NJSA STATE CUP RULES

4301. STATE CUP COMPETITIONS

The NJSA, through the Cups Committee, shall organize, annually, competitions for men and women as follows:

a) Men’s Premier Cup.

b) Men’s State Cup.

c) Women’s State Cup.

d) Men’s Over-30 State Cup.

e) Men’s Over-40 State Cup.

f) Men U-23 State Cup.

g) Women U-23 State Cup.

h) Men U-20 State Cup.

i) Women U-20 State Cup.

j) Women Elite State Cup.

Each competition shall be conducted only if sufficient interest (i.e. entries) is evident. The trophies presented shall be the property of the winners.

4302. TEAMS ELIGIBILITY

Only Teams complying with the By-laws of the NJSA can participate.

All participating Teams must be affiliated with a NJSA affiliated League except for the Women Cups and in the O40 State Cup, where teams that are NOT affiliated with a NJSA League, shall be allowed to participate as Guest Teams, provided they follow all NJSA polices.

4303. AGE REQUIREMENTS

Except for the Men and Women Open State Cups, all other cups have limitations to the player’s age while participating in such Cup, as follows:

a) Men’s Over-30 State Cup: limited to players that are 30 years of age or older on the date of the Cup game when they play.

b) Over-40 State Cup: limited to players that are 38 years of age or older on the date of the Cup game when they play.

c) Men U-23 State Cup: limited to Male players that are NOT OLDER THAN 23 years of age on August 1st of year of the Cup competition when they play.

d) Women U-23 State Cup: limited to Female players that are NOT OLDER THAN 23 years of age on August 1st of year of the Cup competition when they play.

e) Men U-20 State Cup: limited to Male players that are NOT OLDER THAN 20 years of age on August 1st of year of the Cup competition when they play.

f) Women U-20 State Cup: limited to Female players that are NOT OLDER THAN 20 years of age on August 1st of year of the Cup competition when they play.

4304. ADMINISTRATION

The Cups Committee shall be responsible for administrating the above competitions. The committee shall consist of two or more persons appointed by the Cups Committee Chairman one of which shall act as the Cups Committee Arbiter.

The NJSA and the Cups Committee shall furnish all eligible teams with the entry forms.

The Cups Committee shall establish annually the closing date by which all team entries must be received.

All entering teams must return to the NJSA, care of the Cups Committee, all entry forms with the proper entry fees within the established deadline.

Referees reports must be returned to the NJSA, care of the Cups Committee.

The Cups Committee Chairman shall collect and verify all the scores of the State Cup matches played.

State Cup games results must be reported immediately, by email, by the winning team directly to the Cups Committee Chairman.

The Cups Committee Arbiter shall administer player’s suspensions and issue any fines, if needed.

4305. COMPETITION FORMAT

All the Cups competitions shall be a “knockout” (single loss elimination) competition.

In the first round of a cup, whenever possible, no team from the same league shall be paired against each other.

4306. DETERMINATION OF BYES

In the Men open Cup, the competition shall be formatted so that:

1. In the round of 16, out of all the Entries that enter this competition, a total of 8 teams shall advance to this round:

a) The Men Open State Cup Champions and Runner-ups of the previous season

b) A maximum of 2 NJSA Affiliated teams of each of NJSA directly Affiliated Regional Leagues

c) The 1 top team of the NJSA affiliated team of the CSL (Independent team)

d) The remaining spots in this Cup shall be filled by the 1 top team of the NJSL and by the top teams the top Men Division of the GSSL, based on the final standings of the previous season

2. All other teams shall be scheduled to play in any round prior to the round of 16

For all other Cups

To reduce the number of team to an even, pairing number (8, 16, 32, 64), depending on the number of entries for the Cup competition, byes shall be given during the first round of Cup play, allowing a team to advance to the next round.

These byes shall be assigned according to the following order:

1) Last season’s Cup Champion.

2) Last season’s Runner-ups.

3) Last season’s 3rd and 4th place.

4) By blind draw.

4307. PRECEDENCE OF GAMES

NJ State Cup games (original, replayed or postponed) shall take precedence over all other games and competitions other than the Regional or National Cups Competitions.

The Cups Committee may order one (1) “closed” date for the first round of the State Cups, thus prohibiting any NJSA affiliated to play any other games on that date.

4308. FINALS

The State Cup finals shall be played on a date and at a site chosen by the Cups Committee.

All costs connected with finals of any cup shall be the responsibility of the NJSA, unless the finals are played at a location not selected by the Cups Committee.

4309. FAILURE TO COMPETE

Any team intending to forfeit a game must inform the Cup Committee of its intention to do so not less than seven (7) days prior to the game.

Failure to compete without proper advance notification, shall result in a fine of $100.00 and the team shall not be allowed to participate in the next season’s State Cup competition.

4310. FORFEITS – GENERAL

A team using an ineligible player shall forfeit the game in which the player was used, to the opposing team and shall be expelled from the competition.

The game line-up sheet shall be used to determine if player was part of the game or not.

A team shall forfeit a game to the opposing team, if it fails to comply with the rules of the competition, or for just cause as determined by the Cups Committee.

Once the draw is done, any team that forfeits a State Cup game, addition to being charged a forfeit fee and potential Referee fee in case of no show, shall not be allowed to participate in the next season’s State Cup competition.

4311. HOME TEAM DETERMINATION

In the first round, the first team drawn in each pairing shall be the home team.

In the following rounds, the team on the top part of the pairing shall be considered the First Drawn.

After the first round, after pairing 2 teams (team A and Team B below) for the next cup match, the home team shall be determined by checking the previous cup round in the following manner:

Case #1: Both teams had a bye:

Solution: Home factor to First Drawn

Case #2: Team A played home and Team B was bye:

Solution: Home factor to B

Case #3: Team A played away, and team B was bye:

Solution: Home factor to A

Case #4: Team A played home and team B played away:

Solution: Home factor to B

Case #5: Team A played away, and team B played home:

Solution: Home factor to A

Case #6: Both teams played away:

Solution: Home factor to First Drawn ()

Case #7: Both teams played home:

Solution: Home factor to First Drawn

No team shall be allowed to play more than two consecutive games at home.

4312. GAMES SETTINGS

Notification of the next game in a Cup competition shall be made no less than seven (7) days prior to the scheduled date of the game. This notification shall indicate the Home and the Away team for each Cup game.

All Cup Games must be played on specific dates set by or within the time frame set the Cups Committee.

Game time parameters (not earlier than … and no later than …) are set by the Cup Committee.

Requests to change the date of a Cup game must be presented to the Cups Committee not less than fourteen (14) days prior to the scheduled date. The Cups Committee has the right to accept or deny such requests.

The Home team has the right to choose the field site and the game time within the parameters defined by the Cup Committee.

The Home team may request to relinquish the Home field advantage to the Away team if done within eight (8) days from the scheduled game. The Away team must accept or refuse the request not later than five (5) days before the schedule date. If the Away team refuses to host the game, then the original Home team shall be responsible to supply for a field as initially scheduled.

If the AWAY team accepts to play home, they become the HOME team for that game in the official Cup schedule

Changes to game field site must be made no later than three (3) days prior to the scheduled game to the Cup Coordinator.

Teams that fail to provide for the field for a Cup game, within these policies, shall forfeit their Cup game.

The two opposing teams, by agreement and with the approval of the Cup Coordinator, may change the game time provided that such time change is notified to the Cups Coordinator no later than three (3) days prior to the scheduled game.

NO change can be made to a scheduled game less than three (3) days prior to the scheduled game.

Teams that fail to play as scheduled by the Cups Committee shall forfeit the game.

4313. TEAMS UNIFORMS

Where the uniforms of the two competing teams are so similar as to create possible player identification problems on the field, as determined by the referee, the HOME team shall change their uniforms. Home teams should make every effort to determine colors of visiting teams prior to the game date.

Goalkeepers must wear colors, which distinguish them from other players and from the game officials.

Each player on a team must wear a different number.

4314. PLAYER ELIGIBILITY

Each player competing in these competitions must be duly qualified according to the rules of the NJSA and must be properly registered with the NJSA AT LEAST 7 DAYS prior to any CUP game in the competition in which the player wants to participate.

Players competing in the NJ State Cups must be registered for the team that he plays for in the Cup. Guest players are not allowed in this competition.

A player may not actually play for more than one competing team in the competition within the same cup. Properly registered players can be added to a competing team during the competition provided they have not played for another team within the same competition.

No players may be selected for any competing team after April 30th or the first cup quarterfinals or semifinals date whichever comes first.

The Cups Committee shall have the power to investigate and determine the eligibility of any player at any time and has the right to take the proper action based on those findings including, but not limited to issuing forfeits, disqualifying teams and suspending players.

ALL PLAYERS participating in a State Cup game MUST present a properly validated/issued PLAYER PASS. No Picture Id is allowed. 

A player under suspension from a League competition must obtain his/her player pass from the league of affiliation that is holding the pass. No Pass – No Play.

Players that want to participate in a State Cup, MUST BE REGISTERED at least 7 DAYS PRIOR TO A CUP GAME.  (This restriction does NOT apply to League games).

The State Cup Line-ups will now show the REGISTRATION Date of teach player on the game line-up

A team has the right to check the player passes of each participating player before, at half time and at the end of a Cup game, by requesting so to the Referee who holds the passes.

A player that is ejected (red carded) during a State Cup game, must serve the suspension as follows:

1) If the team he was playing for when ejected, is eliminated from the Cup, then he shall serve the suspension during the next League game(s) or Competition(s)

2) If the team he was playing for when ejected, wins the Cup game and advances in the State Cup competition, then he shall serve the suspension during the next Cup game. In this case, the player shall be eligible to play in the next League game or competition but not in the Cup competition.

State Cup Suspensions do not carry into the following season’s participation in a State Cup competition.

4315. OFFICIAL GAME and FINAL CUP ROSTERS

During any round prior to the Quarterfinals, teams shall be allowed to select a maximum of 30 players to be included in their Official Team roster.

This Team Roster selection can be changed until the deadline below.

On April 15th or the day before a team’s first cup Quarterfinals date, whichever comes first, every team remaining in any of the Cups competitions, shall submit a FINAL Official Cup Roster listing those players that will participate in the remaining State Cup games for the team involved.

Once the Deadline to submit the Final Official Cup Roster, this Roster CANNOT BE CHANGED (no addition or deletions allowed) and will be FROZEN after the deadline above.

Cup Rosters can have a maximum of 30 players listed on it.

Teams that have more than 30 actively registered players during the current season must select up to 30 players that will be on the Official Game or the Final Official Cup Roster.

Every Cup Rosters shall be verified by the NJSA State Registrar for conformity to the NJSA Registration policies.

Only those players that have been properly registered and approved by the NJSA Registrar, shall be declared eligible to play.

Players in default of proper registration as per NJSA policies shall be declared ineligible until conformity to the NJSA registration policies is established.

The State Cup Line-ups/Cup Rosters will show the REGISTRATION DATE and the AGE of each player selected on the team’s Cup Roster. 

4316. PLAYER PASSES/IDENTIFICATION

All participating players must show properly issued, current season Player Passes bearing the player’s photograph. 

Picture IDs will no longer be allowed to identify a player in a State Cup game.

Players that want to participate in a State Cup game, MUST BE REGISTERED at least 7 DAYS PRIOR TO A CUP GAME so that player’s pass can be received before the Cup game.

A team has the right to check the player passes of each participating play before, at half time and at the end of a Cup game, by requesting so to the Referee who holds the Player passes.

4317. PLAYER GAME LINE-UP FORM

In order to obtain a Game Line-up for a Cup game, each team MUST select on a maximum of 30 players before the CUP game. Only those players that are officially APPROVED by the NJSA Registrar can be selected.

At game time, the team manager MUST CROSS OFF those players that are NOT going to be part of the game for his team and leave NOT MORE than 18 players on that Game Line-up.

Each team shall, prior to the start of every game, present two copies of the Official Game Line-up  to be used for that match.

One copy shall be given to the Opposing team.

The second copy shall be given to the Referee.

The Line–up will include the names of all Team Officers registered for that team.

Only the Official NJSA State Cup Game Line-up form printed from the Online System may be used. Use of any other list/form will result in a $25.00 fine.

At least ONE Team Officer must be present at the Cup game and must present a currently validated Team Officer pass. Lack of at least one carded Team Officer will result in a $25.00 fine.

4318. PLAYING RULES

In all games played in the competitions, the playing rules shall be the FIFA Laws of the Game in effect at the time of the game and the following establishments:

a) No more than eighteen (18) players may suit up for a CUP game.

b) For NJSA State Cup games, there will be UNLIMITED substitutions. RE-ENTRY of a substituted player is ALLOWED.

c) For NATIONAL Cups games, there is a limit of 7 substitutions during a game, and NO RE-ENTRY is allowed for a player that has been substituted.

d) All substitutions shall be made in accordance with the FIFA guidelines.

e) Only the 18 players listed on the Cup Game Line-up sheet will be allowed to play in a game, upon presentation of a CURRENTLY VALIDATED PLAYER PASS. Players can be added to or removed from the Cup Roster and Game Line-up Sheets, UNTIL the deadline set by the Cups Committee, which will be before the start of the quarter-final games for the State Cups.

f) Each team MUST present a Coach/Manager card to Referee together with the player passes. Failure to present a Team Officer card will results in a fine of $25.00

g) In the event the score is tied at the end of regulation period, the winner shall be determined according to FIFA method of obtaining a result in “knockout” competitions in effect at the time of the entry deadline (Penalty Kicks is the established method at this time). No Extra Time of play is allowed in the State Cup Competition.

h) If a game is not completed for reasons beyond the teams’ control, the remaining part of the unfinished game, will have to be completed on another date, with the score and all decisions (cautions and ejections) standing for the continuation game. However, if the non-completion of a game is the result of misconduct clearly traceable to one or the other of the competing teams, its management or its followers, the Cups Committee shall determine the disposition of the game, taking into consideration that the home team is generally responsible for the proper conduct of the game.

i) The Cups Committee has the obligation to enforce the integrity of the FIFA’s Laws of the Game of any game played under his jurisdiction. Any allegation involving the integrity of the Laws of the Game or of the NJSA Rules, regardless if a protest was filed or not, shall be immediately investigated. For any confirmed violation of the Laws of the Game, action to correct the situation shall be immediately taken by the Cups Committee and such decision by the Cup Committee shall be final.

4319. GAME OFFICIALS AND FEES

Game Officials shall be selected by NJSA referee assigner upon notification of the Cups Committee.

Only Officials registered with the USSF shall be eligible to be selected as referee or assistant referee for games in these competitions.

Each quarterfinal, semifinal and final game shall have three (3) Officials, one as referee and two as assistant referee. All other games shall have three (3) Officials if available.

The total cost of the Officials shall be divided equally by the two competing teams.

Official’s fees shall be set by the Cups Committee.

A travel allowance of half the referee fee to the Referee and half the assistant referee fees to each Assistant Referee, shall be paid to all officials if the field is found by the referee to be unsafe or unplayable. Travelling fees will also be paid if for any reason an outside agency (parks department, board of education, etc.) close dawn the field for reasons beyond the control of the home team.

4320. PLAYER DISCIPLINE

Automatic suspension for ejected players shall be a minimum of 1 game unless the Cups Arbiter, based on the referee’s report, increases the period of suspension. Indoor games or exhibition games shall not be considered official games for the purpose of crediting toward disciplinary suspensions.

All ejections involving physical contact with a game official shall be handled by the NJSA Arbiter.

Suspensions shall be applicable during the current season/cup competitions.

Any player that was issued a Red card shall be fined for a sum determined by the Cups Committee. This fine MUST be paid before such player can play in ANY subsequent game under the jurisdiction of the NJSA.

4321. TEAM AND PLAYER BREACHES OF RULES

The Cup Committee shall have the power to disqualify and remove from further participation in the competition any team and/or player(s) of any competing team who may be proven guilty of any breach of the rules of the NJSA.

4322. PROTESTS

1. Any team wishing to protest a game must send an email to the Cup Chairman, copy to the opposing team, expressing the intent to PROTEST THE GAME, with a brief explanation of the reason for the protest, within 24 hours of the game being played.

2. This initial email must be followed, within 48 hours of the game being played, with a letter to the Cup Chairman, expressing the protest and a detailed explanation of the reason for the protest. This letter must include a check or money order payable to the NJSA, in the amount of $200.00, as the protest fee.

3. The Cups Committee shall determine the protest as quickly as possible, and shall force the interruption of the competition if possible, and may require further submission of evidence relating to the protest.

4. Notice of the Cups Committee decision shall be sent, by email and mail, to both teams competing in the game which was subject to protest.

5. The Cups Committee Decision shall be final and NOT subject to any appeal.

6. A protest may be withdrawn in writing after is has been submitted, but with withdrawal of a protest shall result in the forfeit of the protest fee, which shall he retained by the NJSA.

7. The protest fee shall be retained if the protest is not sustained, or it shall be returned is the protest is sustained.

4323. MATTERS NOT PROVIDED FOR

Any matters not provided for in these State Cup rules shall be determined by the Cups Committee, which shall consider all other rules and regulations of the NJSA, US Soccer or FIFA, before making the decision, which shall be final.

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