Tournament Rules



For those teams that are attending please remember that a tournament is a social event as well as a sporting event. Please leave your tempers at home and live by the words everyone loves to say, “This is for the kids”. We have worked hard to provide great facilities and services as well as great referees. Not everything will go perfectly but politeness and sportsmanship are amazing cures for bad attitudes and hard times. Please be gracious in your wins and losses and remember it does not take a 10 goal spread to prove you won a game. Contrary to what some believe, running up the score does not enhance your team’s reputation and tables have a funny way of turning around in time.


The Mansfield Columbus Day Cup is sanctioned by MYSA and USYSA. Mansfield Youth Soccer is a member of BAYS (Boston Area Youth Soccer) and will follow BAYS rules for the Tournament. These rules may be found on the BAYS web site and incorporate the Playing Rules as well as the By-Laws.

The referee is in control of the game. We will abide by, and strongly enforce, the BAYS Zero Tolerance Policy.

BAYS Rules may be modified by the following tournament rules or exceptions:

The length of the game will consist of two (2) 22-minute halves with a 5 minute break.  All games will start on the hour.


Players’ safety is of primary importance.

All waivers and rosters must be completed electronically PRIOR to your first game.  Any player/coach who has not signed the electronic waiver (ie accepted their roster spot) will NOT be allowed onto the field.

Coaches are expected to keep players who have sustained injuries off the field.

The Referee will inspect players for dangerous items prior to each game. Some examples are casts, splints, jewelry, hats, barrettes, faulty cleats and protective headgear.  The Referee cannot allow anything to be worn that might hurt a player or an opponent on the field.  The Referee must err on the side of safety and his or her judgment will be final.  Coaches must support safety as well.


BAYS LAW 4  Players’ Equipment

Equipment consists of a jersey (each with a unique number at least six inches high), shorts, shin guards, stockings, and shoes. Shin guards must be worn (properly covered with stockings) when a player is on the playing field. In a case where the visiting team and the home team have similar colored jerseys, the home team must change to a markedly different jersey color. Pinnies worn over a numbered uniform shirt are acceptable; otherwise, substitute uniform shirts must conform to requirements for numbering. Goalkeepers must wear colors which distinguish them from other players, from each other, and from the referee. Articles that may constitute a danger to the wearer or any other player must be removed, i.e. jewelry, earrings, watches, barrettes, chains, belts, head coverings with any visor or protrusions, etc. A goalkeeper may wear a soft billed cap or soft headgear with the approval of the referee. Players will have shirts tucked in. Players who enter the field but fail to have proper equipment or who have duplicate jersey numbers will be sent to the touchline until the next stoppage in play (while their team plays short-handed) and may rejoin their team after being inspected by the referee. Players with plaster casts or hard splints, even if padded, cannot play — even with the permission of a parent, or medical approval. Players with orthopedic braces that have exposed or uncapped metal parts are also not allowed to play.

Shin guards and matching team uniforms must be worn at all times during a game (in conjunction with the “uniform rule” below).

No hats or dangerous headgear may be worn during the game. The Referee has final say on all bandanas, headbands, and devices to hold hair.

No jewelry except for medical alerts which must be taped down.


Unlimited substitutions with the permission of the referee are allowed and players must report to the center touch line before the referee will allow such substitutions.  Substitutions will be permitted as follows:

  • preceding offensive throw-ins
  • on opponents throw ins, if they are also substituting
  • prior to goal kicks
  • at the start of the half
  • following the scoring of a goal
  • with the injury of a player – only the player(s) involved may be substituted

Game Balls

  • Grade 3/4 — Size 4
  • Grade 5/6 — Size 4
  • Grade 7/8  — Size 5

Game Length

The length of game which will consist of two (2) 22-minute halves with a 5 minute break.  All games will start on the hour.

The length of games is subject to change by the Tournament Director and Referees Committee.  Coaches will be notified before the start of the half in which such a change is made.  Time is kept by the Referee and is running time.  Time may be added, at the sole discretion of the referee, in the case of injuries. In the event of unsafe conditions, a game may be terminated at any point by the referee. If one half has been completed, the score at that time of the termination will stand and the game will be considered officially completed.


No player ejected (red carded) may reenter that game, nor may the player have a substitute.  Any player or coach ejected from a game will be ineligible to appear until after the completion of the team’s next game.  Penalty kick procedures are not considered games.  If two red cards are awarded to a team, that team will forfeit the game.  The Tournament Committee and Referees Committee will determine whether any further action is warranted.


In the event of a forfeit, the opposing team will be awarded a 1-0 win or the score at the time of the forfeit if the goal differential is greater than 1.

A delay of 10 minutes from the official starting time will be tolerated before the Referee declares forfeiture.  Teams forfeiting a game are not eligible for Semi Final or Final Games.


No player may be on more than one roster – DUAL ROSTERIING is not allowed.

*exception can be submitted to tournament director and roster limit may be waived

Grade 3 and 4 (7v7):

  • Maximum roster of 16 players
  • 5 must be present and able to play in order to start or continue a game.

Grade 5 and 6 (9 v9):

  • Maximum roster of 18 players
  • 7 must be present and able to play in order to start or continue a game.

Grade 7 and 8 (11v11):

  • Maximum roster of 18 players
  • 8 must be present and able to play in order to start a game
  • 9 must be able to play in order to continue a game past half time

*exception can be submitted to tournament director and roster limit may be waived

Special 7v7 Rules:

There will be NO OFFSIDE in 7-versus-7 play. Goal kicks shall be taken from within six yards of the goal line. Indirect kicks awarded to the attacking team within the penalty area will be placed at the spot of the infraction, but no closer than six yards from the goal / goal line. On goal kicks, or on goalkeeper saves followed by a throw-out or punt, the ball must touch the ground or be touched by any player in the defensive half of the field. Infringement of this rule will result in a turnover of the ball to the other team. Play shall restart with an indirect kick at the midfield line nearest the point of contact. Penalty kicks will be taken from a point eight yards (Grade 3 and 4) or twelve yards (for older teams) directly in front of the midpoint of the goal. All other players must stand beyond the midfield line.

Special 9 v 9 Rules:

No special rules.  Games follow same rules as 11 v 11 soccer, with three less players on the field.

Score Posting

The official scores and standings will be posted online via the TeamSnap Tournament App.

Problems & Protests

Problems with a game should be reported to the Field Marshal in the tent adjacent to the field you are playing on. The referee is in control of the game. We will abide by, and strongly enforce, the BAYS Zero Tolerance Policy.

Protests must be filed in writing within 1 hour after the completion of the game.  Protests will be filed with the Tournament Director (or appointee) at the Tournament Office on the observation level of the concession stand located at the Plymouth Street facility.  All protests will be decided by the Tournament Director (or appointee) and all decisions are final.

Cancellations & Refunds

All fees are non-refundable once the team has been accepted. Notifications are via the web, the TeamSnap app, and email. Lack of an email address or an incorrect email does not create an exception.

No games will be cancelled or postponed unless the referee considers the playing surface unsafe. The tournament will not be rescheduled due to weather.

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