Highlands Cup Soccer Tournament


Tournament Rules

  1. General

The Highlands Cup Tournament is scheduled for SATURDAY OCTOBER 9TH AND SUNDAY OCTOBER 10TH 2021

The Tournament is being conducted for the enjoyment of the players.  The goal of the Tournament committee is for the players, coaches and spectators to have a safe, enjoyable weekend of soccer.  We expect all involved to show the highest standard of sportsmanship.

Each team is scheduled to play 4 games.

Every effort will be made to play games as scheduled, however, it may be necessary to shorten games, move game locations, or reschedule games.  Coaches will be notified as soon as possible in the event of cancellations or field/schedule changes. 

The traditional exchange of club patches is encouraged.

All teams requiring hotel/motel accommodations are required to book rooms on their own.  Information about local hotel/motels is available on the Tournament website (

  1. Ages and Eligibility

Participation in the Tournament is open to accepted teams consisting of 18 or fewer players meeting the age limit of the specified division.  U17-U18 teams may submit 22 player rosters, but may only dress 18 players for each game.

Each travel team must be registered with a national soccer association affiliated with the USSF, either USYSA or US Club Soccer, and must possess a state-approved roster, or US Club Soccer roster.  All players must be registered youth soccer players in good standing with that same governing body.  Players must either be on a team’s official roster or be an approved guest player duly registered. 

Each player and coach must present a valid USSF, State, or National registration card that includes a photograph of the player or coach and a unique player identification number.  All players on the same team, rostered or guest, must use player passes from the same governing body.  Players with US Club Soccer player cards may not guest for a USYSA team, and players with USYSA player cards may not guest for a US Club Soccer team.  Organizations may not be mixed within the roster .this we want to change.  Players who do not present valid primary player passes will not play.

Teams from outside New Jersey must have a copy of the approving State Association’s application to travel approved by the State Association if the State Association requires such approval.

Players must meet the NJYS rules for age groups: 

  • U9 (Boys & Girls) (birth year 2010) – in accordance with NJYS rules, U8 players (Boys & Girls) may play on a U9 team provided that a majority (50% + 1) of the players are U9 aged players
  • U10 (Boys & Girls) (birth year 2009)
  • U11 (Boys & Girls) (birth year 2008)
  • U12 (Boys & Girls) (birth year 2007)
  • U13 (Boys & Girls) (birth year 2006)
  • U14 (Boys & Girls) (birth year 2005)
  • U15 (Boys & Girls) (birth year 2004)
  • U16 (Boys & Girls (birth year 2003)
  • U17 (Boys & Girls) (birth year 2002)  
  • U18 (Boys & Girls) (birth year 2001)

U 9 and U 10 will play 7 v 7.    U11 and U12 will play 9 v 9.  U13 and older will play 11 v 11.

There were restrictions on U10’s not playing up(think this came from NJYS on our certificate – does that still apply)

Designated “tournament team rosters” will only be considered for acceptance for teams age U13 and up.  This means teams U12 and below must participate in either spring or fall league play to be eligible. 

A player may not compete for two (2) different teams in a single flight for the duration of the Tournament. 

Roster Sizes

Team rosters for U9-U10 (7 v 7) are limited to a maximum of 12 players, including guests. Team rosters for U11–U12 (9v9) are limited to a maximum of 16 players, including guests.    Team rosters for U13–U16 (11v11) are limited to a maximum of 18 players, including guests.  Team rosters for U17-U19 (11v11) are limited to a maximum of 22 players, including guests, however the team may dress only 18 players for a game and a game line-up sheet must be presented to the Field Marshal prior to the start of each game or the game must be forfeited. Teams participating in 7v7  league play at ages U9 and U10 must contact their state or governing association to determine if they may participate in an 9v9 format prior to applying.  Teams participating in 9v9 league play at ages U11 and U12 must contact their state or governing association to determine if they may participate in an 11v11 format prior to applying.  The Tournament will not be responsible to refund fees after acceptance if teams applied and later find out they are not permitted to participate due to rules of their governing organization.  

  1. Guest Players

A maximum of five (5) guest players may play on a team.  Secondary carded players are considered guest players.  Primary team player cards and medical releases for guests must be submitted at Initial Tournament Registration.  Please check with your club registrar, USYSA state association, US Club Soccer, or SAY Soccer, etc. to determine if a form or notification is necessary to bring guest players to the event. 

  1. Application

Your application is not complete until payment has been received.  We will accept teams only after their online application has been entered and their payment received

Registration fees can be paid by check which should be sent to

West Morris Soccer Club

PO Box 193Mendham, NJ 07945

Teams applying late or not accepted will be placed on a waiting list.  If not ultimately accepted, any refunds will be issued after the event concludes.

  1. Schedule Changes

No requests for schedule changes will be honored once the preliminary Tournament schedule is posted.  The Tournament Committee reserves the right to make schedule changes to accommodate field conditions or no shows.  Please review the final schedule prior to Initial Tournament Registration on Friday, June 14, 2019 (at 

  1. Field Directions

Directions to all fields are posted on the Tournament website at the “Fields” link.  You can also find field layout maps at that site

Initial Tournament Registration

At Initial Tournament Registration all teams must provide ALL of the following documentation:

  • Copy of State Approved Roster – we will keep this so do not give us your original roster 
  • Copy of the Tournament roster showing all players (including rostered and guest players) that includes player ID numbers AND uniform numbers – teams are encouraged to generate this through GotSoccer
  • Primary Player Cards for all players for current year, including Guest Players – All players on the same team, rostered or guest, must use Player Passes from the same governing body. 
  • Coach Cards for all coaches for current year from same governing body as players.
  • Original Notarized Medical Release Forms (for all players, including Guest Players) – Notarized Medical Releases are not required for US Club Soccer affiliated teams
  • Travel Permit (for out-of-state teams if your governing body requires it) – Travel permits are not required for US Club Soccer affiliated teams
  • Team Contact Sheet (available on Tournament website and at Initial Tournament Registration) including cell phone numbers for a primary and backup contact, as well as the name of their hotel, if relevant, to assist in communications in the event of weather-related issues.  The Team Contacts’ cell phones must be in operation over the course of the Tournament. 

No Card, No Play, No Exception!  This applies to ALL players and coaches.

Player numbers and jersey numbers for each player must be provided to the Tournament Committee at registration on the Tournament roster.  The Tournament roster must remain constant for the entire Tournament.  If circumstances require a change in uniform number for any game, that change must be reported in advance to the Field Marshal on-site. 

All teams are responsible for their own insurance. 

  1. Player’s Equipment
  • All team players must wear acceptable and identical uniforms consisting of jersey, shorts, and socks.
  • All teams must have two sets of jerseys in contrasting colors.  All players must wear matching color team shorts and team socks. 
  • All uniforms shall be appropriately numbered and such number shall coincide with the Tournament roster.  
  • Numbers on uniforms will not be duplicated on a team in any one game.
  • Keepers (goalies) must wear a uniform distinctly different from the other players on both teams.  
  • The Field Marshal or referee will direct removal of any apparel that in his opinion may be dangerous and/or hazardous.  
  • In the event of a uniform color clash, the designated home team will change colors.  The home team is the first team listed on the schedule for that particular game.
  • All players must wear shin guards.  Socks must be completely pulled up over shin guards. 
  • All players must wear soccer shoes that meet FIFA specifications.  (Metal or Toe cleats are not acceptable and players will not be allowed to play.)
  • No player, including the keeper, will wear helmets, hard caps, or hats. 
  • No hard hair ornaments may be worn. 
  • No jewelry of any sort is allowed.
  • Knee braces, if worn, must be covered completely.
  • Splints may be worn only if properly padded and only with the permission of the referee.  The referee’s judgment will be final. 
  • For Casts & Braces we follow State Cup Rules which allow casts with a coverage of 2” high density closed cell polyurethane or alternate material WITH A MEDICAL RELEASE SIGNED BY A DOCTOR.  Without the medical release which must be presented to the referee – no game play for that player is allowed.  Referee has final authority whether any cast is permissible in that game. 
  1. Field and Game Equipment

The Tournament Committee will be responsible for field markings, goals, nets, corner flags, and officials. 

Home team is responsible for providing game ball at each game.

Each team should come prepared with a team first-aid box and is responsible for any medical care to any player in need of medical attention. 

In the event of an injury contact your Field Marshal or the Tournament Headquarters Tent at your field location.

  1. Field Regulations

Some simple rules for each facility we use:

  • No Parking on grass, unless clearly designated as a parking area.  Park only in designated spots.  Follow parking patterns at all times.  Obey speed limits.  Tickets may be issued. 
  • No pets, on a leash or otherwise.
  • No smoking anywhere near the fields or staging areas (ie: once you enter the grounds inside the parking lots).
  • Alcoholic beverages and other illegal substances are not permitted at game sites or in any parking areas. 
  • Teams must pick up their trash.  Trash bags will be provided to each team at registration and additional bags will be available at the Field Headquarters Tent at each location.  Please place the trash bags, when filled, in the dumpsters near the parking lot at your location.


  1. Team Pre-Game Check In

All teams MUST REPORT to the Field Marshal at the assigned field on which they are scheduled to play thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled game time.  

Player picture identification cards are required to be presented to the Field Marshal.  The Field Marshal will inspect all players for identification and apparel and compare them to the official Tournament roster.  

At the same time, each team shall designate a team captain.  Team captains will meet with the Field Marshal for a coin toss.  The visiting team will make the coin toss call.  The winning team will choose which goal they would like to defend.  The losing team will kick off.  The home team is the first team listed on the schedule and will have choice of sidelines.

After the game, the Field Marshal will return the cards to the respective coaches.

  1. Team Contact Person

At registration, each team must inform the registration personnel of their designated contact person and must provide a cell phone number where that person can be reached at any time during the Tournament. 

  1. Team Field Position

Team coaches and players will be on the designated side of field in their 10 yard coaching area from the center line.  

  • Only CARDED coaches and trainers INCLUDED ON THE TOURNAMENT ROSTER are permitted on the team sideline.
  • A maximum of THREE (3) carded coaches/trainers are allowed on the team sideline during the game.
  • Coaching from the spectator side of the field is PROHIBITED.  Anyone violating this will be directed to leave the competition area.

Spectators will be on the opposite sideline and a minimum of 5 feet behind the touchline, behind designated spectator lines, or as directed by the referee.  During play, spectators are not allowed past the eighteen yard line at either end of the field.

  1. Laws of the Game

Unless otherwise stated, all FIFA rules apply.

  1. Modification to Laws of the Game

The following amended rules for youth soccer will apply: 

Substitutions without limit may be made at the following times with the permission of the referee.  The referee may disallow substitutions if that request is judged to delay the game. 

  • After a goal has been scored.
  • Before a goal kick by either team.
  • At a throw-in by the team in possession only.
  • At a throw-in by the team without possession if, and only if, the team with possession elects to substitute. (This is done in an effort to minimize the time lost due to substitutions.) 
  • After a caution (Yellow card) or ejection (Red card) is issued.  THERE WILL BE NO SUBSTITUTIONS FOR A PLAYER WHO IS RED CARDED AND REMOVED FROM THE FIELD OF PLAY.
  • If play is stopped for an injured player and 
    1. the coach/trainer comes onto the field to assist the player, then that player MUST leave the field, unless that player is the goalkeeper.  At that time, both teams may make an unlimited number of substitutions; or 
    2. the player does not need assistance from his/her coach/trainer, then the player does not need to leave the field.  Both teams may NOT make any substitutions; or 
    3. the player does not need assistance from his/her coach/trainer, but decides to leave the field and be replaced, then both teams may make an unlimited number of substitutions. 
  • Players must be clearly standing and waiting AT the MID-FIELD LINE to be substituted (and not merely waiting “in the vicinity of mid-field”).  Players standing at mid-field should be substituted into the game at the next stoppage of play, unless they remove themselves from the mid-field position prior to the stoppage of play.  Substitutes will enter the field of play at the mid-field line only after receiving a signal from the referee and only after the players they are replacing have left the field.  

There will be no overtime play or shootouts.

  1. Tournament Format

All teams are scheduled to play 4 games.

U9-U10 will be played on 7 v7 small-sided fields.  U10-U11 will play on 9 v 9 small-sided fields.  U12-U18 will be played on 11v11 full-sided fields.

The home team is the first team listed on the schedule for each game.

  1. Game Duration

All 7 v7 sided and 9v9 games (U9-U12) will consist of two 25- minute halves.

All 11v11 sided games (U13-U18) will consist of two 30-minute halves.

The referee has discretion to allow one minute mid-half water breaks (and shorten half-time by 2 minutes) in case of excess heat. 

All games will have a 5-minute half time.

There are no overtimes.

Games will start promptly at scheduled time.  The referee has the discretion to shorten a game due to late start (see rule 21) in order to allow the next scheduled game to start on time.  Games may be shortened due to weather (see rule 24) or darkness (see rule 25).

  1. Game Balls
  • U9-U12 teams will play with a #4 ball.
  • U13-U19 teams will play with a #5 ball.
  1. Game Report

Game cards will be used by the referee to record game results and disciplinary actions.

The Field Marshall will ensure the game cards are properly completed and presented to the referee immediately prior to each game. 

The Referee will record names of players or coaches receiving caution (Yellow) or ejection (Red) Cards and the reason for the Card on the game report card.

The Referee will indicate the official score of the game on the card and sign the card.  One coach from each team will also sign the game card prior to the game card being returned to the Field Marshal.  Once the game card is signed the score becomes final.

The Field Marshal will be responsible for reporting the score of the game.  All game scores for U11-U18 teams are recorded and will be posted at the Location Headquarters Tent.

21. Failure to Show and Forfeits

It is sincerely hoped that NO games will be forfeited during this Tournament.  Tournament officials will have the option to shorten, reschedule or otherwise create such circumstances as will allow a game to be played on the field rather than be won by forfeit.

In the event that a team must forfeit, the following rules shall apply:

  • A ten (10) minute grace period beyond the scheduled kick-off time will be allowed before a forfeit is declared by the referee.
  • A minimum of seven (7) players constitutes a team for 11v11 teams.
  • A minimum of six (6) players constitutes a team for 9v9 teams.
  • A minimum of five (5) players constitutes a team for 7v7 teams.
  • The game will start AS SOON AS the minimum number of players is available.  Additional players that come after the start of the game will be allowed to play providing they report to the referee before the start of the second half.

Failure to complete a game (or than due to a weather stoppage) or a team leaving the field during play will result in a forfeit.

In no case will a team that has forfeited a game be declared a flight winner.  The flight winner and runner up will be the teams having played all scheduled games and having the next best records in the flight.

The team winning a game by forfeit will be awarded 3 points, with the score being posted as 1-0.

  1. Referees

USYSA rules regarding the use of USSF currently certified referees (Grade 8 minimum) will apply.  Only USSF registered Referees will be utilized, assigned by a USSF certified Assignor. 

  • A three-referee system is planned to be used on all 11v11 fields.
  • One referee will be used on the 7v7 and 9v9 fields for U9-U12 games.
  1. Protests

No game protests will be heard.  All decisions of the referee and the Tournament Committee are final.

  1. Inclement Weather, Game Changes and Other Emergency Situations

The coach will receive safety information at registration.  It is the responsibility of the coach to read the information and implement any emergency procedures when necessary. 

In the event of inclement weather, unsafe field conditions, or other unforeseen circumstances, the Tournament Committee has the authority to change games as follows: 

  • Relocate or reschedule any game(s)
  • Change the duration of the game
  • Cancel any game(s)
  • Cancel the Tournament

In the event of inclement weather before the game, the Referees and/or Tournament Committee may reduce the length of the game, and subsequent game by up to 50%, however, the halves of the game must be of equal duration.  If the game is cancelled, the Tournament Committee will award a 0-0 tie. 

Games terminated after one half of play because of the weather shall be considered final. 

In the event of Lightning during any game, the game will be stopped.  Games may be rescheduled or called a tie by the Tournament Committee.  

  • The game will be considered completed and the score will stand if one half has been completed.  
  • If less than one half has been completed, a 0-0 tie will be awarded by the Tournament Committee. 
  • In the event the game is a flight winner deciding game and cannot be rescheduled, and the first half of the game has not been completed, then co-champions may be declared and first place awards will be given to both teams. 

Play may not be resumed on a field until 30 minutes after lightning is last seen.

In the event games are cancelled or shortened for any reason, flight winners will be determined using the point system presented in Section 28 of these rules.  No awards shall be given unless all teams in a flight play more than one game. 

  1. Darkness

Termination of a game due to darkness shall be at the sole discretion of the referee.  The referee’s decision shall be final.  Games terminated after one half of play because of darkness shall be considered final. 

  1. Discipline/Conduct/Sportsmanship
  • Players, coaches, and spectators are expected to conduct themselves within the spirit of the law, as well as the letter of the law.  
  • A Yellow Card displayed by the referee indicates a caution.  Two Yellow cards given to the same individual in the same game will result in a Red Card and ejection from the game.  That player being unable to play in his/her team’s succeeding game. 
  • Players ejected from a match (Red Card) must sit out, at a minimum, the remainder of that game plus, with the exception of intentionally handling the ball to deny a goal-scoring opportunity, his or her team’s next game.  No substitution may be made for the ejected player during the game in which the offense occurred.  For players that are playing on two different teams in two different flights, an ejection in a game for one team will result in a mandatory sit out for the next game for both teams.
  • In a case of a team having a coach or coaches ejected which causes a game to be terminated prior to the end of play due to no carded coaches remaining at the sidelines at time of infraction, irrespective of the score at the time of expulsion, that team may not become a flight winner.
    1. In this case the teams below them will move up in order.
    2. The team may play remaining games, if applicable, with approval of the Tournament Committee and provided that there is another carded coach available.
    3. If the team is not able to play, the subsequent opponents will win their game by forfeit with a score of 1-0.
  • Coaches are responsible for the conduct of their spectators.  The referee has the right to require a coach to send any unruly spectator away from the field.  Should that spectator refuse to leave the immediate field of play, the referee may terminate the game.  Referees, in addition to the authority vested in them pursuant to FIFA laws, are encouraged to issue cautions (Yellow card) to the coach for unruly or abusive behavior on part of the spectators.  A second Yellow Card issued for this reason, to the same coach, will constitute a Red Card to the coach and will automatically and immediately terminate or suspend play, with or without prejudice, at the discretion of the referee. 
  • Displays of offensive language, temper, or dissent are cause for ejection from the game and field of play.  Repeated violations may result in a game forfeit or suspension of the team from the Tournament as decided by the Tournament Committee.
  • All Red Cards, especially ones issued after the end of regulation play or as a result of physical assault are subject to review by the Tournament officials and a more severe penalty may be imposed. 
  • Any fan, coach, or player that distracts from the competition by using abusive, derogatory, vulgar, or profane language or physical threats directed at an opponent, official, or opposing fan will be ordered to leave the game site for the remainder of the game.  Refusing an order to leave by an official or Tournament Field Marshal will result in the termination of the game and disqualification of the team with which the offender is affiliated with.  Points will be awarded 1-0 with a loss to the offending team.  The Tournament Committee reserves the right to call the police.
  • All disciplinary measures imposed by the Tournament Committee shall be limited to participation in the Tournament.
  • All Red and Yellow cards and other matters involving team conduct will be reported to the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association who will forward this information to all appropriate state and league officials. 
  1. Placement of Flight

The Tournament Committee reserves the right to combine teams from different age groups in the event that there are insufficient teams in a particular age group to form a flight.  In no case will teams from more than two (2) consecutive age groups be combined to play in a single new flight or will girls’ teams be combined to play in a boys’ flight or vice versa.  Under no circumstance will a 7v7  team or 9v9 team be combined with a 11v11 to form a flight.

  • Flight of 3 teams: Each team will play each other in a round robin each day resulting in each team playing each other twice during the Tournament.  The champion will be the top finishing team on Points.  No Final will be played in 3 team flights.
  • Flight of 4 teams: Each team will play a three game round robin schedule.  The first and second place teams will play for the flight championship.  The third and fourth place teams will play a consolation game.
  • Flight of 5 teams: Each team will play a four game round robin schedule.  The champion will be the top finishing team on Points.  No Final will be played in 5 team flights.
  • Flight of 6 teams: Each team will play two games within a three-team group and two cross over games.  The champion will be determined by Points.  (Head to head will not be used as a tiebreaker if top two teams did not play each other.)
  • Flight of 7 teams: Each team will play a 4 game round robin schedule.  The champion will be determined by Points.  (Head to head will not be used as a tiebreaker if top two teams did not play each other.)
  1. Scoring Procedures, Rules, and Awards

7v 7 teams:

  • All U9-U10 players will be given participation awards.
  • No scores will be posted for U9-U10 games.
  • Participation awards will be handed out when the team has completed their final game.

9 v9 and 11v11 teams:

  • 1st and 2nd Place awards will be awarded in flights for all 9v9 and 11v11 teams.
  • Flight winners will be determined based on the Point System described below:
  • POINT SYSTEM – Each team will be awarded three (3) points for a win, one (1) point for a tie, and zero (0) points for a loss.  At the end of the preliminary round, the flight winner will be the team with the most win/tie points.  In the event of a tie in a flight, the TIE BREAKER criteria listed below will be used to determine the winner and placement within the flight. 
  • TIE-BREAKERS: The following list is the order of priority for breaking ties: 
  • Head-to-Head Competition
  • Goal Differential – max of +/-4 per game (Team wins 5-0, only gets +4 GD, losing team gets -4) – Any team that runs up a score with a goal differential of 7 or more goals will have one point deducted from their maximum 4 point goal differential tie breaker.
  • Goals For -With a maximum of four (4) per game. 
  • Goals Against –With a maximum of four (4) per game. 
  • Most total shutouts 
  • Penalty Kicks following FIFA Rules – to be taken 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the final game on a designated field at the final game site.  The coach or assistant coach of affected teams must be present at the headquarters at the scheduled final game site 30 minutes prior to the final to determine if Penalty Kicks are required. 
  • In the event there is a three-way tie after steps 2-5, the three teams will participate in a three-way coin toss on a designated field at the final game site. The first two teams tied in the coin toss will participate in Penalty Kicks following FIFA Rules. The winner will then participate in Penalty Kicks following FIFA Rules with the third team. The winner of this round will advance to the finals. 
  • In the event of a tie in the finals, the winner will be determined by the winner of a prior head-to-head matchup in the tournament. If the teams previously tied or did not play each other the winner will be determined by Penalty Kicks following FIFA Rules.
  • Awards will be presented when a team’s order of finish is determined. 
  1. Communications

The official Tournament website is  The official email address to contact the Tournament Committee with any questions is [email protected]

Teams are responsible for accessing the website for schedules and other relevant information.  Note: upon accessing a frequently updated webpage, individuals should click “Refresh” on their web Browsers to ensure that the information being accessed is the most current. 

Tournament officials will attempt to update the website, send group or individual email messages, leave messages at hotels and/or call cell phone numbers to provide necessary information, but are not responsible for any failure to reach any given team or its members, during the course of the Tournament. 

  1. General Information

Cooperate with Tournament officials and Field Marshals.

All teams shall shake hands at the end of each game as a gesture of friendship and sportsmanship.  The traditional exchange of club patches is encouraged.

All players, coaches and team officials must be insured by their own club while participating in this Tournament. 

  1. Tournament Cancellation Policy

In the event of a cancellation prior to the Tournament beginning, a minimum of 80% of each team’s entry fee will be refunded.  After the Tournament has begun, all refunds will be at the discretion of the Tournament Committee.

If the Tournament is rescheduled for any reason, any team may choose to withdraw and receive 100% refund of the registration fee.

  1. Golf Cart Policy

Golf carts are not permitted at the Highlands Cup Tournament.

  1. Tournament Disclaimers

The Tournament Committee, Long Valley United Soccer Club, and Washington Township (Morris County) are waived, released, absolved and held harmless from any and all claims, contracts, liabilities and obligations incurred in the transportation or the providing of any medical treatment to any of the players, coaches and/or spectators on each team.  It is the responsibility of the coach to authorize any medical treatment or transportation for medical treatment. 

None of the Tournament Committee, the Long Valley United Soccer Club, or any sponsor will be liable for any expenses incurred by tournament participants if the Tournament is canceled in whole or in part for any reason.  

The Tournament Committee assumes no responsibility and/or liability for the merchandise and/or services provided or sold by vendors or any other person. 

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