Easter Cup Tournament Rules



Laws of the Game

  • All games shall be played in accordance with IFAB and NTSSA Laws, except as specifically modified by these rules.


Team Rosters and Guest Players

  • Easter Cup is sanctioned as an unrestricted tournament through NTX Soccer Association. We accept official team rosters from US Club Soccer, and USYSA State Associations (NTSSA, STYSA, OSA, etc.).

  • Teams must be registered through one of the above organizations and all team paperwork must be from the same organization. The official team roster that a team submits as part of online or in-person check-in MUST be certified through one of these organizations.

  • All players, including guest players, must be listed on the team's online tournament roster prior to check-in.A player may not play on two different teams in the same tournament

  • Easter Cup is open to accepted teams composed of 8 or fewer players for 8U, 12 or fewer players for 9U, 16 or fewer players (including up to 5 guest players) for ages 10U to 12U 9v9 format, 18 or fewer players (including up to 5 guest players) for ages 12U (11v11 format), 13U to 14U, and 22 or fewer players (including up to 5 guest players) for ages 15U through 19U.

  • Player ID cards will be required for all players on Non-NTSSA teams.They will be checked at registration and may be checked prior to the start of each game.

  • Easter Cup will follow the Calendar Year format as outlined below by USSF and NTX Soccer:




Game Procedures and Conduct

  • The players, coaches, team managers, and team medical personnel (if any) on each team will occupy designated areas of the field.  All parents and spectators will occupy the opposite side of the field.  Only rostered adults may occupy the players area with no more than three (3) allowed at any time.  All others must remain on the opposite side of the field.

  • Both teams are required to verify the score posted to the website.  If there are corrections, they should be reported to the complex director, where the game was played, for correction.  Both teams will turn in game/misconduct reports.

  • Players are required to wear shin guards in accordance with IFAB Laws of the Game.

  • Home team is the team listed first on the schedule.

  • Home team will wear white or light-colored jerseys.  Visitor team will wear dark colored jerseys.  If there is a conflict, the Home team will change.   Referees will change in case of team color conflict.

  • Each team must have permanently numbered alternate jerseys or numbered T-shirts available. Taped numbers will not be acceptable.  Violators will be removed from the field and not allowed back on the field of play until player’s equipment is corrected. 

  • The games will begin at the scheduled time or immediately following the prior game, whichever is later.  Referees will begin the game clock at the published game time regardless of the team being ready to play for Showcase games.  A forfeit will be declared if a team is not ready to play at the published time for Competitive/Academy games. 

  • During bracket play, no overtime will be played.  Games may end in a tie for bracket play.

  • In the playoff, the losing team is eliminated from the competition.

  • Players, coaches and spectators are expected to conduct themselves within the spirit of the Law as well as the letter of the Law.  Failure to comply may be cause for removal from the soccer complex or facility including removal of your team from the tournament.

  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at the game sites or in the parking lots.  Teams caught with alcohol will be dismissed from the tournament.


Length of Games

  • Game lengths are determined by the tournament director.  All games will be full length. Game lengths per division are as followed:

    • 8U- 40 minutes

    • 9U & 10U- 50  minutes

    • 11U & 12U- 60 minutes

    • 12U 11v11- 70 minutes

    • 13U & 14U- 70 minutes

    • 15U & 16U- 80 minutes

    • 17U-19U -90 minutes

Minimum Number of Games

  • For the 8U-14U age groups, three (3) games minimum will be provided. ​​

  • For 15U-19U showcase, two (2) games will be provided. 

  • Each game will be the same length as designated on the Application to host.

  • Teams should be prepared to play at 8:00am Friday through Saturday at 9:00pm.  


  • Schedules will not be adjusted for teams traveling outside of the North Texas area.


  • Teams will be divided into groups based on the number of teams in the age division.  Some groups in some age divisions will play cross-over games within the age division.

  • The method of advancement to play off rounds will be dependent upon the number of teams in each age division and will be explained on the tournament schedule.

Total number of points is decisive.  The following 10-point system will be used:

  • 6 points for a win

  • 3 points for a tie

  • 0 points for a loss

  • 1 point per goal scored with a maximum of 3

  • 1 point for a shutout (not allowing opponent to score) including a 0-0 result

  • A forfeit game will be scored a 3-0 win – total of 10 points will be awarded

Tiebreakers will be determined in the following order:

  • Winner of head-to-head

  • Goal differential (Maximum of 6)

  • Fewest goals allowed in all preliminary round games

  • Most goals scored in all preliminary round games (Maximum of 5)

  • IFAB kicks from the penalty mark.  Team with most goals after five (5) kicks will advance.  If still tied after five kicks, then alternating IFAB kicks will be taken one-on-one until one team outscores the other after each team has taken an equal number of shots.  All players on each team, including the goalies, must shoot once before any player can shoot a second time.

NOTE: It is each team’s responsibility to be aware of their standings.  If it appears possible that a tie may exist at the end of bracket play, the teams who are involved in the tie are instructed to keep their players “on call” so that they will be available to participate in IFAB kicks at a moment’s notice, if necessary.

  • In divisions where a wildcard team advances, the wildcard team will be the teams from any group in the age division with the next highest points after the first 3 qualifiers are identified.  In the event of a tie in determining the wildcard, the above tiebreakers in B.1-5 will be used to break the tie.  In crossover brackets, the runner up and/or wildcard team will be from the total six (6) team crossover groups.

  • If three of more teams are tied on points, the ranking will be determined by applying all tiebreakers until one team is left. Once a team is eliminated, the tiebreakers do not start over, they are continued in order until one team remains.  If a three-way tie still exists after all tiebreakers have been applied, then:

    • IFAB Kicks will be taken to determine rank. 

    • Lots will be drawn (method determined by Tournament Committee Representative present) to decide the order of taking the penalty shots (See B.5 above).

    • The teams will be identified according to the lot drawn as 1, 2, 3, etc..

    • Team 1 will shoot against Goalie 2; Team 2 will shoot against Goalie 3; Team 3 will shoot against Goalie 1, and so on.

    • Five alternating shots will be taken.

    • If one team has scored more goals than the other teams, that team advances.

    • If two or more teams are still tied, the shots will continue (alternating one-on-one) until only 1 team remains.

    • All players on each team, including the goalies, must shoot once before any player may shoot twice.


Playoff Rounds

  • Playoff rounds will consist of a semi-final and final game.  In age groups of more than sixteen (16) teams, quarterfinal games will be played.

  • After advancement is determined, the teams will be seeded 1 through 4 based on points at the end of group play. In the Semi-Final, the 1-seed will play the 4-seed and the 2-seed will play the 3-seed.

  • If there is a Quarter-Finals, The 1-seed will play the 8-seed. The 2-seed will play the 7-seed. The 3-seed will play the 6-seed. And the 4-seed will play the 5-seed.  For the semi-final in this situation, the winner of the 1 vs 8 game will play the winner of 4 vs 5 game. And the winner of the 2 vs 7 game will play the winner of the 3 v 6 game.

  • In playoff competition, two five (5) minute overtime periods will be played for 7U – 10U, and two ten (10) minute overtime periods for 11U – 14U with a two (2) minute interval.  If the game is tied, IFAB Kicks will be taken to determine who advances.  (Tournament officials may shorten the overtime periods if necessary to help keep the games on time.

  • Only the players on the field at the end of the second overtime period are eligible to take the IFAB Kicks.


  • Unlimited substitutions may be made, with the consent of the referee, at the following times:

    • Prior to a throw in, by the team with possession of the ball.

    • Prior to a goal kick, by either team.

    • After a goal, by either team.

    • At half time and prior to the beginning of an overtime period.

    • Anytime at the discretion of the referee.

    • Limited substitutions may be made, with the consent of the referee, on a one-for-one basis for an injured player.


Red Cards and Send Offs

  • Any player, coach or team official receiving a RED CARD/SEND OFF will be ejected from the game and suspended from playing/coaching in the following game.

  • Two (2) yellow cards in one game is equivalent to a RED CARD AND WILL SIT OUT THEIR NEXT GAME.

8U Specific 4v4 Rules

  • Format: 4v4, Field size 25x35, 4x6 Goal, Size 3 Ball

  • No goalkeepers

  • When the ball goes out of bounds via the sideline, the restart will be an indirect kick-in.

  • Build out lines at 14 yards from the end line. When the goalkeeper has the ball, either during play or from a goal kick, the opposing team must move behind the build out line. The goalkeeper may then pass, throw, or roll the ball to a teammate (no punting). Once the ball is in play the opposing team may cross the build out line and play resumes.

  • Heading is NOT allowed per US Soccer Federation

9U/10U Specific 7v7 Rules

  • Format: 7v7, Field Size 47x30, 6.5x18.5 Goal, Size 4 Ball

  • Played with Goalkeeper and Offside

  • Build out lines at 14 yards from the end line. When the goalkeeper has the ball, either during play or from a goal kick, the opposing team must move behind the build out line. The goalkeeper may then pass, throw, or roll the ball to a teammate (no punting). Once the ball is in play the opposing team may cross the build out line and play resumes. The build out line will also be used to denote where offside offenses can be called.

  • Heading is NOT allowed per US Soccer Federation

11U/12U Specific 9v9 Rules

  • Format: 9v9, Field Size 75x47, 6.5x18.5 Goal, Size 4 Ball

  • Played with a Goalkeeper and Offside

  • No build out lines

  • For 11U, heading is NOT allowed per US Soccer Federation



  • All referee decisions are final.No protests are allowed, except for the use of an ineligible player.The Tournament Committee is empowered to make all decisions regarding competition during the tournament.All decisions are final. No appeals will be allowed.


Forfeits and Team Withdrawal

  • A forfeit in group competition will be awarded as 10 points for the win to all teams in that bracket.  The score will be recorded as 3 – 0.

  • Any team that forfeits a game will be removed from the competition.

  • Forfeits in playoff rounds will be recorded as 3 – 0 games.

  • Teams withdrawing once accepted and scheduled will not be invited to the Texas Cup for the next year and will forfeit their entry fee to the tournament.  Teams will also be reported to their home association for disciplinary action.

Weather Provisions

  • In the event of inclement weather, the Tournament Committee will have the authority to relocate, reschedule, and/or change the duration and/or format of any game(s), or cancel any games that have no bearing on group rankings.

  • Preliminary games terminated after one completed half of play, because of weather, will be considered official as of the time of termination (second half does not need to begin).

  • In case of inclement weather, please check the website and all social media for updated field conditions.  It is each team’s responsibility to check the website for schedule/field changes.

  • A lightning strike in a 6-mile radius of the playing field will result in all ongoing games to cease play for at least 15 minutes since the most recent lightning strike.


  • Under no circumstances whatsoever, will the Easter Cup Tournament Committee, Sting Soccer Group, or Sting Soccer Club be responsible for any expenses (including the tournament entry fee) incurred by any team.  This includes any situation where the Tournament or any game(s) are canceled in whole or part.

  • The Tournament Committee’s interpretation of these rules is final.

  • The Tournament Committee reserves the right to decide on all matters pertaining to this tournament.

  • All rules not provided for here will refer to the NTSSA, USYS and FIFA rules for application.


Refund Policy

  • If inclement weather cancels the tournament prior to the start of the first scheduled game, a maximum of 50% of the entry fee will be retained by the tournament to cover the start-up cost of the tournament 

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