Unity Cup Specific Rules

GAME PLAY

All 25 players may dress

  • All players present must present their player pass in order to participate in that particular match.
  • Teams must field a minimum of 7 players to begin the game
  • Each team may only have a maximum of 3 coaches on their sideline
  • All players are required to be in matching uniform including socks, shorts and undergarments (under armor, etc.)
  • All players are required to wear shin guards
  • No metal cleats are permitted

Substitutions

  • If a player subs in the 1st half they may not re-enter until 2nd half
  • If a player starts the 2nd half, they can be removed and re-enter once

Slide tackling is permitted, referee will monitor legal vs. illegal slide tackles

Spectators

  • In instances where no stands exist, spectators will be permitted only on the sideline opposite the team benches at a distance 10 feet off the sideline
  • No spectators are permitted behind either goal
  • Teams are encouraged to discuss appropriate behavior with their fans prior to games.

Time

  • Games are 2 – 45 minute halves in length
  • Group Stage Games
    • If teams are tied at end of regulation and added time each team is awarded a tie and 1 point in the group standings
    • Added time during group stage play is determined by the official score keeping official
  • Knock out stages
    • If teams are tied at end of regulation and added time the game will extend to 2 – 10 minute halves played to conclusion (NO golden goal rule!)
    • In the event the game is still tied after the extra time session the game will be decided by penalty-shoot out (5 kicks, followed by single kicks)
      • Only players on the field at the completion of extra time will be permitted to participate in penalty kicks (goalies included)
    • Order of kicks will be decided by coin toss

GROUP STANDINGS

There will be a max goal differential of 7 goals for all group stage games (i.e. a score of 9-1 will result in a goal differential of 7 goals rather than 8)

The following point values will determine standings for group stage games:

  • WIN = three (3) points
  • TIE = one (1) point
  • LOSS = zero (0) points

The following criteria is used for standings purposes:

  • Greatest number of points in all group stage matches
  • Head-to-head pool play outcome
  • Least number of goals allowed in group stage matches
  • Goal difference in group stage matches
  • Coin toss

KNOCK OUT ROUND

  • The top 8 group winners will automatically go into the Round of 16
  • The following criteria is used in determining top 8 group winners:
    • Greatest number of points in all group stage matches
    • Least number of goals allowed in group stage matches
    • Goal difference in group stage matches
    • Coin toss
  • The next four group winners and all twelve group second place teams will play in a play-in round, with 8 teams advancing to the Round of 16
    • Second place teams may not seed higher than a group stage winner during the play-in round
    • The tournament director may move a second place finisher up or down one to two seed lines based to avoid matchups within the same group before the semifinals
    • The following criteria is used in determining seeding for the play-in round:
      • Greatest number of points in all group stage matches
      • Least number of goals allowed in group stage matches
      • Goal difference in group stage matches
      • Coin toss

Unity Cup Code of Conduct

While promotion of the tournament is appreciated and encouraged, teams and coaches must acknowledge that the tournament is a program of the City of Philadelphia by doing one of the following:

  • Stating such and/or mentioning Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Office of Immigrant Affairs in written text or verbal statements. Sample language could include, “The Philadelphia International Unity Cup is a program of the City of Philadelphia, led by the Office of Immigrant Affairs and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.”
  • Tagging @PHLUnityCup and/or @PhilaParkandRec and @PhillyOIA in social media posts.
  • Linking website references to unitycup.phila.gov.

Players and coaches may not disclose details of the tournament until they have been made public by the City of Philadelphia, Office of Immigrant Affairs or Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.

Players and coaches may not speak on behalf of the tournament as a whole to the news media, unless granted approval by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation or the Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Proper conduct by all players and coaches is mandatory before, during and after all games.

Any suspended player or coach may not attend the games in which they are suspended.

Teams are responsible for the conduct of their fans. Incidents involving a specific teams’ fan will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Unity Cup Conduct Committee and could result in game suspension for the fan and in extreme cases may penalize the team.

  • At the referee’s discretion he/she may suspend and/or forfeit a match in the case of unruly fan behavior

Any player receiving a red card or any coach who has been removed from a game by the referee will be given a minimum one (1) game suspension, which cannot be appealed. The ejected person will not be permitted within two hundred (200) yards of the playing field in all directions. Failure to comply will result in further disciplinary action. Second offenses or conduct of a more serious nature will be reviewed by the Unity Cup Conduct Committee.

  • The ejected player/coach will turn their team badge into the site monitor
  • The site monitor and game official will send a detailed report to the tournament director to be reviewed to see if further action is necessary

Suspensions for misconduct towards game officials

  • Any assault on a game official will carry a five (5) year suspension from all Unity Cup activities
  • Deliberately striking or kicking or attempting to kick, throwing a soccer ball at, or spitting on a referee or assistant referee will carry a suspension for the rest of the tournament plus suspension from the subsequent year’s tournament as well as Philadelphia Parks & Recreation activities.
  • Gesturing or signaling obscenely at a referee or assistant referee will carry a one (1) game suspension
  • Abusive language towards a referee or assistant referee will carry a one (1) game suspension
  • Dissent, whether physical or verbal, expressing of differing opinion will carry a one (1) game suspension
  • The above suspensions are to be considered minimum. The Unity Cup reserves the right to increase the suspension based on the severity of the violation. Situations not listed will be reviewed by the Unity Cup Conduct Committee.

Suspensions for misconduct towards an opponent, colleague or spectator

  • Fighting (engaging in combat with an opponent, colleague or spectators by means of mutual exchange of blows delivered by hand, head, foot or other portions of the body) will carry a suspension through the rest of the tournament plus suspension from the subsequent year’s tournament
  • Deliberately attempting to strike or kick an opponent, colleague or spectator will carry a two (2) game suspension
  • The verbal threat of bodily harm or to property, gesturing or signaling obscenely, the throwing of objects at an opponent, colleague or spectator will carry a two (2) game suspension
  • The above suspensions are to be considered minimum. The Unity Cup reserves the right to increase the suspension based on the severity of the violation. Situations not listed will be reviewed by the Unity Cup Conduct Committee.

Suspensions for serious foul play and persistent misconduct

  • Serious foul play shall be understood to be play characterized by fouls of an aggravated nature committed with such fervor as to threaten an opponent with serious physical harm and will carry a minimum one (1) game suspension with subsequent review
  • Suspension for abusive language directed at an opponent, colleague or spectator will carry a one (1) game suspension
  • Persistent misconduct will carry a one (1) game suspension
  • The above suspensions are to be considered minimum. The Unity Cup reserves the right to increase the suspension based on the severity of the violation. Situations not listed will be reviewed by the Unity Cup Conduct Committee.

Conduct detrimental to the good and welfare of soccer

  • Such misconduct shall include but is not limited to misbehavior as a spectator, the consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or the use of illegal substances in the vicinity of the playing field before, during or after the game. This offense carries a minimum one (1) game suspension with further review of the incident by the Unity Cup Conduct Committee.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation will suspend individuals from ALL DEPARTMENTAL ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES, for a minimum of one (1) year for any of the following:

  • Physical assault of a departmental employee or a member of his/her family
  • Physical assault of a referee or member or his/her family
  • Physical assault of a PPR volunteer or member of his/her family
  • Or otherwise caused damages to the property of personal possessions of the aforementioned people

Cards

  • Yellow cards accumulate through pool play. Upon receiving a second yellow card during pool play, the player will receive a one (1) game suspension. Yellow cards will reset at the conclusion of pool play.
  • Yellow cards accumulate through the knockout round. Upon receiving a second yellow card during the knockout round, the player will receive a one (1) game suspension.
  • If a player receives a red card at any time, the player will leave that game immediately and will also serve a minimum one (1) game suspension.
  • Cards and minimum suspensions due to cards are not appealable, if additional games are added that may be appealed.

Appeals of disciplinary actions (other than mandatory suspensions) may be made by handing in a written appeal, with a fifty dollar ($50) appeal fee to the tournament director within 72 hours for review.