2023 Capital Fall Classic Tournament Rules

Recreational Weekend Rules are listed separately - click the article on the right to access the Recreational Weekend specific rules.

A reminder to all teams, parents, and spectators –

  1. Drones and Aerial video and photography are NOT permitted at any time.
  2. The use of HI-Pods (or similar) video camera equipment will be permitted as long as all equipment is secure and all operators do not interfere with the game. 

  3. Alcoholic Beverages & Smoking are Prohibited.

  4. NO DOGS are allowed at any complex or field used by the Capital Fall Classic. This includes all common areas and parking lots. If dogs are seen on the premises owners will be asked to leave the complex immediately and if a dog is present near or around any field the game will be halted until the dog is removed to the parking area, but must be removed permanently from the complex as well.

    1. Properly marked and leashed service dogs are permitted at the complex but are not allowed within 15 yards of any field.

A. Tournament Headquarters


Tournament Headquarters will be located at:

Striker Park
4801 Pouncey Tract Rd.
Glen Allen, VA 23059

Tournament Director:

Nikki Clowser - 804-288-4625

B. Team Onboarding and Check-In

The 2023 Capital Fall Classic will have Online Team Onboarding only.

  • All teams must also Check-In on site before their first game at the Site Coordinator tent at their assigned field location

Team Onboarding Requirements - see also “Online Team Onboarding

US Teams:

  • Original 2023/2024 Player Passes
    • either USYS State Association or US Club Soccer passes
  • Original 2023/2024 Official Roster
    • either USYS State Association or US Club Soccer
  • Two Copies of Official Roster
  • Guest Player(s) identified:
    • Written on front or back of COPIES of Rosters
  • Player Passes for Guest Player(s)
  • Individual Player Medical Release Forms
  • Permission to Travel Paperwork:
    • Not Required for US Club Soccer Teams nor Region I USYS State Association teams.
    • USYS State Association teams from all other Regions need Permission to Travel Paperwork.

The Capital Fall Classic is Dual Sanctioned for 2023

For US Club Soccer teams the tournament is sanctioned by US Club Soccer under the Open Cup format and a USYSA Sanctioned Tournament. This allows competitive teams from both US Club Soccer and any other USSF affiliated members (state associations, etc) to compete in this event. The US Club Soccer teams DO NOT have to have a US Youth Soccer Application to Travel Form, but must bring their proper roster, plus 2 copies for the tournament and player pass cards.

For USYSA Registered Teams: Teams must have the proper USYSA state rosters, plus two copies for the tournament, permission to travel forms, player pass cards and medical release forms for each player at registration.

Teams that are members of organizations of the United States Soccer Federation but not members of US Youth Soccer (such as AYSO, SAY, US Club Soccer or Super Y Leagues) DO NOT have to have a US Youth Soccer Application to Travel form (although that team’s organization may require that the team have permission). An approved team roster does need to be provided to tournament officials, along with current player passes from its organization.

Note for Region I teams:
Region 1 Policy Regarding Application To Host A Tournament

Region I has established the following policy concerning permission to travel when attending USYS sanctioned tournaments in Region I. The purpose of this policy is to make it as simple as possible for the US Youth Soccer Region I teams to travel to tournaments within Region I.

The new policy states that any USYS State Association teams within Region I that is accepted into a tournament in Region I do not need permission to travel papers. 

C. Roster Sizes

  • 2015-2014 (U9 - U10) 7v7 teams are limited to 14 players identified at Team Onboarding
  • 2013-2012 (U11 - U12) 9v9 teams are limited to 18 players identified at Team Onboarding
  • 2011-2005/06 (U13 - U18/U19) Teams can have 22 players on their rosters turned in at Team Onboarding
    • Only 18 players in each game are allowed to play 
    • Teams must identify 18 players before each game with the referees.

Five guest players per team will be permitted for all age groups.

  • US Club Soccer teams may only take guest players registered under US Club Soccer,
  • USYSA teams may only take guest players registered with properly stamped USYSA player pass cards.

**Players can only play for 1 team throughout the tournament.

D. Ball Size

Size 5   2005/06-2011 (U19 - U13)
Size 4   2012-2015 (U12 – U9)

E. Game Duration

80 min, 2005/06-2008 (U19, U18, U17, U16)             Halftime - 5 min
70 min. 2011-2009 (U13, U14, U15)                           Halftime - 5 min
60 min. 2013-2012 (U11, U12) (9v9)                           Halftime - 5 min
50 min. 2015-2014 (U9, U10) (7v7)                            Halftime - 5 min

F. Substitutions

Substitutions shall be unlimited, but made only at the following times:

Teams playing in Tournament Format competition:

a) Goal kick, after a goal, half time, at the beginning of an overtime period, throw in – by the team in possession and by the team not in possession (only if the team in possession has a substitute), after a yellow card – for carded player. 

b) An injured player may be substituted for at the discretion of the referee. If a substitution is made for the injured player, the opposing team may also make one substitution (with the referee’s acknowledgement).


Under no circumstances may substitutions be made (1) on corner kicks or (2) after the game has ended in a tie and FIFA penalty kicks will be required to determine a winner.

All substitutes shall inform the assistant referee on their side of the field that they wish to enter the game prior to the time they are entitled to enter the game as a substitute. The assistant referee will signal the referee that substitutes wish to enter the game at the first opportunity that the substitute is allowed to enter the game. The substitutes must wait until the referee signals that it is okay for them to enter the field.

G. Home Team

Team listed first is the designated Home Team and shall wear light colored uniforms. The away team will wear dark colored uniforms.

Home Team must change jerseys if there is a conflict.

H. Forfeits

Teams not at the field ready to play with a minimum of 7 eligible players at the scheduled game time will forfeit the match at the discretion of the tournament director.  Forfeited scores will be counted 5 – 0.  Teams forfeiting games will not be able to advance to the playoff rounds.

I. 7/9-a-side

2014-2011 (U9, U10, U11, U12) Three referee system. Offsides will be called.

J. Rule at Age Group Divisions U11 & Younger

When the ball makes contact with a players head, the referee will determine if it was an intentional head ball or an unintentional head ball.

If deliberate, the proper restart is an indirect free kick to the opposing team. If this occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.

If the play by the head is deemed in advertent and there is no safety concern (deemed by the referee), there is no stoppage nor restart, play will continue.

If the play by the head is deemed in advertent and there is a safety concern (deemed by the referee), play is stopped and the proper restart is a dropped ball to the team in possession (the team that kicked it).

K. Build Out Lines at Agee Group Divisions U10 & Younger

Build out lines will be established for U10 age groups and younger.  Build out lines promote playing the ball out of the back in a less pressured setting.  When the goalkeeper has the ball, either during play (from the opponent) or from a goal kick, the opposing team must move behind the build out line until the ball is put into play.  Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball into pay (punting is snot allowed).  After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build out line and play resumes as normal.  The ball is considered “in play” when the goalkeeper’s intended recipient has received the ball.  Not the moment that the goalkeeper releases the ball. 

If a goalkeeper punts the ball, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team from the spot of offense.  If the punt occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred.

The build out line will also be used to denote where the offside offenses can be called.  Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the build out line.  Players can be penalized for an offside offense between the build out line and the goal line.


L. Inclement Weather


Regardless of weather conditions, coaches and their teams must appear at their respective field site, ready to play as scheduled. Failure to appear will result in forfeiture of the match. Only the Tournament Director(s) may cancel or postpone a match. Referees may suspend a match only in case of severe weather, in his/her discretion. The Tournament Director reserves the right to make the following changes in the event of inclement weather:

· Relocate and/or reschedule a match.

· Change a division structure.

· Reduce scheduled duration of a match.

· Cancel a match.

In the event of inclement weather, forcing play to be halted and preventing the match from completing during the scheduled time, the score shall stand if at least one-half of the match has been completed.

M. Player’s Equipment

  • All players must wear shin guards.
  • No metal-rimmed glasses or jewelry of any kind will be allowed.
    • A player may not cover jewelry with bandaids or tape of any kind
    • No one has the authority to over-turn the "no jewelry rule" except the Tournament Director
  • Casts, splints or body braces made of a hard substance in its final form such as leather, rubber, plastic, plaster or fiberglass must be covered on all exterior surfaces with no less than ½ inch thick, high density polyurethane, or an alternate material of the same thickness and similar physical properties to protect the injury.
    • A medical release for the injured player signed by a licensed physician must be available at the game site. 
    • Players may not play with these casts without the approval of the Referee.


N. Rules for Advancement

Teams will be awarded points on the following basis:

  • Six (6) points for each Win
  • Three (3) points for each Tie
  • Zero (0) points for each Loss
  • One (1) point for each goal scored up to a max of three (3) per game.  Losing teams receive points also.
  • One (1) point for each shutout


  • A 0-0 tie will be scored as 4 points for each team (3 for tie, 1 for shutout)
  • A 4-2 game will be scored as 9 points for the winning team (6 for win, 3 for goals) and 2 points to the losing team (2 for goals).

In the event of a tie in points at the end of bracket play; the winner for advancement to Semi-Final or Finals will be determined as follows:

  1. The winner in head to head competition. (If there is a 3 team tie, proceed to the next tie breaker)
  2. Goal differential, max of +/-3 per game (Team wins 4-0, only gets +3 GD, losing team gets -3)
  3. Goals For (max 5 goals per game)
  4. Goals Against (max 5 goals per game)
  5. Shoot-Outs*

When the tiebreaker system is used, the criteria are followed from 1 through 4 until one team is eliminated and then the criteria starts over again at Rule #1.  Rules are repeated until one team remains.

*All Shoot-Outs for 1st in Divisional play will be at 7:30am Sunday morning or time determined by the Tournament Director and at a field location determined by the Tournament Director. 

TTies between 2nd and 3rd in division play leading to both teams playing consolation games will be decided by the above criteria; except for #5 Shoot-Outs. These ties will be decided by the discretion of the Tournament Director.

O. Resolving Ties in Semi-Final and Final Match

If the semi-final or finals match are tied at the end of regulation time, the teams will be given a five minute rest. The following will decide the match:

  • Overtime will be 2 - five minute periods with substitutions allowed.
    • Overtime will not be sudden death.  Overtime is played 11v11 (minus any send-offs
  • If teams remain even at the end of overtime the game will be decided by the FIFA, Kicks from the Penalty Spot Procedure as outlined in the Laws of the Game
    • Teams can only use the players remaining on the field at the end of overtime.

P. Protest

There will be no protests.  All officiating decisions are final.

Q. Sideline Behavior

Both teams will sit on the same side of the field. Only coaches and trainers may stay on the player’s sideline.

Spectators are only allowed on the opposite side of the field from the coaches and players and are limited to being in the designated area from penalty box to penalty box.

No spectators are allowed behind the goal areas. Harassment of the officials from coaches, spectators or players will not be tolerated.

R. Send-offs

Players (Any Age Group)

  • If a player receives a red card or two yellow cards during a match, that player will sit out the rest of that match and also their next match.

  • Players serving Red card suspensions are allowed to sit on the bench during their team’s next game but are not allowed to be in uniform

Coaches (Any Age Group)

  • A coach or other authorized bench personnel sent off during a match must leave the field immediately upon being sent off and must remain away from the field during the team’s next match.


S. NO alcoholic beverages are allowed in the park or the parking lot of any of the game sites. Your team will be subject to forfeiting 1 game.  Smoking or use of tobacco products on or near playing fields is prohibited at all times.


T. Outdoor Grilling is prohibited at all tournament venues. 


U. NO dogs are allowed at any of parks or field complexes used for the Capital Fall Classic.  Only service animals are allowed at the facility.


V. The use of HI-Pods (or similar) video camera equipment will be permitted as long as all equipment is secure and all operators do not interfere with the game. 


W. Game Balls:  All game balls will be provided by tournament.  Only balls provided by the tournament can be used.


*The tournament will be played in accordance with FIFA Laws of the Game except as modified by these rules above.

*We approve the use of electronic devices by officials in this competition

X. Tournament Postponement/Cancellation

The Richmond Strikers and the Tournament Director(s) reserve the right to decide all matters pertaining to the tournament – and may, in their sole discretion, delay, postpone, or cancel the tournament, or otherwise alter the tournament structure (such as the duration of and/or number of games for teams),  The decision of the Richmond Strikers and the Tournament Director(s) on these matters shall be final, and shall not entitle any team to a refund or other return of entry fees paid, except as provided below (subject to any exception set out below, entry fees are nonrefundable).

If the tournament is canceled for any reason before any tournament matches are played, teams will receive a refund or credit (against entry fees for a future Richmond Strikers tournament) in an amount to be determined in the sole discretion of the Executive Committee of the Richmond Strikers after taking into consideration the non-recoverable costs, expenses, and resources incurred/expended by the Richmond Strikers for the tournament. The determination of the amount of the credit/refund, and issuance of any credit/refund, may take up to 180 days after cancelation.

Outside of complete tournament cancelation, other circumstances may arise in which the Richmond Strikers, based on the totality of circumstances, decide to provide a refund of some or all of team entry fees (or for particular teams based on impacts from weather and other circumstances). Any such decision to alter the no-refund policy is in the sole and absolute discretion of the Richmond Strikers, and any such decision shall not constitute a binding commitment with respect to future similar circumstances or other teams.   

The Capital Fall Classic, Tournament Director(s), and Richmond Strikers will not be responsible for any costs or expenses incurred by tournament participants (including, without limitation, for travel, lodging, or meals) if the tournament is delayed, postponed, canceled, or otherwise altered for any reason.

Amendment for COVID-19 effective August 25, 2020: If a tournament is canceled by the Richmond Strikers 30 days or more before the start date of the tournament due to reasons related to COVID-19, the Richmond Strikers will provide teams with a 100% refund of entry fees paid for that tournament.

Y. Team Withdrawal

All Entry Fees must be postmarked by October 1, 2023 to guarantee consideration. All late applications will be put on a wait list for review. Upon acceptance, the fee is non-refundable. If your team is accepted and later withdraws, the entry fee is non-refundable and sanctions will be placed against your team/club for future participation in Richmond Striker events.


Z. Hotel Services


To insure the quality of service provided at the 2023 Capital Fall Classic, the Richmond Strikers has appointed Anthony Travel/On Location as our official Hospitality Service of the tournament. All teams are mandated to book any hotel reservations through Anthony Travel/On Location to insure their place in the 2023 Capital Fall Classic. Any teams that do not comply will be at risk of forfeiting their acceptance.

Local Richmond teams or teams “commuting” to Richmond for the weekend do not have to stay in hotels but must contact either Anthony Travel/On Location or the Tournament Director requesting exemption approval.

  • “Commuting” Teams is defined as a 75-mile distance between the club’s mailing address to the Team's scheduled field complex. 

Please email soccertravel@anthonytravel.com to Anthony Travel/On Location sports travel expert or call (800) 736-6377

By using Anthony Travel/On Location as our booking service the Richmond Strikers and the Capital Fall Classic can offer our "Act of God" Clause.  This states "Should this event be canceled for reasons beyond the Event Organizer's control (including weather), all outstanding reservations will be released at no charge to the participants."

Tournament Sanctioning



Strategic Partners



richmond strikers

richmond strikers





1981 Partners

Drive Shack

Drive Shack

Virginia Axe Co

Virginia Axe Co

Three Notch'd Brewery

Three Notch'd Brewery

Dick's Sporting Goods

Dick's Sporting Goods



Tournament & Community Partners

Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority

Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority

VA is for Lovers

VA is for Lovers

river city

river city

Visit Henrico

Visit Henrico

Smart Box

Smart Box

no title