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Welcome to the 2021 Gahanna Fall Open

Rules for the 2021 Gahanna Fall Open

I. Tournament Name

The official name of the tournament is The Gahanna Fall Open (hereafter referred to as "the tournament" or simply "tournament").

II. Tournament Headquarters

The tournament headquarters is located in the office at Headley Park. The address and phone number are:

1031 Challis Springs Dr.
Gahanna, OH 43230

+1 614-855-0506

Tournament Director: Ashley Bryant, 614-439-8046
Association President: Tracey Larick, 614-282-3091
Referee Assignor: Dennis James, 614-563-8376
Site Manager: Jim Sturm, 614-436-6775

III. Registration and Team Eligibility

A. Check-in

There will be no on-site check-in. All registration materials must be submitted via email to The complete list of items that must be included is in section B.

B. Requirements

The following items must be submitted by all teams electronically and should also be in the possession of a coach or team admin for ALL games:

  1. Official team roster

  2. A copy of the completed Liability Release and Waiver Form.

  3. Teams must possess a copy of the Online Concussion Training Course completion verification certificate for ALL coaches, trainers and managers planning to be on the sidelines. Information and links for the course and Ohio's "Return to Play" law can be found at

  4. For teams from the United States:

    1. Approved player passes from their state association or other USSF recognized sanctioning body

    2. Guest Player forms (if applicable)

    3. Proof of permission to travel for USYSA sanctioned teams from outside the boundaries of the Ohio South Youth Soccer Association (OSYSA).

  5. For a team from a CONCACAF nation:

    1. Players must present passports at registration or, if from a nation that the United States does not require a passport, proof of entry into the United States that is required by the United States.

    2. Teams are required to have and present player picture identification cards.

    3. Team must have a completed form from its Provincial or National Association approving the team’s participation in the tournament.

IV. Player Age and Eligibility

The tournament is open to all currently registered USSF league or association teams and non-USSF international teams. All teams must be currently registered and in good standing with their state, national, or provincial association. No player shall be allowed to register with more than one team or switch to another team during the tournament.

Both boys and girls divisions are eligible for the following age groups: U-9, U-10, U-11, U-12, U-13, U-14, U-15/16*.

Teams may be comprised of no more than 14 players in the U-9 and U-10 age groups; no more than 16 players in the U-11 and U-12 age groups; and no more than 18 players in the U-12 (11v11), U-13, U-14, and U-15/16 age groups. Maximum roster sizes include any guest players.

PLEASE NOTE : The U-15/16 divisions are set up to accommodate teams that are playing in a U-15 division because they have "Captive U-16 players" in the fall season. Depending on the number of U-15/16 teams that are accepted, we may have a separate division for each or we may field a U-16 division that contains both U-15 and U-16 teams.

All players will determine their ages per the USSF USYSA age guidelines. Ages will be determined by birth year using the chart below.

Player Age

Age Group

A maximum of 3 guest players in the U-9 and U-10 age groups and a maximum of 4 guest players in the U-11 to U-16 age groups may be added to the official league or association roster.

V. Teams

Home and away teams will be identified by their position in the match schedule. The home team will appear under the column "Home Team" and the away team under "Visiting Team".

Both teams are required to bring two sets of uniforms to each match. If the referee determines that there is a uniform color conflict, the home team will be required to change uniforms.

All coaches must remain within their coaching area, which is an area behind the restraining line, 3 yards deep and extending 20 yards from the center line toward the goal line on the team's half of the field, opposite the similar area for the opposing team. A team can have no more than three coaches in the team's coaching area. All spectators must be on the opposite side of the field from the teams.

Team Age

The teams age shall be determined by the age of it's oldest player. For example, if the oldest player on a team is of U-12 age, then the team shall be considered a U-12 team.

VI. Player Credentials and Uniforms

  1. Player picture identification cards (player passes) are to be present and available at all matches.

  2. Identification cards are required to be checked by the referee prior to each match.

  3. The shirt number of each player must be the same as the player’s shirt number on the roster. If the numbers are not the same, the referee is not to allow the player to take part in the match until the numbers are the same (ex: the player changing his or her shirt).

  4. No cut-offs under or in lieu of uniform shorts are allowed.

  5. Jerseys will be tucked into players' shorts at all times.

VII. Laws of the match

International Rules (FIFA/USSF) apply with the following exceptions:

  1. Substitutions must be at the mid-field line;

  2. Substitutions may be made with the consent of the referee

    1. After a goal by either team;

    2. Before any goal kick;

    3. Before a throw-in in your team's favor or if both teams are at the mid line.

    4. At the beginning of any period of play;

    5. After any injury, by either team, when the referee stops play;

    6. After a caution, the cautioned player may be substituted, if so, then the other team may also sub a player.

VIII. Player Equipment

  1. Shin guards are required for all players (no exceptions) and must be covered by a sock.

  2. Casts:

    1. Hard casts may be permitted by the referee provided they are covered with a minimum of 1/2 inch of slow recovery foam.

    2. Soft casts are permitted with the permission of the referee.

IX. Tournament and Match Schedules

Tournament Format

The match format, match length, ball size shall be as follows:

U-9 and U-10
Match Format: 7v7
Preliminary Rounds: 25 minute halves
Championship Round: 25 minute halves
Ball Size: 4

U-11 and U-12
Match Format: 9v9
Preliminary Rounds: 30 minute halves
Championship Round: 30 minute halves
Ball Size: 4

U-13, U-14, and U-15/16
Match Format: 11v11
Preliminary Rounds: 35 minute halves
Championship Round: 35 minute halves
Ball Size: 5

The tournament format for a division shall be based on the number of teams in each division. There may be multiple divisions per age group depending on number of teams and requested level of play. All age groups will use the following guidelines to determine the format played in its division.

If the division has:

Four teams
Each team will play a three game round robin schedule. The first and second place teams will play for the division championship.

Five teams
Each team will play a four game round robin schedule. The champion and runner-up will be determined by final group standings. No Final will be played.

Six teams
Each team will play two games within a three-team group and one crossover game against the other group. The group winners will play for the division championship.

Seven teams (avoided if possible)
Each team will play four other randomly selected teams from the division. The champion and runner-up will be determined by final group standings. No championship game will be played.

Eight teams
Each team will play three games within a four-team group. The group winners will play for the division championship.

* In the event that divisions of 10 or more teams are necessary, the formats for those divisions shall be posted here *

Match Schedules

All teams will play a minimum of three matches. No team shall play more than two matches in a single day. Teams will have a minimum of two hours rest between matches.

Procedures for Determining a Winner

In the event that a championship round match is tied at the end of regulation, the winner will be determined as follows:

  1. For all age groups, two five-minute overtime periods will be played to completion. If the match is still tied after ten minutes of overtime play then penalty kicks will prevail (FIFA laws).

  2. Penalty kick elimination. Only players on the field at the end of the second overtime period are eligible for penalty kicks. A coin flip will determine who goes first (visiting team calls). Five penalty kickers per team, alternating kicks per team. The most goals scored after five kicks for each team wins the tie breaker. If the score remains tied after five kickers, teams will alternate kickers until there is an unmatched goal between the teams. After all eligible players on the field of play have taken kicks, teams will start with their first kickers again and in the same order.


All matches will use USSF certified referees.

Match Delays, Suspensions, Cancellations

If a match is temporarily suspended due to weather, field conditions, or other situations beyond control, each team must check with tournament headquarters for further instructions. A match interrupted in the first half will resume play from the point where the match was stopped and play the match to full completion, or to completion of at least the first half and record the score as complete, at the decision of the tournament officials. A match interrupted in the second half can resume play from the point where the match was stopped and play the match to full completion, or can be recorded as a complete match with the score at the point the match was stopped, at the decision of the tournament officials.

X. Forfeits

  1. The following are grounds for team forfeiture of a match:

    1. Failure to arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled match start.

    2. Failure to have the minimum number of players available to begin play (see item B 1-3)

    3. Failure to complete a match

  2. The minimum number of players required to begin play are as follows:

    1. 5 players in U-9, and U-10 divisions

    2. 6 players in U-11 and U-12 divisions.

    3. 7 players in U-13 and higher divisions.

  3. Teams that have forfeited a match will be allowed to continue group play.

  4. No team that has forfeited a game will be declared a wild-card or group winner. The team winning by forfeit will be awarded the average number of goals scored in all other games, rounded DOWN. The opponent's score will be zero. This score will be the official score in case goal differential is necessary as a tie breaker. The tournament officials reserve the right to decide all matters concerning forfeits.

XI. Standings and Tie-Breakers

Each team will be awarded 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and no points for a loss. In the event of a tie in group standings, the following procedures, in order listed will determine the winner:

  1. Team with the most wins;

  2. Winner of the match played between the tied teams. If three or more teams are tied for the group lead, this step will not be used;

  3. Highest net goal differential (Goals scored minus goals allowed), per match, totalled. Maximum goal differential per match is three;

  4. Fewest total goals allowed (gross), all matches; EXAMPLES: For a score of 4-1, goal differential is +3 for the winner and -3 for the loser. For a score of 5-1, the goal differential is also +3 and -3.

  5. Penalty kick elimination (FIFA laws, see below);

The selection of a wild card team, if required, shall be determined by the following procedures, in order listed (subject to the provisions contained in the FORFEITS section of these rules).

  1. Non-Group winner with the most total points (from win-loss-tie record).

  2. Non-Group winner with the most wins.

  3. Winner of the match played between tied teams. If three or more teams are tied, this step will not be used (proceed to Step 4).

  4. Fewest total goals allowed (gross), all matches.

  5. Highest net goal differential (see Step #3 above).

  6. Penalty kick elimination (FIFA laws, see below).

Placement of wild card teams in semi-final matches will be at the discretion of the tournament directors.

Placement of wild card teams in semi-final matches will be under the following format:
Bracket A winner vs. Bracket B winner
Bracket C winner vs. Wild-card

If Wild-card is from bracket C:
Bracket winner A vs. Bracket C winner
Bracket winner B vs. Wild-card

XII. Match and Score Reporting

Match results, cautions, and ejections will be reported to the tournament headquarters by a field marshal or referee. The report shall be made to the tournament headquarters within one hour of the conclusion of each match.

Both coaches and all referees must sign a score card at the conclusion of each match.

XIII. Protests & Disputes


Protests will not be accepted.


Decisions by referees may not be appealed.

All disputes for non-referee decisions (e.g. player eligibility or tournament rules) must be presented by a coach, director, or team manager either verbally or in writing to the Site Manager, who will provide quick due process.

All decisions made by the Site Manager regarding a dispute are final and may not be appealed.

XIV. Conduct and Discipline

Team and Spectator Conduct

  1. In accordance with FIFA policy, there shall be no dissent between players and/or coaches, and the referee. Questioning a referee's call is considered dissent.

  2. Coaches are responsible for the actions of their fans and are expected to demand their support in monitoring and enforcing this policy.

General Rules

  1. No pets

  2. No alcohol

  3. No smoking

  4. No verbal abuse of anyone


A player or coach sent off during a match is not allowed to play or coach in the next match. The tournament committee may take additional disciplinary action against a team or individual for serious offenses, including suspension from the remainder of the tournament and non-eligibility for future tournaments of the tournament committee. Passes for the player or coach will be held by the tournament director until the suspensions are served. Suspended coaches will be allowed on the spectators’ side of the field but may not coach or communicate with the team in any manner. Suspended players may sit with the team but may not be in uniform.

Accumulation of Yellow Cards

There are no disciplinary procedures for the accumulation of yellow cards received in different matches. However, standard rules apply that a single player receiving two yellow cards in a single match will receive a red card and be ejected.

Report of Disciplinary Action

  1. For USSF sanctioned teams, reports of all disciplinary action will be reported to the Ohio South Youth Soccer Association.

  2. For CONCACAF teams, the tournament committee will notify the US Soccer Federation of disciplinary action taken. The Federation will transmit the disciplinary action taken or required to that team’s provincial or national association.

XV. Match Balls

The home team shall be responsible for providing a match ball.



Gahanna Fall Open
PO Box 307121, Gahanna, OH 43230 614-439-8046
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