Rules & Procedures

(Below is an abbreviated version;  see Section 5 of the NJCAA Handbook for an official, complete account)

All national tournament games will be played under the current NCAA Soccer rules with the following exceptions:

  • Unlimited substitutions apply with a stoppage of the game clock during substitutions from the leading team in the last five minutes of the game.
  • Any player receiving a yellow card (caution) must leave the game for a substitute, including the goalkeeper. Game includes regulation play, overtime periods and penalty kicks. They may return to the game at the next legal substitution point. NOTE: The next legal substitution point is defined as follows:  Shooters – after 10 penalty kicks have been taken by the offending team; Goalkeepers – after 1 penalty kick has been taken against the offending team
  • All National Tournament games will follow NCAA overtime rules for postseason (90 minutes regulation time followed by two sudden victory overtime periods of 10 minutes, followed by penalty kicks).
  • Teams participating in the NJCAA Soccer Championship are limited to 25 players. These players must be identified in the score book before the start of the first game. These players must be identified on an approved roster, which will contain the name, numbers and accumulated cautions of all squad members. This roster must be submitted to the NJCAA Soccer Chair or his/her designee prior to the first game of the tournament. No deletions or additions may be made after this time. A player who is part of his team’s roster of 25, whose name is not listed in the score book, will be removed from the game at the point the omission is discovered.
  • Roster numbers and jerseys must be checked and verified prior to the start of the tournament. Players found wearing incorrect numbers will be removed from the game until the problem is corrected. Players not listed on the roster, found to be participating in the game will be removed at that point and will not be allowed to participate in any subsequent games.
  • In the event of darkness, inclement weather or other circumstances beyond the control of the tournament director that prevent games from being completed on a given day, the suspended games will be resumed from the point of suspension on the following day and the game and time schedule will adjust accordingly. If for any reason, a team must play more than 90 minutes after a suspended game is resumed, they will not be required to play again that day.
  • The higher seed will wear light uniforms and have choice of bench.
  • NJCAA rules govern all National competition.
  • Tights and undergarments that extend below game pants must be the same color as game pants.
  • Pool Play Standings:  Team points will be awarded for each game in pool play in the following manner:  3 points-victory; 0 points-loss  (After group play the team in each group with the most points will advance to the semi-finals.
  • Pool Play Standings Team Tie-breaking Procedures–If after pool play, teams are tied for the most points in any pool, the following will apply, in order; 3 Team Ties–Goal differential in all pool play games; Goals scored in all pool play games; goals against in all pool play games.  If at any point in applying the above criteria:  A single team gains an advantage over the other two teams, it advances.  A single team is eliminated and two teams remain tied, then immediately revert to head to head competition in pool play between the two tied teams.  The team that earned three points in pool play advances.  Unbreakable Ties (3 team)–If all three teams remain tied after the above criteria are applied, two “tie-breaking games” will be held on day four of the tournament.  Immediately after conclusion of play in any pool, all tied teams will flip coins to determine which team receives the bye to the second “tie-breaking game.”  The odd coin receives the bye.  The other two teams will play a “tie-breaking game” beginning at the start of overtime per NCAA rules. (Two 10 minute sudden death overtime periods, followed by PK’s).  Following a 20 minute break, the winning team advances to the 2nd “tie-breaking game” to play the team that received the bye.  Any such tie-breaking games are a continuation of pool play and are considered individual games.  Any card(s) issued will carry the same penalty(ies) as in any other tournament game.
  • Semi-finals:  Game 13 – highest remaining seed vs lowest remaining seed; Game 14 – 2nd highest remaining seed vs 2nd lowest remaining seed. (Losers of both semi-final games finish tied for third).
  • Finals:  Game 15–semifinals winners.