Tournament Rules

Dublin Charity Cup

Presented by Panasonic Automotive

August 31 – September 1, 2024

Dublin, Ohio

Tournament Rules 2024

The Dublin Charity Cup Soccer Tournament welcomes teams in good standing, currently registered with a USYSA state, USSF affiliate or CONCACAF nation. Tournament dates are August 31 – September 1, 2024. The tournament headquarters during the event is 6259 Cosgray Rd., Bldg. #3, Dublin, Ohio, 43016, USA. The mailing address is 6631 Commerce Pkwy, Suite Q, Dublin, OH, 43017, USA. Contact Dominique Hoecherl, Tournament Director, by email at 


Registration and Eligibility: Check in for each team is due by Monday, August 26th in their gotsport account.  When checking in, a team coach or representative must provide a copy of an official roster, guest player roster (if applicable), player passes with photo (preferably laminated, bring to fields each game), Liability/Medical Release form and travel permit (if required). Guest player passes must be from the same sanctioning body as the team. USYSA teams from outside Ohio South must have proof of permission to travel. US Club soccer teams do not require a travel permit. Teams from outside the US (but from a CONCACAF nation) must have proof of entry into the US and a completed form from their Provincial or National Association approving the team’s participation in the tournament.  Coaches, parents and players are expected to have completed all requirements outlined by OSA and the State of Ohio regarding background checks, concussion training, Lindsay’s Law and US SafeSport.

LIABILITY/MEDICAL RELEASE FORM (required, print, parent signs, upload to gotsport team reg) 2024 form COMING SOON

Coaches, parents and players are expected to have completed all requirements outlined by Ohio Soccer Association and the State of Ohio regarding background checks, concussion training, Lindsay’s Law and US SafeSport.   

Team Gender and Ages:

11v11 Full Sided Games
Boys U-14/15
Born 2011
& after
Boys U-13
Born 2012
& after
Girls U-14/15
Born 2011
& after
Girls U-13
Born 2012
& after
9v9 Small Sided Games
Boys U-12
Born 2013
& after
Boys U-11
Born 2014
& after
Girls U-12
Born 2013
& after
Girls U-11
Born 2014
& after
7v7 Small Sided Games
Boys U-10
Born 2015
& after
Boys U-8/9
Born 2017
& after
Girls U-10
Born 2015
& after
Girls U-8/9
Born 2017
& after

Maximum number of players, including guest players, on any one team’s roster participating in the tournament:

  • U-8-U-10 – teams playing seven-a-side, including up to 4 guest players, a maximum of fourteen (14)
  • U-11, U-12 – teams playing nine-a-side, including up to 4 guest players, a maximum of eighteen (18)
  • U-13, U-14/15 – teams playing eleven-a-side, including up to 4 guest players, a maximum of eighteen (18) identified at registration to participate out of a roster maximum of twenty-two (22)

Roster changes must be made before the start of the team’s first game. Once the first game begins, the roster is frozen for the duration of the tournament. Players may be rostered to one team only. Up to three coaches may be listed on a team’s roster. Officially credentialed “Director of Coaching” pass holders may also be with the team during a game. The tournament is open to teams U-8 through U-14/15. U-14 teams are officially entered in a U-14/15 division to accommodate teams with “trapped” or “orphaned” eighth graders.  If the numbers of teams permit, teams may be split into separate U-14 and U-15 divisions. U-8 teams will play in U-8 divisions, if numbers permit. All of a team’s players must be within the age group guidelines established for their respective age group using the range January 1st through December 31st

The first team listed for a match will be considered the home team (light uniform if available) and will be expected to change jerseys if the referee determines there is a color conflict. All teams should bring two colors of jerseys. Shin guards are required for all players. No bare hard casts are permitted; soft and wrapped casts are permitted with the permission of the referee or a site/tournament director. Referees are to exercise discretion and leniency with regard to complete and/or matching uniform elements with a Tournament Director having final authority. Player passes must be available at all matches.  The jersey of each player must have a unique number. The site or tournament director(s) has the final authority for such matters.  

Tournament Format:  Each participating team will play a minimum of three games. No team will play more than two matches per day. All finalists will receive individual awards for both players and coach. In general, the first place team for a group, based on points or tie breakers, as described below, will play the first place team from the other group for the division championship. All matches: those within a group, crossover games with another group, and those forfeited, will be counted towards a team’s total points. Ties will stand in all games except semi-final or championship matches. In those matches, overtime will consist of two five-minute halves. If the game remains tied after overtime periods, penalty kick elimination will be held per FIFA rules to determine the champion.

All matches use USSF certified referees. A three and two-person system of control, as approved by Ohio Soccer Association, is used for all games.  A two referee (two whistle) system is planned for most or all U-12 and under games, with a one referee system used for U-8 and U-9 games, if necessary.

All games will be played under international rules (FIFA) with the exceptions as noted. An unlimited number of substitutions may be made (with the referee’s permission) as follows:

  1. Before a throw-in in your team’s favor. If a player for the opposing team is at the mid-field flag waiting to be a substitute when the team that is awarded a throw-in has a substitute to enter the game, the substitute for the opposing team may also enter the game. If the team that has been awarded a throw-in does not have a substitute, then neither team may substitute a player.
  2. Before a goal kick for either team
  3. After a score by either team
  4. At half-time
  5. After an injury, if the injured player is substituted
  6. After a caution, 1 for 1, if the cautioned player is substituted

The length of each game and ball sizes will be as follows:

                 Division                            Preliminary                        Championship             Ball Size

U-8 – U-10       Boys & Girls         25 Minute Halves                25 Minute Halves                # 4                        

U-11, U-12        Boys & Girls         25 Minute Halves                30 Minute Halves               # 4

U-13, U-14/15 Boys & Girls         30 Minute Halves                 35 Minute Halves              # 5                      

The referee will whistle expiration of time following a natural completion of a play, at their discretion.

Heading the Ball:  Deliberately striking the ball with the head during a game by players U-11 and under is prohibited.  Referees and Assistant Referees must consider the act to be Dangerous Play and handle the matter accordingly as an infraction of the Laws of the Game.

If a U-11 or younger player participates on a U-12 or older team, it is the responsibility of the player’s coaches and the player’s parents or guardians to ensure that the player does not head the ball during a game.

Build-Out-Lines applicable to 7v7 format (U-9 and U-10 play):  

a) A line shall be painted on each end of the field, from touch line to touchline, that is mid-distance between the top of the penalty box and the halfway line. This line shall be known as the “build-out” line, sometimes referred to as “blue line”.

b) When a goalkeeper gains controls of the ball with their hands, then all opposing team players must promptly move beyond the build-out line until the ball is put into play. Once all of the players for the opposing team have moved beyond the build-out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw, or roll the ball in to play. The goalkeeper may not punt or drop kick the ball. The opposing team must also move behind the build-out line during play until the ball is put into play. After the ball is put into play, (i.e. the ball is released by the goalkeeper), the opposing team can cross the build-out line and play resumes as normal.

c) If a goalkeeper punts or drop kicks the ball, an indirect free kick shall be awarded or as otherwise provided by in the Laws of the Game.

d) The build-out line will also be used to denote where offside can be called. Player shall not be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the build-out line. Players shall be penalized for an offside offense between the build-out line and the goal line.

e) Goalkeepers may put the ball into play prior to the opposing team’s players moving beyond the build-out line but by doing so accepts the positioning of the opponents and the consequences of how play resumes.

Group standings will be determined as follows:

  1. Point total: WIN = 3 points           TIE = 1 point            LOSS = 0 points
  1. Tie breakers, used in order to determine a divisional winner:

a) Result of the match between the tied teams. This does not apply if three teams are tied.

b) Goal differential as defined by total goals scored minus goals allowed with a maximum    difference of three goals per game. A forfeit is treated as a 3–0 verdict.

c) Lower number of goals allowed, with no limit on goals allowed.

d) Penalty kick elimination, as per FIFA rules of the game.

At the end of each match, both participating coaches must sign the scorecard verifying the game score. Once signed, the score is considered official. The failure of a coach to sign a scorecard constitutes a waiver of any error therein. Scores will be posted regularly at site headquarters. Any discrepancies must be reported to the site headquarter by a team official prior to the next preliminary game being played. Both coaches signing the scorecard must agree regarding score changes. Any appeal regarding the last preliminary game must be made within 15 minutes of the game’s completion. The referee will give the scorecard to the referee coordinator’s assistant who will collect the cards after each game. If the coordinator does not collect the card, the referee is responsible for bringing the card to the referee coordinator promptly after the game’s completion. Cautions, ejections and concussions are to be clearly noted on the scorecard and tracked by the referee coordinator.

Teams for full sided games (11v11) not reporting to their scheduled field with at least seven players within ten minutes of the scheduled starting time may be required to forfeit that game. For 9v9 small sided games, teams must have at least six players. For 7v7 small sided games, teams must have at least five players. Teams involved in a forfeited game may progress to the Championship if they qualify. A forfeit will be recorded as a 3 – 0 game.

Game balls will be provided by the tournament. Otherwise, a FIFA approved ball acceptable to the referee will be selected from the home team.

Disputes:  Protests must be filed in writing with the tournament site headquarters within thirty (30) minutes of the conclusion of the game, along with a $100 cash fee. The fee will be returned if the protest is upheld. Referee judgment will not be the basis for a protest. Player eligibility and rule disputes will be resolved by the Tournament Directors and Site Coordinators. If there is a dispute that cannot be determined by the official tournament rules, a committee of at least three people will hear the complaint and make a ruling. That ruling is final and cannot be appealed. The committee may consist of the tournament director, a site coordinator, the referee assignor, the Chairperson of the Dublin Soccer League, an association district commissioner,  or one or more other persons who are knowledgeable of the USYSA and Ohio Soccer Association rules who the tournament director feels can assist in making a prudent decision.

The tournament committee is responsible for interpreting the rules and scheduling tie breaker activities.

Standards of Conduct:  The use of noisemakers such as air horns, vuvuzelas, cow bells, whistles, loud oral whistling, etc. during a game is prohibited and considered unsportsmanlike conduct. The referee may suspend play until the offending noise stops.

All participants will be expected to maintain high standards of conduct during their stay. These standards are expected of players, referees, and family members, both while at the fields and in accommodations including refraining from kicking soccer balls against or within a building and being disrespectful of the property of others. If the Tournament becomes aware of misconduct, the Director reserves the right to proceed with an appropriate sanction: a warning, reduction in points in the standings, or banning the team or club from future participation in the tournament. As this is a charitable fundraiser, no peddling or solicitation is permitted by any team or organization.

There shall be no dissent between players and/or coaches and the referee. Questioning a referee is considered dissent. All coaches are responsible for the actions of his or her spectators, specifically verbal abuse of referees. Such behavior may result in forfeiture of the game, removal of spectators and/or expulsion from further play.

Players and coaches must remain on their side of the field, within 20 yards of the centerline of their half of the field. Spectators, including everyone not listed as a player or a coach for the teams on the field, must remain on the side of the field opposite the teams, unless directed otherwise by State of Ohio health directives regarding COVID-19. No one should be behind the goal lines. Players who are sent off (red card) during a game cannot play in their next game. They may sit with their team but cannot dress in uniform. Coaches may be given cautions or sent off. Coaches who are sent off cannot participate as a coach or a spectator in their team’s next game. An ejected coach may not be in the vicinity of the playing field during the sanctioned game. If a player or coach is sent off during their final game of the tournament, that player or coach’s card will be returned, except in cases involving assault, to the coach or team representative after they have signed the OSA red card report, sent by Tuesday following the tournament, indicating receipt of the card. Otherwise it will be held by the tournament committee and mailed to the league office which has certified the player or coach. If it is a CONCACAF player or coach, the card will be mailed to the team, and a report of the disciplinary action taken will be sent to the US Soccer Federation so that it can be transmitted to the team’s provincial or national association. A final game is considered the third preliminary game if the team does not advance to the championship. Otherwise, it is the Championship match.

US SafeSport:  The Dublin Charity Cup recognizes the USSF requirement that adult coaches and team admins in contact with children are required to be certified as having completed misconduct awareness modules as presented by the US Center for SafeSport. 

Concussions and Head Injuries:  The Dublin Charity Cup complies with Ohio’s “Return to Play” law (ORC 3313.539 and ORC 3314.03) regarding concussions and head injuries in youth sports.

If during a practice or game, a coach, referee or tournament official observes a player exhibiting signs, symptoms or behavior consistent with having sustained a concussion or head injury then that player shall be prohibited from further participation in any athletic activity on that same calendar day. Furthermore, the coach, referee or tournament official shall ensure that the player does not engage in any other game, scrimmage, practice or other athletic activity that is under the supervision of the coach, referee or tournament official until the player or player’s parent/guardian has submitted written evidence that they have been cleared to return to play by one of the following medical professionals:

  • a physician, (M.D. or D.O.),
  • an athletic trainer whose work is supervised by a physician,
  • a physician’s assistant,
  • a nurse practitioner

If there is dispute amongst a player’s coach, a referee or tournament official that is supervising that practice or competition as to whether or not a player is or has exhibited the signs, symptoms or behavior consistent with having sustained a concussion or head injury, the opinion of the person who believes that a player is exhibiting the signs, symptoms or behavior consistent with having sustained a concussion or head injury shall prevail.

This shall mean that the determination by a player’s parent, a player’s coach, a referee or tournament official that is supervising that practice or competition that a player is exhibiting or has exhibited the signs, symptoms or behavior consistent with having sustained a concussion or head injury cannot be overruled.

If during a tournament game, a coach, referee or tournament official believes a player exhibits signs, symptoms or behavior consistent with having sustained a concussion or head injury, then that player’s player pass shall be turned over to a tournament official and maintained at the tournament site headquarters until the player or player’s parent/guardian has submitted written evidence that they have been cleared to return to play by one of the four authorities listed above. Otherwise, the pass will be returned following the team’s last game.

All information regarding a particular player who has been determined to have exhibited signs, symptoms or behavior consistent with having sustained a concussion or head injury shall be held for a minimum of three years and a maximum of four years following receipt of the written evidence that they have been cleared to return to play. All such records and related information shall be considered confidential and shall not be disseminated to anyone except by court order.

No coach, referee, substitute coach or club assistant referee shall be required to demonstrate or prove to any other coach, referee, substitute coach, club linesman, player or parent of a player they are in compliance with the requirements of Ohio’s “Return to Play” law.

Coaches may only make an official determination as to whether a player is exhibiting the signs, symptoms or behavior consistent of a person who may have sustained a concussion under the requirements of Ohio’s “Return to Play” law for those players on the team to which they are registered to coach.

Lindsay’s Law:  Ohio’s Lindsay’s Law is about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in youth athletes. It covers all athletes 19 years or younger who practice for or compete in athletic activities. Activities may be organized by a school or youth sports organization.

SCA is when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. This cuts off blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. People with SCA will die if not treated immediately. SCA can be caused by:

  1. a structural issue with the heart, OR
  2. a heart electrical problem which controls the heartbeat, OR
  3. a situation such as a person who is hit in the chest or a gets a heart infection.

A young athlete may have these things with exercise:

  • Chest pain/discomfort
  • Unexplained fainting/near fainting or dizziness
  • Unexplained tiredness, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Unusually fast or racing heart beats

When an athlete experiences syncope or fainting before, during or after a practice, scrimmage, or competitive play, the coach MUST remove the youth athlete from activity immediately. The youth athlete MUST be seen and cleared by a health care provider before returning to activity. This written clearance must be shared with a school or sports official.

If an athlete experiences any other warning signs of SCA, the youth athlete should be seen by a health care professional such as a physician (MD or DO), a certified nurse practitioner, a clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, physician’s assistant or licensed athletic trainer. That person may refer the youth to another health care provider for further evaluation. For the youth athlete to return to the activity, there must be clearance from the health care provider in writing. This must be given to the coach or sports official before returning to the activity.

In accordance with Ohio’s Lindsay’s Law (Ohio Revised Code 3313.5310, 3707.58 and 3707.59), youth athletes participating in an athletic activity and their parents are required to watch a video and read a handout from the Ohio Department of Health about the nature and warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Parents and athletes must then indicate, in a legally acceptable fashion, they have completed this process to comply with Lindsay’s Law.

COVID-19 Protocols:  All player/participants, parent/guardians, coaches and spectators are expected to follow COVID-19 infectious disease protocols as required by the Ohio Soccer Association, the State of Ohio and the City of Dublin, as may be applicable during the dates of the tournament.

Inclement Weather:  The Dublin Charity Cup, sanctioned through Ohio Soccer Association, follows their policy for lightning and hazardous weather conditions. The Charity Cup’s protocol calls for games to be stopped immediately and players/parents to take cover:

  • If lightning of any sort is observed,
  • If thunder is heard, even in the distance,
  • If a lightning detector/predictor sounds an alarm,
  • If an audible tornado siren sounds an alarm

Games may return to the field and resume play after:

  • Waiting at least 30-minutes after the last observation of lightning of any sort, OR
  • Waiting at least 30-minutes after the last sound of thunder, even in the distance, OR
  • Waiting at least 30-minutes after the initial alarm from a lightning detector/predictor,
    unless an all-clear has sounded, OR
  • Waiting at least 30-minutes after the alarm from an audible tornado siren has last been heard,
  • Whichever occurs last!

In the case of an audible tornado siren, play may resume in less than thirty minutes if the warning/watch which initiated the siren has been discontinued or expired.

Inclement weather is always a possibility and such weather may result in delayed, abbreviated or cancelled games. The tournament committee will attempt to reschedule games to ensure that each team will play a full schedule for the tournament. Games may be shortened or postponed or scheduled at a different site in order to meet this goal. A game may be considered complete if the first half has concluded. For games cancelled or where the first half is not completed, the game may be scored as a “3-3” tie and each team awarded one point. US Soccer rules prohibit playing more than two games per day and our city permit does not include use of the fields on Monday, Memorial Day. Tournament Directors, Site Coordinators and Referees have authority to suspend games due to inclement weather.

In the event of tournament cancellation due to “force majeure” such as inclement weather or other unforeseen catastrophic events, there is no guarantee of a refund. In such a case the tournament is cancelled, either before any games are played or before all games can be completed, refunds will be made available to all teams requesting them. The amount of refund will be determined after subtracting the costs and obligations associated with organizing the event. A full refund would not be available due to these costs.

The Charity Cup may place photos on its website showing events taking place during the tournament. By participating in this tournament, the Dublin Charity Cup may use photos or videos taken of games and surrounding activities for publicity purposes. Your participation indicates permission to do so.

Refunds will generally not be made to any team who has submitted an application and been notified by the committee that said team has been accepted to the tournament. Exceptions to this will be made on a case-by-case basis and determined by the tournament committee.

No Alcohol – No Pets – No Bikes – No Soliciting – No Cigars, as a courtesy to everyone.

The Dublin Charity Cup is proud to be an Ohio Soccer Association tournament.