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Mark DeCotis, Athletic Communications
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NJCAA Women's Soccer National Tournament Features Unique Rules
November 7, 2012 - The NJCAA Division I Women's Soccer National Championship Tournament that begins play at 9 a.m. Monday at Melbourne Central Catholic will feature some unique rules.
Under the rules for the pool-play format tournament:
- All games in pool play will be 90 minutes in length and in cases of a tie overtime will not be played.
- Pool play games that are tied after regulation time (90 minutes) will go straight to penalty kicks.
- Also uniquely, team points will be awarded in each game in pool play in the following manner:
- 3 points: Victory in regulation time (90 minutes)
- 2 points: Tie in regulation time and victory in penalty kicks
- 1 point: Tie in regulation time and loss in penalty kicks
- 0 points: Loss in regulation time
After pool play, the team in each pool with the most points advances to the semifinals.
In the case of ties atop pool play, the rules dictate if after pool play, teams are tied for the most points in any pool, the following will apply, in order:
- Two-team ties: Head-to-head competition between tied teams: The winning team advances.
- Three-team ties: "Goals against" in regulation time. "Goal differential" in regulation time with a maximum of +3 per game.
If at any point a single team is eliminated and two teams remain tied, the rules call for reverting to the two-team tie-breaking procedure (head-to-head competition between tied teams).
In the case of unbreakable ties among three teams:
- If all three teams remain tied after "goals against" and "goal differential" are applied, two tie-breaking games will be held on day four (Thursday). Immediately after conclusion of play in any pool, all tied teams will flip coins to determine which team receives the bye to the second tie-breaking game. The odd coin receives the bye.
- The other two teams will play a tie-breaking game beginning at the start of overtime per NCAA rules. (Two 10-minute sudden death overtime periods, followed by penalty kicks). Following a 20-minute break, the winning team advances to the second tie-breaking game to play the team that received the bye.
Any such tie-breaking games are a continuation of pool play and are considered individual games. Any cards issued will carry the same penalty(ies) as in any other tournament game.
The semifinals will consist of two games, one matching the highest remaining seed versus the lowest remaining seed and the other pitting the second highest remaining seed against the second lowest remaining seed. Losers of both semi-final games finish tied for third.
The semifinal winners meet in Saturday's 6 p.m. championship game.