Nike Winter Cup Tournament Rules 2023

This tournament shall be played under F.I.F.A. rules as modified by US Club for youth competition (including rules associated with small sided games initiative, i.e build out lines and no punting 7v7, no heading before U12) with the following additions/clarifications:

Decisions relating to the interpretation of the Tournament Rules can only be made by the Tournament Director(s).

Tournament Director(s) may delegate authority to Venue Director if Tournament Director is not present at game site.

Substitutions may be made on all goal kicks, kick offs, any team's throw-in, after an injury, or after a card has been given.

Disputes relating to the interpretation of these rules will be resolved with the administrators/coaches that are registered with the involved team(s).

All decisions, judgments, and calls of tournament referees and Tournament Director(s) and their committee are final.

Check-in will take place 60 minutes prior to 1st game and unlimited loan players are allowed with a roster no bigger US Club allows. After initial check-in, roster is frozen. All teams will be scheduled for a minimum of 3 games. For flights of 6, look at “full schedule”.

All games will be considered final and no protests will be allowed.

Duration of games by halves, and ball sizes are as follows:

Division Age Game Prelim Finals Ball
U16/15 2007/8* 11 v 11 35 Minutes 35 Minutes 5
U14 2009 11 v 11 35 Minutes 35 Minutes 5
U13 2010 11 v 11 35 Minutes 35 Minutes 5
U12 2011** 9 v 9 30 Minutes 30 Minutes 4
U11 2012 9 v 9 30 Minutes 30 Minutes 4
U10 2013*** 7 v 7 30 Minutes 30 Minutes 4
U9 2014 7 v 7 30 Minutes 30 Minutes 4
U8/7 2015/16 7 v 7 30 Minutes 30 Minutes 4


*2007/08 & 2015/16 may have combined bracket depending on # of applicants

** 2011 should register in U13 if they would like to play 11v11

***2013 should register in U11 if they would like to play 9v9

Halftime shall be 5 minutes. Field Marshals have the authority to reduce game minutes due to daylight or weather concerns.

Teams shall be awarded points based on a 10 point system described below:

10 point maximum per match

6 points for a Win

3 points for a Tie

1 point for a Shut-out. No shutout bonus shall be awarded for a 0-0 tie.

1 point shall be awarded for each goal scored in a game, not to exceed a maximum of three goals (points) per game.

1 point will be deducted for each red card received, including a soft red.

In the event that two or more teams are tied in points at the end of the preliminary games, the following tiebreakers shall be applied in order given until a winner is determined. Never revert back to the top of the list, even after a team has been eliminated from the tie-breaker.

Winner of head to head competition

Goal differential (goals for, minus goals against)

Least goals against

Most goals scored

Most wins

FIFA penalty kicks – If 3 teams, coin flip and odd one advances to 2nd round of Pks. Pks will be taken as soon as possible.

In the event a player receives a red card, the tournament director(s) will determine whether the suspension shall be for one game or two. The decision will be made with the input of referees. A soft red (2 yellows) will be a one game suspension.

Game time is forfeit time. The team which "wins by forfeit" shall be deemed to have won by a score of 1-0 and will receive 8 points. If at the discretion of the tournament director(s) a forfeit provides an unfair advantage, the tournament director(s) may make a bracket determination by another means so as to place teams fairly. There are no refunds given due to forfeit.

Home team will be responsible for solving any jersey conflicts. SilverLakes elects to have both teams on the same side. In this case, all fans are on the opposite side and shall sit directly across from their team on their own half and will not switch at halftime. Teams will supply their own benches and EZ Ups.

In case of inclement weather, field conditions, or natural disaster, games may:

Be shortened

Go to F.I.F.A. penalty kicks*

Be canceled


There may also be partial reimbursements of tournament application fee, dependent upon games played and costs incurred.

*If the Tournament Director(s) rules that during the preliminary round penalty kicks will be taken due to inclement weather or field conditions, the following rain rule will apply:

Each team will take a maximum of five (5) penalty kicks.

At the end of five (5) kicks the game will be scored as a 1-0 win for the team that has scored more penalty kicks, or a 0-0 tie if both teams are tied in penalty kicks at the end of five (5) kicks.

The tournament director(s) reserves the right to determine whether games decided in this fashion will be included in any tiebreakers.

U8-U10 ages will play 7 v 7. U11/U12 ages will play 9 v 9. U13 and older must have a minimum of 7 players to start a game and will play 11 v 11. Failure to provide these minimums at game time will result in a forfeit.

For brackets with wild cards, the wild cards will be selected from the second place teams who have accumulated the most points. Ties on points will be broken in accordance with the tiebreakers listed above. A change in matchups may occur to avoid a wildcard playing a team from their pool. For flights of 5 teams, a champion and finalist will be determined by points. Please check in with award location for collection of trophy and / or medals.

If a semi final game is tied at the end of regulation time, then FIFA Penalty Kicks will be taken to determine who moves on to finals. If a championship game is tied, two 5-minute over-time periods may be played, followed by FIFA penalty kicks if necessary.  Venue Director may waive the 5 minute over-time periods if daylight or field schedule requires it.

A ceremony will take place directly following game to distribute championship and finalist awards.