U.S. Soccer Resources and Mandates

U.S. Soccer Federation Bylaws, Policies & Statements:

The U.S. Soccer Federation Bylaws and Policies are available on this web page. A few bylaws and policies that may be of specific interest to US Club Soccer members:

  • Bylaw 212:  General Responsibilities
  • Policy 212-1:  Participation in Affiliated Organizations
  • Policy 531-9:  Misconduct Towards Game Officials
  • Policy 601-7:  Competition Participation
  • U.S. Soccer Federation Statement:  Use of Padded Headgear

Concussions / Head Injuries:

Please see this page.

New Protocols and Modified Substitution Rules for Suspected Head Injuries:

Please see this page.

Certified Athletic Trainers Requirement:

Important updates have been made to the sanctioned tournament hosting application and terms. Pursuant to the U.S. Soccer player safety campaign, any tournament projected to have 64 or more teams at 11-U and older age groups must have an adequate number of certified athletic trainers or other healthcare providers in attendance. For more information on this requirement, please visit the “Sanction Your Tournament” Web page and refer to the “certified athletic trainers at sanctioned tournaments” section.

Player Development Initiatives:

In August 2015, U.S. Soccer announced two player development initiatives relating to new standards to small-sided games and birth-year registration. This page provides information on US Club Soccer’s implementation of those initiatives.

Birth-year registration:

While the U.S. Soccer Federation’s birth-year registration mandate is required to be implemented by all U.S. Soccer members by August 1, 2017, US Club Soccer implemented this mandate as of August 1, 2016 for all of its programming. This includes the NPL, National Cup and all sanctioned leagues and tournaments.

This means that all US Club Soccer-operated or sanctioned competitions beginning must be  based on age group cut-offs of January 1 for each age group. Due to additional interpretative changes by U.S. Soccer since the initial announcement in how competition age groups are labeled, US Club Soccer and other sanctioning bodies have clarified the age group structures for the 2016-17 season.

  • Beginning August 1, 2016, US Club Soccer started using the following birth-year “labels” for competition, based upon the season in which competition ends. For example:
    • Players born from January 1, 1998 – December 31, 1998 will be labeled as 19-U (19-and-Under).
    • Players born from January 1, 1999 – December 31, 1999 will be labeled as 18-U (18-and-Under).
    • Players born from January 1, 2000 – December 31, 2000 will be labeled as 17-U (17-and-Under).
    • For any birth year, the age group “label” will be determined by subtracting the year in which the players participating in the competition were born from the year in which competition ends.

Clubs may continue to organize their teams for competition with players of any age younger than the age group cut-off.

US Club Soccer, along with other members of the U.S. Soccer Federation, have been collaborating with each other to help ensure that these changes forced by the U.S. Soccer mandates are implemented as efficiently and smoothly as possible. This collaboration of youth members is ongoing, and each member is continuing to provide feedback and recommendations.

Related links:

Small-sided games:

US Club Soccer members will be required to follow the U.S. Soccer mandates related to small-sided games, which also includes changes to field and goal sizes, by Aug. 1, 2017.

Hosting International Teams:

Approval from the U.S. Soccer Federation must be obtained for any game or tournament involving international teams.

In order to obtain U.S. Soccer Federation approval, the following documents must be submitted to US Club Soccer for authorization at least 45 days prior to the tournament.

  1. Application to host a game or tournament involving foreign teams (HAPP 4-11)
  2. U.S. Soccer International Tournament/Games Hosting Agreement (HTED 3-03)
  3. A copy of the rules for the tournament or games in accordance with FIFA Laws of the Game.**
  4. Fee of $75 made payable to the U.S. Soccer Federation, via check or credit card.

**Please review the Rules Checklist for Hosting a Game or Tournament Involving Foreign Teams. Rules submitted MUST follow the below guidelines:

  • OVERTIME – FIFA’s rules specify that if overtime periods are used, overtime periods must be played to completion. “Golden goal” and “Silver goal” are no longer allowed.
  • SUBSTITUTIONS – FIFA’s rules specify that the following substitution rules must be included:
    (1) a player may be substituted on at a stoppage of play with the permission of the referee; otherwise substitutions may be made at any stoppage only with the permission of the referee, and
    (2) if the age group is 15 & under, free substitution is allowed. For age groups 16 years and older, free substitution is allowed providing the tournament is not an official competition (but a friendly club tournament) and the age category does not include matches between national teams of CONCACAF member countries.
Address for submission
to US Club Soccer:
Attn: Tournament Sanctioning
US Club Soccer
192 East Bay Street, Suite 301
Charleston, SC 29401or tournament@usclubsoccer.org

After approving the application and confirming that the host club is a member in good standing, US Club Soccer will then forward the applicable documents and payment onto the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The complete U.S. Soccer Federation approval process is outlined at the corresponding link below.

Links / Forms: