Tournament Rules

All games will be played in accordance with USYSA/FIFA laws. Any exceptions are as noted below.

  • All players must have been born in the year of their age group classification, unless:
    • The player has received an age exemption from his/her team's club AND league coordinating body
    • AND received written approval from the tournament director
    • Players may play in an older age group within the rules of the WYSA.
  • Each team may have no more than 6 players that would be considered either Club player or Guest Player, with a maximum of 2 guest players for U9-U10 & 4 as guest players for U11-U19. A Guest Player is defined as a player who is not presently a member of the requesting team’s club, nor a rostered player on any team affiliated with the requesting team’s club. Guest players must have the “WYSA Guest Player Form” completed and signed by an affiliated club officer or the WYSA state office.  No roster changes will be permitted after registration unless approved by the Tournament Director.  After verification of eligibility, players' passes will be zip-tied by Flatgrass Registration.  Passes are to remain zip-tied throughout the tournament.  If there is a need to remove a pass, managers must have that done by Registration. If any team's passes are found to have the zip-tie tampered with or removed, the team may be disqualified from the tournament.
  • Player passing among teams within a club is permitted. However, Club players may play on only one team during the tournament unless approved by the tournament director. Any “passing” player must also meet the age requirements for any team for which he or she will play.
  • Maximum roster size is:
    • U9-U10   - 14 players
    • U11-U12 - 16 players 
    • U13-U19 - 22 players
    • Teams may roster up to 22 players but only 18 players can suit per game.
    • Upon Registration, all 22 players’ passes will be checked in and zip-tied together.  If you know the 18 players that will suit up for the first game, please provide that information upon registering.  This will save you time and avoid you needing to return to the tent before your game.
    • Any team that rosters more than 18 players MUST:
      • Report to the Registration Tent AT LEAST 1 hour prior to EACH game.  (Bring your Player Passes (MUST be zip-tied if already registered) and roster with you!)
      • At the Registration Tent, you will be asked which 18 players will be suiting up for the next game. (The 18 players’ passes will be zip-tied in a different color than your full team zip-tied passes.)
      • At your game, the Field Marshal will check-in ONLY the 18 zip-tied together.  Only those 18 players are allowed on the bench in their uniform.  If any of the players not playing wish to sit on the bench, they MUST be in street clothes.
      • If the next game will have a different combination of 18 players, please report back to the registration tent and follow the same procedures.
  • All players must have valid USSF/USYSA Player Passes. All players must be listed on the Official Roster Form. Player Passes must be presented to the referees prior to the start of each game.
  • Medical Release/ Waiver of Liability form is required for all players.
  • A player may only play for one team in the tournament unless approved by Tournament Director PRIOR to the start of the tournament.
  • All out-of-state teams must provide official "Permission to Travel" forms.


  • Teams should be present at the field on which they are to play at least 25 minutes prior to game time to allow for check-in by the field marshal.
  • There will be NO on-field warm-ups.  Failure to comply may result in point penalty, game forfeit, or tournament disqualification at the discretion of the tournament director.
  • Games for U9/ U10 Academy will be 2x25 minute halves (7 x 7) with a 5-minute half time.  
  • Games for U11 and U12 will be 2x25 minute halves (9 x 9) with a 5-minute half time.       
  • Games for U13 - U19 will be 2x30 minute halves with a 5-minute half time.
  • Time will only be added on for a significant injury.
  • Game play time may be shorter or longer, determined by the Tournament Committee if necessary due to inclement weather or for other unforeseen events.
  • There will not be a coin toss. Teams will start the game by defending the half of the field their bench is on, and the visiting team will have the first half kickoff.
  • The team listed first on the schedule is the home team and is required to change jersey if a color conflict exists. Home team will provide the game ball.


  • Shin guards are required. Socks must be pulled over the shin guards.
  • Hard casts, splints or braces are allowed subject to approval by tournament staff. Players with casts, splints, or braces must submit a Permission Form (see tournament website) for playing with a cast, splint or brace prior to that player’s first game of the tournament. Tournament staff will need to examine the player’s cast, splint or brace. If the tournament staff decides to permit that player to play, tournament staff will sign the form and the player will need to present that to the referee prior to each game.  Casts must be padded with closed cell slow recovery foam no less than ½ inch thick. Please click on this link for the Approved Padding
  • No jewelry or knotted headbands are allowed.
  • All players on a team must have the same type of jersey. All jerseys must be tucked in.
    • Jerseys must have a unique number on them.
  • All players’ equipment is subject to the referee’s approval.


    • All red and yellow cards will be reported to the Referee Director.
    • Red-carded players will be suspended for at least one game. (Two yellow cards in one game equal a red card.) Players red-carded for violent conduct, violent fouls or abusive language may be suspended for the remainder of the tournament.
    • All red cards will be reported to the state soccer association of the player's team.
  • No substitution will be permitted for a red-carded player.
  • A player receiving 3 yellow cards during the tournament will be suspended for a game.
  • Harassment of officials will not be tolerated. Referees may temporarily stop games or suspend play in the presence of persistent sideline harassment or intimidation. In the case of a game suspension, the Tournament Director will decide the outcome of the game.
  • Coaches are responsible for the conduct of players, parents and spectators at the fields, hotels and other locations for the duration of the tournament. If the Flatgrass Showdown receives complaints regarding conduct of any player or person associated with your team, the Tournament Director may ask any/all people to stay away from the tournament, and/or ask the team to leave the tournament, and/or ban the team from future tournaments. Any ejections will require the offender to be “out of sight and out of sound” from the field area before the match is restarted.
  • Any coach removed for inappropriate conduct will not be allowed to coach any team for the remainder of the tournament and will be reported to the appropriate state sanctioning body.
  • The following may result in loss of a point to a team in the standings:  persistent or egregious violation of the Zero Tolerance Rule regarding referee abuse, verbal or physical confrontation with opposing team’s players/coaches/spectators, approaching a referee at halftime/postgame and persisting with questions or complaints, or failure to cooperate with event officials with regard to tournament and park rules.   


  • All teams are expected to complete all scheduled games. Any team that fails to show or leaves the field of play before the end of a game may be disqualified from the tournament. That team may also be banned from future tournaments and its state association will be advised of its misconduct.
  • A minimum of 7 players constitutes a team.
  • The score of any forfeited game will be recorded as 3-0.


  • Substitutions may be made prior to a throw-in in favor of your team, prior to a goal kick by either team, following a goal by either team, following an injury to a player from either team or at half time. Substitutions may also be made for your team on the opposing team’s throw-in if the opposing team also has a player at the half-way line.  Referees have the final authority on substitutions; this includes but is not limited to the timing and frequency of substitution.
  • A player with blood on the uniform or on the body must be substituted out. The bleeding must be stopped, the injury covered with a bandage, and the uniform must be blood-free before the player may return to play.


  • Authority: All referee decisions are final. No protests are allowed. The Tournament Director has the right to relocate, reschedule, cancel, or reduce the length of any game. The Flatgrass Showdown, tournament committee, and WYSA are not responsible for the expenses incurred by any team or individual if the tournament is canceled in whole or part.
  • Tournament Payment Policy: 
  • All payments must be received by Flatgrass Showdown within 2 weeks of a team application, or by April 7th, whichever is sooner.
  • Failure to have payment received per above will result in a $25 late fee.
  • Neenah Soccer Club and Flatgrass Showdown are not responsible for lost mail.  If mail is lost, it remains the teams' responsibility to ensure payment is made.  Flatgrass Showdown will not reimburse any bank fees for stop payment or other check cancellations in the event of lost mail.
  • Absolutely no payment refunds after April 1st for teams withdrawing from the tournament.  
  • In the case the tournament is canceled prior to the first tournament game due to circumstances beyond the control of the tournament committee (including but not limited to inclement weather or poor field conditions), team registration fees will be partially refunded within 60 days, at the discretion of the tournament committee; every attempt will be made to refund the maximum amount possible after the tournament’s fixed/non-refundable obligations have been met. 
  • After the tournament has kicked off (the first game has started), any refunds are not guaranteed and will be evaluated in a good faith effort by the committee. 

Please work through the team’s coach or manager for questions or clarifications regarding standings and tiebreaker scenarios at Tournament Headquarters.  (No points are awarded for U9 – U10 games).  Rule 5-9 may also be applied to tie-breakers. If we want to add that rule.

  • 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie (including 0-0), 0 points for a loss
  • Tie Breakers -- Preliminary Round (If three teams (or more) are tied, the following procedures listed below will be used in the following order: (Note: If one of the procedures results in one team being eliminated and two remaining, the two-team tiebreaker procedure as stated restarts beginning with #1 (Head-to-Head): 
    • 1. Head-to-head
    • 2. Team with most wins
    • 3. Goal Differential (goals scored minus goals allowed) with a maximum of three per game.  (A score of 4-2 is a goal differential of 2, a score of 4-0 is a goal differential of 3.  Team winning 3 games 4-2, 4-0, 7-1 would have a goal differential of 2+3+3 = 8.
    • 4. Fewest goals allowed
    • 5. Most goals scored
    • 6. "Kicks from the Mark" (Penalty kicks).
    • In the event that penalty kicks must be used, USYSA/FIFA rules will be followed.
      • Each team will select 5 players to kick from those that were on the field at the end of regulation. The goalie for the shoot-out must be on the field at the end of regulation. Teams will alternate kicks --the visiting team shoots first. If the score remains tied after 5 kicks, teams will alternate kicks one at a time until a winner is determined. All eligible players must be used before anyone can repeat. Both teams must use the same number of players before anyone can repeat.
  • Playoff games (1st round, quarterfinal, semifinal, and Championship games) tied at the end of regulation goes directly to penalty kicks. The same rules apply as stated in 9.B.6 above.
  • Ties in round-robin play will remain a tie. 1st and 2nd place will be determined by total points.
  • There is no Championship game for 4 or 5 team brackets. The team with the most and second-most points will determine first and second place.

Some divisions (7-team & 10-team divisions) have Wildcard berths.  The Wildcard team will be decided after the preliminary round play is completed.  In a 7-team division, the team with the most points after Saturday will earn the #1 seed.  The team with the 2nd most points will earn the #2 seed & so on until seeding of the 7 teams is completed.  The Quarter-Final matchups will be #2 vs #7, #3 vs #6, #4 vs #5 – unless the teams have already played each other on Saturday, then matchups will be changed to avoid that. The 3 winners of the Quarter-Final games will join the #1 seed in the Semi-Finals.
In a 10-team division, the Wildcard berth is the team with the most points who has not won their bracket.  Semi-Final matchups will be Bracket A winner vs Wildcard & Bracket B winner vs Bracket C winner.  If the Wildcard comes from Bracket A, then the Semi-Final Matchups will be Bracket A winner vs Bracket C winner & Bracket B winner vs Wildcard.

The Tournament Director reserves the right to reassign teams to the Quarter-Final & Semi-Final to avoid teams who have advanced into those rounds from playing against a team they have already played in the preliminary rounds.  Match-ups will be at the discretion of the Tournament Director and cannot be negotiated.  

  • First and second-place awards will be presented to players and coaches immediately after the championship game.  If you are in a group of 4 or 5 with no championship game awards will be handed out to first and second place based on results once we can determine them.
  • U9/U10 Academy players will each receive a participation award.

12. DOGS  / PETS

Pets are not allowed on the City of Neenah Parks or Neenah High School grounds at any time during our tournament.  Per City of Neenah Municipal Code section 11-4, any person in violation may be ticketed or will be asked to leave.