How The Games Work

The Format of The National Games

 

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U-10 through U-19 Competition

  • Girls’ and boys’ teams within each age group will be organized into separate pools. Co-ed teams will play in the boys’ brackets.
  • The structure of the age groups will be determined by the number of teams entered and may be organized into separate flights. Ideally, each pool will consist of at least six teams, and there will be no more than four pools in each bracket. The make-up of each pool will be determined by a random draw, and the teams will be assigned to provide as much inter-Section play as possible.
  • Pool Play – Modified Round Robin – U-10 Divisions
    • U-10 teams will initially be assigned to four pools of six teams based on geographic diversity. The teams will play two games within their assigned pool. After the first two games, teams will be evaluated and reassigned to four new pools to balance the competition. The teams will then play two games within their new assigned pool. After the next two games, teams will be evaluated and reassigned to four final new pools. The final new pools will use the standard National Games scoring to assign pool play points.
    • Note: Only the last three games will count for this purpose. At the end of final pool play, the highest ranking team in each pool wins first place; the second highest team wins second place; all other teams will receive participation awards. If teams are tied for first or second place, duplicate first or second place medals will be awarded. There will be no overtime or kicks from the penalty mark.

Game durations will be as follows, unless the National Director of Tournaments reduces the length of the halves due to playing conditions:

Age Group
U-19
U-16
U-14
U-12
U-10
Game Duration (All Games)
Two – 35 minute halves
Two – 30 minute halves
Two – 25 minute halves
Two – 25 minute halves
Two – 20 minute halves

Half-time periods shall be a minimum of five and a maximum of ten minutes as designated by the referee.

Round-Robin Play

For U-10 through U-19 divisions, points during pool play will be awarded using the following formula:

  • Six points for a win
  • Three points for a tie (to each team)
  • Zero points for a loss
  • One point for a shutout
  • One point for goal differential (up to 3)
  • One point deducted for each player or substitute sent off
  • One point deducted for each coach expelled from the playing area
  • Six points for proper participation in Soccerfest (see Soccerfest for requirements)*

Examples:
A 1-0 win equals 8 points for the winning team and zero points for the losing team.
A 3-2 win equals 7 points for the winning team and zero points for the losing team.
A 2-2 tie equals 3 points for each team.
A 0-0 tie equals 4 points for each team.

  • In the event of a forfeit, the winning score shall be 1-0, with the winner awarded eight points.
  • In the event a team receives no points for a game in which a send off or expulsion has occurred, a negative point total shall be posted for that team for that game.
  • At the end of pool play, eight teams from each bracket will advance to the Championship round. If there are four pools, the top two teams in each pool will advance. If there are three pools, the top two teams in each pool plus the two third place teams with the most points will advance. If there are two pools, the top four teams in each pool will advance. If there is only one pool, the top eight teams will advance.
  • If there is a tie in total points at the end of pool play, the following tie breaking rules, in the order listed, will be used to determine a winner:
    • Head to head results
    • Sportsmanship points earned
    • Goals against in all games (aggregate)
    • Kicks from the penalty mark
    • In a three-way tie, lots will be drawn to determine which two teams will first take Kicks from the Penalty Mark (KFTPM). The third team has a “bye” and will compete in KFTPM against the winning team of the first round of KFTPM.

 

Quarter-final competition

Game 1 – 1st in pool A vs. 2nd in pool C
Game 2 – 1st in pool B vs. 2nd in pool D
Game 3 – 1st in pool C vs. 2nd in pool A
Game 4 – 1st in pool D vs. 2nd in pool B

 

Championship bracket competition (Semifinal games)

Game 5 – Winner of Game 1 vs Winner of game 2
Game 6 – Winner of Game 3 vs Winner of game 4
Game 7 – Winners of Games 5 and 6 play for 1st and 2nd in the championship bracket
Game 8 – Runners-up Games 5 and 6 play for 3rd and 4th in the championship bracket

 

Consolation bracket (Semifinal games)

Game 9 – Runner-up of Game 1 vs Runner-up of Game 2
Game 10 – Runner-up of Game 3 vs Runner-up of Game 4
Game 11 – Winners of Games 9 and 10 for 1st and 2nd in the consolation bracket
Game 12 – Runners-up of Games 9 and 10 play for 3rd and 4th in the consolation bracket

 

Ties in Medal Rounds

Quarter-final and Semi-final matches tied at the end of regulation time will be broken as follows:

Two complete overtime periods will be played. Overtime kickoff will be determined by a coin toss. Player substitutions may occur only at the beginning of each overtime period.

U-19 Two 9 minute periods U-14 Two 7 minute periods
U-16 Two 8 minute periods U-12 Two 6 minute periods

If the game is still tied at the end of the second overtime period. Kicks from the Penalty Mark as described in the FIFA Laws of the Game will be taken.