Tournament Rules

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Purpose

The Tournament Rules serve to codify the rules of the game being applied by the umpires during the October 11-13, 2019 USAFL Nationals matches for all games, Men’s and Women’s.

Player Eligibility

A player is eligible to play at the USAFL National Championships if they have satisfied the following:

  • Must be current on USAFL registration fees.

  • Men's Divisions must have earned a minimum of 6 Nationals Eligibility Points (NEP) by playing in USAFL sanctioned matches for their designated club during the 2019 season or they must have an approved Nationals Eligibility Exemption that has been granted for the division they are playing in. (Excludes Div IV & Reserves)

  • Women's Divisions must have earned a minimum 6 NEP points. (Excludes Div II)

  • Women players can earn a maximum of 4 metro points.

  • Men players can earn a maximum of 2 metro points.

  • Each player must check in for Nationals. If checking in on Saturday, this must be done no later than 30 minutes prior to the first match you are playing in.

  • First Year Australian Players:

    • Must accumulate 6 points

    • Must show US residency or entry in the US by or before August 1st (Passport & I-94 Arriving/Departure record)

    • Must register and pay USAFL dues before tournament

    • First year Australian Player not meeting the requirement will only be granted Division IV or Reserves Division exemptions.

  • All Nationals team rosters must be entered in the USAFL website by Sept 16. The tournament committee will review rosters and work with teams to resolve any eligibility issues before October 10. Any unresolved player eligibility matters will be addressed and finalized during the coaches meeting at 9pm on the Friday night at the hotel.

Player Registration

Eligible players may self check in online starting Thursday am.  Players unable to self check in may check in Friday night (recommended) at the hotel or 30 mins before first game on Saturday. Registration runs from 6:30pm to 10:30pm on Friday and from 8am on Saturday and Sunday.

Players are eligible to check in if they meet the following criteria

  • Player has earned 6 Nationals Eligibility Points or has an approved Nationals Eligibility Exemption.
  • Player has declared as a National and their nationality has previously been verified or has been granted a nationality exemption, or the player has declared as a non-national.
  • Player has been nominated for nationals via their club's Nationals Roster.
  • Player has paid USAFL dues.

Notes

  • All players must be registered before checking in as only players with 6 NEP or an exemption are eligible to play.
  • Players with eligibility exemptions should be current in their USAFL dues prior to checking in. While payment will be accepted at check in, it will go much faster if exempted players are already paid.
  • All players must present a government issued identification upon check-in.
  • Players whose nationality has not been verified at a previous national tournament, must present a passport or birth certificate (with other ID) to prove their nationality. All players who claim National status but are unverified, will be considered non-Nationals for purposes of the 50/50 rule.

Please note that if you created a new account at usafl.com instead of registering under an existing account, you will need to reverify your nationality. Club admins can check on the nationality verification for all players on their club via Club Admin.

Game Day Process for Clubs

Team Sheets

Clubs will no longer need to submit paper team sheets.  Rosters with jersey numbers must be submitted online no later than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of your match.  When creating a roster after your first match, it will fill in the players from the previous match.  Match sheets (combined team sheet for both clubs) will be printed by the league and delivered to the field prior to the match. The match sheet will list players that are ineligible to play for the following reasons:

  • Player is not checked in for nationals
  • Player is not current in USAFL dues
  • Player has not earned the required Nationals Eligibility Points and has not been granted an Eligibility Exemption for their division.
  • Player has already played a game in that round.  E.g. if this is the team's 2nd match, they cannot play in the 2nd match for any other team.

Rosters can be created and updated at the Club Admin Kiosk located at Tournament Central. Smart phones or tablets with internet access can also be used.

The match sheet displays the player's effective nationality for nationals.  If the player's nationality has not been verified, they will be considered a non-national and count against the 50/50 rule. Club Admin lists each player's nationality verification status. Players may verify their nationality by presenting a passport or birth certificate and government issued ID when they check in.

Roster Limits

The following limits are in effect for the number of players that can be added to a roster:

DIVISION PLAYERS ROSTER LIMIT
Division 1 18 24
Division 2 18 24
Division 3* 16 24
Division 4* 16 24
Reserves* 16 24
Women's Division 1 16 24
Women's Division 2* 16 24

* Estimated until nationals divisions are set and announced.

  • Division I: 18 players  per side with 6 interchange players (24 players max.)
  • Division II: 18 players  per side with 6 interchange players (24 players max.)
  • Division III: 16 players  per side with 8 interchange players (24 players max.) (Coaches/captains of each team if in agreement may choose to run a different number, which must be worked out prior to the games start time and umpires must be notified.)
  • Division IV:  16 players per side with 8 interchange players (24 players max.) (Coaches/captains of each team if in agreement may choose to run a different number, which must be worked out prior to the games start time and umpires must be notified.)
  • Reserves Division: 16 players per side with 8 interchange players (24 players max.) (Coaches/captains of each team must be in agreement on the number of players and the umpires must be notified.)

Women’s Divisions

  • Women’s Division I: 16 players  per side with 8 interchange players (24 players max.)  (Captains of each team if in agreement may choose to run a different number, which must be worked out prior to the games start time and umpires must be notified.)
  • Women’s Division II: 16 players per side with 8 interchange players (24 players max.)  (Captains of each team if in agreement may choose to run a different number, which must be worked out prior to the games start time and umpires must be notified.)

NOTE: Division IV, Reserves and Women's Division II roster limits are estimates until Nationals divisions are set and announced.

50/50 Participation Rule

All games are subject to the 50/50 rule (minimum of 50% Nationals, i.e. American or Canadian, on field at any given field)

Calling for Player Count During a Match

  • UMPIRES/TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS will be checking players ID’s/nationality (randomly) before games at team tents. Cheating with regards to the 50/50 rule will not be tolerated. Should a team be found to have too many Non-Nationals on the field – that team will lose entire score up until that point in match, free kick awarded to other team, and a 50 m penalty.
  • Opposition coach or captain have right to call for a head count. All players on field at that time must come to center and be counted by umpires (Australian players will have on armbands).
  • If a player count is called and the accused team is found to NOT be in violation of the 50/50 rule, the captain of the team that called for the count will be sent off for the remainder of the game and is replaceable.
  • A “Non-National” player is anyone that is not deemed an American or Canadian
  • Nationality ruling to be determined by country of birth on passport.
  • If you play an Australian, an Irishmen, or a New Zealander for example….all these nationalities are all deemed “Non-Nationals” and you can not play more than 9 of these players on the field at any one time.
  • Therefore Clubs will need to have a minimum of "9 Nationals" on the field at all times assuming playing 18 per side.
  • If a player cannot prove "National Status" that player will be deemed a "Non-National". If you area an American or a Canadian, the onus will be on you to prove that status. If you cannot prove that status you will be deemed a "Non-National"
  • The match sheet displays the player's effective nationality for nationals. If the player's nationality has not been verified, they will be considered a non-national and count against the 50/50 rule. Club Admin lists each player's nationality verification status. Players may verify their nationality by presenting a passport or birth certificate and government issued ID when they check in.

Player Movement between Divisions

If a club has multiple teams entered in the tournament, players may move between divisions subject to the following constraints.

  • A player may be moved to a higher division or a lower division, but may not play multiple games in the same round. For example, if a player plays in their Division 4 team's second match at 1pm, they cannot play in a Division 2 match at 3pm.
  • A player is considered to have played in a match by being on the final roster for the match (30 minutes prior to the game's scheduled start). If a player is not on the roster for a match, they are ineligible for that match.
  • If a player has played 2 games in a higher division they are not allowed to play in a lower division final.

If any club feels they have information about opposing clubs using ineligible players at the Nationals, the Tournament Committee must be notified BEFORE the first games played, through the appropriate channels.

Team Rankings

Top ranked team from each pool will advance to the Championship game. Rankings will be based upon

  1. Total Championship points

  2. Percentage (points scored/points allowed)

  3. Points scored

  4. Goals scored

  5. Head to Head

  6. Toss of coin

Game Format

Games will be played in 2 x 20 minute halves with a 7-minute half time break.

2019 USAFL Laws