Daily Pilot Cup Rules

Rules and Regulations

Keep in mind that the intent and purpose of this tournament is to give as many kids as possible a chance to play soccer for their schools and to have fun doing so.  The tournament is less concerned about who wins as it is in having lots of good memories for the kids.

  1. All players on the team must play in each half of the game.  The referee does not enforce this -- the coaches must do this on their own.
  2. All players must be enrolled at the school for which they play.
  3. Once a player plays for a specific team of their school -- they are not allowed to play on any other team that their school has in the tournament. For example, a player cannot play for both the A and B team, or be moved up from 3/4 to 5/6. Once you play, you are locked into that team.
  4. Duration of Play: 25-minute halves in Pool Play, 30-minute halves in the elimination rounds (Qtr-Final, Semi-Final, Final and 3rd Place games).
  5. Running Time:  In order to keep the games on time, the referee might need to keep time running during substitutions, injuries and other causes of lost time.
  6.  Reduced Time:  If a game is running over its time constraints, the referee is authorized to reduce the amount of playing time in order to keep the tournament on schedule.
  7.  Half Times:  No longer than five (5) minutes: Coaches, they have only enough time to get a drink, get two (2) points of emphasis from you and to get any substitutions.
  8. NO WARM-UP DRILLS on the field.  Unless you have the first game of the day and you are there early, you will not have time to warm-up on the field.  Coaches, give players the line-up before your scheduled kickoff.
  9. Get out of the way!  When your game is over, there is a whole set of parents and players who need to sit where you are. Please move away from the sideline and then pack up your gear.  We only have five (5) minutes between games.
  10. To save time, there will be no coin toss.  The home team will get everything -- choice of sides, the kickoff, supply the game ball and choice of sideline.  The schedule indicates the home team.
  11. Number of Players:
  • 5th/6th Grades = 11 vs. 11.  If you have 7 players, the referee must start the game.
  • 3rd/4th Grades =   9  vs.  9.  If you have 6 players, the referee must start the game.

12   Size of Ball:  Size 4

13   Uniforms:  It is common for shirt colors to be almost identical.  Coaches should be prepared with bibs, pinnies or alternate t-shirts -- if you can.

14   The 10-point system: Advancement out of Pool Play is determined by a 10-point maximum system.

  • 6 points for a win
  • 3 points for a draw
  • 1 point for each goal that you score, up to a maximum of 3
  • 1 point for a shut-out.

Example, a 0-0 result will earn 4 points, 3 for the draw, plus 1 for the shut-out. 

Example, a 5-1 win will earn 9 points, 6 for the win, 3 points for each goal up to three (3) maximum.

Example, a 2-3 loss will earn the losing team 2 points for the goals scored.

TIE-BREAKERS: If two or more teams have the same number of points in Pool Play, then the tiebreakers are:

  • Head-to-Head
  • Least amount of goals allowed
  • Goal differential (with a maximum of +5 per game (to prevent scores from being run up)). If a team runs up a score differential of +5 or more a penalty point will be assessed against that team.  
  • Most shutout wins
  • A special shoot-out (PK’s)
  • Tournament director’s decision.

WILD CARD: The Wild Card shall be the second place teams in a bracket with the highest number of points in bracket play. In the event of a tie, we will use the tie-breaking system outlined above.

In the event of uneven numbers of teams in the pools in question, the tournament director can use averages of the above tiebreakers.

SUBSTITUTIONS:  There are no quarter breaks. Substitutions are permitted on the following dead balls:

  • your throw-in (the opposing team may now substitute also).
  • any goal kick
  • any kick off
  • injuries – if the referee gives permission (both teams permitted).
  • cautions and send-offs (if the referee allows it – both teams permitted).
  • not on a corner kick
  • not on a free kick

Score Reporting:  Ideally, there will be a field marshall to collect your score after your game, but in the event there isn’t, the coach, school liaison or a representative must report the score to the central scoreboard (the snackbar area) and update the score on the official website before 9:30 pm. 

The tournament director's decisions are final.  No protests will be allowed.

The tournament director has the authority to change the rules at any time.

General Guidelines

  1. Bring a referee along in case the assigned referee fails to show up.
  2. Don't park next to red curbs or do not park signs. You will get a ticket.
  3. Parking is very difficult. There will already be a full set of cars when you arrive.  Consider parking at Costa Mesa High School's "back side" and walk in.
  4. Verbal abuse of the referees will not be tolerated and your team risks losing points for inappropriate behavior.
  5. Keep in mind that this is a volunteer event.  Be courteous and civil.
  6. Keep your cheering positive.  Set a good example for the kids.


Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World