- The tournament is the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens.
- The tournament is organised by the Hong Kong Football Club in conjunction with the Hong Kong Football Association and will be played in accordance to FIFA Laws of the Game except as amended within these rules and regulations.
- The tournament comprises matches between teams of seven players per side on a pitch that is approximately 90 metres in length by 55 metres in width. There shall be no application of the offside law.
- The tournament is open to all clubs/teams, both local and overseas, that have been invited by the Organising Committee.
- All participating teams should note that by accepting an invitation to participate in this tournament, they are deemed to accept and agree to abide by the Rules and Regulations of the Tournament as contained.
- The 2016 tournament will take place at the Hong Kong Football Club on Friday 20 May, Saturday 21 May and Sunday 22 May 2016. The draw is made by the Organising Committee, which reserves the right to seed teams at their discretion.
- Each team in the Main competition is all allowed to register a maximum of 10 players. Each team in the Masters competition is all allowed to register a maximum of 11 players. Their names must be registered on prescribed forms and handed to tournament officials before or at the briefing meeting held on Friday 20 May 2016.
- The tournament will be played on the following basis:
Main Cup, Shield and Plate competitions
The Main Tournament will involve 16 teams and will be played initially on a league phase followed by a knockout phase.
The league phase will comprise four groups each containing four teams.
Each team will play the other teams in their respective groups on Saturday 21 May. All matches in the Main Cup, Plate and Shield knockout competitions shall be played on Sunday 22 May.
The top two teams in each league will proceed to the quarter-finals of the Main Cup knockout competition. The third and fourth teams in each league will proceed to the quarter-finals of the Main Plate knockout competition. The Main Shield knockout competition will be contested by the losing quarter-finalists in the Main Cup knockout competition and will only consist of semi-finals and a final.
While there is no upper age limit applied to the participants in the Main Tournament, participants must have reached the age of 16 by 1 January 2016.
Masters Cup and Plate competitions
The Masters Tournament will involve 10 teams and will be played initially on a league phase followed by a knockout phase.
The league phase will comprise two groups each containing five teams.
Each team will play the other teams in their respective groups on Friday 20 May and Saturday 21 May. All matches in the Masters Cup and Plate knockout competitions shall be played on Sunday 22 May.
The top two teams in each group will proceed to the semi-finals of the Masters Cup knockout competition. The third-placed teams in each group will proceed to the final of the Masters Plate knockout competition.
Each 11-man squad is allowed up to five participants aged from 35 to 39 as of Friday 20 May 2016, while all other members of the squad must be aged 40 or over on Friday 20 May 2016. (A squad may contain more than five players aged 40 or over.)
- The match schedule will be announced on the official website, www.hksoccersevens.com, in advance of the tournament.
- Team sheets for each game must be handed to tournament officials at least 10 minutes before the kick-off of each and every game using the tournament team sheet pro forma. Team sheets shall contain the full names of all players and their shirt numbers. The team sheet shall identify separately the seven players who are to start each game and those who are available as substitutes. The registration officials will be located at the announcers’ desk in the main stand.
- Substitutions will be allowed at any time during a game up to a maximum of three players only. Substitutes shall enter the field of play at the halfway line after the player they are replacing has left the field of play. The players so substituted cannot re-enter the field for that particular game.
- No players are allowed to play for more than one team for any reason whatsoever.
- In all league games, points will be awarded as follows:
Win – 3 points
Draw – 1 point to each team
Loss – 0 points
- If two or more teams tie for a place in the league tables, the team with the highest goal difference will be placed higher in the table. Should there still be a tie after applying this rule, the team with the highest number of goals for will be placed higher in the table. Should there still be a tie between two teams after applying this rule then the team placing in any league will be decided by a sudden-death playoff between four players as described in Rule 20 (below). If more than two teams are tied after applying the above rules then league placings shall be decided by sudden-death penalty kicks.
- Each league game will last seven minutes each half with a one-minute break at half-time.
- In the knockout phase of the Main Cup and Shield competitions, all games will last 10 minutes each half with a two-minute break at half-time.
- 17. In the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Main Plate competition and semi-finals of the Masters Cup competition, the games will last seven minutes each half with a one-minute break at half-time.
- 18. All finals of all competitions – Main Cup, Main Shield, Main Plate, Masters Cup and Masters Plate – will last 10 minutes each half with a three-minute break at half-time.
- 19. Timekeeping for each game will be at the sole discretion of the referee in charge for that particular game.
- 20. In the event of a draw at the final whistle of any knockout game in the Main Cup and Shield competitions (ie. excluding the Plate Competition) and Masters Cup competition, extra-time will be played.
The extra-time played will be a sudden-death playoff between four players from each of the two teams for a time period of up to a maximum of four minutes with the ‘golden goal’ rule applying, i.e. the first team to score will be declared the winner.
Any four players from the registered squad of 10 can be selected to start in the sudden-death extra-time period.
If a player has been sent off in normal time prior to extra-time he is ineligible to play in the extra-time or in the advent of a penalty shootout. The team that has not had a player sent off will carry forward a one-man advantage in the extra-time enabling them to field five players instead of four. Substitutions are not permitted within the period of sudden-death extra-time apart from in the event of an injury to a player.
The kick-off in a sudden-death playoff will be by way of a ‘drop-ball’ at the centre line.
If there is no score at the end of the four minutes, the winner will be decided by penalty kicks.
- For all knockout games in the Main Cup and Shield competitions and the Masters Cup final, if extra-time has not produced a winner, the winner will be decided by penalty kicks. The penalty kick format shall comprise each side taking five penalty kicks with the greatest score after each side has taken five penalty kicks determining the winner. In the event of a draw after each side has taken five penalty kicks, a sudden-death penalty kick format shall apply, i.e. the first team to miss a penalty after both teams have taken an equal number of penalty kicks shall lose and the other team will be declared the winner.
For the Masters Cup semi-finals, if extra-time has not produced a winner, the winner will be decided by sudden-death penalty kicks (format as Rules 22 and 23).
- For all knockout matches in the Main Plate and Masters Plate competitions, all games that are level at the end of regulation time will be decided by sudden-death penalty kicks (i.e. no ‘golden goal’ extra time and no five penalty-kick format.)
- For all games decided by the penalty kick format, any one of the registered players is eligible to take a penalty kick with the exception of any player(s) who has been sent off. In this case the opposing team may nominate corresponding player(s) to opt out from taking a penalty. No player can take a second penalty until all of the remaining players in that squad have taken a penalty.
- Times shown on the draw are indicative only. The tournament normally can run ahead of schedule. Team managers and captains are advised to be available at all times and to check with tournament officials on the next scheduled game.
- Team officials are responsible for getting their team on the field by the time shown on the draw or as advised by the tournament officials. Five minutes grace for late arrivals may be permitted at the discretion of the tournament officials, but after this time has elapsed the team on the field ready to play will receive a walkover with three match points and two goals for. A minimum of five registered players must be on the field for a match to commence.
- If a player is shown a red card by the referee, he will be suspended from the subsequent game in which his team plays. Any player accumulating two red cards will be banned from the tournament. Any player accumulating two yellow cards will be suspended for the next game. Thereafter, any player who has already received two yellow cards and a match suspension will receive a match suspension for any other yellow card shown to him during the day’s play. There will be no carry over of yellow cards from the league phase to the knock out phase, i.e. all players commence Sunday’s play with no yellow cards on their record.
- All matches will be officiated by the Hong Kong Football Referees Association. Their decision on the field is final and no appeal against their decision will be entertained.
28 In the event of clash of kit colours, the first-named team in the draw shall change. Teams are expected to bring two full kits of contrasting colours for the tournament. No team will be allowed to play without jerseys or with unnumbered jerseys.
- 29. The Organising Committee reserves the right to alter the format of the tournament due to inclement weather conditions.
- All disputes, queries or objections not covered by the above rules shall be referred to the Organising Committee whose decisions shall be final and binding.
- The Hong Kong Football Club officials and employees and the Soccer Sevens Organising Committee accept no responsibility for any damage or loss or injury caused to participant players or spectators during the duration of the tournament.
- Clubs/teams are strongly advised to ensure that their players are adequately insured. The Hong Kong Football Club, however, will provide touchline physiotherapy assistance when and if required and a tournament doctor will be in attendance during all three days of competition.
- In the event of an injury to a goalkeeper, the Organising Committee, at their discretion, may allow a replacement goalkeeper to be registered during the tournament.