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Unless modified by this set of rules, all games shall be played in accordance with the most current F.I.F.A. rules.  All decisions of the referee are final and binding.  The Tournament Committee, the Bethesda Soccer Club, and the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association will not be responsible for any expenses incurred by any team or club if the tournament is canceled in whole or part.  Any team that cancels their registration for the tournament before acceptances are sent out will receive a full refund if a written notice has been received by the Bethesda Soccer Club.  Any team that cancels after acceptances have been sent out will not receive any refund of fees under any circumstances.  The Tournament Committee reserves the right to decide on all matters about the tournament and its judgment is final.  Any team that disregards any decision by the Tournament Committee (including the inclement weather policy) will be automatically dropped from the tournament and forfeit all remaining games.  First-place awards will be awarded to winners in the U9 through U15 age groups.  Runner-up teams in divisions of six or more teams will receive second-place awards in the U9 through U15 age groups.



  • Participation in the BETHESDA PREMIER CUP TOURNAMENT is open to accepted teams composed of twenty-two (22) or fewer players meeting the age limit of the specified division.  U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, U18, U19 teams can bring a total of twenty-two players on their approved roster. Note:  U9 and U10 rosters are composed of fourteen (14) or fewer players.  U11 and U12 rosters are composed of sixteen (16) or fewer players.  Players must have been born during, or after, the birth year.  Each team must be registered and in good standing with their national organization or state soccer association and must present a valid state roster.  Player registration cards duly authorized by a team’s sanctioning organization will be required as proof of age.  PLAYER PASSES MUST BE PRESENT AT THE FIELD FOR THE DURATION OF EACH GAME.


  • No player shall play for more than one team during the tournament.


  • Players must participate on their primary (or secondary if the primary team is not playing) team if they are registered for the tournament – exception club carded players.  Players can participate as secondary carded, as long as their primary team is not registered in the tournament.  Exception:  players can participate on another team from within their own association as club carded and not be considered a guest player.  

  • All USYSA teams (other than those teams from the East Region ) MUST have a copy of the Permission to Travel form approved and signed by a duly authorized State Representative.  US Club Soccer teams are not required to present a travel form.


Each team shall have a roster properly stamped by its sanctioning organization present at every game and rosters may be inspected by the field marshal at the request of either coach or on the decision of the referee.  Rosters submitted at tournament registration shall govern.

Roster Size

  1. U13 through U19 - 22 players (only 18 may be in uniform and eligible to play in each match – must be announced before the match begins)

  2. U11 to U12 (9 v 9) – 16 players

  3. U9 to U10 (7 v 7) – 14 players


This tournament is not intended as a tryout event.  A team may use no more than three (3) guest players, which must be approved by the Tournament Director.  Rosters with guest players are limited as follows:

  1. U13 to U19 teams may not have more than twenty-two (22) players on their roster, which number includes up to three (3) guest players.

  2. U11 to U12 may not have more than sixteen (16) players on their roster, which number includes up to three (3) guest players.

  3. U9 to U10 (7 v 7) teams may not have more than fourteen (14) players on their roster, which number includes up to three (3) guest players.


  • The U9 and U10 divisions will play 7 v 7; U11 and U12 divisions will play 9 v 9; all other age groups will play 11 v 11.

  • A game may not start with fewer than seven properly uniformed players on each team.  Once started, games may not continue with fewer than seven players per team.  If a game cannot start or is stopped because a team has fewer than seven players, that team shall forfeit the game.  A team shall have a 10-minute grace period from the scheduled starting time before a forfeit is declared. Note:  U9, U10, U11, and U12 division games cannot start or continue with less than six players.

  • A forfeit in the preliminary rounds shall be awarded as three (3) points for the win.  For tie-breaking purposes, the score shall be set as the average of goals scored by the winning team rounded up to the nearest whole number, against the average of the goals given up by that team rounded down to the nearest whole number.  As a minimum, the score will be recorded as 1-0.

  • If a team is a cause for termination of a game, that team will be considered to have forfeited that game.


  • Teams that have forfeited a game may not advance beyond the preliminary rounds without the approval of the Tournament Director.


Substitutions without limit may be made, with the referee's permission:

  1. After a goal has been made.

  2. At the beginning of the second half of play or prior to the beginning of an overtime period.

  3. At a goal kick by either team.

  4. At a throw-in by the team in possession, by either team.

Limited substitutions may be made, with the referee's permission:

  1. In case of stoppage of play for an injury on a one-for-one basis for the injured player(s).

  2. To replace a cautioned player.

  1. No substitutions on corner kicks will be permitted.

  1. A team may substitute for a player who has been red-carded in the U16, U17, U18, and U19 age groups only.

  1. If any U16 through U19 division includes more than one (1) foreign team, F.I.F.A. limited substitution rules will apply (maximum of five (5) substitutions, no reentry).





  • Players must wear numbers on the back of their uniforms and these numbers shall coincide with those listed on the team's official roster.




  • The HOME team (listed first on the schedule) will wear their light-colored jerseys.  The visiting team will wear their darker-colored jerseys.


  • When requested by the referee, each team must provide a linesperson.


  • Regardless of weather conditions, coaches and their teams must appear on the field, ready to play as scheduled.  Failure to appear will result in the forfeiture of the game.  Only referees and/or the Tournament Director can postpone or cancel a game.


  • The U12 and younger teams shall play with a #4 ball, and U13 and older teams shall play with a #5 ball.


  • Heading the ball is prohibited in U11 games and younger.  Whenever the ball strikes a player in the head, play is stopped.  If deliberate, then the proper restart is an indirect free kick to the opposing team.  If this occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.  If the play by the head is deemed inadvertent, then the proper restart is a dropped ball.


  • The U9 and U10 age groups will use the developmental build-out line.  Players must move behind the build-out line until the ball is put into play when the keeper has the ball or on a goal kick.  The goalie cannot punt or drop-kick the ball – it must be put into play on a pass, throw, or roll.  The build-out line is used to denote where offside offenses will be called.




The following table shows the length of game halves for boys’ and girls’ preliminary matches, Semi-Final and Final matches.






Max. overtime



25 minutes

30 minutes

2 x 5 minutes



30 minutes

30 minutes

2 x 5 minutes



30 minutes

35 minutes

2 x 10 minutes



35 minutes

no finals: three-game round-robin



In the event inclement weather forces cancellation of a game after at least 20 minutes have been played, the game shall be considered official and the score at the point of cancellation shall be the final score.  Should a game be halted before 20 minutes have been played, it shall be rescheduled for complete replay or recommenced at the discretion of the Tournament Director.  In the event of a tie in a Semi-Final or Final game, overtime shall be played as described above.




Each team shall be awarded three points for a win and one point for a tie in the preliminary games.  The division winner shall be the team with the most points. In the event that two or more teams are tied, the tie-breaking rules are as follows:


  1. Head-to-head competition (does not apply if more than two teams are involved).

  2. Most wins.

  3. Bonus points - Bonus points will be awarded for the difference between goals for and goals against up to a maximum of three (3) per game (e.g., 6-3 and 3-0 scores each earn three bonus points).  Only positive points count towards the bonus points (do not subtract).  An additional bonus point will be awarded for a shutout.

  4. Fewest goals against.

  5. Team with least accumulated cards during the preliminary matches.

  6. Penalty kicks - The F.I.F.A. penalty kick procedure will be used to determine a winner.  Coaches who feel that they may require this discriminator should stay in close contact with their Age Group Coordinator throughout Saturday/Sunday.


In the event of a tie among more than two teams:  a tie is broken by the above system, but if ties among the remaining teams still must be decided, those ties would be broken by starting again from the top of the tie-breaking procedure.

The wildcard team will be the team from any division which, after the division winners have been determined, has the highest win/tie total points.  In the event of a tie, the above-listed priority applies.  The wildcard team cannot play a team from their division in the initial knock-out round.


Sudden death ("golden goal') overtime will be played.  U14 and younger teams will play up to two 5-minute overtime periods, and U15 will play up to two 10 minute overtime periods.  If a tie-in score exists at the end of overtime, the F.I.F.A. penalty kick procedure will be used to determine a winner.



The winning team (or the home team if the game is tied) is responsible for reporting the score to the tournament app immediately after the completion of the match. 




  • Players, coaches, and spectators are expected to conduct themselves within the Spirit of the Law as well as the Letter of the Law.  Displays of temper or dissent are cause for ejection from the game and surrounding field area.


  • Both teams (players and coaches) will be on the same sideline. Spectators of both teams will take the opposite side of the pitch.  No one will be allowed behind either end line.


  • A player or coach receiving a red card will not be able to participate in the tournament game following the game the card is issued. The Bethesda Soccer Club reserves the right to SUSPEND ANY PLAYER, COACH, OR TEAM FROM THE TOURNAMENT FOR UNRULY CONDUCT.


  • Accumulation of Cards - Any player or coach who receives a second caution card (yellow) during any part of the tournament will not be allowed to participate in the next tournament game following the contest where the second caution card was issued.


  • In the event of assault/abuse on a game official, a judiciary hearing shall immediately be convened at a Tournament site to be designated by the Tournament Director.  All terms described in the USSF Official Administrative Rule Book under Rule 3.2.8, “Suspension for Assault on Official”, shall apply.  In any event, a player, coach, or another team official who is charged with assault on a game official is suspended from further participation in the Tournament.


  • Any team disregarding a decision by the referees and/or the Tournament Committee to either suspend or cancel tournament play will be disqualified for the remainder of the tournament.  Also, a written complaint will be filed with the team’s sanctioning organization.



The use and presence of alcoholic beverages are prohibited near and at all game sites, including parking areas.  Pets are not permitted on or near the fields.


Bethesda Premier Cup

Bethesda Premier Cup Contact Information

Phone: 240-344-4943


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