CHICAGO – The National Women’s Soccer League Monday announced the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup rules and regulations.
All policies and procedures found in the NWSL competition manual and NWSL operations manual are in effect, except where not applicable or superseded by the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup rules.
The tournament will kick off with the preliminary rounds where each team will play four matches, followed by two knockout stages and the final. The top-eight teams out of the preliminary rounds will be placed into a seeded bracket to contest the quarterfinals.
If two or more teams are equal on points after completion of the preliminary stage, the following criteria shall be applied to determine team rankings:
A – Head-to-Head (only if two teams are tied and they’ve played each other)
B – Superior goal difference in all preliminary matches
C – Greatest number of goals scored in all preliminary matches;
D – Lowest team conduct score relating to the number of yellow and red cards obtained:
— yellow card: 1 point
— indirect red card (as a result of two yellow cards): 3 points
— direct red card: 4 points
— yellow card and direct red card: 5 points
*Only one of the above point totals shall be applied to a player in a single match.
E. Drawing of lots by NWSL
Each team has named a final list of 22-28 players selected to participate in the NWSL Challenge Cup. Those rosters will be announced Moday. Only the players on the submitted list will be permitted to play in the tournament. However, players may join their teams late as long as they are included on the final rosters submitted to the league on June 21.
There will be no extra time in any match played in the NWSL Challenge Cup. In the knockout stage, if a match is tied at the end of regulation, penalty kicks will be taken to determine the winner. Teams will be permitted five substitutions per match and no more than three substitution stoppages per team will be allowed in each game.
The NWSL also announced awards that will be presented at the conclusion of the tournament. They are:
* Tournament MVP, awarded to the most outstanding player of the tournament as voted on by the media
* Golden Boot, presented to the leading goalscorer
* Golden Glove, given to the best goalkeeper as voted on by media
* NWSL Future Legend, presented to the top-performing player in her first NWSL season
* Best XI, awarded to the best 11-players at the tournament. The NWSL Challenge Cup Best XI will be determined as a result of voting conducted among players, media, fans and general managers/coaches.
Along with tournament awards, at the conclusion of each match, the NWSL will present and share post-game awards via social media. These awards include: the woman of the match, the no sweat play of the match.