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As the 2015 High School season comes to a close, many of us will be working high school tournament games for the next 4 weeks.  It's always a good time to THOROUGHLY read the tournament rules and ask questions about things you're not sure about now before your games.  Remember, our job is to a) keep the games fair, b) keep the games safe, and c) maximize enjoyment of players and fans.  Don't forget it's an HONOR to work these games, act like it is - and have fun and smile!


Here are the 2015 Ohio High School tournament rules in their entirety


Some of the more important highlights are (read the whole doc please!):

Tournament Overtime Procedures

  • When the score is tied at the end of regulation time, the referee will instruct both teams to return to their respective team benches. There will be five minutes during which both teams may confer with their coaches and the head referee will instruct both teams as to proper procedures.
  • Prior to the first overtime period, a coin toss shall be held as in Rule 5-2-2 (d)(3).
  • Teams will play one 15-minute sudden victory overtime period. If neither team scores during the first overtime period, teams will play a second 15-minute sudden victory overtime period.
  • If neither team scores during the first 15-minute overtime period, teams shall alternate the kickoff  and change ends for the second overtime period.
  • There shall be a two-minute interval between periods.
  • If neither team scores during the second overtime period, all coaches, officials and team captains, following a two minute interval, shall assemble at the halfway line to review the procedures for a penalty kick shootout

Tournament Kicks from the Mark Procedures

  • The head referee shall choose the goal at which all of the penalty kicks shall be taken based upon field and weather conditions.
  • Per Rule 1-6-1, spectators shall be confined to areas at least 10 feet from the touch line, team/official area and goal line. No one shall be permitted directly behind either goal unless seated in bleachers
  • The coin toss shall be held as in Rule 5-2-2 (d)(3) and the team winning the coin toss will have the choice of kicking first or second.
  • Prior to commencement of each set of penalty kicks, each coach will submit a list of five kickers by name, number, and sequence (i.e. first through the fifth) to the head referee. Substitution for a kicker is only permitted for injury or as provided for in “Misconduct Procedures,” and must be coordinated through the head referee.
  • Teams will alternate kickers.
  • The ball may not played by anyone except the goalkeeper after it has been kicked. There is no follow-up.
  • During all tie-breaker penalty kicks, the ball remains alive until its momentum is spent, it goes out of bounds or it is retouched by the kicker.
  • The defending team may change the goalkeeper prior to each kick.
  • The tie-breaker procedure initially requires a maximum of five kicks per team. The team scoring the greater number of goals from their kicks shall be declared the winner. Where a team has taken fewer than five kicks and has already scored a greater number of goals than their opponent can score if that opponent is permitted to take all five of its kicks, the tie-breaker procedure is terminated and the winner is declared to be the team which has already scored the greater number of goals.
  • Sudden victory begins with the second set of kicks, wherein if one team scores and the other teams does not score, the game is ended without more kicks being taken.
  • Both teams are permitted on the field, along the halfway line, during taking of kicks from the penalty mark. Kickers of each team must remain within the center circle, until called for their kick. Coaches and nonkicking, rostered players shall remain along the halfway line. The home team shall occupy the halfway line closer to the touchline on the bench side, while the visiting team shall occupy the halfway line closer to the opposite touchline.


Selection of Kickers for Kicks from the mark

  • Eligible Players – Players eligible to participate in the penalty kick shootout include the goalkeeper and any players on or off the field, except those who may have been disqualified or ejected.
  • Each coach will select five players per set of kicks based upon the following guidelines:
    1 1st set of 5 - All eligible players - All 10 players kick (5 per team)
    2 2nd set of 5 - All eligible players except those who participated in the 1st set - SUDDEN VICTORY
    3 3rd set of 5 - All eligible players - SUDDEN VICTORY
    4 4th set of 5 - All eligible players except those who participated in the immediately preceding set - SUDDEN VICTORY
    If a tie still remains, repeat steps 3 and 4 until a winner is determined

Warm Up Time and Timing

  • Both teams are guaranteed a minimum of 30 minutes of uninterrupted warm-up time - The 30 minute clock will begin 40 minutes prior to kickoff, guaranteeing the minimum 30 minute warm-up.
  • Both teams may be permitted access to the field one (1) hour prior to kickoff (presuming there is not another match immediately prior).
  • The remaining 10 minutes prior to kickoff will be utilized for the sportsmanship conference, coin toss, pre-game introductions, and the national anthem.
  • A sample pre-game schedule is as follows for a 7:00 pm kickoff:
    6:00 pm Teams permitted to take the field (if available)
    6:20 pm 30 minute clock starts
    6:20 pm Guaranteed 30 minutes of uninterrupted warm-up time begins
    6:50 pm Uninterrupted warm-up time is concluded
    6:50 pm Pre-Match Sportsmanship Conference, Coin Toss, Pre-Game Introductions, National Anthem
    7:00 pm Kickoff