Amended on April 8, 2017
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.
Section IV - Officers
The MASC is directed by a Commissioner, who is to be elected every year and presides over all matters affecting the Midwest Alliance Soccer Conference. The Commissioner of the MASC may delegate specific authority or tasks to other league representatives and/or the assistant commissioner, who shall preside over a Rules Committee of league delegates. The Commissioner shall make a financial report to League members at the annual spring scheduling meeting.
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 10 games, all within respective divisions. All MASC league games will be posted on the IM-leagues website.
MASC members will play 10 league games. All 10 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 10 game regular season. The MASC office will determine club schedules for each respective team based on a random selection.With a 10 game schedule, all clubs in a division will not play each other. In the event divisional clubs want to add extra games, only games scheduled by the league office will count towards schedules and Power Rankings.
Annual Presidents' Meeting
All member teams are required to attend the Annual Presidents' Meeting that is typically held in late March/early April. 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. Northern Division teams will be required to attend the MASC Presidents' Meeting in odd years, and will schedule in their own Divisional Meeting during even years.
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.
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.
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 VI-Team Management, Team Rosters & Eligibility
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.
b. Team Rosters
Each team should consist of no more than 24 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 24 man roster.
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.
Player eligibility shall be in full accordance with NIRSA policy, as outlined in the NIRSA Championship Series Eligibility Guidelines listed on the NIRSA website:
One key exception to the NIRSA policy is regarding varsity players. During league play, a team can have 3 former varsity or former semi-pro athletes at any one game. Rosters will need to be submitted and maintained using the IMleagues.com Roster Functionality. Updated rosters need to be submitted within 24 hours of each game. In the event a teams' roster is changed, rosters need to be posted on the IMleagues.com site. In addition, teams will need to provide a current roster for all league games. Teams will need to submit a roster before a league game to both the opponent and officials. The former varsity players need to be identified on these rosters with an asterisk.
In addition to ensure players’ eligibility for the Regional Tournament, official rosters approved by the University Registrar and Sport Club Professional will be submitted by each team before their first game at the Regional Tournament.
d. Questions to be asked for Eligibility
When determining the eligibility of a player, the following questions can be asked, If the correct answer to any of the questions below is YES, the player is INELIGIBLE to compete in the 2017 MASC Season and the NIRSA Championships. (They may be counted as a former varsity player depending on their situation.)
1.) Were you listed on a 2-yr or 4-yr college varsity squad list or NIRSA Roster prior to Fall 2005? (This includes any year you may have red-shirted)
2.) Were you listed on a 2-yr or 4-yr college varsity squad list for over 3 weeks (21 days) from August 1, 2016 to the present time?
3.) For any player on a varsity squad list for over 3 years + 3 weeks. Was your last season you played 2015-16 (fall of 2015)?
4.) Are you an undergraduate and enrolled in less than 1/2 of FULL time enrollment status?
5.) Are you a graduate student taking less than 6 credit hours?
6.) Will this current academic year be your 7th combined year of participation in NIRSA Championship and/or listing on a 2-yr or 4-yr college varsity squad list?
7.) Have you received prize money for participation in a soccer tournament that exceeded your participation expenses?
(Essentially, if a player was part of a college roster for more than three weeks, whether active or redshirted; they are considered a varsity player.)
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 3-0 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 ten (10) regular season conference games.
Section X-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 sense”. 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 MASC Conference Tournament will consist of sixteen (16) teams. The top four (4) teams from each division will qualify for the Conference Tournament. Seedings for each group will be determined by placement in standings and be determined by a random drawing.
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 10 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 10 league games will be tabulated)
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
MASC Becknell 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 MASC Becknell 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 MASC Becknell Cup will be held on October 28th and October 29th in Westfield, IN (north of Indianapolis). Each team's fees for the Conference tournament will be paid for by the MASC. Each team attending the MASC Becknell Cup will be required to use Site Search LLC for hotel booking. This is a Grand Park policy.
Section XII - a - Unique Tournament Rules
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.
Pre-game practice space is limited, teams may practice outside the Events Center or do non-ball warmups while games are being played.
Halftime of all MASC Becknell 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.