Competition Rules

Competition Rules for 9U - 14U

Note: These rules are subject to approval by the Regional Commissioner


For Divisions 9U through 14U, the schedule for our season is divided in two parts --- the Regional Regular Season and the Playoff Elimination Games.

At the conclusion of the Regular Season, teams begin competing in a series of playoff games with other teams in their Division.

So that each team has an opportunity to play an equal number of games, these playoff games use a pool play format. All teams participate in this preliminary round. The preliminary round is organized according to the numbers of teams in the division.

Following this preliminary round of playoffs, there are single elimination games which are played during the last two weekends of the season in order to determine our league champions and runners-up. For more details on Playoff Rules, please visit our Playoff Rules Page.

Championship Playing Time


Regional Regular Season

Playoff Elimination Games

All Players

All players must play at least 3/4 of the game unless it is mathematically impossible to do so. If a player is required to play 2 quarters because, for example, 10 team players are present at a 10U game or 15 team players are present at a 12U or 14 game, that player cannot again be required to play 2 quarters until all players on the team have had to play 2 quarters in a game.

All players must play at least 1/2 of the game.
This rule only applies during regulation time and not during extra time (aka overtime).

In 9U and 10U, a player may not play in goal for more than 2 quarters during a single game and the goalkeeper must play at least one quarter in the field.

In 12U, if both teams have fifteen players present, no goalkeeper can play more than 2 quarters, but otherwise 3 quarters in goal plus one on the field is OK.

In 14U, there is no restriction on the number of quarters a player may play in goal.

In 9U, 10U, 12U and 14U, the goalkeeper may play 4 quarters in goal.

In all cases, coaches are strongly discouraged from always allowing the minimum time on the field to an individual player who regularly plays goalkeeper, even in the rare case where the player prefers playing in goal. Goalkeepers need field skills and they need to be on the field to develop them.

Guidance for referees: The 3 quarter rule and GK rules should be drawn to the attention of coaches if it appears that a substitution pattern will violate the rule. However, referees are not to enforce the rule against a recalcitrant coach. They MUST however draw the attention of the division director or the referee administrator to any refusal by the coach to cooperate by changing the substitution pattern to prevent a violation. Coaches are subject to discipline for failure to follow the rules and the Division Director or Regional Commissioner may in their discretion deduct points or order a forfeit in the case of violations of these rules.

Additional Notes:

  • The player who starts the quarter gets credit for the quarter played and a player who substitutes for that player due to an injury does not get credit.
  • The assistant referee should mark the playing cards A for absent, including players who are absent for just one quarter, and I for injured or ill during a game. I generally counts as a quarter played for purposes of minimum playing time. A allows anyone looking at the card to determine how many players were actually available for selection and substitutions.
  • LATE ARRIVAL AT THE FIELD: If a player arrives at the field after the beginning of the game, the 3 quarter rules does not apply. If a player arrives at the field after the beginning of the 2nd quarter, he or she need only play one quarter. A coach need not play a player who arrives after the beginning of the second half.

Volunteer Points Requirement for Elimination Round Play

To participate in the single elimination playoff round, a team must have earned at least 14 Volunteer Points in 14U, 12 points in 12U and 10 in 10U and 9U regardless of how well the team performs during the preliminary pool play round. If a team would otherwise qualify for the single elimination playoff round, but doesn't have enough Volunteer Points, the opportunity to participate in the single elimination playoff round will go to the next team in the standings in that team's pool qualifies.

If as a result of this rule, too few teams from a pool are eligible for single elimination play, the eligible team or teams with the highest number of points in the other pools will qualify for single elimination play and will take the place of the lowest ranked team or teams in the pool that would have qualified if they had enough points. The scheduler at his or her discretion may adjust matchups in the first round of single elimination games to avoid teams from the same pool playing each other.

If you think that there are any missing or unrecorded points, please contact us at Please remember that any request to change allocation of Volunteer Points must be in writing and must come from the volunteer who earned them.

More information on the Volunteer Points Program is in the Referee Section of this website.

Consequence of disqualification:

  • Division with pools: The disqualified team is placed at the bottom of its pool for purposes of determining elimination round matchups and all teams within the pool move up. If the number of teams disqualified results in a pool having fewer than the minimum number of teams that would qualify from that pool, the qualified team from another pool with the highest number of playoff game points that would otherwise not qualify will play in the elimination round.
  • Division without pools: A disqualified team is placed last for purposes of determining elimination round matchups and all other teams move up.
  • If the number of qualified teams from a division is fewer than the number of teams scheduled to play elimination games, eliminated teams will play the game they would have played had they qualified as the lowest ranked qualified team in the pool or division but the game will be treated as a friendly and the qualified team will advance regardless of the result.
  • We reserve the right to make other adjustments caused by the particular circumstances of the division, but under no circumstances will a disqualified team advance in games designated as elimination games.

Playoff Format

Please review the Playoff Rules Page for information on how the pool play and elimination rounds are organized in each division.

Regular Season Playoff Rules for Division 9U-14U

Applicable Rules

These rules do not supersede AYSO National Rules and Regulations, Section 1 Rules and Regulations, or Area 1-P Rules and Regulations, but are intended to cover those situations not addressed in the AYSO National Rules and Regulations, Section 1 Rules and Regulations, or Area 1-P Rules and Regulations. Region 76 rules shall prevail in case of conflict. Unless noted, these rules will cover 9U-14U.

For 9U and 10U, a minimum of 5 players constitutes a team. If a team does not have a minimum of 5 players at the start of the game or if does not maintain a minimum of 5 players, then it will forfeit the game.

For 12U and 14U, a minimum of 7 players constitutes a team. If a team does not have a minimum of 7 players at the start of the game or if does not maintain a minimum of 7 players, then it will forfeit the game.

Any player missing a completely filled-out and parent-signed medical emergency release form is ineligible to play. No exceptions. Coaches must show all proper medical release forms at the start of the game when asked by the referees.

Point Scoring System During Pool Playoff Games

An accumulated point system will be used for pool games (preliminary round games) with points awarded as follows:

  • Win = 6 points
  • Tie = 3 points (0-0 tie scores 3 points, no shutout point)
  • Loss = 0 points
  • Shutout = 1 additional point
  • Goal scored = 1 additional point each goal scored, up to a maximum of 3 points. (E.g., if a team loses 3-4, it gets 3 points for the three goals scored.)
  • Forfeit = Scored as 2-0 (9 points) [This is a change adopted in 2011; formerly a forfeit was 10 points.]
  • Maximum points per game = 10
  • No Show/Forfeit: Minus 1 point for non-appearance at a game.
  • Red Card/Ejection/Send Off: Minus 2 points for each send off/ejection of a player, coach, or assistant coach.

Tie Breaker, if necessary, to determine ranking after preliminary rounds:

  1. Prior Head to Head [during Pool Play only]
  2. Fewest number of send-offs/ejections of players and coaches
  3. Fewest Goals Allowed
  4. Greatest Goal Differential (will consider only up to 3 goal difference per game
  5. Coin Toss

Note that ties stand in preliminary pool playoff games.