game suspensions nor if previously scheduled, used to work off suspension given during league, cup or tournament games
  5. Issued during the US Youth National Championship (State Cup), at any level, shall not be allowed to participate in the next immediately following National Championship (State Cup) game played by the player’s team. A player may receive more than one (1) game suspension. Local club/league may issue additional discipline to be served in other than National Championship (State Cup) games.

A red card suspension issued during a small-sided tournament, which cannot be served during the event, shall be served during the player/coach’s next scheduled club, league or cup game(s). For a suspension issued during a normal league/cup game, the player must sit out the first game of any smallsided tournament previously entered. The player shall then be able to compete in the remainder of the tournament. The player shall not receive credit for the small-sided game(s) against the original suspension.


Finalists will be determined through a seeding format or by a division winner’s format. The Tournament Committee will decide which format each age group and bracket will follow. This will be announced prior to the commencement of competition. The rules to determine tiebreakers will be the same for either format. Each team will be awarded three (3) points for a win, one (1) point for a tie and zero (0) points for a loss. At the end of the preliminary rounds, if the division winner determines the finalists for a particular age group and bracket, the division winner will be the team with the most points in their division. In the event of a tie within a division, the following criteria will be used to determine who moves forward:

  1. Head to head competition (this criterion will not be considered in the case of a tie among more than two (2) teams.) ****
  2. Goal differential to a maximum of four (4) per game.
  3. Most goals scored to a maximum of four (4) per game.
  4. Least goals allowed to a maximum of four (4) per game.
  5. Total number of shutouts
  6. FIFA penalty kicks.

**** In the event of a tie between more than two teams, once a tie is broken by the above system, and if ties between remaining teams still must be decided, starting again from the top of the tie breaking procedure would break those ties.

In the event that a wild card team must be selected for the playoff rounds, the above procedure will be used across the entire age group and bracket involved.

If a division winner does not show up for play, the division team with the next best record shall be named the division winner.

In the event the finalists for a particular age group and bracket are determined by seeding, the finalists (or semi-finalists if applicable) shall be determined based upon the two teams (or more if semi-finals are applicable) with the most points in the overall age group and bracket involved. In the event of a tie, the same criteria as utilized for division winners shall be used to determine the finalists.

In the event that there is an age group(s) and bracket, in which semi- finals are held, to be determined in the discretion of the Tournament Committee, the foregoing rules shall be applied to determine the teams that shall qualify for the semi-finals.

  1. Depending on the number of teams in the division/ age group bracket, there may be a playoff.
  2. If there are playoffs and a wild card team must be selected for the playoff rounds, that team will not be assigned to play the winner of its own division in the first playoff round.
  3. In the case of a draw at the end of regulation time in the playoff rounds, the winner will be determined as follows:
    1. The best of five penalty kicks taken alternately by each team will determine the winner. Only those players on the field at the end of regulation time of the playoff game may compete. If the penalty kick score is tied at the end of the five kicks, the teams will continue to take penalty kicks alternately until there is a winner. All players on the field must kick before any player may kick a second time.

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 until he/she has been cleared by a medical doctor. 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 not allowed to return to the game.


In the event of inclement weather, the Tournament Committee will have the authority (in its sole discretion) to change games as follows:

*** If in the event the Tournament Director rules that during the preliminary round “Taking of Kicks from the Penalty Mark.” will be done due to inclement weather or field conditions, the following rule will apply:

Only referees or duty manager can suspend a match already started due to weather conditions. The Tournament Director will determine duration of any suspension. In case of extreme weather (heat/humidity), a break will be given at the midpoint of each half of regulation time and at the end of each overtime period (if played) for player hydration. This break will be given at a normal stoppage of play and it is mandatory for any FYSA sanctioned match during which the air temperature is or is expected to reach eighty-five (85) degrees. (FYSA Bylaw 402.4)

  1. Within five (5) days after notification that the team is not accepted by their application.
  2. Within five (5) days upon cancellation of the tournament.
  3. Within ten (10) days of withdrawal request of the application by a team prior to acceptance of that application by the tournament.
  4. Any team that will not be permitted to play in the contracted age group shall have the option to withdraw and receive a full refund of all entry fees. The tournament committee shall notify any participant not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the beginning of the tournament if any age group advertised will not be offered.
  1. Under no circumstances whatsoever, will the Tournament Committee, United Soccer Academy & the Alliance Cup, FYSA, or US Club Soccer is responsible for any expenses (including tournament entry fee) incurred by any team. This includes a situation where the tournament or any game(s) is cancelled in whole or part, due to any factor including inclement weather.
  2. Teams that cancel participation or pullout of the tournament following the registration deadline of October 04, 2020 will not be granted a refund.
  3. The Tournament Committee’s interpretation of these rules shall be FINAL.
  4. The Tournament Committee reserves the right to decide on all matters pertaining to this tournament.
  5. The Tournament Committee, based on its interpretation of these rules, will determine the teams, which advance into the final rounds.
  6. Out of area teams are required to stay at tournament approved host hotels.