Official Rules for the Steve Nash Foundation Charity Shield


Ball :  The ball used will be a size 5 standard soccer ball, or such ball as is provided for use by the Steve Nash Foundation (hereinafter “SNF”).  All balls shall be provided by SNF; no outside ball is permitted in match play without the express permission of the Charity Shield Commissioners.

Players and Teams :  A player must be at least 21-years of age to register for the Charity Shield; limited exceptions are solely at the discretion of SNF.  A match shall be played by two (2) teams of registered players as formed by SNF.  No player shall be permitted to participate without registering for the Charity Shield with SNF.  Each team will field five (5) players at a time.  A team may have as few as five (5) and as many as eight (8) players in the squad.  Rolling substitutions are in effect, thus a team may rotate their players on the field as many times as they wish, but substitutions are allowed only at a dead ball.  Note that some Charity Shield teams may have no permanent substitute players assigned, but will be provided substitute players on an as-needed, per-match basis.  Provision of substitute players is at the discretion of the Commissioners and SNF; it’s our goal to avoid disqualification of a team should one of its players no-show, be injured, or be otherwise unavailable.  SNF will make best efforts to provide substitutions fairly, using substitute players of equal caliber across all teams; in the event that a team is provided a substitute by SNF, SNF may, in its sole discretion, offer the opposing team a substitute of equal caliber.  Note that players are not permitted to change teams, to recruit other players to change teams, or to otherwise alter rosters without the express permission of the Commissioners; any player or group of players engaging in roster manipulation of any kind is subject to penalty, including but not limited to immediate disqualification.

Equipment :  All registered players will be issued a Charity Shield jersey, for which they will be responsible upon receipt, and which must be worn and visible at all times during competition.  Appropriate footwear must be worn to participate in any Charity Shield match. This includes, but is not limited to, tennis shoes, running shoes, indoor or outdoor soccer shoes, or cleats; flip flops, work boots, and other non-athletic shoes are not appropriate for play.  Screw-in studded footwear is not permitted.  The wearing of any form of jewelry, including but not limited to watches, earrings, necklaces, nose rings, belly rings, is not permitted during play (please leave it at home; SNF and the Charity Shield shall not be responsible for any loss or theft of valuables, and no lockers are provided for use during the Charity Shield).  Shoes will not be provided.  The wearing of shin guards is strongly recommended — note that shin guards will not be provided – any player who does not wear shin guards does so at their own risk.  At the final discretion of the Commissioner, the Charity Shield may refuse to allow players to participate with inappropriate footwear, and/or wearing any form of jewelry.  Let’s keep this safe, people!

Timekeeper :  In every Charity Shield match, the appointed referee will act as timekeeper and scorer, with Charity Shield volunteers serving as assistants where needed.

Pool Play : Each team shall play a minimum of four (4) games in Pool Play matches to begin the tournament, with the top two (2) finishing teams from each pool advancing to the Shield Rounds.  Tie results are permitted in Pool Play.  For the purposes of selecting the top two finishing teams from each pool, a point system shall govern rankings, with three (3) points awarded to a team for a win, and one (1) point awarded for a tie. Ranking of teams for the Shield Rounds will be based first on team points; in the event of a tie ranking, the secondary determination will be head-to-head results.  Any further tie shall be resolved by a coin toss.

Shield Play-off Rounds : Games tied at the end of regulation shall be extended by one (1) 5-minute extra time period; if the score remains tied at the end of the 5-minute period, each team shall receive three (3) penalty kicks to determine the winner.  If at the end of the first three penalty kicks the score remains tied, teams shall receive successive single penalty kicks in equal distribution until a winner is determined.

Duration of Game :  Charity Shield Pool Play matches will be approximately fifteen (15) minutes in length, with an additional approximate five (5) minutes of warm-up time prior to the match, or a similar length as announced prior to the tournament start by the referees.  Following Pool Play, the Shield Round matches, including the Charity Shield Final, shall be approximately twenty (20) minutes in length, with an additional approximate five (5) minutes of warm-up time prior to the match, or a similar length as announced prior to the tournament start by the referees.  Pool Play and Shield Round matches played without a half-time break are played in the same direction for the entire match.  Players shall be responsible for their own cool-down off of the fields of play, and we appreciate you clearing the field as quickly as possible following the conclusion of a match.  No half-time breaks are provided for any match except the Charity Shield Final, which may be divided into two approximate (2) ten-minute halves at the discretion of the referees.

Start of Play :  In all Charity Shield matches, the referee shall conduct a coin toss between the opposing captains prior to the match.  The team winning the toss shall choose between being awarded either (a) choice of playing ends or (b) possession at mid-field; the team losing the coin toss shall have the remaining option.  The game shall be restarted after a goal is scored by the scored-upon team having mid-field possession.  

Ball In and Out of Play :  In all Charity Shield matches, the ball shall be in play at all times, apart from the following: (a) the entire ball crosses a field boundary line; (b) the entire ball crosses the goal line; (c) the referee has given the signal for half time or the end of the game; or (d) the game has been stopped for any other reason, i.e., a foul.  Play shall be restarted with an indirect free kick by the team awarded possession.  On restarts, the player that kicks in the ball may not play the ball again until it has been touched by another player. 

Offside :  There is no offside. Players may place themselves in any area of the field outside the goal/penalty areas (see below).

Fouls and Misconduct : This is a charity soccer tournament!  Let’s keep it clean and safe for everyone.  Charging and/or sliding tackles are forbidden and shall be penalized by the awarding of an indirect free kick, with the offending athlete removed from the game at the discretion of the referee.   If, in the opinion of the referee, a team is intentionally delaying a restart, the referee may immediately switch possession and award the restart to the opposing team, which shall restart by indirect free kick.  All other intentional fouls will be penalized with a direct free kick, and, at the sole discretion of the referee (who may consult with the Commissioners), the offending player may be ejected from the game, and, upon second offense, the Charity Shield tournament with no replacement player provided for his or her team.  We count on you to make this a fun tournament, and to help everyone experience respect and safe play in a competitive environment.

Play Within the Goal/Penalty Area :  Only the defending goalkeeper is allowed to play the ball inside the goal area and only he or she may handle the ball in this area.  An outfield player gaining or seeking to gain an advantage by entering his own goal area will have a penalty kick awarded against his team.  An outfield player entering his or her opponent’s penalty area will be penalized with loss of possession; the match will be re-started from the goalkeeper.  A goalkeeper may play the ball outside the area, but shall not be allowed use of hands while outside the area.  A goalkeeper must return the ball into play by rolling it out of his or her area with an under-arm bowling action; if the ball is returned any other way, the referee may award a free-kick to the opposing team two meters outside the area.  A teammate receiving the ball from the goalkeeper may not return the ball directly to that goalkeeper – the ball must first be touched by another teammate or an opponent — or a free kick will be awarded against the offending team.

Goal Kicks : Goal kicks are taken from a point on the goal line itself, on either side of the goal. The goal kick is immediately “live” and playable by either team, so long as the opposing team is six yards away from the ball at the moment the restart takes place.

Commissioners at Play :  The Charity Shield Commissioners are volunteers here to support SNF in a fun, competitive day of soccer.  They may also be players in the Charity Shield.  Any decision regarding a Commissioner’s team will be made by a Commissioner not involved in the match in question; where no such Commissioner exists (i.e., both are participating against each other in the match), final rulings will be made by SNF.

In an effort to promote fair play and a wildly fun time, any violation of the Official Rules may, at the discretion of the Commissioners, result in a player’s disqualification from the Charity Shield tournament.

Team Owners : Team Owners must be 21 years of age and older.  Team Owners shall be assigned at Shield Friday Night, the night before the Charity Shield tournament.  Only those individuals that have registered as Owners with SNF shall be eligible to win prizes allocated for Owners.  Owners may also register to play on a Charity Shield team if available (player registration is conducted separately at, and may also serve as Owner of their own team; players may also join together to own their team, and be afforded the benefits of a Team Owner.  Only Team Owners that have registered as a player shall be allowed on the field of play; Owners who have not registered to play are welcome (and encouraged!) to watch from the sidelines.  The Owner of the winning team, if not present, will be notified by email or cell phone provided (and offered the opportunity to opt out from future communications from SNF).

Thanks for being on the pitch with us!  Let the games begin . . . .


Release : By participating in the Charity Shield in any capacity, participants acknowledge that they are doing so at their own risk, and that no insurance is provided for any injuries or other harm sustained during or connected to any event associated with the Charity Shield.  By your participating, you hereby release the Steve Nash Foundation (SNF), its officers, employees and directors, and all individuals and entities associated with the Charity Shield, including but not limited to venues, from any and all liability connected to your participation.  All Charity Shield participants further agree and consent to being filmed, interviewed or otherwise recorded during the events; participation in and attendance at the Charity Shield signifies your grant to SNF of the absolute and unrestricted right and permission in perpetuity to use and publish, re-use and re-publish, reproduce, distribute, display and register or grant the copyright in photographs, portraits, pictures, sketches, drawings, videos, films, or any likeness of me or in which I may be included, in whole or in part, without restriction, in any media, including but not limited to print, broadcast and electronic, for art, advertising, trade or other purpose beneficial to the work and promotion of SNF.  Your participation further signifies your agreement that SNF shall hold all rights to the images, and your waiver of any rights to the images, and your release, discharge and agreement to hold harmless SNF, its directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents, and the same of their respective assigns from any liability arising from the use of your name, likeness, image or performance.