Bringing Soccer to Pinellas County Families Since 1970

Tournament Rules




Tournament Headquarters: Puryear Park, 5701 Lee Street NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33703.

Tournament Director:  Mike Winsor (727) 488-3887


This Tournament shall be open to all teams comprised of properly registered youth players (as determined by the rules of the affiliated organization) in age groups U9 through U14, provided such team is in good standing with their association.  It shall be the responsibility of each Association to certify the eligibility of its competing teams and to provide such teams with a certified copy of roster, permission to travel and proof of insurance.

Tournament Officials shall conduct all credential checks:

• At initial registration

• At the field before each game. 

Teams should be available for check-in with the referee or field marshal 30 minutes prior to the scheduled game time.


• The Players and bench personnel must present picture identification cards issued by the team’s Federation Organization Member (i.e. USYS, US Club, AYSO, USSF, other)

• Identification cards must be verified, photo attached, and laminated (if your association does not allow lamination, cards must be encased in plastic sleeves).

• Teams must provide 5 copies of their certified/approved tournament roster from the team’s Federation Organization.

• Teams must have medical releases for each player on hand for the duration of the tournament.

• Club pass players from within the same club and added electronically to the official FYSA roster will be accepted. Players not on the official FYSA team roster MUST have one completed and signed guest player form presented at check-in and you MUST also hand write the guest players name, DOB, jersey number and player pass number on the bottom of each roster (all 5 copies). Guest player forms must be completed by each club’s registrar.

• Teams must provide proof of approval team’s participation from the team’s Federal Organization Member.

• Teams from a US Youth Soccer National State Association outside of Florida must provide proof of permission to travel.


• Teams are required to present player and bench personnel picture identification cards.

• Identification cards will be checked against the tournament generated game reports.

• Teams must have on hand a certified/approved tournament roster from the team’s Federation Organization.

• Each team is limited to 3 coaches or managers on the bench, all of which must be listed on the team roster.  In no case will a team be allowed to participate without a properly registered coach or assistant, or manager.

• The shirt number of each player must be the same as the player’s shirt on the tournament roster. If not, the referee is not to allow the player to take part in the match until the numbers are the same (shirt or roster changed).

• Souvenir patches, flags, crests, etc. may be exchanged and group team pictures may be taken at this pre-game procedure or during the handshake after the game.

• A player who arrives late at the playing field after the pre-game procedure may enter the game once the game’s official(s) verifies the player is eligible and with the permission of the center referee.

• Only at the pre-game procedure may a player be challenged by an opposing manager/coach. Challenged player(s) will be noted by the Referee on the game report and will be allowed to participate in the game (if said player has been certified as eligible by the 2023 Best of the Bay Tournament Credentials Committee). A late arriving player may be challenged at the time he/she is allowed to participate by the Referee. 

• ANY TEAM USING AN INELIGIBLE PLAYER WILL FORFEIT ALL TOURNAMENT MATCHES PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. A report will be filed with the offending teams National Organization or National State Association. If you are not sure of a player’s eligibility ask, in writing, to the Tournament Director.

MANDATORY TOURNAMENT ROSTERS: All teams must enter their rosters complete with bench personnel into the tournament’s online scheduling system no later than 14 days prior to the start of the event. The minimum required information is Name, Date of Birth, Player ID Number, Uniform Number, and Gender. Revisions can be made to the roster up to time of registration. This information will appear on the tournament game reports. Teams failing to input this information are subject to removal from the event.


U9, U10 – maximum of twelve (12) players on the tournament roster

U11, U12 – maximum of sixteen (16) players on the tournament roster

U13 and up – maximum of twenty-two (22) players on the tournament roster

*5 Guest Players will be permitted per team*


In no event will a player be allowed to participate who has not been certified by the 2023 Best of the Bay tournament staff.

AGE DETERMINATION: A players playing age is determined by the following USYS guidelines for 2021/2022.





U14 Boys & Girls

Born in 2009



U13 Boys & Girls

Born in 2010



U12 Boys & Girls

Born in 2011



U11 Boys & Girls

Born in 2012



U10 Boys & Girls

Born in 2013



U9 Boys & Girls

Born in 2014




· Pursuant to Florida Statutes (FS 943.0438) Florida in 2012 enacted a very stringent head injury and concussion law. If the referee (or assistant referee) believes that, in his/her opinion a player has suffered a head injury or possible concussion the match must be stopped IMMEDIATELY.

· The injured player if able to leave the field on their own must be escorted to the coach and the coach must be informed that the player cannot return for the duration of the match. If a trainer is brought onto the field because the player is incapacitated the referee must still notify the coach that the player may not return to the game. It is the responsibility of the coach or the players parent(s) or guardian(s) to seek medical attention.

· The player may not return to participation until he/she is cleared by a medical doctor. The referee HAS NO FURTHER RESPONSIBILITY beyond removing the player from the match that he/she was injured. The referee crew must ensure, that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES or due to the appeal from any coaching staff that the player is allowed to return to the game.


All games shall be in accordance with the FIFA “Laws of the Game”, except as modified below.

LAW 1: Field of Play

U13 - U14 (11v11) No change per FIFA "Laws of the Game" 

U11 - U12 (9v9) must play in accordance with USSF new player development initiatives

U9 - U10 (7v7) must play in accordance with USSF new player development initiatives

LAW 2: The Ball

U9, U10, U11, U12 - Size #4 

U13, U14 - Size #5 

LAW 3: Number of Players

U9-U10 - Maximum of Seven (7) per side - Minimum of 5 players

U11-U12 - Maximum of Nine (9) per side - Minimum of 6 players

U13-U14 - Maximum Eleven (11) per side - Minimum of 7 players

*U13-U14 - Game roster can have a maximum roster of 22 players however only 18 players may participate in any given game. Players not on the game roster are allowed to sit on the bench in the teams opposite uniform or in street clothes.


Substitutions shall be unlimited, unless otherwise specified by tournament administrators. 

Substitutions may be made only from the center line and upon proper notification of the referee through the assistant referee, and with the referee’s permission, at the following times:

• Prior to a throw-in by your team

• Prior to a goal kick by either team

• After a goal by either team

• After an injury by either team when the referee stops play

• At the beginning of the second half

LAW 4: Player Equipment

• Player equipment must conform to FIFA rules. Shin guards must be worn under socks by all the players, be approved material, and offer a reasonable degree of protection. 

• Teams will wear uniforms of matching design and color with a minimum of six-inch numbers affixed to the back of the uniform shirt. No two players may have identical uniform numbers while participating in any match.

• In the event of similar team colors, the designated away team will be required to change to a color accepted by the referee.

• The uniform of the goalkeeper must be distinctly different in color from the basic colors of both competing teams and the referee.


• b) Orthopedic casts can be worn at any sanctioned FYSA tournament with written approval from a doctor and written permission from a tournament official, final judgement as to its safety is at the discretion of the referee.

• c) Soft braces can be worn with written approval from a doctor, and judgement as to safety is at the discretion of the referee.


It is the policy of FYSA that no player be allowed to wear ANY jewelry while participating in any FYSA sanctioned match. The only exception that may be allowed is a medical alert bracelet or necklace when taped to the body. The referee shall make the decision as to the safety of the player and the referee’s decision is final. (The taping of any earring shall not be permitted under any circumstances.) If the referee notices a player wearing jewelry while the match is under way at the next stoppage of play, the referee will instruct the player to remove the item. If the referee deems the jewelry to be dangerous to any player, the referee must stop the match to correct the situation



LAW 5: The Referee

The referees are required to submit a completed, official game report to the site director containing information relating to any game incidents involving players, coaches, spectators, misconduct and injuries. Referees will not be paid before any required post-game reports have been submitted. In the event the assigned referees fail to appear and the assignor and/or site director fails to provide a replacement, the senior assigned referee shall assume the duties and shall find an alternate assistant referee. The duties of the assistant referee shall be limited. The game will be played as scheduled and will be deemed official.

LAW 6: The Assistant Referee

Two assistant referees will be used. In the event the assigned assistant referee fails to appear, the referee must find a suitable assistant. The game will be played as scheduled and be deemed official.

LAW 7: Duration of the Match





U11 – U14

2 X 30 = 60

2 X 30 = 60

No overtime. “Kicks from the penalty mark”

U9 – U10

2 x 25 = 50

2 x 25 = 50

No overtime. “Kicks from the penalty mark”


***All quarter-final, semi-final and championship rounds will go straight to penalty kicks if tied at the end of regulation

LAW 8: Mercy Rule

If a team is leading by 8 goals at any point after the first half has completed the referee has the option to stop the game and invoke a mercy rule. The game may resume if both teams agree to continue. If both teams agree to continue and the trailing team comes back to win the game the score will stand. No protest will be heard.


**NOTE** This is a non-heading tournament for all age groups from U9-U12

In conjunction with US Soccer and US Youth Soccer, Florida Youth Soccer Association will be instituting a heading ban for players age 10 and younger. 

In accordance with the recent U.S. Soccer recommendations on concussion risk management:

FYSA has eliminated heading in matches for player’s age 10-years-old and younger (2012-U11 and younger), per the new calendar year registration guidelines. 2011-U12 teams will participate in non-heading divisions until December 31, 2022 and then heading divisions shall be permitted Jan 1, 2023.

The guidelines apply to leagues, tournaments, and other FYSA sanctioned events that include 2011-U12 and younger age group teams (2011-U12 in 2022 heading will not be permitted).

Leagues and tournaments shall allow for 2011-U12 heading age divisions after January 1, 2023.  Leagues and tournaments will be permitted to form 2011/2012-U12 non-heading divisions. (see playing up guidelines)

Teams that opt for 2011-2012 U12 non-heading divisions shall only participate in non-heading divisions in league play, tournaments, and all events.  Sanctions will be made against teams that do not follow this guideline.

· Deliberate heading is not allowed in age groups U12 and younger

· If a U12 or younger player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense.

· If the deliberate header of a U12 or younger player occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infraction occurred


The technical area relates to matches played in game fields with a designated seated area for team officials, substitutes and substituted players as outlined below: The technical area shall only extend 1m (1yd) on either side of the designated seated area and up to a distance of 1m (1yd) from the touchline   • markings shall be used to define the area, temporary or Permanent.

•The number of persons permitted to occupy the technical area is defined by the competition rules

•The occupants of the technical area:

1)Are identified before the start of the match in accordance with the competition rules

2)Must behave in a responsible manner

3)Must remain within its confines except in special circumstances, e.g., a physiotherapist/doctor entering the field of play, with the referee’s permission, to assess an injured player

•Only one person at a time is authorized to convey tactical instructions from the technical area


Players, reserve players, managers, coaches, and fans are expected to conduct themselves within the letter and spirit of “the laws of the game” and comply with FYSA’S Code of Ethics. 

The site director has the authority and the responsibility to remove any person from the tournament for abuses of conduct, in addition to any specific disciplinary action brought about by any other authority. 

In addition to good manners, the following rules will apply to this tournament:

• The site director will designate one sideline to be the sole use of the players listed on the game roster and three managers/coaches from each team. 

• The site director will designate the opposite sideline for the spectators.

• Managers/Coaches will be responsible for the behavior of their fans and the referee will have the authority to warn and ultimately send off any coach whose fans behave in an abusive or disruptive manner.


As mutual courtesy, both teams will meet on the players’ sideline and congratulate each other for a game well played. 

Managers/Coaches of both teams will insure their respective sideline areas are clean and that all trash is removed.

At the end of each game, a team representative must sign/initial the game report prior to collecting the player cards, with the exception of any players or coaches sent off, from the referee or field marshal.

The ultimate responsibility of collecting the passes from the referee lies with the coach/manager of the teams participating.

The completed game report will be submitted to the tournament director with the scores, and a supplemental report will be submitted for send offs, injuries, or special circumstances that need explanation.



· It shall be solely the team’s responsibility to determine the status of its players. Any suspension from a tournament, local league, etc. is the responsibility of the team to notify the Tournament Director of this suspension at the time of the player’s check-in.

· Per Florida Youth Soccer Association Rule 504.1, Red Card suspension or send off suspensions can only be served with the team with which the suspension was earned in games played by their team. Players may not serve suspensions as “guest players.”

· The Tournament Committee shall have a Disciplinary Committee of no less than three (3) members. This committee will review and rule on all reports of unacceptable conduct by Managers/Coaches, players, referees, spectators, etc. using the FYSA standards as set by Rules Section 502.

· All players and Managers/Coaches shall be subject to FYSA Section 502 – Discipline and Sanctions.  

· Any player or Manager/Coach ejected (red carded) will not complete the game in which the ejection occurred. The ejected player or manager/coach will not participate in the next scheduled tournament game regardless of the cause.

· Depending on the severity of the unacceptable conduct, the Disciplinary Committee may recommend the suspension of up to the duration of the tournament in accordance with FYSA requirements. The committee’s recommendations must be available to the affected parties no later than following the next scheduled match.

· At the conclusion of the tournament, passes will be returned to the coach (even if suspension has not been completed). A complete report will be sent to the appropriate State Association within 72 hours of the conclusion of the tournament for possible further discipline.


In group play, there will be no overtime games. Standings in a group will be determined by:

1. GAME POINTS: 3 points for a Win, 1 point for a Tie, 0 points for a Loss.

2. TIE BREAKERS (2 Teams):

A. Head to Head Result. If no clear winner;

B. Net Goal Differential with a Maximum of THREE (3) goal differential per game. If no clear winner;

C. Least Amount of Goals Allowed (Maximum of 3 per game). If no clear winner;

D. Most Goals Scored with a Maximum of THREE (3) goals per game. If no clear winner;

E. Most shutouts in group play (0-0 games and forfeits DO NOT count as shutouts).  If no clear winner;

F. Minus 1 Game Point for each Red Card/Send Off.  If no clear winner;

G. Penalty Kicks in Accordance with FIFA “Taking of Kicks from the Penalty Mark”.*

*However, if both teams are to advance to the playoff rounds a coin toss will decide the higher seed in lieu of penalty kicks.  

If Penalty kicks in accordance with FIFA are required to determine the winner for advancement after steps A-F have resulted in a tie, penalty kicks will be taken thirty (30) minutes prior to the start of the elimination game or earlier if a mutually convenient time can be agreed upon with representatives of both teams and the Tournament Director.

3. TIE BREAKERS (More than 2 Teams):

If more than two teams are involved in a tie, tie breaker B will be used to rank the teams. If teams are still tied, tie breaker C will be used to rank the teams, and so on until a tie is broken. Once a team has been ranked higher or lower, the tie breaking procedure begins.

Note:  If a wildcard team is scheduled to play a team from its original group, then the Tournament Director will re-shuffle the semi-finals so that teams are not playing teams that they have already played in this tournament.


·3 Team Division - 1 Group of 3 teams. Each team will play 2 games in group play. The team with the highest point total will advance directly to the finals. The other two teams will play each other again for a spot in the finals.

·4 Team Division - 1 Group of 4 teams. Each team will play 3 games and the top 2 teams in points will play in Final.

·5 Team Division - 1 Group of 5 teams. Each team will play 2 games in group play. The team with highest point total will advance directly to the final. The teams with the second & third highest point total will play a semi-final game with the winner advancing to the finals. The two teams with the lowest point total after group play will have a consolation game.

·6 Team Division - 1 Group of 6 teams. Each team will play a schedule of 3 games. The 2 teams with highest point total in the ENTIRE Division will play in the Final.

·8 Team Division - 2 Groups of 4 teams. Each team will play 3 games against the other 3 teams in their group. Group A winner will play Group B winner in Final.


In head to head competition, if the game is not decided after regulation, overtime will not be played. Penalty kicks will be taken in accordance with FIFA “Taking of Kicks from the Penalty Mark”.

Note: Teams may be asked to move to a designated Penalty Kick area to permit the next scheduled game to proceed.


A minimum of seven (7) players constitutes a team for U13-U14, a minimum of six (6) players for U11-U12, a minimum of five (5) players for U9-U10. Games should start at the scheduled starting times. In case the team does not have the minimum number of players present, it should be allowed a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes grace period, before awarding the game to the opponent. A forfeit will be scored 4-0. An abandoned game is recorded as a forfeit and will be scored 4-0. If the scheduled time is revised from the printed schedule, coaches/managers will be notified by email, tournament website, phone or in person by a Tournament Official of the new game time.


No protests will be accepted. All disputes will be resolved by the Tournament Director.


In the event unusual conditions necessitate the rescheduling, curtailment, or cancellation of games, the Tournament Committee shall have absolute authority to make necessary changes in order to best serve the interests of all participants. This may include shortening the length of games, determining Champions based on division points or by flipping a coin in lieu of playing a final match if both teams are exactly even in all tie breaker scenarios. If teams have already played each other in group play and their finals match is canceled before half time the team that won during group play will be determined the Champion. Games that reach halftime will be considered complete and the scores will stand.

Teams that were not able to play their 3 guaranteed games due to adverse weather conditions will be refunded $50 per game not played.


After a team has been accepted into the competition, NO REFUND WILL BE GIVEN should the team decide to withdraw from the event. Tournament entry fee returns/refunds will be granted, as follows:

• Within five (5) days after notification that the team has not been accepted.

• Within five (5) days of cancellation of the tournament.

• Within ten (10) days of request of withdrawal of the application by a team before acceptance of the application by the tournament.


In any FYSA sanctioned match a break will be given at the midpoint of each half of regulation time and at the end of each overtime period (if played) for player hydration. This break will be given at a normal stoppage of play and it is mandatory for any FYSA sanctioned match during which the air temperature is or is expected to reach eighty-five (85) degrees.



Following the completion of each championship game, the two competing teams’ players will present themselves to the Game Site Coordinator for the presentation of awards.


The Tournament Committee, FYSA and/or host affiliate will not be responsible for any expense incurred by any team due to cancellation in whole or in part of this tournament.

The Tournament Committee’s interpretation on the foregoing rules and regulations shall be final.

The Tournament Committee reserves the right to decide all tournament matters.

If not enough teams are realized within a single age bracket, the Tournament Director shall notify the participants as soon as possible and those participants will be given the option to play up or to receive a full refund.

The Tournament Committee has the responsibility to uphold any previous suspension imposed by FYSA/US Youth Soccer.


Leagues and Affiliations



US Club Soccer

US Club Soccer

West Ham United

West Ham United










3 Daughters Brewing

3 Daughters Brewing

After School Kicks

After School Kicks

ACU Logo

ACU Logo