Tournament Rules

 Below are the rules of Afrim Sports facility and those of the Albany Empire Blizzard Cup:

  • NO CLEATS, turf shoes and flats are acceptable.
  • NO SLIDE TACKLES, but sliding is allowed.
  • 5 Goal Rule: Whenever a team is leading by 5 goals, the opposing team may add an additional player to make the game more competitive for both teams.
  • Shinguards must be worn by every player and be completely covered by stockings/socks.
  • No player will be allowed to wear anything which could injure themselves or another player as per the referee’s discretion, including jewelry (rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, piercings, etc.).
  • The goalkeeper must wear a jersey whose color will distinguish his/herself from the other players in the match and the referee.
  • Kickoffs: Kickoffs are indirect and may be played forward or backward.
  • Goalkeepers:
    • Cannot hold the ball for more than 5 seconds.
    • Cannot pick up the ball if deliberately kicked back by own team.
    • CAN hit goal kicks, punts, dropkicks or throw the ball over midfield.
    • Free Kicks: All free kicks are direct and defending team must be minimum of 5 yards away.
  • Ball Exiting Field Of Play:
    • Any ball that exits the playing field over the side line is a throw-in.
    • Throw-ins are indirect.
    • Any illegal throw-in results in the loss of possession.
    • Any ball that exits the field over the end line will be restarted by a goal kick or corner kick.
    • Goal kicks can be played over the midfield line in the air.
    • Any ball that strikes a net, light, ceiling, or beam within the confines of the field is out of play. A direct kick restart will occur nearest where the ball hit, except within the goal box. The ball is placed outside of the box for restart.
  • Substitutions: Substitutions are guaranteed for either team on any “out of bounds” ball. On the fly substitutions may be done while the ball is in play. Player entering the field must wait until player exiting has stepped off the field. Violation of this rule could result in a 2 minute penalty. Fouls are not guaranteed substitution since the opposing team may play the ball as soon as they wish.
  • Yellow Card: All yellow cards will result in a man down situation for 2 minutes or until the opposition scores, whichever comes first. A second yellow card in a game will equal a red card. Two yellow cards within the tournament and the player must sit out the next game.
  • Red Card: All red cards will result in ejection and the player will sit out for the rest of the game AND the following game. On a red card the team will play a man down for 5 minutes even if goals are scored. If a second red card is acquired during the tournament, the player will sit out for the remainder of the tournament. If there is a red card due to a fight, both players may have multiple game suspensions and/or indefinite suspensions from the tournament.
  • Two Minute Penalty: A two minute penalty can be assessed at the discretion of the referee for minor violations regardless of whether a yellow card is given.
  • A team must have five (5) registered players physically present at game time or a forfeit will be declared. The referee’s watch is the official time in establishing a forfeit.
  • Waiver: Every player in the tournament must sign a liability (waiver) form before the kickoff of their first game.
  • Referees: During a tournament game the referee of that game has complete and sole authority to enforce the rules of the game and apply penalties.
  • Tournament Organizers: Both representatives from Albany Empire and Afrim’s Sports will be onsite during event to address player concerns. Although Tournament Organizers will not interfere in game play, if misconduct by a player, coach, team manager or spectator is deemed dangerous, extremely unsportsmanlike, and/or a hindrance to the overall integrity or efficiency of the event, the Tournament Organizers may eject such an individual from the tournament and Afrim’s facility.
  • Protests: If a player or players believe an error has been made with respect to a referee’s call, play will not be stopped. The captain of the team may speak to a Tournament Organizer at his/her earliest convenience. The Tournament Organizer will then review the situation and speak to the referee when that referee is on break if they feel matters need to be discussed to insure the integrity of the event going forward. There will be no retroactive alteration of referee decisions unless exceptional circumstances arise.
  • Other Rule:
    • NO spitting
    • NO gum chewing
    • NO ball kicking against any wall.
    • Fist fighting, swearing, and prejudice remarks will NOT be tolerated.
    • Tournament Organizers have the right to suspend anyone from the facility at any time for this behavior.