U.S. Soccer Resources and Mandates

Selected Bylaws, Policies & Statements:

U.S. Soccer Federation Bylaw 212: General Responsibilities
U.S. Soccer Federation Policy 212: Reporting Risk Management Disqualifications
U.S. Soccer Federation Policy 212-1: Participation in Affiliated Organizations
U.S. Soccer Federation Policy 531-9: Misconduct Towards Game Officials
U.S. Soccer Federation Policy 601-7: Competition Participation
U.S. Soccer Federation Policy 601-10: Recognition of Risk Management Actions
U.S. Soccer Federation Statement: Use of Padded Headgear

Player Development Initiatives (announced 2015):

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

(Update: Aug. 11, 2016) U.S. Soccer released a presentation designed as a resource to parents, coaches and referees.

Related links:

Birth-year registration:

While the birth-year registration is required to be implemented by all U.S. Soccer members by August 1, 2017, US Club Soccer implemented the U.S. Soccer Federation’s birth-year registration mandates 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 with the 2016-17 season will 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-Unders.
    • Players born from January 1, 1999 – December 31, 1999 will be labeled as 18-Unders.
    • Players born from January 1, 2000 – December 31, 2000 will be labeled as 17-Unders.
    • 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.

Should your club or team play in a league using the birth-year registration format for the 2016 spring registration season (ending July 31, 2016), please review this age chart. For example, if a team is playing as 13-U based on birth-year registration, update the team’s age group to 14-U (2002). This will alleviate the official roster showing players born January-July 2002 as over-aged players.

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 29401

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.

Selected Form:

For more information: