Amended & Updated on April 17, 2021
(added COVID Guidelines on August 30, 2021)
*A visiting team should follow the host team and/or facility policies related to participant and spectator access
-If policies place a game at risk of a no contest, the team(s) should contact league representatives to assist with the matter
*Host team’s responsibility is to provide detailed information of university COVID protocols.
Results and Rankings
*Traditional Forfeit (No-Show/Late Cancel) = Traditional Penalty
*COVID Cancellation = No Contest (each event will be case by case)----Must be verified by University Representative
-If not verified within 3-5 business days of competition, recorded as a traditional forfeit
*Traditional Standings and Power Rankings will be conducted (I.e., most points wins the division and power rankings qualifies for nationals however in the event a no contest occurs the following rules will apply)
---In the event a no contest occurs during the regular season, MASC Standings will be determined by average points per game (i.e. 1-0-1 = 4 points/2 games played = 2.0 average)
---In the event a no contest occurs during the regular season, MASC Power Points will be determined by average power points per game
(i.e. 27 points accumulated over 4 games gives them an average score of 6.75)
*Regional Tournament team eligibility should follow the National Tournament standard
-MASC leadership reserves the ability to determine the minimum number of games to qualify for the Midwest Alliance Cup. This will be determined at the conclusion of the regular season. This will be determined by MASC administration and the Rules Committee.
*Traditional minimum of four (4) games played to qualify for Nationals
*The MASC Administration reserves the right to use Section XIII of the League Policies to act in the best interest of the conference.
Section I - Membership
Membership in the Midwest Alliance Soccer Conference (MASC) is restricted to accredited colleges and universities in the Mid-western area of the United States as designated by NIRSA's Region III, and may be revised on a yearly basis.
Section I - a. Player Risk
Each player or team official shall assume all risks, responsibilities and liabilities for loss, damage, injury or death to her/himself while using property and facilities of the MASC and whether such loss, damage, injury or death be occasioned by the team or by the league, its officers, agents or otherwise.
Section II - Affiliation
The MASC is affiliated with the National Intramural and Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA). In accordance with the by-laws of NIRSA, membership in the MASC is restricted to four-year accredited colleges and universities.
Section III - Annual Dues
The league fee for membership in the MASC is $450.00. This fee will cover the costs of the annual Conference Tournament, administrative overhead, and other league matters. League dues of $450 will be due at the Presidents’ Meeting. Fees not received by the date of the Presidents' meeting will incur a $100 late fee. For each subsequent late month, an additional $50 late fee will be assessed. Clubs may pay via cash, check, Pay Pal or Square. Clubs will be required to pay any additional fees or charges if using PayPal or Square.
Section IV - Purpose
a. To provide an organizational structure for clubs who choose to join the league.
b. To establish League rules and recommend safety and risk management practices.
c. To publicize the options a club has if opponents to not adhere to League rules and recommend safety and risk management guidelines.
d. To organize a Regional Tournament which will act as the culmination for the MASC season. Organization will include:
i. Securing a location
ii. Providing a Tournament Structure
iii. Selecting clubs to participate in the tournament
iv. Securing officials and staff to work the tournament
v. Verifying tournament has appropriate insurance and medical staffing for the event
vi. Recording the results of the tournament
vii. Mitigating disputes from the tournament
e. To Collect dues from clubs or league entry to cover administrative costs, costs of the Midwest Alliance Cup, and awards for the tournament champions,
f. League will work on an annual basis to make sure the fees required of the clubs are appropriate for the expenses of the league.
g. To ensure all clubs are in good standing by participating in all required games, paying their dues, and adhering to Conference rules.
h. To provide a qualifying structure and recommend MASC teams for entry into the NIRSA National Soccer Championship Tournament.
i. The Midwest Alliance Cup will serve as the qualifying tournament for the NIRSA National Soccer Championship Tournament, Championship Division.
ii. The MASC Commissioner/Directors and NIRSA Regional Coordinators will make recommendations for open bids for the National Championship Tournament based on league and Midwest Alliance Cup play.
Section IV - a. - Board of Directors
The MASC is directed by a Board of Directors who lead and guide conference membership. The Board of Directors vote on a Conference Commissioner, who is to be elected every year and preside over all matters affecting the Midwest Alliance Soccer Conference. The Commissioner/Executive Director of the MASC may delegate specific authority or tasks to other league representatives and/or the Operations Director, who shall preside over a Rules Committee of league delegates. The Director of Finance shall make a financial report to League members at the annual spring scheduling meeting. An Assistant Director has duties and responsbilities to assist conference leadership. The Board will hold and meet monthly to review and discuss conference matters.
Section V - Scheduling and Game Management
By accepting membership in the MASC, each member school agrees to participate in all league matches, as scheduled and certified by the Commissioner. Changes to the MASC schedule may be made, with the consent of all affected schools, and the conference Commissioner. Failure to satisfy league game commitments may result in the levying of fines and suspension of membership for the team at fault. Each MASC member will play a eight (8) game schedule against common opponents in each division. All MASC league games will be posted on the IM-leagues website.
All league games need to be scheduled and played by 6:00PM Eastern Time on October 17th, 2021. For the 2021 season, the week of October 18th is reserved for games that have to be rescheduled (i.e. inclement weather, field conflicts). Universities on a Quarter schedule will have flexibility with this policy. The MASC Regular Season will conclude on October 24th, 2021 at 6:00PM Eastern Time. MASC members will play 8 league games. All 8 games will count towards the Division Standings and Power Ranking Points. In the event that additional teams join the Conference, clubs will maintain playing a 8 game regular season. The MASC office will determine club schedules for each respective team based on a random selection. In the event divisional clubs want to add extra games, only games scheduled by the league office will count towards schedules and Power Rankings. In the event that a MASC club voluntarily leaves the conference, the organization cannot be reinstated for two years for a primary university club and four years for an alternate university club.
Annual Presidents Meeting
All member teams are required to attend the Annual Presidents Meeting that is typically held in late March/early April. The Presidents Meeting will be held virtually, using Zoom or another web based platform. Important items requiring membership vote are discussed (expansion, policies, budget) as well as completion of league scheduling. Failure to attend the conference meeting without approval will result in a $100 fine and all conference games scheduled by league administrators.
Section V - a. Invitationals and Home Games
The host team of an invitational or home game is responsible for scheduling all game officials, scheduling fields, setting game times, and providing accommodation information. All games involving the host team will be paid for by the host team. Fees in games involving clubs other than host team will be spilt 50/50 by participating clubs. Payment should be sent to the host team within three weeks of the game(s).
Example of scenario: Team A hosts a weekend with Club B and Club C. Each team will play each other. Team A will pay for the officials/field costs for games involving Team A vs. Team B and Team A vs. Team C. The game between Team B vs. Team C will have fees spilt by the clubs involved.)
The host team is responsible for collecting official's fees and field costs (if any) in a timely manner. If a match between two non-host teams is not played because of failure of the host team to meet its responsibilities for scheduling a match or provision of game officials, the host team will be placed on probation and will not be allowed to host any conference games for the following season. In the case of a match being canceled because of the failure of a host team to meet its responsibilities or because of inclement weather, the match will be recorded as a 0-0 tie.
a. Home teams are recommended to provide a certified athletic trainer for all contests to respond injuries and provide preventative care as able pre-and post-game. Providing a certified athletic trainer is viewed as a best practice by the MASC.
b. Home teams are required to supply a First Aid Kit with basic First Aid equipment, exam gloves, wound pads, adhesive strips, antiseptic wipes, etc.
c. The home team must also supply ice bags for the treatment of injuries for both teams playing.
d. The home team’s insurance covers the match. Teams should work with their sport club coordinator or administrator to make sure they are meeting all insurance requirements for their school.
Section V - b. Officials
Game officials are the responsibility of the home team. Three (3) licensed officials should be present at every match. Failure to have at least two (2) qualified officials present during a home game will result in a forfeit by the home team. The host team of single game home matches is responsible for the scheduling of game officials and the costs of officials. In the event host clubs are negligent in scheduling game officials and or certified licensed officials; the MASC Administration has authority to change the location of league games for the current season, in addition to the following season. All games shall be played under NCAA college rules with exception for unlimited player substitutions (High School Rule).
Only currently registered NISOA, USSF, FIFA or high school certified referees shall officiate league-scheduled games.
The referee shall be the sole judge of all matters pertaining to the game. All NCAA law applies except where MASC or NIRSA modifications have been made.
Before the commencement of each game, the referee shall inspect the playing field and if its conditions render the field unsafe for players, he/she shall call the game off, notifying the two competing teams of his/her decision. Playing Fields should be a minimum of 110 yards in length and 70 yards in width (NCAA Field Regulations).
The referees shall be entitled to the fee when:
1.) They arrive at the field at the proper time.
2.) They arrive at the field at the proper time and the game has been canceled without proper notification.
All games will start within 30 minutes of the scheduled starting time. If a game does not begin within this period, the team at fault will be charged with a forfeit. Clubs are encouraged to accommodate teams during unforeseen circumstances. In the case of a determination of a forfeit, the Commissioner should be contacted immediately. Whenever possible, host teams should allow for a minimum break of two (2) hours between games for all invitational participants. League games shall consist of two, forty-five minute halves, whenever possible, with no overtime.
Section V- c. Home Match Obligations
Teams hosting invitational and/or home matches are expected to provide game information (i.e. date, time, game location, and playing surface type) to all participants a minimum of two (2) weeks prior to the scheduled contest. This should be flexible with clubs involved, as long as there is proper communication throughout. Game information needs to be emailed and/or telephoned to all participating teams and the league Commissioner. In the event that teams are not complying to the two week rule, the Commissioners office may place teams on probation and implement league sanctions.
Section V- d. Game Cancellations & Re-Scheduling
In the event a club either hosting or traveling to a league game has to cancel for various reasons, notification should be at a minimum of 72 hours before the scheduled match. If the cancellation is greater than this time frame, and expenses (fields, officials, hotels, etc.) are needed to be paid, the negligent club will still need to cover the expenses. The MASC encourages the best effort of both teams to reschedule the canceled game. However, if the game cannot be rescheduled, the negligent team will be charged with a forfeit and need to reimburse affected clubs. If a game has been scheduled, canceled, rescheduled and canceled again by the other team, the game will be ruled as a 0-0 tie. In all situations, the MASC Commission needs to be notified.
Section VI-Team Management, Team Rosters & Eligibility
Section VI - a. Team Management (Alternate University Clubs)
Universities can have membership for more than one club team (alternate club, “B”) with the following expectations:
An alternate club team must be registered with their University’s Sport Club or Recreational Sports Department. Club status with their university must be for a minimum of two seasons before MASC membership will be granted. Alternate clubs will be operated, governed and reside with complete separation from their University’s established club.
Alternate Club Additional Guidelines:
i. Clubs can hold tryouts together.
ii. Once clubs are established, teams cannot hold practice with one another.
iii. Clubs may not participate in more than two “Friendlies” Scrimmages during the official MASC Season. The MASC Season typically is from September 1st until the end of the NIRSA National Championship.
iv. Rosters are frozen. Athletes cannot transfer from club to club during the Fall Season.
v. Club Rosters will be submitted to the MASC League Office at the conclusion of tryouts, October 1st, and at the conclusion of Regular Season.
vi. In the event that any of the by-laws above are not followed, or an event occurs that is not covered above, the MASC can suspend and/or put on probation one/both parties involved.
Section VI - b. Team Rosters
Each team should consist of no more than 25 dressed players during each match. Play is also limited to no more than three (3) former varsity or former semi-pro athletes on their game roster. However, 30 players may be listed on the official team roster; Teams may carry more than three former varsity players, but only three may be used in individual league matches. At the MASC Regional Tournament, teams will be limited to a 25 man roster.
Section VI - c. Player Eligibility
All members of a team must be enrolled one-half of full-time enrollment as an undergraduate or 6 credits as a graduate student at the institution they represent, during the term/semester of the regular season.
Section VI - d. Former Varsity Players
Player eligibility shall be in full accordance with NIRSA policy, as outlined in the NIRSA Championship Series Eligibility Guidelines listed on the NIRSA website:
Section VI - e. NIRSA Championship Series Gender Policy
a. The NIRSA Championship Series expects participation to be based on one’s self-identified gender and that it is done in good faith and is consistent with a player’s expressed gender identity.
b. A participant’s gender identity will be applied when there are gender specific rules or player requirements for co-rec divisions.
i. Transgender individuals may play on the team that best matches their gender identity.
ii. The campus official who approves the team entry on the roster/player certification form should verify the gender indicated on the form is based on the participant’s self-identification and expressed gender identity, not purely on the sex indicated in official school records.
iii. Player eligibility will be based on the gender identified on the official team roster.
iv. NIRSA recognizes that, for many, coming to know one’s gender identity is not something that happens in an instant, it is a complex process that can occur over an extended period of time. Transgender participants are encouraged to communicate their gender identity with the campus official who is responsible for approving the team entry on the roster/player certification form, prior to the tournament registration deadline. Should the player not feel comfortable working with that campus official, the individual can contact the tournament director or the NIRSA Director of National Sport Programs and inform them of their status at least three business days prior to the tournament.
Section VI - f. Concussion Protocol: NIRSA AND THE MASC WILL FOLLOW THE NCAA RULE (APPENDIX D) IN REGARD TO CONCUSSIONS:
A concussion is a brain injury that may be caused by a blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with an “impulsive” force transmitted to the head. Concussions can occur without loss of consciousness or other obvious signs. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the previous one (hours, days or weeks) can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in brain swelling, permanent brain damage, and even death.
Recognize and Refer: To help recognize a concussion, watch for the following two events among your student-athletes during both games and practices:
1.) A forceful blow to the head or body that results in rapid movement of the head;
2.) Any change in the student-athlete’s behavior, thinking or physical functioning (see signs and symptoms).
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Signs Observed by Staff or Reported by Student-Athlete
• Appears dazed or stunned. • Is confused about position.
• Forgets plays. • Is unsure of game, score or opponent.
• Moves clumsily. • Answers questions slowly.
• Loses consciousness (even briefly). • Shows behavior or personality changes.
• Can’t recall events before hit or fall. • Can’t recall events after hit or fall.
• Headache or “pressure” in head. • Nausea or vomiting.
• Balance problems or dizziness. • Double or blurry vision.
• Sensitivity to light. • Sensitivity to noise.
• Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy. • Concentration or memory problems.
• Confusion. • Does not “feel right.”
An athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion, either at rest or during exertion, should be removed immediately from practice or competition and should not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health care professional. Sports have injury timeouts and player substitutions so that student-athletes can get checked.
IF A CONCUSSION IS SUSPECTED:
1.) Remove the student-athlete from play. Look for the signs and symptoms of concussion if your student athlete has experienced a blow to the head. Do not allow the student-athlete to just “shake it off.” Each athlete will respond to concussions differently.
2.) Ensure that the student-athlete is evaluated right away by an appropriate health care professional. Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Immediately refer the student-athlete to the appropriate medical staff, such as a certified athletic trainer, team physician or health care professional experienced in concussion evaluation and management.
3.) Allow the student-athlete to return to play only with permission from a health care professional with experience in evaluating for concussion. Allow athletics medical staff to rely on their clinical skills and protocols in evaluating the athlete to establish the appropriate time to return to play. A return-to-play progression should occur in an individualized, step-wise fashion with gradual increments in physical exertion and risk of contact. Follow the tournament concussion management protocol. (Any player that has experienced a concussion must have the clearance from the tournament medical staff prior to playing in future games.)
4.) Develop a game plan. Student-athletes should not return to play until cleared by the appropriate athletics medical staff. In fact, as concussion management continues to evolve with new science, the care is becoming more conservative and return-to-play time frames are getting longer. Coaches should have a plan that accounts for student-athletes to be out for at least the remainder of the day.
Guideline on Concussions or online at www.NCAA.org/health-safety and www.CDC.gov/Concussion.
Section VII- Uniforms
For all league matches, each team shall wear uniforms of matching color, design, and pattern. All jerseys (except those of goalkeepers) must be clearly and uniquely numbered on the back with numbers at least six inches in height. The color and length of each player's shorts and socks must be consistent with his teammates, and all players must wear shin-guards. When the uniforms of both teams are similar, the home team shall be required to change. Failure to comply with the league uniform policy may result in disciplinary action against the teams in violation. Each team attending a game should have one set of light and dark jerseys (numbered, t-shirt jerseys are acceptable).
Section VIII - Ejections
If an individual player is ejected from a league game then that player will be suspended from the next league game. If an individual player received three (3) ejections during one season, he will be suspended from league play for the remainder of the season. Two (2) yellow cards issued during one contest shall be equated as a red card disqualification and also result in a subsequent league game suspension. Club coaches/player-coaches shall follow under this same rule. This is a self-policing policy.
Section IX - Forfeitures
In the event a MASC member has to forfeit a game, the club would meet the following penalties:
1.) The club would be ineligible for the regional tournament.
2.) For each forfeited game, violating teams will be assessed a $100.00 fine, and possible restitution to affected team(s).
3.) Teams not complying with said policy may be subject to league suspension.
4.) Matches will be recorded as a 5-0 Forfeit (F) in the standings. In Power Rankings, a forfeit victory will count as 10 points.
Section X - Game Results and Standings
Each team will be responsible for reporting their game scores within 24 hours of each game. (The sooner the better) Games played should have posted on the IM-leagues website. It important that both the score and game result are posted. Standings will be determined on a point basis. A win will count as three points, a tie as one, and a loss as none. All league games will be included in the determination of conference standings. Each MASC member will play eight (8) regular season conference games.
a. Game Day Reports
Prior to the start of the game, each team representative will provide the referee and opposing team with a typed roster listing the registered players with numbers participating in the game. Team Representatives shall report to the league the results of the game, goal(s), list any cards that may have been issued-any violations of rules and regulations by either team. Both teams at the conclusion of the game are to report the results on the MASC IM-leagues website.
Section XI - Expansion
Expansion of the league will be subject to a majority vote by league members that are not on probation, and by referrals of the MASC Commissioner. Expansion teams will join divisions that make “geographic ”. The MASC office reserves the right to move clubs from one division to another in the best interest of the league.
a. Requirements for new members
New League Members and/or perspective members will be required to include the following and do the following before being considered for league membership.
i. Be a current registered organization with their respective University.
ii. Submit to the Midwest Alliance Soccer Conference the following information:
a. A detailed Club Constitution and or By-Laws including team membership, club dues, try-out information, and other pertinent information
b. A Club Budget describing club dues, travel expenses, fund-raising, etc.
c. Game Results of other teams that the club has played within the past two seasons.
d. Maintain constant communication with the MASC League office.
In the event that the club is a University’s second club, they have to be registered with their University for a minimum of two school years/ and or MASC League seasons. A prospective club will have a 2 Year “Incubation Period” in which the club will be a MASC Associate Member. During the Incubation Period, clubs will:
i. Attend the annual MASC Presidents’ Meeting in the Spring.
ii. Play a minimum of four friendlies with current MASC members. (Per Fall Season)
iii. Maintain communication with the MASC League office.
iv. Any new clubs will enter their respective Division, based on geographical location and school alignment.
b. First Year Clubs
Expansion teams will be subject to the following guidelines:
1.) A one year probationary period where the following will be considered to be inducted into the league:
a. Team Conduct
c. Maintaining League Responsibilities
2.) No voting rights for the probationary period;
3.) The forfeit of one or more league games during a probationary period will be grounds for removal from the league, at the discretion of the Commissioner.
Section XII- Postseason Play
The Midwest Alliance Cup Tournament will consist of sixteen (16) teams. The top two (two) teams from each division will qualify for the Midwest Alliance Cup. The “Wild Cards” or thirteen through sixteenth clubs will be determined by taking the top Power Ranking teams at the end of the Regular Season who did not qualify for the tournament. No more than one club per division can quaify for a Wild Card. All in all, three clubs can qualify for the tournament per division. In the event of a tie in the Power Rankings, the tie breaking formula will be used. Seedings for the tournament will then be determined by using the Power Rankings of the twelve division qualifiers first, then the Wild Cards will take the 13-16th seeds respectively.
In the event that the groupings have more than two clubs from the same division, league administration can:
1.) Re-position clubs in the 13th-16th seedings to avoid same division club opponents.
The two conference tournament co-champions will receive the league's first two automatic bids to the NIRSA National Championship Tournament. All additional bids will be determined by Power Ranking Points accumulated by totaling the 8 regular season games and all tournament games played. In the event a club declines a bid to the Regional Tournament, an alternate team will be selected upon Power Ranking Points of the remaining clubs. The team selected will assume the open tournament slot. In addition, a forfeiting club will be assessed a fine of $200.00.
The league will follow NIRSA tiebreaker rules as follows:
A tie in the regular season final standings will be resolved according to the following sequence:
1) "Head to Head" result
2) High Point Goal Differential (max +/- 5 points per game)
3) Most Goals For
4) Fewest Goals Against
5) Most Total Wins
6) Most Shutouts
7) Power Ranking Points at the time of the tie.
(for regular season tie-breaker, all 8 league games will be tabulated)
In a tie breaking scenario involving three or more teams, once a team is eliminated from the tie breaker, the sequence will reset and then go back to the top of the sequence. All teams will be ranked by total points at the conclusion of the regional tournament. In the event of a tie, the tie-breaker scenario will be used. Additionally, if a team wins the regional tournament, they will be removed from the rankings, and subsequent bids will be awarded with the highest power points accumulated. The Power Ranking Points are awarded as follows:
Win= 6 Points
Tie= 3 Pts
Loss= 0 Pts
Shutout= 1 Pt
Goals= 1 Pt/Goal, up to 3 goal max
Midwest Alliance Cup Format
Four groups of four teams will play on Saturday. Each game on Saturday will consist of two forty-minute halves. No overtime will be played on Saturday. Points will be accumulated, based on the results of the group play in the following manner:
Each win: 6 points
Each tie: 3 points
Each loss: 0 points
Each goal scored (maximum of three): 1 point
Opponent Shutout: 1 point
A team may accumulate up to 10 points per match.
The top two teams from each group with the most points will advance to the Championship (Knock-out) Round on Sunday. In the event of a tie in total points by two or more teams in the same group at the end of group play, the above tie-breaker will be used in determining which team advances.
Teams going forward into the Championship Round will play a quarterfinal match on Sunday. Games on Sunday will consist of two forty-minute halves. The winners of the quarterfinal matches will play in the two Midwest Alliance Cup Championships matches. The winners of each Championship game will receive an automatic bid to the NIRSA National Championships.
If two teams are tied at the end of regulation play in the Championship Round only, up to two-sudden death, 10 minute overtime periods will be played. If no winner has been determined by the end of overtime, the taking of kicks (shootout) format will be used to determine a winner.
Teams that are tied at the end of regulation play will be awarded three Power Ranking Points for the regulation tie, in addition to added goals or shutout points. The team that is the winner in overtime will be awarded with a win, six points; plus points for the goals scored and/or shutout. The winning team will receive one additional point for their overtime goal and/or shootout victory.
The 2021 Midwest Alliance Cup will be held on October 30th and October 31st, 2021 in Westfield, IN (north of Indianapolis). Each team's fees for the tournament will be paid for by the MASC. Each team attending the Midwest Alliance Cup will be required to use Site Search LLC for hotel booking. This is a Grand Park policy.
Section XII - a. Unique Tournament Rules
a. In the event a ball is played into the ceiling of the Grand Park Events Center, play will continue without stoppage. If the ball goes out of bounds after hitting the ceiling, the team responsible will lose possession.
b. Pre-game practice space is limited, teams may practice outside the Events Center or do non-ball warm-ups while games are being played.
c. Halftime of all Midwest Alliance Cup games will be five minutes in length.
Section XIII - Commissioner's Statement
In the event a circumstance of significance to the conference arises that is not covered in the League Policies, the Commissioner's office is empowered to use their discretion to resolve the matter in the best interest of the MASC.