Tournament Format

Teams shall be 9 a-side, with 1 player designated as the goalkeeper, from a squad of 13.

Rolling substitutions with unlimited interchange during the match.

Field size: ½ field with 4m x 2m goals.

Match balls will be Size 4 match balls.

Pool play format 

  • BOYS – 18 teams split into 3 pools of six teams 
  • GIRLS – 7 teams playing round robin format

Games will be scheduled over the two days, with Prizegiving on Sunday afternoon.

All teams will play a minimum of 6 games over the two days.

All matches in the tournament – 2 x 20 minute halves with 5 minutes for half time.

In the event of a draw in any of the matches outside of pool play, extra time will be played and will begin after a 2 minute break. Extra time will consist of 5 minutes each way with straight turnaround at half-time. The golden goal rule will NOT apply.

If teams are still tied at the end of extra time, then penalty kicks will be taken in accordance with the FIFA Laws of the Game.

Qualification for Playoffs (Boys only)

3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss during pool play. The total points scored over Pool Play determine the rankings

If points are tied at the completion of the pool games, teams will be ranked in the following order

  • on head to head results of the two or more tied teams
  • least goals conceded (to disincentivize teams from running up the score)

If teams are still even, then a toss of a coin will be used.

Teams finishing in the following positions at the end of pool play will qualify for the finals

  • 1st & 2nd from each pool – Championship
  • 3rd & 4th from each pool – Plate
  • 5th & 6th from each pool – Bowl

Mini Football Playing Rules (as per NRF regulations)

Start and restart of play - A game is started with a kick to a teammate from the middle of the halfway line. The opposition must be 5m away from the ball at this time. In order to score a goal from kick off it must touch someone else on the field before entering the goal. When a goal is scored, play is restarted at the halfway line with the side conceding the goal taking the kick-off as per the start of play.

Scoring goals - A goal is scored when the whole ball crosses the whole of the line – either in the air or on the ground.

Offside – The halfway line becomes the offside line.

A player is offside if they are over the retreating line at the time the ball is passed and there are no outfield defending players over the retreating line. This applies when the pass originates from anywhere in front of the retreating line the team is attacking. If the pass originates from beyond the retreating line, a player cannot be offside.

Ball crossing the sideline - The ball should be thrown in to play from behind the sideline. The player should face the field of play with both feet either behind or on the sideline. Players must use both hands to deliver the ball from behind and over their head. The thrower may not touch the ball until it has touched another player and if this occurs an indirect free kick is awarded. A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw in.

Ball crossing the goal line

  • Last touched by defending team – A corner kick is awarded.
  • Last touched by attacking team – Goal kick from anywhere within the penalty area. Opponents retreat to the Retreating Line.

Goalkeepers - The Goalkeeper is allowed to handle the ball anywhere in the penalty area. To restart play after a save or gathering the ball with their hands, the ball must be thrown or rolled from the hands or played from the ground with their feet, within 6 seconds. The Goalkeeper is not allowed to kick or drop kick the ball directly from their hands. An indirect free kick is awarded if the goalkeeper touches the ball with their hands after it has been deliberately kicked to them by a teammate.

Fouls and misconducts - There are only indirect free kicks for fouls and misconducts with the exception of penalty kicks. Opponents must be at least 5 metres away from the ball when the indirect free kick is taken.

Free Kicks occur when a player:

  • Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
  • Trips or attempts to trip an opponent
  • Jumps at an opponent
  • Charges an opponent
  • Strikes or attempt to strike an opponent
  • Pushes an opponent
  • Tackles an opponent from behind to gain possession of the ball
  • Making contact with the opponent before touching the ball
  • Holds an opponent
  • Spits at an opponent
  • Handles the ball deliberately
  • Plays in a dangerous manner
  • Impedes the progress of a player

A deliberate handball or serious misconduct in the penalty area results in a penalty kick which is taken from 8m out with a Goalkeeper in position.

Retreating Line (as per NRF Regulations)

Playing out from the back - When a team’s goalkeeper has the ball in their hands, is taking a goal kick or any player taking a Free Kick, the opposition team must drop back behind the retreating line.

Only after the goalkeeper plays the ball out and a team-mate touches the ball, can the opposition players advance over the retreating line.

If the Goalkeeper plays the ball over the Retreating Line, the game continues as normal. The teammate receiving the ball from the Goalkeeper should be encouraged to take their first touch as quickly as possible.

Infringement - If a defending player advances beyond the Retreating Line before the opponent has touched the ball (from Goalkeeper pass) or fails to drop behind the line, the referee will award an indirect free kick on the Retreating Line.

The defending team should be encouraged by their coach to drop back behind the Retreating Line when the opposition Goalkeeper has the ball or at a free kick, and to wait for the opponent’s first touch before starting to press.

Dimensions - Fields are marked with the retreating lines as 30% - 40% - 30% of all half size fields.

Other match rules will follow normal FIFA Laws of the Game.

The Referee will be the timekeeper for each match and the referee’s decision is FINAL.

The Referee is to submit the game result and Sportsmanship Award Nomination to the Tournament HQ in Arena 2 immediately at the end of each match.

Discipline and Misconduct

At this age group, it would be the expectation of the Tournament Committee that no cautions are issued to any players. If however in the unlikely event of a player receiving two yellow cards in two separate games, the player is to be suspended for the match immediately following the match in which the second caution was received. If this match is the final, the player is suspended for the first half of the final but eligible to take the field in the second half of the match.

If a player is sent from the field of player for violent conduct, the player is immediately suspended from the following match, including the final. The Tournament Committee will determine if there is a further suspension to be served after obtaining all relevant information about the incident.


Please see below the regulations in full and Knockout Round situations explained, both in PDF.

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