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Rules

Roster Notes

Divisions

Divisions will be formed based upon an athletes' Graduation Year.  Some Rules/Regulations to Note:

  • Teams containing athletes of differing graduation years (Mixed Teams) will be required to play at the grade level of their eldest players. 

  • Date of Birth is not used to determine a players eligibility in the Southwestern Invitational. That said, if a team is formed using the U15, U13, U11 or U9 guidelines, we will simply slot them in the division based on the graduation years of the players on the team. 

**In the event one of your team's athletes is found to be not eligible to participate at the level their team is registered for, that team will forfeit all games that the ineligible athlete has participated in and will not be eligible to advance to the playoffs. 

  • All Players and Parents/Guardians must complete the online player waiver prior to participation.

  • Coaches MUST check-in Saturday morning at the head tent, prior to their first game.

  • NO player may compete or be rostered on more than one CLUB OR TEAM during the tournament. Each player may be submitted on ONLY ONE roster for the tournament. If teams are found in violation of this rule, their games will be disqualified and deemed a loss. This rule is designed to ensure athletes are not playing an excessive number of games over the weekend. Its intent is to protect our players from dehydration, heat exhaustion, and all other potential injuries stemming from what our staff deems as excessive play. For the purposes of group seeding, one of two scenarios will occur:

-In the event the team in violation loses, the official game score will reflect actual score of the game. 

-In the event the team in violation won or tied the game, the official game score will be changed to reflect a 1-0 loss for the team in violation.

  • No athlete is permitted to participate at a grade level lower than their graduation year. 

  • NO High School Graduates are eligible to participate in the Southwestern Invitational.

 

Rules About Divisions

Some Rules/Regulations of Note:

  1. Teams containing athletes of differing graduation years (Mixed Teams) will be required to play at the grade level of their eldest players. For example, if a team is comprised of 2019 and 2020 players (athletes who will have just completed 7th and 8th grade in the Summer of 2015 - they will be required to play at the 8th grade level. They are not permitted to play at the 7th grade level). 

  2. Date of Birth is not used to determine a players eligibility in the Southwestern Invitational. That said, if a team is formed using the U15, U13, U11 or U9 guidelines, we will simply slot them in the division based on the graduation years of the players on the team. 
  3. High School Graduates are not permitted to participate (Grad Years of 2015 and older).
  4. In the event one of your team's athletes is found to be not eligible to participate at the level their team is registered for, that team will forfeit all games that the ineligible athlete has participated in and will not be eligible to advance to the playoffs. 
  5. We are sending this e-mail now, encouraging our participating teams and clubs of our rules well in advance so that once the tournament rolls around, we are all on the same page.

Game Format

Rules/ Regulations

  • All games will start promptly at the assigned times.

  • Two, 22-minute running halves; teams change direction after the half.

  • Halftime will be two (2) minutes, running clock.

  • Continuous Clock, which will be kept by the field coordinator and communicated to the referees

  • 1 - 30 sec timeout per game per team. Clock does not stop; therefore timeouts cannot be called in the last two (2) minutes of the game.

  • Referees can stop the game for any reason that he/she feels fit. Examples include serious injury, weather, etc.

  • Time Serving Penalties - Penalty time will be kept by the on-field officials.

  • The official score will be kept by both the table staff and one of the game officials. The staff and referee will confer throughout the game and stoppages to ensure the correct score.

  • All substitutions are on the fly.

  • Limited body-checking, excessively big hits and physical play (even within five yards of a loose ball) constitute unnecessary roughness and will result in a 1-minute penalty. The Southwestern Invitational Directors and Staff consider the safety of each player our first priority and we expect coaches and players to understand and abide by this philosophy as well. The officials are expected to protect and promote the safety of all players.

  • If a sidelined player(s) leaves his/her team bench to engage in an on-field altercation, that player will be removed from the tournament and their team may have to forfeit.

  • Player(s) who engage in antagonistic behavior (verbal assault, fighting etc.) may be removed from games or suspended from the tournament.

  • Officials and Tournament Directors have final say on interpretations and rulings.

  • The Southwestern Invitational will play by NCAA Rules. Youth teams will play with the following exceptions below:

    • 2020 (7th Grade) Exception - ALL one-handed checks will be called slashing penalties, including one-handed stick checks that do not make contact. They are still considered a slashing penalty and will be assessed a 1-minute foul.   

    • 2021 & 2022 (5 & 6th Grade) Exceptions listed below

      • No offensive 10-second count to enter the box

      • No defensive 20-second count to clear out of defensive half

      • No stalling rules

      • ALL one-handed checks will be called slashing penalties, including one-handed stick checks that do not make contact. They are still considered a slashing penalty and will be assessed a 1-minute foul.  

      • Face-off penalties – will be corrected by Ref and play will continue – if repeated violation occurs penalized player comes out and the ball is given to opposing team.

      • Long Poles are allowed at the 5/6th grade level.

    • 2023 & 24 (3rd & 4th grade) Exceptions

      • Aggressive double-teaming to gain unfair advantage is discouraged.

      • Body checking NOT permitted.

      • ALL one-handed checks will be called slashing penalties, including one-handed stick checks that do not make contact. They are still considered a slashing penalty and will be assessed a 1-minute foul.  

      • NO man-up/man-down: Penalized player comes off the field and switches with another.

      • 37"-42" Attack poles only. No long D poles are allowed.

    • 2025/26 (1st/2nd grade) Exceptions

For 6 v 6 games:

(2 attack, 2 middies, 2 defense - holding two players behind the midline at all times). A “Hector the Rejector” or “Intimidator” will be used in place of a goalie.

No offensive 10-second count, defensive 20-second count, or stalling rules will be used.

Body checking NOT permitted.

Games will be played on a shortened field, 70 yards long and 40 yards wide.

For 6 v 6 games: Each period begins with a faceoff. Wing middies must be positioned to the left of their faceoff man, at the intersection of the sideline and the midline. Defensemen and attackmen must remain behind the goal line extended until the referees signal possession.

NO man-up/man-down: Penalized player comes off the field and switches with another.

ALL one-handed checks will be called slashing penalties, including one-handed stick checks that do not make contact. They are still considered a slashing penalty and will be assessed a 1-minute foul.  

For 6 v 6 games: After a goal is scored the ball will be brought back to midfield for a face-off. Teams will then have the opportunity to sub during this stoppage. If a team falls behind by 4 or more goals, they are awarded the ball at midfield after they've been scored upon.

One-Pass Rule: Once a team gains possession, teams are required to complete one pass before a goal can be allowed.

Referee has the right to waive off a goal that has been deemed to be “bowled in” by the player or launched from midfield and bounces "luckily" in.

Coaches should discourage double-teaming.

37"-42" Attack poles only. No long D poles are allowed.

 

  • MERCY RULE – applies when there is a four (4) goal deficit in pool play. Teams down by four (4) or more goals will be awarded the ball at midfield in lieu of a face-off (Excludes HS divisions). Mercy Rule also does NOT apply in the playoffs at the High School level.

  • BALLS – All teams are responsible for balls on their offensive end-line. Each coach will be provided six (6) balls for the tournament when they check-in and are expected to ensure they use those balls on their offensive end-line during their games. Our fences and nets will be set up to stop as many shots as possible, but please keep track of your six balls.

  • The appropriate equipment and mouth guards must be worn by athletes at all times.

 

Field Size

Regulation Size Fields

 

All fields will be regulation size fields. 

Tie Games

Tie Game Situation

  • There is no overtime in Pool Play. Tie games will end in a draw and each team will receive 1 point.

  • In playoff play, there will be a four (4) minute sudden-death overtime period followed by a 3 v 3 plus goalie Brave Heart competition until a goal is scored.

  • No time-outs in playoff overtime.

Playoff Seed Criteria

In Pool Play

1. Overall record based on points; teams receive 3 points for win, 1 point for a tie, 0 for a loss.

2. Head-to-Head Results (Only if there is a two-way tie. Not applicable for three-way ties)

3. Goal Differential (Total Goals scored minus goals allowed); maximum of seven (+/- 7) per game.

4. Least Number of Goals Allowed

5. Most Number of Goals Scored

*Top teams in each pool will qualify for playoffs as determined and designated by the Tournament Director with the posting of the schedule.

 *For the Levels where some teams will receive a first-round bye; byes will be awarded to teams qualifying for the playoffs based on the following criteria:

  • Most Points Earned in Group Play
  • Goal Differential
  • Fewest Goals Allowed
  • Most Goals Scored
  • Random Draw or Coin Flip

Rules About Conduct

Sportsmanship/Conduct

1. Teams containing athletes of differing graduation years (Mixed Teams) will be required to play at the grade level of their eldest players. For example, if a team is comprised of 2019 and 2020 players (athletes who will have just completed 7th and 8th grade in the Summer of 2015 - they will be required to play at the 8th grade level. They are not permitted to play at the 7th grade level). 

2. Date of Birth is not used to determine a players eligibility in the Southwestern Invitational. That said, if a team is formed using the U15, U13, U11 or U9 guidelines, we will simply slot them in the division based on the graduation years of the players on the team. 

3. High School Graduates are not permitted to participate (Grad Years of 2015 and older).

4. In the event one of your team's athletes is found to be not eligible to participate at the level their team is registered for, that team will forfeit all games that the ineligible athlete has participated in and will not be eligible to advance to the playoffs. 

5. We are sending this e-mail now, encouraging our participating teams and clubs of our rules well in advance so that once the tournament rolls around, we are all on the same page.

Weather Policy

Tournament or Game Cancellation – In our agreement with Southlake Parks and Recreation, the Southwestern Invitational Staff reserves the right to cancel play in case of unplayable conditions including but not limited to severe rain and thunderstorms. In the event of cancellation before completion of play on Saturday, teams that have completed two games, no refund will be given.

  • The Southwestern Invitational has fixed overhead costs which include field and facilities rental, insurance, personnel, event t-shirts, as well as staging and set-up. Therefore, the initial $250 security deposit is non-refundable. Tournament organizers will do their best to refund coaches in a timely manner if the Texas Draw is cancelled prior to Saturday. If your team has completed two (2) of the four (4) guaranteed games, no refund will be provided.
  • The Southlake Parks & Recreation department in conjunction with the Southwestern Invitational Staff have final say in the event of bad weather conditions. That being said, every attempt will be made to make the fields playable. 
  • In case of cancellation, immediate e-mails will be sent to all coaches and updates will be posted on the www.texaselite.com website.

 

For player safety and to the Tournament’s benefit, the Southwestern Invitational staff and the Southlake Parks and Recreation staff reserve the right to:

  • Cancel, delay, or interrupt play until the weather clears and is deemed safe. Interrupted games will continue where left off.
  • Reduce game times to follow schedule (hourly games).
  • All officials are expected to use their discretion and follow safety rules to stop or suspend games for appropriate intervals until it is deemed safe by staff and officials. Play will be stopped for at least 20 minutes after a lightning strike or thunder. 

 

Please Note: In case of severe weather, players, coaches, and spectators please retreat to vehicles as they are the safest.   All tournament participants and spectators please vacate fields and remain in vehicles until the weather is safe.

 

The Southern Invitational Staff thanks you for your cooperation and understanding in case of severe weather!