Those entitled to play
Teams from all over the world are warmly welcome to participate in the Santa Claus Cup tournament in Rovaniemi -the official hometown of Santa Claus. Participating teams have to belong to a football club who is registered in their countries FIFA affiliated association. Dispensation will automatically be given to two players per game who are maximum one year over aged. Teams from countries that still use the 1st of August limit may also use players 5 months over aged.

Santa Claus Cup does not carry any group insurance protecting participants in case of injury, illness, theft or damage of property. Make sure that the players in your team are properly insured.


1. Rules
Tournament is organized by Santa Claus Sport Events ry, a non-profit organization run by Rovaniemen Palloseura, FC Santa Claus Arctic Circle and FC Santa Claus juniors. Tournament will be played in accordance with applicaple sections of the FIFA rules and the Finnish F.A. rules. The organizer shall appoint a tournament committee and a field manager for all several playing grounds. This manager is responsible for the organisation of the matches referring to the game schedule.

2. Rules of the game
Participating teams have to belong to a football club which is registered in their FIFA-affiliated association. In countries where football is operated by the schools we also allow teams affiliated by their school football association. Combined teams are also allowed, if they are registered by the football association of their country, with the exception of specifically invited teams and senior amateur teams. The teams are divided into groups of four, five or six where all the teams will face each other in a group stage. The size of groups is decided by the number of teams in each class. The order among the teams will be decided according to points. Three points will be awarded for a win, one point for a draw and 0 points for a loss. If two or more teams have the same number of points the order will be decided as follows:
1. Goal difference 2. Highest number of goals scored 3. Result of match(es) between teams with equal points 4. Drawing lots.

3. Play Off
The best teams from each group will advance to the play offs. A draw in the play off will be decided by penalty shootout according to FIFA rules.

4. Number of players and substitutes
Number of substitutes is not limited. Players may only participate in one team in the same age class. A substituted player may reenter in the match. Substitution can be done without stopping the game. Notice that the game has to be stopped and the referee has to be informed by substitution of a goalkeeper. All substitutions should be done within the technical area of the team. If there is no technical area the substitution should be made at the centre line. The player that will be substituted has to leave the field before the new player can enter the field. Incorrect substitutions will be punished with a yellow card.

5. Participation list
Each team must submit a list of players to the Santa Claus Cup administration before their first match in the tournament. In the participation list you must write down where the tournament management can reach the team during the tournament (cell phone and the place of accomodation) New players are not allowed to enter a team when the tournament has begun. All the names of the players must be identical with the names on the participation list. Players may represent their club in more than one team in the tournament, as long as it is not the same age group. All players MUST be able to identify themselves and to certify their age with a valid passport at the Checking in while handing in the participation list. In every game the leader responsible for the team must be able to verify the identity of each player, at the request of the competition jury.

6. Matches
Before the match each team must fill in the official team card to be given to the referee (number of shirt, name, birth date) No match can begin until this is done by both teams. Failure to do so will result in disqualification or walk over victory (3-0) for the opposing team.
All team shirts must be numbered and the numbers must correspond to the participation list. The same number may not be used by more than one player. If the referee decides that two teams have similar shirts the guest team will be required to change. All teams must be in match shirts and ready in their playing field area 10 minutes before kick off. All players are required to have shin guards. The team manager must make sure that his players are adequately insured.

7. Dispensations
Dispensation will automatically be given to two players per game who are maximum one year over aged. Teams from countries that still use the 1st of August limit (mainly USA and England) may also use players 5 months over aged.

8. General match rules
Tournament will be played in accordance with applicaple sections of the FIFA rules and the Finnish Football Association rules. Rules for teams U9 (1.1.2006) and younger:
*If a player makes a throw-in in a technical wrong way, the same player will get the chance to do the throw-in again, after proper instructions are given by the referee.
*The offside rule is not applicable
*Goalkeepers 6 – second rule does not apply
*Pass the ball to own goalkeeper is allowed
*Goals can not be done by the goalkeeper if another player does not touch the ball before it enters the goal.9.Walk over/Abandoned match
Any Team that will not show up for the game (without acceptable excuse) can be declared looser by 0 – 3, after a decision by the jury. If a team repeatedly fails to appear at the games, the team may be excluded from the tournament. In special cases, the tournament jury may decide to exclude a team at the first offence, i.e. if a deliberate walk over favours the own team or is unfair to another team in the group. The team´ s results are however counted in the group. If a match is interrupted for some reason and can´t be played to the end the jury will decide if the game has to be replayed or restarted from the minute when it was interrupted, or if the result of the game will be fixed, or if one of the teams or both teams lose 0 – 3.10. Referees
Trained youth referees are selected from the associations: FC Santa Claus Arctic Circle, FC Santa Claus juniorit and Rovaniemen Palloseura. Authorized referees are selected from Rovaniemi Referee Club and there will be assisting referees in all 11-a-side games.

11. Tournament jury
The jury of the tournament consist of representatives of the tournament organisation, Rovaniemi referee club and a representative of teams. The jury handels protests and sanction matters. Their decisions can not be appealed.

12. Protest and sanctions
Any and all protests must be handed in, in writing by the team manager along with a fee of 50 € no later than 60 minutes after the match is finished. The fee will be refunded if the protest is accepted. The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with the play are final. (FIFA rule no. 5) No measures will be taken on protests on decisions made by referee.
Player sanctions: Cautions (yellow card) and sending-off offences (red card)
Any player given a red card is automatically suspended from participation in the following match if the jury is not deciding otherwise. The team manager is responsible that this rule is obeyed. If a player that is suspended participates in a game, the team with the suspended
player loses automatically the game with 0 – 3. Yellow cards are not accumulated.

13 Fields
All the playing fields are grass (Susivouti, Saarenkylä, Keinuvuopaja, Mäntyvaara) or artificial turf (Rovaniemen keskuskenttä, Saarenkylän kenttä, Susivoudin kenttä ja SantaSportin kenttä). If the weather conditions do not permit games on grass they may be moved to other fields or decided by penalty kicks or drawing of lots. The team manager will be informed.

14. Program
The tournament jury has the right to change the groups, the time schedule and the playing fields. Notice about changes will be communicated to the officials of the teams conserned.

15. Insurance and Force Majeure
Make sure that all your players are insured both on and off the field. Santa Claus Cup does not carry any group insurance protecting participants in case of injury, illness, theft or damage of property. Participants from countries that have no medical insurance agreement with Finland must have personal medical insurance. Santa Claus Cup is in no way responsible for injury or economic loss which may arise in the event of war, war-like events, civil war, revolution or civil disturbance or because of the action of authorities, strike, lockout, blockades or similar events.Bad weather or any other unforeseen event which causes that the tournament cannot be implemented or completed will not result in refund of fees.

Our partners

© Santa Claus Cup 2018