Rules and Regulations

2021 Tournament

(June 25-30)

1. Tournament Rules and Regulations

The MADCUP International Youth Soccer Tournament takes place in accordance with the rules of FIFA and the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), as well as those of the Royal Madrid Football Federation (RFFM), regulating 7-a-side soccer and 11-a-side soccer competitions, including any exceptions provided for.

2. Age Categories


· U16   Born after 01/01/2005. (11-a-side).
· U15   Born after 01/01/2006. (11-a-side).
· U14   Born after 01/01/2007. (11-a-side).
· U13   Born after 01/01/2008. (11-a-side).
· U12   Born after 01/01/2009. (7-a-side).
· U11   Born after 01/01/2010. (7-a-side).
· U10   Born after 01/01/2011. (7-a-side).
· U09   Born after 01/01/2012. (7-a-side).
· U08   Born after 01/01/2013. (7-a-side).


· U16   Born after 01/01/2005. (11-a-side).
· U14   Born after 01/01/2007. (11-a-side).
· U14   Born after 01/01/2007. (7-a-side).
· U12   Born after 01/01/2009. (7-a-side).


· In the boys’ U15 and U13 sections, 3 players may be registered who are up to 1 year older.

· In the girls’ U16 section 4 players may be registered who are up to 1 year older, and the girls’ U12 and U14 sections 2 players may be registered who are up to 1 year older.

· The names and identification of these players must be submitted to the organizing committee, and they may not be registered for any other section of the tournament.

· In 7-a-side matches players above the age threshold may NOT take part.

· In very exceptional cases, to facilitate the competition’s organization, the tournament’s organizing committee may expressly authorize a team that presents an exception to the age rules.
















3. Duration of matches and breaks

2 x 25 mins







3 mins

2 x 20 mins








3 mins

Breaks in ALL CATEGORIES will be spent on the field of play.

4. Match venues

All matches are played on an artificial or natural grass pitch, at the location and according to the schedule that the organizing committee will inform teams of at least 14 days in advance.

5. Competition format

Group phase

The teams of each category will be divided into groups, with the teams of each group facing each other in a one-round league, which will be played from Friday to Monday (exceptions may be made for organizational purposes).
All groups will be made up of 4, 5 or 6 teams.

The winners and runners-up from each group compete for MADCUP GOLD.

The third- and fourth-placed teams from each group compete for MADCUP SILVER.

The fifth- and sixth-placed teams from each group compete for MADCUP BRONZE.


The scoreboard will not count beyond a goal difference of 9 goals; though the match will continue to be played until the end, any further goals will not be counted, however any disciplinary sanctions (penalty cards and sending off) will be taken into account.

6. Classification criteria

Group phase


* Match won:             3 points
* Match drawn:         1 points
* Match lost:              0 points

The ranking of the teams in each group of the previous phase will be determined by the following criteria:

1) The highest points total obtained from all matches in the group.

2) Goal average – particular (in the event of a draw).

3) The best goal difference, taking into account all matches in the group.

4) The highest number of goals scored in all matches in the group.

If two or more teams cannot be separated according to these criteria, the ranking will be determined as follows:

5) The highest number of points obtained in group matches between the teams concerned.

6) The best goal difference, taking into account group matches between the teams concerned.

7) The highest number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned.

8) Draw conducted by the MADCUP organizing committee 

Knockout phase

A match between 2 teams; the team that wins moves on to the next phase.

In the event of a draw, each team will take turns to take five (5) penalty kicks each. The teams will draw lots, with the winning team choosing whether to take their first penalty first or second, and each penalty kick must be taken by a different player.

The team that scores the most penalties will be declared the winner. If both teams score the same number of penalties, the penalty shoot-out will continue in the same alternating format, played by a different team member each time, until, after an equal number of penalties have been taken, one team has scored a higher number.

In both 11-a-side and 7-a-side matches, any of the registered players may take part in a penalty shoot-out, during which any players other than the kicker and the goalkeeper must remain in the other half of the pitch where penalties are not being taken, along with the coaches.

7. Squad sizes


· An 11-a-side team can register up to a maximum of 25 players in the tournament, with a team of no more than 20 players in one match. A maximum of three coaches may be registered per team.

· Squad rotation is permitted, meaning a player who has been previously substituted may re-enter the pitch.

· Each team has 3 turns during the match to make substitutions (not counting half-time); if both teams make a substitution in the same turn this counts as a turn used for both teams.

· All substitutions must be made from the center of the field, with the authorization of the referee and while the match is temporarily stopped.


· A 7-a-side team can register up to a maximum of 18 players in the tournament, with each player being able to take part. A maximum of three coaches/staff may be registered per team.

· All players may be substituted, including the goalkeeper if the match referee gives approval.

· Squad rotation is permitted, meaning a player who has been previously substituted may re-enter the pitch.

· All substitutions must be made from the center of the field, with the authorization of the referee and while the match is temporarily stopped.

As an exception to all other categories, in U8 matches the offside rule and the back-pass rule do NOT apply.

8. Match documentation

Before there are 15 minutes left until the start of each match, the team delegates, together with the FIELD DELEGATE, must check the list of players registered on the platform and on the virtual list. All players also must wear an identification wristband of the appropriate color recognizing the category they are able to take part in. (For more on this, see point 22: Players’ accreditation and documentation).

9. Soccer kit

All shirts will be provided with numbers that must be the same as in the match report. The numbers should be located on the back. If the kits of two teams are too similar, the visiting team (second in the match report) must change their shirt.

If an alternative kit is not available, the teams MUST make bibs available for their players. The tournament WILL NOT PROVIDE any bibs in order to avoid contact through clothing, as indicated in the anti-Covid protocol. The Field Delegate may declare the match forfeit 3-0 to a team that causes the match to be unplayable due to matching kits. This decision may be made solely by the organizing committee.

10. Match punctuality

Match times will be strictly adhered to. Teams must be ready 15 minutes before the start of the match. If teams do not show up on time and the organizing committee understands that there is no justifiable reason, the game will be considered forfeit by the offending team, with a result of 3-0. Breaks in between games will last three (3) minutes, during which time the players shall remain on the field of play, weather conditions permitting, so that the match may resume promptly.

11. Water breaks

Given June’s usually high temperatures, as a safety measure for all players a water break shall be offered in the tenth minute of each half of the match, particularly in the middle of the day. The tournament organizing committee will provide daily instructions on water breaks to all staff before the start of the match, and in the event that one is announced, the field delegates will indicate to the referee when the water break is over, informing the coaches of each team.

12. Sanctions - disciplinary regime

Any player sent off by a straight red card may be suspended from any number of matches or pulled out of the tournament (to be determined by the Competition Committee, depending on the cause of being sent off). Yellow cards will not accumulate across different matches. 

11-a-side soccer: If a team is left with 6 players, the match will be suspended until a resolution is decided by the tournament’s Competition Committee. 

7-a-side soccer: If a team is left with 4 players, the match will be suspended until a resolution is decided by the tournament’s Competition Committee. In 7-a-side matches, the referee has the power to send a player off for two minutes from the field of play, if this is considered necessary for the progression of the match; during this time this player may not be substituted, meaning the team will play with one player short.

In the event of a draw, and as the fourth classification criterion, the accumulation of penalty cards shall have a negative effect on the league ranking (Fair Play), with a value of minus 1 point for each yellow card, minus 2 points for a double yellow card and minus 3 points for each direct red card. The calculation of these points will only and exclusively be made through the organizing committee’s sanctions reports.

If a team displays violent behavior during the competition (inappropriate protests to refereeing decisions, confrontation with team leaders and particularly with members of the organizing committee, etc.), they may be automatically suspended from the competition.

The MADCUP organizing committee reserves the right to report any violent, unsporting behavior to the RFFM Competition Committee, so that it may consider possible disciplinary consequences that may affect future RFFM competitions.

During the group phase, in the event that a team is suspended or disqualified by the organizing committee, all results recorded up to that point will stand, and for any outstanding matches their opponents will be awarded a 3-0 win. Also in the event that this occurs in a knockout match or before the competition begins, their opponents will be awarded a 3-0 win. In the event that a match is abandoned due to altercations for which both teams are responsible, and depending on the seriousness of any incidents, the organizing committee may record the result as a 3-0 loss for both teams.

13. Registration of players

Players must register within the deadlines indicated by the tournament organizers. No player may register outside of this period. Any related incident must be communicated immediately to the Organizing Committee, as well as to the Competition Committee.

Given that the same club can have more than one team in each category, the same player is NOT allowed to participate in more than one team in the same category. However, the same player may participate in a different team belonging to the same club IF the team is taking part in an oldercategory.

14. Referees

The referees who will oversee the tournament matches will be members of the RFFM Referees Committee, aiming for the highest level and accuracy of refereeing.

The referee will be the highest authority on the field of play and may suspend the game in the event that they consider the behavior of a team to be disruptive, though all efforts should be made to achieve an understanding and to ensure all matches end normally. Maximum co-operation is expected from everyone, including the players, coaches and those accompanying minors, to ensure good behavior throughout the tournament.

In the event of the absence or significant delay of a referee, the organizing committee grants the Field Delegates the power to carry out this role, so that the teams are able to play all of their matches with minimum disruption to tournament schedules and logistics.

15. Respect

The team delegates will be responsible for the attitude and behavior displayed by their players towards the referees, teammates, opponents, the public, the organizing committee and the sports facilities (changing rooms, benches, playing fields, etc.).

The organizing committee and each team delegate will inspect the changing rooms (or common areas used for changing) before and after each game to check that these areas have been used appropriately. The team delegate, the team and the individual offender(s) take responsibility in the event of any damage to the benches, changing rooms or the playing field.

16. Complaints

Appeals or complaints must be submitted to the organizing committee by the team delegate, in writing, no later than 60 minutes after the end of each match. The organizing committee will not accept protests regarding refereeing action.

17. Competition Committee

The Competition Committee will meet with the field managers every day after the matches to analyze any incidents that occurred during the day. All Competition Committee decisions are final and all participants must respect their decisions without exception.

The MADCUP organizing committee reserves the right to report any violent, unsporting behavior to the RFFM Competition Committee, so that it may consider possible disciplinary consequences that may affect future RFFM competitions.

18. Special circumstances

If a match that has already begun is suspended due to force majeure or for reasons beyond the control of the organizing committee, the Competition Committee and the organizing committee shall decide on the best resolution, based on the causes or situation that led to the suspension.

If the match has not yet begun, the organizing committee shall likewise decide how the game is to be played.

19. Match schedule

The Organizing Committee reserves the right to make alterations to the match schedule in regard to the division of groups, as well as time slots and playing fields. The person in charge of each team will be notified of such alterations with sufficient advance warning.

20. Tournament soccer balls

All 11-a-side soccer matches will be played with the official RFFM soccer ball, Kromex Karma no. 5.

All 7-a-side soccer matches will be played with the official RFFM soccer ball, Kromex Karma no. 4.

The organizing committee will not leave soccer balls out for warm-ups prior to the game, so each team must bring soccer balls for their warm-up exercises.

21. Insurance

 Affiliated teams are covered by the medical insurance provided by their federation’s mutual insurance provision. Spanish clubs registered with federations other than the Madrid Football Federation should refer to their own federation to confirm whether or not their participation will be covered by their insurance provision.

· The organizing committee recommends that international teams have a Travel Assistance Plan in place.

· In the event of injury during the tournament, the procedure for players covered by insurance provisions is as follows:

· The team delegate must inform the referee at the end of the match, so that the referee can mention the injury in the official match report (1), giving a brief description.

· If urgent medical assistance is required, the tournament ambulance staff must be notified, who will take the injured person to the associated medical center.

· MADCUP accepts no responsibility for the reporting of injuries, and the club of the injured player shall be responsible for providing the player with an injury report duly completed, signed, and sealed by the club itself.

· Compliance with this procedure is mandatory, and it is the responsibility of the club to ensure that all players, parents, guardians, coaches, and management accompanying its teams are aware of the procedure.

· Any costs arising from the failure to follow this procedure shall be payable by the relevant club.

· In the event of a player playing for a team that differs from the one stated on their license, the following steps should be taken:

 · Inform the relevant federation and insurance company, detailing the request of the club receiving the player and the express permission of the club releasing the player.

· In the event that, in a tournament match, a player is used from another team within the same club, and who was not registered, this must be stated for the record before the match.

Neither MADCUP nor Club Atlético de Madrid SAD, as tournament organizers, are responsible for any injuries, illnesses, losses or theft.

22. Players’ accreditation and documentation

All players must be accredited by an identification wristband to take part in MADCUP.

To obtain accreditation, an original document that proves the age of the player (ID card, NIE, passport or a photo driver’s license) is required. Players must pre-register on the PLAYERS LIST (private area to be accredited.

This list of players will be made available to all teams at the time of accreditation and will be presented by the team delegates to the tournament organizing committee before each match. It is expressly forbidden to register players once the relevant registration period has ended.

Players who do not pass age verification will not receive a wristband and will therefore be FORBIDDEN from taking part in any tournament matches. Age checks will be carried out EXCLUSIVELY by the organizing committee staff, and they must ALWAYS be passed before the first game that the player wishes to play.

In addition to the players’ wristbands and the list of participants, each team must bring documentation that proves the age of each player to every match. It may not be necessary to present this documentation, but it may be required in the event of any anomalies or complaints.

In the event that a player is sent off during a match (player sanction), the sanctioned team must SUBMIT DOCUMENTATION FOR ALL PARTICIPATING PLAYERS, identifying the player who received a sanction, and the field delegate will confirm the identity of each player.

The wristbands of each category will be a different color and the teams that have more than one team in the same category (teams A, B) will wear two wristbands, one indicating the category and the other indicating the letter of the team.

If a wristband breaks during a match, this must be noted in the match report, and it will be replaced by the organizing committee staff. If this event does not appear in the match report, a new wristband will need to be purchased for €5.

23. Blue card

The referee will show a blue card to any player, coach or team that displays any of the following behaviors, in the interests of ensuring fair play and helping to create an environment of sporting behavior and healthy competition:

1. A player admitting that they have committed misconduct and have shown interest in an opponent.

2. A player throwing the ball out when an opponent is on the ground.

3. A player/coach applauding the positive attitudes of spectators who help to promote fair play.

4. A player encouraging another after a failure, regardless of whether they are teammates or opponents.

5. A player congratulating a goalkeeper on their successes, regardless of whether they are a teammate or opponent.

6. A coach and/or visitors agreeing with the referee’s decisions.

7. The coach encouraging fair play and sporting behavior during the match.

8. A coach and/or visitor assisting an injured opponent.

9. Sporting and high-spirited spectators.

10. The winning team consoling the losing team, and the losing team congratulating the winning team at the end of the match.

24. Referees’ Fair Play Trophy

Referees, playing a key role in the progression of a soccer match, must also display a positive attitude and behavior and help to create a sporting environment. We have therefore organized a trophy for the referee who best represents the following values:

1. Respect: being respectful and polite at all times towards players, coaches and the organizing committee staff, successfully handling highly emotional moments that may occur during a match.

2. Dialogue: communicating with players, coaches and the organizing committee staff, explaining decisions simply and calmly, and requesting cooperation from the various parties in a constructive, rather than domineering, way.

3. Cooperation: helping organizing committee staff at all times to ensure that the tournament runs smoothly, as well as helping players and coaches whenever necessary, playing the role of a facilitator, rather than a “sanctioner”.

4. Discipline: demonstrating a good command of the situation, not getting upset easily, and maintaining a calm and peaceful behavior, including calming participants during high-tension moments. A good referee should know what to do to avoid any problems from escalating and should therefore earn respect and authority out of admiration, rather than enforcement.

5. Integrity: carrying out their role with a sense of normality, making sure not to exaggerate situations or misrepresent events in the match report, so that everyone sees them as a fair referee without having to fear unjust reprisals.

25. Taking appropriate Covid measures

Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, below are some additional regulations that apply to all teams, in application of the Covid protocol that governs the Community of Madrid, as well as that of the RFFM:

1. ACCESS TO FACILITIES: The protocols for accessing all facilities must be adhered to. These are reflected in the annex that will be published for the knowledge of all attendees and participants.

2. REQUEST FOR POSTPONEMENT: Due to the competition structure, matches will NOT be postponed. In the event of a no-show, the missing team will forfeit their match 3-0.

3. PLAYER LINE-UP: Players from other Club teams who have competed in the same category, either in the same group or in a different one, may not play in another match, not even for reasons due to Covid.

4. HYDRATION: Coaches will be responsible for ensuring that their players comply with current Covid regulations, including preventing their players from sharing drinks or meals. Each participant will be given an individual bottle in the tournament Welcome Pack.

5. USE OF BIBS: The organizing committee will not supply bibs. In the event that the kits of two competing teams match, the second team in the list must change their shirt color. If alternative shirts are not available, the opposing team must wear bibs, which will be placed on top of the numbered shirt.

6. All players and visitors must wear masks throughout their stay at the MADCUP facilities.

Sports, Education and Values

© MADCUP, S.L. All rights reserved

Legal notice


Calle de Dr. Ramón Castroviejo, 63
28035 Madrid