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Area 2J Tournament & Which R256 Teams Are Going

Each Fall season, Area 2J holds a post-season tournament to determine which teams will get to represent the Area at the Section 2 tournament in Foster City the second weekend in December. The Area 2J tournament is a two-day tournament, with Saturday being pool-play to determine team seeding. Teams will play two or three games on Saturday, depending on how many teams and pools there are, so plan on being there for several hours. On Sunday there is a single-elimination bracket (win or go home) that is used to determine the finishing order of the teams. This means teams will play at least one game and could play up to four games on Sunday. Since there are several teams, the tournament is broken into two weekends, with the 10U and 14U age divisions playing before Thanksgiving, and the 12U age division playing the first weekend in December.

All regions are offered at least one spot in each of the divisions: 10U-B, 10U-G, 12U-B, 12U-G, 14U-B and 14U-G. Beyond those spots, different methods are used for the 12U and 14U divisions to determine which regions get to send additional teams. The maximum number of teams accommodated for each division are:
  • 10U - 12 teams (12 boys and 12 girls)
  • 12U - 12 teams (12 boys and 12 girls)
  • 14U - 8 teams (8 boys and 8 girls)

Which Region 256 teams are allowed to attend the Area 2J tournament is determined by a few factors. One is what place the teams come in based on matches against other teams within our region. How we determine the placing of teams depends on the division and the number of teams in each division. This is explained in detail further down on this page. The team that is in 1st place will have the first option of going to the Area 2J tournament (if there are no other issues). If that team can not make it, then the option is given to the 2nd place team, and so on. The rosters of the teams can not change for the tournament. That is, a team can not add a player from another team for the tournament.

However, more important than team placing is team behavior. And by team, we are referring to the players, coaches and spectators. Teams that we send to the Area 2J tournament are representing our region, and we will not send teams that we feel will reflect poorly on us. This means that things like poor sportsmanship, abusive behavior, foul language, and other aspects can bar a team from the Area 2J tournament even if they are the strongest team in our region. 

Below you will find information on how we determine which teams advance to the Area 2J tournament, the location and dates of the tournament, and what the coaches will need for the tournament.

Determining which Region 256 12U and 14U teams go to the Area 2J tournament

For the 12U and 14U divisions, our region uses the teams' head-to-head records against each other to determine their finishing order (1st place, 2nd place, ...) within our region - the records against other Area 2J teams do not count. However, if Area 2J offers at-large spots for these divisions, then the Area ranking, which takes into account the records against teams from other regions, will come into play in order for us to send additional teams to the tournament. For the 14U division, each region automatically sends one team to the Area 2J tournament and additional teams are determined by the Area ranking.

If we have only two teams for a division (e.g. 12U-B) they will play each other at least twice. If they play each other more than twice, only the final two matches will be used to determine the finishing order. If they each win one of those matches, then the last head-to-head match will be extended. There will be two additional 5-minutes halves, with a 5 minute break at the half. The score at the beginning of the extended play time will be 0-0. If the teams are tied at the end of the additional play time, then kicks-from-the-penalty-mark will be used to determine the ultimate winner.

If we have more than two teams, then each team will play the other teams in our region once. We will use a points system as described in the next section to determine the team placings.

Determining which Region 256 10U teams go to the Area 2J tournament

For the 10U division, we will use one of two formats to determine which teams get to go to the Area 2J tournament:
  • One-day tournament, separate weekends for 10U-B and 10U-G
    • On one weekend, teams will play in a Region 256-only tournament where each team plays the other teams once. The games will be shorter than normal (40 minutes)
  • Multi-day tournament, spread across multiple Saturdays
    • On successive weekends, the results of the games will be recorded. The games will be of normal time length (50 minutes)
A 10-point scoring system will be used. Points are awarded based on:
 Win 6 points
 Tie 3 points
 Loss 0 points
 Forfeit 7 points
 Shutout 1 point
 Goals scored 1 point per goal scored, with a max of 3 points 
 0 - 0 tie 1 point added for each team for a shutout

The maximum number of points a team can earn for a game is 10 points: 6 for a win + 3 for goals scored + 1 for a shutout.

If two or more teams have the same total accumulated points, the tie-breakers are:
  • Head-to-head competition
  • Fewest goals allowed
  • Greatest number of goals scored, up to a maximum of five goals per game
  • Kicks from the penalty mark according to FIFA laws if both teams are present
  • Coin flip
For the 2018 fall season we are using 10U format #2. For 10U-B we will be using the games on October 6, October 13, October 20, October 27, and November 3 and only the 10U-B vs 10U-B matches will count. For 10U-G we will be using the games on October 20, October 27, and November 3 and only the 10U-G vs 10U-G matches will count. 

Region 256 teams advancing to the 2018 Area 2J tournaments

Coaches - please don't share the allotment information with your teams until after the final meaningful match of the season is played. For 12U, that would be the final match of the season. For 10U, it would be after the results of our region's 10U tournament. We want to players to really compete for the #1 spot for their division.

We have been allotted two 10U-B spots and two 10U-G spots. 
The standings of the 10U teams can be found by clicking here.

We have been allotted one 12U-B spot and two 12U-G spots. There is one 12U-B at-large spot. As already mentioned, for at-large spots, the area-wide records (that is, all matches played for the season) are used to determine which team(s) receives the spot(s). There are only 12 12U-G teams, so all teams are given a spot in the tournament.

We only have one 14U-B team and one 14U-G team, so both teams will participate.

The 10U teams that have the option of advancing to the 10U Area 2J tournament are:
  • Boys: 10U-B3 and 10U-B2
    • Alternates: 10U-B4, 10U-B1, 10U-B5
  • Girls: 10U-G2 and 10U-G1
    • Alternate: 10U-G3

New Blow-out Rule for 2018

Starting in 2018, the Area 2J tournament is enacting a blow-out rule. A blow-out is defined as a match who's goal differential is greater than five (5) goals. One penalty point will be deducted from the winning team's points for every goal over a five-goal differential. Thus, if a team wins 7-0, instead of being awarded 10 points for the win, it will receive a two-point deduction and will only receive 8 points. Referees will make note of intentional own-goals to help prevent gaming the system. That is, if a team goes up by six goals and then intentionally scores an own-goal to avoid a penalty point, the referee will make note of it and the team will still receive the point deduction. Likewise, if a team is losing by five goals and intentionally scores an own-goal in order to increase the differential to six goals, the referee will make note of it and the winning team will not be penalized a point.

Locations and dates of the 2018 Area 2J tournaments

For 2018, the Area 2J tournament locations and dates are:
  • November 17 - 18 for 10U and 14U
    • The 10U location is Congress Springs Park
    • The 14U location is Creekside Park
  • December 1 - 2 for 10U and 14U
    • The 10U location is Congress Springs Park
    • The 14U location is TBD (possibly still Creekside Park, but that is uncertain)
  • December 1 - 2 for 12U
    • The 12U location is Congress Springs Park
NOTE: Due to the unstable air quality forecasts for the area, the November 17 - 18 tournaments have been moved to December 1 - 2.

Location addresses:
  • Congress Springs Park, 12970 Glen Brae Drive, Saratoga, CA 95070
  • Creekside Park, 10455 Miller Ave, Cupertino, CA 95014

Starting in 2017, every other year we will be hosting the 14U tournament. When we do, we will need volunteers to help that weekend. Please let us know if you are available to help. Items we will need help with:
  • Measuring and lining a 14U-sized field on field 1
  • Preparing the park by collecting trash and weed-wacking
  • Attendants at the check-in table
  • Score card runners to collect the completed match cards from the referees and to deliver match cards for the next match on each field
  • Help with the Snack Shack
  • Help emptying trash cans and installing new trash bags 

What coaches need for the Area 2J tournament

There are specific items that each team coach must have when attending the tournament:
  • Player registration forms
  • Team photograph
    • The photograph must have all players. If a player is missing and a second team picture was taken on make-up picture day, bring both team photographs
    • Alternatives: student picture ID, yearbook with player's picture and name, other picture with RC's signature to certify how the player is
  • Team roster, in jersey-number order (not alphabetical order), signed by the Regional Commissioner
  • From four (4) to seven (7) line-up cards already filled out in jersey-number order. The number of line-up cards depends on the format being used for the division. Check the tournament rules in effect for the current season.
Ideally, all of the above items will be placed into a coach's binder.

There is also a mandatory coaches' meeting held prior to the first tournament date. Teams who's coaches do not attend, or do not have a representative attend, will be penalized two points.

The date and time for the 2018 meeting has not been determined yet.

JustAl Gm,
Oct 13, 2016, 12:27 AM