MIAA-sponsored Eastern Massachusetts, Central Massachusetts, and Western Massachusetts sectional tournaments, and state-sponsored competitions are the only tournaments in which Massachusetts high school soccer teams may participate. 

A. Rules - National Federation Soccer Rules for Boys’ & Girls’ - Unless otherwise modified by MIAA. 


The Molten FX1000 soccer ball will be the official ball of the sectional and state tournament. Each team must provide three (3) multi-paneled, hand-stitched leather or other similar material soccer balls in good condition and of official size. In the sectional finals and state finals, each team will receive a Molten tournament game ball as a tournament memento. 


The time of the game will be two (2) 40-minute halves. There will be no stop time unless indicated by the officials. Half-time will be 10 minutes. Official time is kept on the field by the referee. 


Only the Tournament Director may decide to postpone a game. Postponed games are to be played the following day on the same field, if possible. Eligible teams will meet all scheduled commitments. 


All tournament games will begin no earlier than 2:00 p.m. on school days. On Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays, the time will be set by the Tournament Director. Schools are asked to check evening preference should lights be available at their home site. (Reference Tournament Site Information Form) 


The officials have charge of the game from the opening whistle on and will be guided by the National Federation rules for the year in determining whether or not the game should be stopped. (Example: Playing conditions are unfair or dangerous for players, darkness, etc.) 

A. In the event a game must be suspended because of conditions that make it impossible to continue play, the referee shall declare it an official game if one (1) complete half or more of the game has been played. If less than one (1) half of the game has been played, the game will be replayed in its entirety the next day. 

If the game is tied when called in the 2nd half or the overtime periods, the two teams will return the next day to the same field and play two (2) 20-minute halves in their entirety switching ends at the end of the first 20-minute half. If after a 40-minute play, the score is still tied, then the tie-breaking procedure, (ref., pg.5, 15. B) should be followed. 



B. Preliminary through quarterfinal round sectional games will be played at the home site of the higher-seeded team if conditions are suitable. If not suitable, the higher seed has the option of securing an alternative suitable site. If unable to do so, the lower-seeded team will host the contest.

C. Sectional and State Tournament Semi-finals and Finals are intended to be played at neutral sites, however, when a site has been established and the member school is a participant, it will be played at their home site. 

D. It is recommended that all fields for tournament play have a minimum of 5 yards of the surface parallel to the touchlines. 



A. Independents - schools not in a soccer league - must have won 50% of a minimum eight (8) game varsity schedule. Scheduled games must be against MIAA member schools and out-of-state high schools in good standing with their state high school associations. 

B. Only the first three (3) games played between two (2) schools count towards qualification. League playoff games count. 

C. Member schools (that are NOT exclusion schools) may exceed the maximum number of seasonal competitions by two and exceed the weekly limit by one, when scheduling contests with the schools listed on the Exclusion School list. All games may count toward tournament qualification if desired. 

D. The Exclusion Form MUST BE submitted for games against any of the listed school to NOT count toward tournament qualification. 

E. If games versus exclusion schools are to be counted towards the seeding record, do not submit the exclusion form. 

F. If an Exclusion Form is submitted, the decision is final and the game will not count. This decision may not be changed. 

G. These contests will count for the schools listed, and therefore must be included on the "Season Schedule and Commitment Form" submitted to the Tournament Director. Schools must indicate on the Schedule and Commitment Form if games WILL NOT count toward Tournament qualification. 

H. Exclusions schools may play each other --- at least one of the schools must count the game towards tournament qualification, as long as they are not in the same league. If they are, they both must count the game. 

I. Exclusion schools CANNOT exceed the season scheduling limitations for the sport. 



To be eligible to be assigned to an MIAA tournament game, an official must be enrolled with the MIAA and must have worked a minimum of ten (10) regular season varsity high school soccer games. There shall be two (2) officials for all preliminary and quarter-final round games. In the Sectional and State Semi-Finals and Finals (boys & girls) a three-person diagonal officiating system will be utilized, with one designated as the official timekeeper.10/18/2012 1:32 PM Page 5 of 8 Soccer Format DRAFT 2012 

10. BALL PERSONS - Each team must have two identifiable ball persons who are asked to report to and assist the Site Director at all neutral sites. In the early rounds, the home team must supply ball persons. 


In the interest of good sportsmanship, spectators will not be allowed to stand behind the end lines during tournament games. Officials and police will be asked to enforce this ruling. It is suggested that participating schools have faculty members and/or principal attend the games their school is playing so as to assist in enforcing all rules. The administration should make themselves known to officials prior to the game. 


Maximum size of a tournament team shall be consistent with State Tournament requirements, which are 30 players per team. Extra players must be covered by liability insurance paid for by their school. 


The home team (higher seeded team) will wear white or light-colored jerseys, and the visiting team (lower seeded team) will wear dark colored jerseys. Confirmation by schools to respective opponents is encouraged. 

14. TIME OUT RULE (MIAA Handbook Rule 77.2.24): “Each team will be allowed a one-minute timeout per half and each extended time period. The time out may be called by the coach or any player on the field during an offensive restart.” Interpretation: A team with the offensive restart may request, and be granted a timeout during each timed overtime period, BUT NOT DURING ANY SET of overtime penalty kicks. Either team may request a timeout after goals, cautions, or disqualifications, after an injury timeout, and at the taking of a dropped ball. Timeouts, if not used, are NOT cumulative and carried over to the next period of play. 


A. When the score is tied at the end of regulation time, the referee will instruct both teams to return to their respective team boxes. There will be a five-minute rest period where teams may confer with their coaches; and the head referee will instruct both teams as to the proper procedure. 


B. Procedure 

1. There will be a ten-minute sudden victory overtime period. (In the State Final ONLY, this overtime period will be fifteen (15) minutes.) 

2. A coin toss shall be held as in National Federation Soccer Rule 5-2-2(e)(2). 

3. If a tie still exists after the first ten-minute sudden victory period, a second ten-minute sudden victory period will be played and teams will change ends. (In the State Final ONLY, this second overtime period will be fifteen (15) minutes.) 

4. If the score still remains tied all coaches, officials, and team captains shall assemble at the halfway line to review the procedure outlined below: 

A. The referee(s) shall choose the goal at which all of the kicks from the penalty line shall be taken. 

B. Each coach will select any 5 players from his/her final roster (excluding those who may have been disqualified) for the first round of kicks. These five selected players will all shoot in any order according to the coach’s decision. The coach may substitute for any or all players in this original group, prior to their turn. 10/18/2012 1:32 PM Page 6 of 8 Soccer Format DRAFT 2012 

C. A coin toss shall be held as in rule 5-2-2e. The team winning the toss shall have the choice of kicking first or second. 

D. Teams will alternate kickers. There is no follow-up on the kick. 

E. The defending team may change the goalkeeper prior to each penalty kick. 

F. Following five kicks for each team, the team scoring on the greatest number of these kicks shall be declared the winner. 

G. Add one goal to the winning team score and credit the team with a victory. An asterisk (*) may be placed by the team advancing to indicate the advancement was the result of a tie breaker system. 

5. If the score remains tied after each team has had five kicks: 

A. Each coach will select another five eligible players, who did not participate in the 

preceding round. This group may shoot in any order and be substituted for, prior to their turn, as determined by their coach. This round is in “Sudden Victory” mode, unlike the first round. The team with the most goals after an equal number of attempts is declared the winner. 

B. If a tie exists after this round is complete, each coach will select ANY five shooters for Round #3. They may shoot in any order and be substituted for as in paragraph 5a. This round continues in “Sudden Victory” mode. 

C. If a tie still exists, each coach will select five players for Round #4 who did not shoot in the preceding round. They, too, may shoot in any order and be substituted for by any eligible player who did not shoot in Round #3. “Sudden Victory” mode continues. 

D. If a tie still exists, the sequence repeats as written in paragraph 5b above (the numbers of these “Rounds” are to be changed appropriately). A winner is declared when one team has more goals and an equal of fewer shooter attempts. 

E. It is important to note that in every odd numbered round of kicks, ALL players on the roster, excluding those who have been disqualified, are eligible to participate. In every even numbered round, players who just participated in the preceding round are NOT eligible. 

6. During the tie-breaker penalty kicks, the ball remains alive until its momentum is spent, it goes out of bounds, or it is retouched by the kicker. 


A. Cautioned Players: 

1. One of the five players selected to take a kick is cautioned after he/she takes the kick. That player is not eligible to kick again until one complete set of five kicks, for which he/she would be otherwise eligible, has been completed beyond the set of kicks in which the caution was issued. 

2. One of the five players selected to take a kick is cautioned before he/she takes the kick. That player is not eligible to kick until the next set of five kicks. Another eligible player not listed in that set of kicks must take the cautioned player’s original turn. 

3. When a goalkeeper is issued a caution during any set of five kicks, he/she cannot reenter until the next opponent completes his/her kick. A substitution is permitted for the cautioned goalkeeper. 10/18/2012 1:32 PM Page 7 of 8 Soccer Format DRAFT 2012 

B. Disqualified Players 

1. Any player, including the goalkeeper, who is disqualified, may not participate any further. If his/her kick is not already completed, a substitute is permitted. 

  1. Examples: 

  2. (1) Player “X” is one of the first five kickers, and is cautioned after taking his/her kick. Player “X” is not eligible to kick again until the set beginning with the 16th kick. 

  3. (2) Player “Y” is one of the second set of five kickers and is cautioned after taking his/her kick. Player “Y” is not eligible to kick again until the set beginning is the set beginning with the 16thkick. 

  4. (3) Player “X” is a kicker in any set of five kickers and is cautioned before taking his/her kick. Player “X” is not eligible to kick until the next set of five kicks. Player “X’s” kick in the set of five in which he/she was cautioned must be taken by another eligible player is not listed in that set of kicks. 


In the North, South, and Central sections, to break any ties, teams will be seeded by a blind draw. In the West section, seeding will be done by the modified Walker system.



All athletes serving game suspension(s) as a result of infractions during the regular season will have the remainder of their suspension continued into Tournament play. However, both players and team card accumulation will begin at zero (0) in Tournament play. Any player disqualified during tournament play is to remain on the team bench under the direct supervision of the coach. 


A licensed athletic trainer, physician, physician’s assistant, certified EMT, or nurse practitioner will be available at all contests. This coverage will be provided and compensated by the Host School in tournament rounds at the site of the higher seeded team. The MIAA will compensate for this coverage at MIAA designated neutral sites.