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VYSA Presidents Cup Rules

The information below includes rules of play and administrative information for the Virginia Presidents Cup 2022-2023. Teams with an Official VYSA League Roster or a VYSA EDP League roster and US Youth Soccer Players Passes and born in the following year groups are eligible.
  • 19U January 1, 2004 or later
  • 18U January 1, 2005 or later
  • 17U January 1, 2006 or later
  • 16U January 1, 2007 or later
  • 15U January 1, 2008 or later
  • 14U January 1, 2009 or later
  • 13U January 1, 2010 or later
  • 12U 9v9 January 1, 2011 or later
Player Eligibility

Section 1. The US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup competitions are intended for properly registered and rostered players in accordance with the rules of US Youth Soccer (Policy on Players and Playing Rules, 201 and 209) and the State Association at the beginning of the State’s qualifying event for that age and gender. Players that register with a state association after the beginning of the state qualifying event or have other unusual circumstances may submit a request for a waiver to the Regional Presidents Cup Program Manager.

Section 2. Players are not eligible to compete at the regional or national level of the National Presidents Cup competitions if they were rostered to a team that:
(1) competed in the US Youth Soccer National League P.R.O. division; or

(2) competed in a National League conference or division that was included in the published list entitled “US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup National League Conference Eligibility” as not eligible. [See Rule 303(4)].

Section 3. If a state association holds a separate and distinct qualifying event to identify the team advancing to the regional level of the National Presidents Cup competitions, a player who was rostered to a team that competed in the semifinal or final matches at the state or regional level of a designated US Youth Soccer National Championship Series event (NCS) is not eligible to participate at the regional or national level of the National Presidents Cup competitions.

Section 4. A club may issue a club pass to any youth player who is a registered US Youth Soccer player of their club before the team to which such youth player is to be rostered for the State Association level of the National Presidents Cup competitions submits its roster for its first competition at the State Association level.

Section 5. A player may be rostered to only one team at each level of the National Presidents Cup competitions during a seasonal year.

Section 6. US Youth Soccer State associations are charged with making a final determination of a players’ eligibility to be rostered on a team participating at any level of the National Presidents Cup competitions.

Section 7.  A team that is found guilty for any reason of having an ineligible player on its roster or using an ineligible player forfeits each game involving the ineligible player. State Associations shall confirm the eligibility of each player to be rostered on a team participating at the regional or national level of the National Presidents Cup competitions. A State Association must comply with any roster or player eligibility rule(s) established within the US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup Policy, the US Youth Soccer Policy on Players and Playing Rules, the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup Competition Rules or any other official document relating to the National Presidents Cup competitions.

Team Eligibility

Section 1 The National Presidents Cup competitions shall be open to any team whose players are registered with US Youth Soccer through a State Association if the team is in compliance with all of the following requirements:
1) The team must be comprised of properly registered and rostered youth players (as defined by US Youth Soccer).
2) The team must be in good standing with its State Association, must not be under sanction by their State Association or US Youth Soccer, and must be in compliance with, and have not violated any of the bylaws and policies of their State Association or US Youth Soccer.
(3) Any team that competed in the US Youth Soccer National League P.R.O. division is not eligible to compete at the regional or national level of the National Presidents Cup competitions.
(4) No later than August 1 of each year, each regional Presidents Cup Manager, working in conjunction with the National League Conference Managers, shall publish and highlight any change(s) to eligibility criteria for the upcoming year in a “US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup National League Conference Eligibility” list for each National League conference or division.
(5) In order for its teams to compete at the regional or national level of the National Presidents Cup competitions, a State Association shall hold a qualifying event of its choosing (tournament or other event) in order to identify the team advancing to the regional level of the National Presidents Cup competitions.

I.   If the Presidents Cup qualifying event is separate and distinct from any other state competition:
(a) A team is not eligible to compete at the regional or national level of the National Presidents Cup competitions if it competed in the US Youth Soccer National Championships Series.  A “Play-in” or similar one-off match where the eliminated team moves into the state Presidents Cup qualifying event is not considered competing in the National Championship Series.
(b) Advancement to Regional Competition shall be offered to teams in the order of finish from the qualifying event until the slot is filled, unless a team is prohibited from advancing based on its National League Conference participation as outlined in paragraphs (3) or (4) above.
 Club Pass Players 

At the time of application to the Presidents Cup and any time before the one freeze date for the Presidents Cup competition a team may add club pass players to their Presidents Cup roster. A club pass player is a US Youth Soccer player already registered to your club and is age appropriate for your team. The President cup roster is separate from your league roster. When you form your Presidents Cup roster at the time of application to Presidents Cup you will bring over your players from your league team and add any additional players through the club pass system. Before the one freeze date, the players you choose to remain active on the Presidents Cup roster are the only players that you may use for Virginia Presidents Cup play.  If you choose to add club pass players your roster will be different than your league roster. During the Presidents Cup competition teams may not add any additional club pass players after the roster is frozen

After a State Champion is declared and before rosters are locked for Regional Competition the Presidents Cup Champion team may add additional club pass players to the roster going forward to Regional competition. These club pass players must have been a member of your club and VYSA before your roster was frozen for competition.

A team may also add up to 5 Additional Rostered Players for Regional and National competition. These additional rostered players must be US Youth Soccer members at the time your roster was frozen for your first game but they do not need to be players that were rostered to your club when your roster was frozen for Fall or Spring Presidents Cup play. No more than 5 additional rostered players may be on a Presidents Cup roster at every level of the competition. If one of the 5 additional players drops off that player may not be replaced. There are only 5 places on a roster for these players and once 5 have been used no others can be added. Every roster that goes forward to Regional or National competition must maintain nine players who were on the roster that won the State Championship. If a team wins the Regional Championship the team may again add club pass players and additional rostered players to the roster before the rosters are locked for the National Championship. 

If the roster is not maintained according to the Presidents Cup rules through VYSA or Regional and National competitions, the team will be declared ineligible for competition.

Roster Size and Continuity

  • U13-U18 team must not allow more than twenty-two (22) or less than nine (9) players on its Presidents Cup roster at any given time during the seasonal year.
  • New Rule - A U13 team must not allow more that Twenty Two (22) or less than nine (9) players on its Presidents Cup roster at any given time during the season year.  This team may  carry the 22 player roster for Presidents Cup competition. Your league roster for the U13 teams may still be a max number of 18.  The numbers of players on the Presidents Cup roster from 18 to 22 will come from club pass players to the Presidents Cup roster.
  • A U12 9v9 team must not allow more than sixteen (16) or less than eight (8) players on its Presidents Cup roster at any given time during the seasonal year.
  • All teams are limited to five (5) transfers to the roster for VYSA Presidents Cup play. 
  • A U13-18 team must maintain at least 9 of the players that were on the roster at the State competition level at the Regional and National level of competition.
  • A U12 team must maintain at least 8 of the players that were on the roster at the State Competition level.   U12 teams must maintain 8 of these players through the Regional Competition.  U12 teams do not go forward to the National competition.  

Age Groups

A team must enter competition in the age group corresponding to the age of its oldest player.  For the Presidents Cup, any team registered with US Youth Soccer through VYSA and playing in a recognized league may apply. 
The Presidents Cup Roster

The Presidents Cup Roster is part of the Soccer Connect online registration process. Please print the Presidents Cup Roster called the Official Game Roster from this site. This roster now becomes the team’s Presidents Cup Roster and will be utilized in all Presidents Cup, Regional and National Championship activities. The Presidents Cup Roster in Virginia is for Presidents Cup play only and may not be used for other events, such as league and tournament play.

Your Presidents Cup Roster and your league roster no longer need to mirror each other prior to your first game.  You may add players from your club to your VYSA Presidents Cup rosters that don’t play on your league team. Your team may make changes to the league roster at any time since the rosters are two separate rosters now, but once the Presidents Cup Roster has been frozen, the Presidents Cup roster can no longer be changed until your team is the State Champion or chosen as a wild card to go to Regionals    

Roster Freeze Date 
Presidents Cup rosters are frozen before the  first game in the Presidents Cup competition. There will be one freeze date for the Fall competition and one freeze date for the Spring competition.

The frozen roster you print from the online Soccer Connect system and use for  your  Presidents Cup games is the roster you must keep during your whole VYSA Presidents Cup competition. You may make no changes to this roster while you are playing Presidents Cup.  The State Champion and any wild card teams selected will be able to update their VYSA Presidents Cup roster again for Regional and National competition.

If a Presidents Cup team has players that are also club passed to a State Cup team; in order to remain eligible to remain on a Presidents Cup roster they must be released from the State Cup roster before the State Cup team's semi  final game.
 Any violation of player or team eligibility rules will result in the forfeiture of any games in which an ineligible team or player has participated. The coach is ultimately responsible for verifying player eligibility.

Notice of intent to withdraw or forfeit a game must be made to the Presidents Cup Chairman. Any team withdrawing from the competition after September 8. 2021 will lose their Presidents Cup entry fee.  Any team withdrawing from the competition through a game forfeit or other circumstances after the schedules are released and until the number of days designated by the Region before Regional competition will lose their entrance fee and be fined an additional 500.00 for the forfeit.
If a team forfeits games above the State Association competition (Regional or National Competition) inside the number of days designated by the Region for the Regional competition there will be an additional Regional fines.  

  • Between 60 and 31 days prior to the first day of competition: $1,500
  • Between 30 and 15 days prior to the first day of competition: $2,500
  • 14 days or less prior to the first day of competition: $5,000

Regional and National Obligations

Teams representing VYSA at each of the competitions; East Region  and National Finals must observe all US Youth Soccer rules and guidelines for those events. If it is determined that a team or its players have violated these rules and guidelines, a fine of up to $500 may be imposed by VYSA. This amount is above any fine amount that East Region or US Youth Soccer may impose. State Champions moving on to Regional competiton will pay an entry fee to Regionals. This fee will be collected in the Spring prior to Regionals.  There is not entry fee for a team who wins the Regional Championship and moves on to the National Championship. the Regional and National competitions are  "stay to play" tournaments. Teams will use tournament housing or pay a fee to choose hotels outside of thoses reserved for the event.

Payment Obligations

Any amount owed by a team in connection with a Presidents Cup event  is an obligation of the team’s club. If any amount remains unpaid after notice to the team and the team’s club, VYSA may place the club and all of its teams in bad standing, rendering them ineligible to compete in any VYSA-sanctioned event.
Seeding and Home and Away Designations

The top four returning and or new teams in Presidents Cup will be seeded 1 through 4.  These four teams will be designated home for each game they play. If a top 1 to 4 team is defeated, the team that defeats them will take their seeded position. All other teams will be grouped and then drawn at random.  All other home and away positions will be determined at random. Games will be placed on fields in any area in Virginia. Teams participating in Presidents Cup will provide fields if their team is drawn home. The Semifinals and Finals will be located in Fredericksburg at the Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center.  In the Semi Final and Final games the team in the top of the bracket will be the home team. 

There will be no protest or appeal of the seeding process or selection. The seeding process will be difficult and will depend a great deal on the amount of information supplied by the team.

Game Sites

As a condition of acceptance into the competition, applicants must agree to play anywhere they are scheduled within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Team officials are expected to inform their players and parents of this requirement prior to entering the competition. Game sites are assigned (and may be re-assigned) by the Presidents Cup Chairman, taking into account field availability, referee availability, travel distances, weather considerations, scheduling efficiency. This shall not be grounds for protest.
Game Officials

  • In all games: Three (3) officials shall be assigned for each match.
  • If an assigned official fails to appear at a  match within 15 minutes of the scheduled kick-off time, the coaches must try to agree to a substitute, and play the game. If the game is played, the results shall be official and no protest will be honored regarding the use of a substitute official (s) or outcome of the game. If it is not possible to come to an agreement on a substitute official (s) the game will be rescheduled by the Cup committee and disagreement with the new scheduled time and place will not be grounds for protest.
  • In the event the game officials’ uniform color conflicts with either team’s color, the game officials will change colors.
General Rules of Play

  • Both teams and a maximum of four (4) team officials for each team shall take the same side of the field. All team officials must carry a current team official pass. The referee will check these passes before the game. Spectators shall take the other side of the field. The home team shall choose which side the teams will take. The Site Administrator, or the referee if no Site Administrator is present, shall decide upon other arrangements if required by site contingencies.
  • No artificial noisemakers are permitted.
  • The home team shall provide an appropriate size and quality game ball to the referee for approval. 
  • Each field player (except goalkeepers) shall wear a numbered jersey. The number shall be affixed to the back of the jersey and shall be clearly visible. Each player must wear a different number. Numbered jerseys for goalkeepers are optional in the Presidents Cup competition.  Goalkeepers must wear colors that distinguish them from other players and referees.
  • The away team shall have a choice of colors. In the event of a conflict, the home team must change if so directed by the referee.
  • The teams shall make available, on request, a copy of these Rules and Procedures for the referee.
  • The referees in the VYSA State competition will accept passes that are laminated and those that are not. Laminated passes are not required for VYSA Presidents Cup games.
  • The Champion of the VYSA Presidents Cup competition in each age group will need to laminate their passes prior to the Regional Competition. Player passes may be laminated at any time before or during the VYSA competition, but must be laminated by any team going to the Regional Competition in June, 2022.  
  • In the all Presidents Cup competitions, State, Regional and National competition the team officials (coaches, trainers and managers) listed on a team roster must carry the US Youth Soccer member pass with a current photograph of the team official.
Pre-Game Procedures 

In the 12U age groups, the home team and the away team will provide the Official Game Roster form. The Official Game Roster form is also the Official Presidents Cup roster.   Each team must bring this form to every game. This form is available to both teams to print from the Soccer Connect system 2 days prior to each Presidents Cup game that the team participates in.  After team check in, these forms will be given to the referees to use for the game report form.

In the 13U-19U age groups, both the home team and away team will provide the Official Game Roster.   All players who will participate in the Fall or Spring Presidents Cup competition must be marked as “Active” in the Soccer Connect system no later than the team's freeze date to be listed as available players on the Official Game Roster.  

As part of the team check-in process for the U13-U18 teams, the referee will cross off those players above 18 who will not participate in the game on that specific day. Up to 18 players can be rostered to play in a game. At the time of the kick off, the roster of 18 will be set and no changes can be made to the Official Game Roster. Players not participating may sit on the team’s bench but they must be dressed in street clothes; they cannot wear any part of the team uniform. The referees may ask any player not playing in the game to leave the team bench and the team sideline should an issue arise.

Each team must present for inspection by the referee their approved frozen Official Game Roster (Presidents Cup roster) and their US Youth Soccer Player Passes. The team official passes or team official club passes must also be presented. The referee must check the USYS Player Passes against (1) the players, (2) and the Official Game Roster. An electronic version of the roster or player passes is not acceptable. The referee will verify each player’s identity and verify consistency of the documents. Checking passes, players, and rosters MAY NOT be waived by the referee or the coaches. The referee may prohibit the participation of a player whose identity cannot be verified or whose documents are inconsistent or improper. If checking of the Official Game Roster and passes against each player is not done, the coaches of both teams will be considered to be at fault. This may be grounds for a hearing on the validity of the game. The referee will check each team official pass or club pass against the team officials on the team sideline.  

 Grace Period

  • Games must start when scheduled. All players passes and the Official Presidents Cup roster for each team must be checked by a  referee. If one teams does not have the passes, roster or both a grace period will be given to that team. 
  • A grace period is given to each team to present its roster and the US Youth Soccer Player Passes to the referee for inspection. The grace perion will end no later than the beginning of the second half of play.  The number of minutes will vary according to the length of the halves and half times of each age group.  Failure to have both the Presidents Cup Game roster and player passes available to check by the referee by the start of the second half will result in a forfeit with no right of appeal.
  • A fifteen (15) minute grace period is given to each U13-U18 team which cannot field eleven (11) players at game time and U12 teams that can’t field 9 players at game time. After fifteen (15) minutes, the game will start provided that the team has at least seven (7) players. If less than seven (7) players are present at the end of the grace period, the team forfeits with no right of appeal.  This grace period has not changed.
Game Durations, Overtime, and Ball Requirements

Games shall consist of two halves of equal duration in accordance with the age group specifications included below under paragraph 4.
If a game is tied at the end of regulation, the tie shall be resolved by playing two equal overtimes according to the age group specifications. If tied after both overtimes have been played, penalty kicks in accordance with the FIFA Laws of the Game will break the tie.
Games shall be played in accordance with the following Age Group Specifications:
Duration of Games
Age Group
Game Length
Overtime Periods for all Single Elimination Games  (No Overtime periods if Round Robin play)
Under 18 and 19Two 45' halvesTwo 15' halves size #5 ball
Under 17
Two 45’ halves
Two 15’ halves size #5 ball
Under 16
Two 40’ halves
Two 15’ halves size #5 ball
Under 15
Two 40’ halves
Two 15’ halves size #5 ball
U13 & 14
Under 12
Two 35’ halves
Two 30’ halves
Two 10’ halves size #5 ball
Two 10’ halves size #4 ball


Unlimited substitutions may be made for all age groups, with the consent of the referee, at any stoppage of play.   except on corner kicks and kicks from the mark. (penalty kicks.)

If a player or coach is cautioned or ejected in connection with a Presidents Cup game, the caution or ejection is to be recorded on the Game Report by the referee. Ejections must also be reported by email or telephone to Anne Thompson the Presidents Cup Director by the coach or manager of the team involved.
Players or coaches ejected from a game are prohibited from participation in the next following US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup game, whether it be the next VYSA Presidents Cup game or the first game of the East Region event or the first game of the National event.  (Presidents Cup suspensions are served only in connection with US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup games and have no bearing on league or other tournament play.) Each season the coach of each team must verify the eligibility of the players on his/her roster and determine if a sit-out is necessary. Ejections and cautions issued in connection with Presidents Cup play may be referred to the VYSA Board of Directors for further disciplinary action.

 If a  coach is ejected from a Presidents Cup game, he/she must leave the field and the area surrounding the field. At no time is the ejected coach allowed to be close enough to the field to participate or comment on the game. The referee will send the  coach off and will make the determination of the distance each must be from the field. If a player is ejected, the coaching staff or manager must make sure that the player ejected from their team is in the charge a carded official or responsible adult. If the player remains on the bench under the responsibility of the carded official the player must remove his/her uniform jersey. If the player is disruptive to the game, the carded official must escort the player away from the field and remain with the player until a responsible adult can be found to take care of the player.   
Unfinished Games  

Unfinished games, due to any cause, will be replayed from the start, provided play has not begun in the second half  and neither team is at fault. If play is stopped after completion of the first half, and cannot be resumed as determined by the referee and provided neither team is at fault, the Presidents Cup Rules deem the game completed. If the game is tied at this stoppage, the game will be replayed in it's entirety.  Should play be stopped at any time due to one of the teams being adjudged at fault, it shall be at the discretion of the Presidents Cup Director as to whether the game is to be replayed, stand as is, or declared a forfeit and a disciplinary hearing may be held.
Post-Game Procedures

The Official Game Rosters for both the home and away teams will be completed by the referee including the score, cautions, and ejections, if any.  The completed Official Game Roster for both teams is provided to the WINNING team.

  • The WINNING team shall: Log into the Soccer Connect system and complete the scoring process.  Results must be reported in the on-line score reporting system within 30 minutes of the conclusion of the game.  
  • The WINNING team shall: Collect both the home and away Official Game Rosters from the referee after the game.  These two forms must be mailed to Anne Thompson at 6604 Holford Lane, Springfield VA 22152.  These forms are the official game report and must be received as soon as possible.        
Protests, Appeals and Referee Assaults and Abuse 

-- A plea of ignorance to the rules and regulations of the competition is not sufficient ground for a protest or appeal.  --
Game Protests

To be valid and eligible for consideration, the protest of a game regarding a matter not described in paragraph  F below must be communicated and received, at least orally to
1. the referee and the opposing coach before departing from the game site; and 
2. the Presidents Cup Chairman within twenty-four (24) hours of the kick-off time of the game being protested.

Protest Documents and Fees

The protest must be delivered in writing, by hand, email or mail to the Presidents Cup Chairman to arrive within forty-eight (48) hours of the game being protested. Written protests must adequately describe the issue or incident under protest and the circumstances that apply. The protest fee of $300 must be by credit card or cash, certified check or money order made payable to VYSA. The fee, if not paid by credit card, must be express mailed to the VYSA State Office to arrive on the first possible business day after the protest is lodged. The Presidents Cup Director will provide a copy of the protest to the coach of the opposing team.

Protest Decisions

Protest Decisions - The Presidents Cup Director will apply all Presidents Cup Rules to the protest and will determine the validity of the protest. If a protest is determined to be valid, a committee will be formed to hear this protest. A protest shall be decided by a Protests Committee composed of the Director of the Presidents Cup and up to three others appointed by the Presidents Cup Director.


The decision of the Presidents Cup Director in determining a valid protest and/or a decision of a hearing committee may be appealed to the Adjudication Committee of VYSA. The appeal must be submitted in writing within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of the
protests committee written decision. The appeal must be accompanied by credit card payment or cash, certified check or money order in the amount of $300 payable to VYSA.

Other Matters for Adjudication

Any other matter not involving a seeding decision, game location, game protest or the assault or abuse of a referee, assistant referee, or other game official under paragraph  F  below may be presented to the Adjudication Committee for adjudication. The request for adjudication must be submitted in writing not later than forty-eight (48) hours after the occurrence of the incident, written decision or issue in question, and it must be accompanied by credit card payment or cash, certified check or money order in the amount of $300 payable to VYSA.
Assaults and Abuse of Game Officials

The Adjudication Committee of VYSA has the original and exclusive jurisdiction over alleged assaults or abuse of referees, assistant referees, and other game officials by players, coaches, managers or other team or club officials. The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) requires that any player, coach, team or club official accused by a referee, assistant referee, or other game official of assault be immediately suspended from all soccer-related activities until a hearing on the allegation can be conducted.
Revised July, 2017, August 2018, August 2019, August 2020, September 2021


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