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Central PA UNITY Cup Rules (updated 2024)

  • Registration

    1. Each team will register their roster and submit the $300 fee by deadline. Teams fully registered with players and coaches by April 18th 2024 will receive and extra $50 in contigent post tournament money.

    2. Waivers for insurance and disclaimers must be signed by every player and coach prior to kickoff.

    3. Refund of $100/$150 per team is contingent on:

      1. Good sportsmanship during entire tournament, including the behaviors of fans (see rules for spectators below)

      2. Attendance to mandatory team meeting prior to tournament.
         

  • GAME PLAY

    1. 24 Player Roster // 22 may dress per game. *New for 2024 - lessened roster to 24 players

      1. Players may be 14 years of age and older with no maximum age. Players 14-17 years old will have additional permissions and liability forms for parents/guardians to sign. 

      2. All players present must be checked with first and last name in order to participate in that particular match.

      3. No player or coach may double roster with other teams.

      4. Teams must field a minimum of 7 players to begin the game.

      5. Each team may only have a maximum of 3 coaches on their sideline.

        1. Special exceptions can be made prior to the tournament opening weekend for special guests (i.e. consulates, community leaders)

      6. All players are required to be in matching uniform including socks, shorts and undergarments (Under Armor, etc.)

      7. Each goalie must wear colors that differentiate them from the rest of the players.

      8. All players are required to wear shin guards.

      9. No metal cleats are permitted.

      10. All jewelry, wrist bands, chains, necklaces, and earrings/nose rings/facial rings (etc.) are prohibited.

      11. Injuries

        1. Play continues until the ball goes out of bounds if it appears to be a minor injury.

        2. Play is immediately stopped if the player appears to be seriously injured and they will be taken off the field. (Immediately replaceable)

        3. If any blood is present, the player must come off the field until it stops.

      12. Forfeits - see below

      13. Game cancellations due to weather will occur after 3 stoppages of play due to lightning or dangerous weather.

  • SUBSTITUTIONS

    1. There is no limit on the number of times a player can sub in and out of matches.

    2. “Rolling substitutions policy” - no player may substitute as game play is live/ in-action.

    3. There is no limit on the number of times a player can sub in and out of matches.

    4. Players may only sub on any goal kick, throw in or injury. Not during corner kicks.

    5. Replacing Players due to injury

      1. There is no replacement of players due to injury, substitutes will have to wait to sub on at the next stoppage of play. 

      2. Slide tackling is permitted, referee will monitor legal vs. illegal slide tackles.

  • SPECTATORS

    1. In instances where no stands/bleachers exist, spectators will be permitted only on the sideline opposite the team benches at a distance 10 feet off the sideline.

    2. No spectators are permitted behind either goal.

    3. Teams are encouraged to discuss appropriate behavior with their fans prior to games.

  • TIME

    1. Games are (2) – 45 minute halves in length.

    2. Halftime is 10 minutes.

    3. Forfeits - Game will be forfeited by the team with fewer players (less than the minimal 7) after 15 minutes from original start time. ​Winning team will receive 3 points and 1 winning goal on standings. 

    4. Game cancellations due to weather will occur after 3 stoppages of play due to lightning or dangerous weather.

    5. Group Stage Games

      1. If teams are tied at end of regulation, and added time each team is awarded a tie and 1 point in the group standings

      2. Added time during group stage play is determined by the center official.

    6. Knock out stages

      1. If teams are tied at end of regulation and added time the game will extend to 2 – 10 minute halves played to conclusion (NO golden goal rule!)

      2. In the event the game is still tied after the extra time session the game will be decided by penalty-shoot out (5 kicks, followed by single kicks)

      3. Only players on the field at the completion of extra time will be permitted to participate in penalty kicks (goalies included)

      4. Order of kicks will be decided by coin toss

  • GROUP STANDINGS

    1. There will be a max goal differential of 7 goals for all group stage games (i.e. a score of 9-1 will result in a goal differential of 7 goals rather than 8)

    2. The following point values will determine standings for group stage games:

      1. WIN = three (3) points

      2. TIE = one (1) point

      3. LOSS = zero (0) points

      4. FORFEIT= three (3) points and 1 winning goal

    1. The following criteria is used for standings purposes:

      1. Attendance at pre-tournament captains’ meeting

      2. Greatest number of points in all group stage matches

      3. Head-to-head pool play outcome

      4. Least amount of goals allowed

      5. Goal difference in group stage matches

      6. Fair play points (minus 1 for yellow card, minus 2 for red card)

      7. Most goals scored

      8. Coin toss

  • KNOCK OUT ROUND

    1. The 8 round robin winners will automatically go into the Round of 8

    2. The following criteria is used in determining the ranking of the 8 group winners:

      1. Greatest number of points in all group stage matches

      2. Least goals allowed

      3. Goal difference in group stage matches

      4. Fair play points

      5. Most goals scored

      6. Coin toss

  • REFEREES

    • Referees are assigned through the Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association as United States Soccer Federation Referees.

    • Referees follow the current(2024) IFAB rules.

    • Disrespect, foul-language, intolerance, abuse of any game official or staff can be punishable with referee decisions(cards, send offs) or staff decision (suspensions, removal from event, police involvement). 

COVID19 PROTOCOLS

  1. Participants, coaches, spectators must maintain safe distancing.

  2. Procedure for sick participant

    1. Participants that develop symptoms of COVID-like illness, while on site, should immediately be sent home.

      1. If they need to be picked up, they should wait in an isolated area while awaiting transportation.

Central PA UNITY Cup Code of Conduct (updated 2023) 

Unity Cup Code of Conduct

  1. Proper conduct by all players and coaches is mandatory before, during and after all games.

  2. Any suspended player or coach may not attend the games in which they are suspended.

  3. Teams are responsible for the conduct of their fans. Incidents involving a specific teams’ fan will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Central PA Unity Cup Conduct Committee and could result in game suspension for the fan and in extreme cases may penalize the team.

    • At the referee’s discretion he/she may suspend and/or forfeit a match in the case of unruly fan behavior.

  4. Any player receiving a red card or any coach who has been removed from a game by the referee will be given a minimum one (1) game suspension, which cannot be appealed. The ejected person will not be permitted within two hundred (200) yards of the playing field in all directions. Failure to comply will result in further disciplinary action. Second offenses or conduct of a more serious nature will be reviewed by the Central PA Unity Cup Conduct Committee.

    • The field monitor and game official will send a detailed report to the tournament director to be reviewed to see if further action is necessary

  1. Suspensions for misconduct towards game officials

    • Any assault on a game official will carry a five (5) year suspension from all Central PA Unity Cup activities

    • Deliberately striking or kicking or attempting to kick, throwing a soccer ball at, or spitting on a referee or assistant referee will carry a suspension for the rest of the tournament plus suspension from the subsequent year’s tournament.

    • Gesturing or signaling obscenely at a referee or assistant referee will carry a one (1) game suspension

    • Abusive language towards a referee or assistant referee will carry a one (1) game suspension

    • Dissent, whether physical or verbal, expressing of differing opinion will carry a one (1) game suspension

    • The above suspensions are to be considered minimum. The Unity Cup reserves the right to increase the suspension based on the severity of the violation. Situations not listed will be reviewed by the Unity Cup Conduct Committee.

  1. Suspensions for misconduct towards an opponent, colleague or spectator

    • Fighting (engaging in combat with an opponent, colleague or spectators by means of mutual exchange of blows delivered by hand, head, foot or other portions of the body) will carry a suspension through the rest of the tournament plus suspension from the subsequent year’s tournament

    • Deliberately attempting to strike or kick an opponent, colleague or spectator will carry a two (2) game suspension

    • The verbal threat of bodily harm or to property, gesturing or signaling obscenely, the throwing of objects at an opponent, colleague or spectator will carry a two (2) game suspension

    • The above suspensions are to be considered minimum. The Unity Cup reserves the right to increase the suspension based on the severity of the violation. Situations not listed will be reviewed by the Unity Cup Conduct Committee.

  1. Suspensions for serious foul play and persistent misconduct

    1. Serious foul play shall be understood to be play characterized by fouls of an aggravated nature committed with such fervor as to threaten an opponent with serious physical harm and will carry a minimum one (1) game suspension with subsequent review

    2. Suspension for abusive language directed at an opponent, colleague or spectator will carry a one (1) game suspension

    3. Persistent misconduct will carry a one (1) game suspension

    4. The above suspensions are to be considered minimum. The Unity Cup reserves the right to increase the suspension based on the severity of the violation. Situations not listed will be reviewed by the Unity Cup Conduct Committee.

  2. Conduct detrimental to the good and welfare of soccer

    1. Such misconduct shall include but is not limited to misbehavior as a spectator, the consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or the use of illegal substances in the vicinity of the playing field before, during or after the game. This offense carries a minimum one (1) game suspension with further review of the incident by the Unity Cup Conduct Committee.

  3. Celebrations

    1. Excessive and/or inappropriate celebrations could result in a possible card and/or suspension at the digression of the referees (possible cards) and Central PA Unity Cup Staff (possible suspension).

  4. Cards

    1. Yellow cards accumulate through group play. Upon receiving a second yellow card during group play, the player will receive a one (1) game suspension. Yellow cards will reset at the conclusion of group play.

    2. Yellow cards accumulate through the knockout round. Upon receiving a second yellow card during the knockout round, the player will receive a one (1) game suspension.

    3. Yellow cards will reset at the conclusion of the quarterfinals.

    4. If a player receives a red card at any time, the player will leave that game immediately and will also serve a minimum one (1) game suspension.

      1. Red cards do not reset at any point during the tournament.

    5. Cards and minimum suspensions due to cards are not appealable, if additional games are added that may be appealed.

  5. Appeals of disciplinary actions (other than mandatory suspensions) may be made by handing in a written appeal, with a fifty dollar ($50) appeal fee to the tournament director within 72 hours for review.

  6. Players Expectations:

    1. Promote and demonstrate good sportsmanship.

    2. Play a fair and respectful game.

    3. Respect the referees, staff, coaches, and fans

    4. Use the sport of soccer to unite the people in their cultures as well as the other countries represented.

    5. Be a good example for the youth of your culture as well as the youth of Philadelphia.

    6. HAVE FUN!!!!

  7. Coaches Expectations:

    1. Encourage their players to do all the expectations above.

    2. Be a role model to their community and the city of Philadelphia.

    3. Respect the referees, staff, players, and fans.

    4. Be a driving factor in having different communities come together.

    5. Be alert of any injuries or issues the team may have and make it a priority to improve conditions.

    6. HAVE FUN!!!!

  8. Staff/ Volunteer Expectations:

    1. Respect the fans, players, and coaches.

    2. Help any spectator, player, coach that may need assistance with something.

    3. Be alert for possible surrounding issues (Fans drinking and/or fighting, equipment issues, etc).

    4. Do not show up under the influence

      1. Failure to do so will result in being sent home with possible suspension/ firing for staff members.

      2. Volunteers with not get their hours signed if need be.

    5. Be enthusiastic, have fun, and promote a good atmosphere at the games you are working.

  9. Fans/ Spectators Expectations:

    1. Watch and cheer in a respectful matter.

    2. No derogatory comments/chants towards opposing teams. RESPECT!

    3. Let the referees and coaches do their jobs!!

    4. The consumption or use of alcohol or drugs is prohibited.

    5. Physical or verbal assaults will not be tolerated!

    6. Represent your country loud and proud!

    7. HAVE FUN!!!!

  10. Rule Addendum

    1. Players and coach attire

      1. Be in proper uniform at all times

        1. This includes tournament provided jersey and shorts, matching socks of the team, and shin guards

        2. Uniform numbers should remain consistent for the entire tournament

    2. Players must be in uniform on the bench (Only checked in players, this will reduce number of people throwing on a team Jersey when they are not on the team)

    3. Coaches must be in coaches shirt, or readily identifiable on the bench

    4. Failure to do so will result in a yellow card – NO EXCEPTIONS!

  11. Team Bench Behavior

    1. Coaches are responsible for all persons on their bench

      1. There should be no more than 22 players and 3 coaches on the bench at any time

      2. Players must always be in game jersey, even if injured

      3. There should be no persons on the bench who are non-players or non-coaches

        1. In the event this occurs, the head coach will receive an automatic yellow card

  12. Appropriate Behavior

    1. The Unity Cup exists to bring communities together, not to split them apart

    2. Any player or coach that issues racially/ethnically derogative term to a player, coach or fan will receive an automatic red card, ejection and one year suspension from the tournament (effective the date of the incident)

    3. Any player or coach who throws a punch, or is involved in a physical altercation will receive an automatic red card, ejection and one year suspension from the tournament (effective the date of the incident)

    4. Any suspended player or coach may not attend the games in which they are suspended.

  13. Appropriate Behavior towards game Officials

    1. We will not always see eye-to-eye with the officials, but we must respect their decisions on the field

    2. Officials have been asked not to escalate arguments, but rather to calm them down. In the event an official escalates an argument, the tournament director will report the behavior to the referee assignor

      1. Teams are encouraged to complete their official’s evaluation every Monday

    3. Any player or coach that accuses an official of cheating will receive an automatic red card, ejection and suspension from the team’s next match. In the event the season is over, that player will serve their suspension at the beginning of the next season.

    4. Any player who verbally abuses an official by either swearing or using a racially/ethnically derogative term will receive a red card, ejection and one year suspension from the tournament (effective the date of the incident)

    5. Any suspended player or coach may not attend the games in which they are suspended.

  14. Trophy Etiquette​

    1. Perpetual Trophies will be given to the winning teams in both men's and women's divisions for the ​remainder of the year up to the opening day of the next tournament. Trophies should be displayed with respect and with low possibilities of damage or theft.  Perpetual trophies that are damaged or stolen will result in a replacement fee plus the cost of the replacement perpetual trophy. 

 

Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association

 

RELEASE OF LIABILITY – READ BEFORE SIGNING

In consideration of being allowed to participate in any way with the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA), the Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association (EPSA) and the Central PA Unity Cup, their related events and activities, I, the undersigned, acknowledge, appreciate and agree that:

1. The risk of injury from the activities involved in this program is significant, including the potential for permanent paralysis and death, and while particular skills, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious injury does exist; and,

2. I KNOWINGLY AND FREELY ASSUME ALL SUCH RISKS, both known and unknown, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES or other, and assume full responsibility for my participation; and,

3. I willingly agree to comply with the stated and customary terms and conditions for participation. If, however, I observe an unusual significant hazard during my presence or participation, I will remove myself from participation and bring such to the attention of the proper authorities immediately; and,

4. I, for myself and on behalf of my heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HARMLESS the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA), the Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association (EPSA) and the Central PA Unity Cup, their officers, officials, agents and/or employees, volunteers, other participants, sponsoring agencies, sponsors, advertisers, and, if applicable, owners and lessors of premises used for the activity (“Releasees”), WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL INJURY, DISABILITY, DEATH, or loss or damage to person or property associated with my presence or participation, WHETHER ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE, to the fullest extent permitted by law.

I HAVE READ THIS RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK AGREEMENT, FULLY UNDERSTAND ITS TERMS, UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE GIVEN UP SUBSTANTIAL RIGHTS BY SIGNING IT, AND SIGN IT FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY WITHOUT ANY INDUCEMENT.

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