2018 US Open of Football Tournament Official Rules
The 2018 US Open of Football Tournament is governed by these Official Rules and is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws. The Tournament will consist of eight rounds with a Championship game against an elite League-selected team. There is no cost to enter. Tournament eligibility and acceptance in the sole discretion of League whose decisions are final and binding in all regards.
1. Eligibility: The 2018 US Open of Football Tournament (the “Tournament”) is open only to legal residents of the United States and jurisdictions where permitted by law who are natural persons age 18 or older as of the first day of player’s Tournament play. If you are not yet 18 years old but will turn 18 prior to the first day of your Tournament play, parental or guardian consent is required for all Tournament Rules and forms. Void where prohibited. Proof of residency and age may be required. To participate in the Tournament or receive a prize, you must fully comply with the Official Rules, and complete all releases, and, by entering, Registrant represents and warrants that Registrant agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the League, whose decisions shall be binding and final in all respects. Acceptance into the League is subject to League’s discretion. Active collegiate football athletes are prohibited from being included on an at large (Challenger) team roster. The League bears no responsibility for any participant who jeopardizes or loses league or NCAA eligibility, or breaches a professional athletic contract in football or any other sport, due to participation in the League or the Tournament. All high school and college players are encouraged to check with their coaches and/or athletic directors before participating in the Tournament and the potential effects on their eligibility. All athletes with professional experience in any sport are encouraged to check with their agents, attorneys, teams or leagues before participating in the Tournament and the potential impact on their professional standing. Event organizers are not responsible for determining a particular athlete’s eligibility under National Collegiate Athletic Association or applicable high school association rules or any other athletic association.
2. League: AFFL Associates, LLC, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 2010, New York, NY 10019.
3. Timing/Dates: The Tournament will run approximately from March 15, 2018 to July 31, 2018 and will consist of head-to-head, single-elimination games, including an Ultimate Finals played against a team comprised of professional, former professional and/or elite football players of the League’s choosing. The League reserves all rights to determine the Ultimate Final team by conducting a separate Ultimate bracket or assembling a team on its own. Deadline for team entries is based on League’s discretion.
4. How to sign up/enter: Registration is on a team basis. Potential participants must complete a profile and register (“Registrant”) as part of a seven (7) to twelve (12)-person team at http://americanflag.football/ (the “Website”). Registrants may sign up for one team only. Any person not listed on an initial roster, or who does not complete the profile and required releases and/or the registration process is ineligible for the Tournament. Prior to the first game, the League will post a list of rosters identifying the eligible players. The League reserves the right to reject any Team Name for any reason in its sole discretion.
Teams must designate a Captain who shall be the contact person for League communications and notices as well as being responsible for interacting with the League on behalf of the team. Teams are responsible for having a roster with the League at least two weeks in advance of that team’s first game that includes sufficient reserve players in case of injury and/or player drop outs. Any players not listed on a team’s initial roster shall be ineligible unless the team Captain makes a special application to the League for a roster addition. All requested roster changes shall be allowed only upon good cause and in the sole discretion of the League. Participants will be required to wear a league supplied jersey and athletic apparel subject to the League’s Apparel Policy and wear the jersey and approved League apparel and equipment, including flags, at all League events. Participants are responsible for all travel and travel-related expenses, which will not be reimbursed by the League.
Coaches can participate (but not as a Tournament player) and there is no limit to how many coaches a team can have, but only one Capitan is to be designated to communicate with the League and be entitled to potential prize money from League. To participate, a coach will need to fill out all the same documentation as players.
5. Registrant seeks to become a participant (“Participant”) in the Tournament, which is currently intended, but is not guaranteed, to be produced for livestream and display on the Internet and broadcast on a television network (such livestream provider and television network, collectively, the “Network”). Registrant has read, understood, consented to, and agrees to be bound by the “Game Rules” and “Apparel Policy” as set forth on the Website. By registering, Registrant represents that he or she has truthfully and accurately completed and submitted its profile (“Profile”) on the Website to be considered by League. In consideration of and as inducement to League’s consideration of Registrant as a participant in the Tournament, Registrant confirms the accuracy of the Profile, including participant’s age and health limitations, and the representations, warranties, disclosures, covenants and agreements described below. Registrant understands that if any disclosure, representation or warranty is false or if Registrant breaches any covenant or agreement made in these Official Rules or any other agreement or releases in connection with the Tournament, in addition to the right to enforce such covenant, agreement or release, League may reject my Registrant’s application or disqualify Registrant from participating in the Tournament and/or disqualify Registrant, in its sole discretion, from receiving any prize or other award. Every player must bring to each game acceptable documentation to verify their ID, age and eligibility. If a player’s eligibility is challenged, the player must produce appropriate documentation including photo identification to the referee or league official. Failure to do so may result in disqualification of the player in the sole discretion of the referee or tournament official. Subsequent discovery of a team’s use of an ineligible player, or player who made misrepresentations when completing the Profile, may, in the absolute discretion of the League, result in the disqualification of that player’s team and reinstatement of a team or teams that lost to the team using the disqualified player.
Registrant acknowledges that participation in the Tournament is a highly strenuous physical competition. Because of the nature of playing flag football, Registrant acknowledges that Registrant could experience, injuries and/or medical conditions, including, but not limited to, dehydration, exhaustion, potential broken limbs, heart attacks, concussions or other brain injuries, torn ligaments, muscles, or other injuries that may result in a period of incapacitation and/or inability to participate in more normal work and like activities or be able to compete in subsequent athletic competitions. Registrant voluntarily agrees to participate in the Tournament and assumes any and all risk associated with such participation and will hold the League and all Released Parties from any liability in connection with any participation in the Tournament or the League.
6. Participant / Team selection: Entries will be limited per region and based on the acceptance of the League in its sole discretion. Entries will be closed when the available bracket spots are filled by the League. The League reserves the right to decline an entry application at its sole discretion. The League may require the removal of a Participant from further competition based on any objective, good faith reason. Any person designated as a coach shall not be allowed to enter a game as a player. Registrant must execute a publicity release and medical/liability release in order to be an eligible Participant. Participant shall not commit nor have been convicted of any act which constitutes a felony or misdemeanor in any jurisdiction nor commit any other act which adversely affects (A) his or her public image and/or ability to participate in and in connection with the Tournament, or (B) the League’s or the Tournament’s reputation or public image. Complete adherence to this paragraph is of the essence of this Agreement and any breach hereof may cause, at League’s sole discretion, disqualification from the Tournament, with no further obligation of any kind or nature to Participant.
7. FREE AGENCY: Teams that remain in the Tournament can add players from eliminated teams or players who were cut by their teams through the following Free Agent process. The League will post a list of Free Agents on its website consisting of players from eliminated teams or player who were cut by their teams. A team may not add a player from a team that it has previously played in the Tournament. If a team elects to add a player from this pool and already has 12 players already on its roster, it must remove (cut) one member from its roster. Any player who is cut from his team will be placed in the free agent pool. The team Captain is the only one eligible to make a Free Agent transaction through the roster management tool on the League’s website. The team Captain is fully responsible for how to handle prize payments to Free Agents and cut players. Free Agents can only be picked up during designated Free Agency Periods which will start 24 hours after the second, fourth and fifth rounds of the tournament have been completed and ends 24 hours before the next round is scheduled to begin. Notifications of the start of the period will be sent to team Captains. The League retains discretion when to commence the first Free Agency Period. Teams may only pick up one player per Free Agent period. The League will notify players who are claimed as Free Agents, and such players will have the right to decline to play for any team that makes a claim. In the event a player is claimed by more than one team, the player shall have the right to select which team to join or to join no team at all. However, in cases of injuries, hardship or extenuating circumstances, a Captain may write to the League at its designated e-mail address and request an exception so that it may add additional players to its roster. The League retains full and sole discretion to decide in determining the response to such requests. Coaches can be added during any Free Agent period without restrictions.
During the registration period, individual players not affiliated with a team who wish to participate can sign up on the Website The League will place these players in a pool for teams looking for addition players to add to their teams, subject to League approval.
8. The Game Rules are set forth on the Website at www.americanflag.football, and are hereby incorporated into this agreement. Games will be officiated by one or more league-sanctioned officials whose on-field decisions are final and binding in all respects. All Participants must exercise good sportsmanship and refrain from obscene, abusive, offensive conduct as determined by the League in its sole discretion. Excessive arguing, physical contact, threatening of violence or other harassment directed towards a referee, opposing player or coach or any League official shall be grounds for disqualification from further participation in the Tournament. The League reserves the right to change the Game Rules at any time, including but not limited to changes in the amount of time in a game, the amount of time to run a play (play clock) and allowable formations. Changes to the Rules will become official and binding at the time posted on the Website.
9. Rounds/winner determinations:
The Tournament will consists of the following games:
The League will schedule head-to-head match ups at a location determined by League. The League will attempt to schedule games in locations reasonably convenient to participating teams, but long-distance travel may be required, particularly as the number of teams is reduced through the elimination process. The League retains full and sole discretion to determine the initial brackets and first-round match-ups, including placement of Teams in any region it deems appropriate. Failure of a team to appear at the playing facility at the listed starting time of the game with the minimum number of players shall result, in the discretion of the referee, in a 7-0 forfeit. Rounds are as follows:
Tournament Format: 128 teams competing in a single-elimination format as set forth below. To effectively manage the Tournament, the League reserves the right in its sole discretion to grant teams one bye to the next round or to require teams to play one extra qualifying game.
Round 1: 128 Teams playing in one head to head game resulting in 64 eligible at large (“Challenger”) teams.
Round 2: 64 Teams playing in one head to head game resulting in 32 eligible Challenger teams.
Round 3: 32 Teams playing in one head to head game resulting in 16 eligible Challenger teams.
Round 4 (Sweet Sixteen): 16 teams playing in one head-to-head game resulting in 8 eligible Challenger teams;
Round 5 (Quarter Finals): 8 teams playing in one head-to-head game each resulting in 4 eligible Challenger teams;
Round 6 (Semi Finals): 4 teams playing in one head-to-head game each resulting in 2 eligible Challenger teams;
Round 7 (Challenger Finals): 2 eligible Challenger teams play for Challenger Championship;
Ultimate Finals: Challenger Finals Champion to play a team to be selected by the League that may include players of any ability or skill level, including professional athletes.
10. Prizes: Prizes to eligible winning teams are as follows:
The League will pay each rostered member (up to 12 players) plus the Capitan its proportional share of any prize money won by the team. Winners are responsible for all taxes. Payment of $600 or more to any one person will require a social security number and issuance of a 1099 form. Registrants hereby agree that they are not entitled to receive any prize money until thirty (30) days after the later of the following: (a) the date of the last game played of the Tournament (i.e., the Ultimate Finals) or (b) the date on which the League receives a properly completed prize distribution forms, including tax forms from its team Captain.
After his or her Team has been eliminated, the team Captain will provide the League with the addresses and e-mail addresses for his or her team’s players to receive the prizes. In case of discrepancy between the address provided by the Captain and by the Participant at the time of Registration, the League reserves the right to withhold a prize until the proper address can be confirmed. However, Registrants agree that the Captain has the responsibility and authority to provide their address after elimination and will not hold the League responsible for an incorrect address provided by the Captain or the failure to provide an address.
Available Team Prize Money
Round 1 Winner: $5,000
Round 2 Winner: $5,000
Round 3 Winner: $5,000
Round 4 Winner: $10,000
Round 5 Winner: $15,000
Round 6 Winner: $25,000
Round 7 Winner: $50,000
Ultimate Elite Championship Winner: One prize of $1,000,000.
No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded. All federal, state, and local tax liabilities, as well as any other costs and expenses not specified herein as being awarded are the sole responsibility of the Winner(s). Winner(s) may be required to complete and return an IRS W-9 form (i.e., Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification). Prize will be awarded only if the potential winner(s) fully comply with these Official Rules.
11. Grant of Rights/Rights of Publicity/ Waiver of Liability: As consideration for being considered to play in the Tournament, Registrants will be required to complete the League’s Participation Agreement and Release form on whatever platform the League makes available with no exceptions. Failure to complete this form may result in a denial of eligibility to participate in the Tournament.
All Registrants hereby grant the League the right to sell jerseys with the uniform number, team name and/or player’s name in exchange for two percent (2%) of the wholesale revenue attributable to any jersey sold containing that player’s name and number.
12. Entry conditions and releases and indemnity: Each Participant agrees to: (a) comply with and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of League and game officials which are binding and final in all matters relating to the Tournament; (b) defend, indemnify, release and hold harmless the League and its parents, subsidiary, and affiliated companies, and any other person and organization responsible for or involved in conducting, operating, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Tournament, and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, divisions, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors, both past and present, (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, including but not limited to physical or other injury or invasion of privacy (under appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light in the public eye or other legal theory), defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, infringement of trademark, copyright or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to a participant’s participation in, attendance, at a Tournament (including any travel or activity related thereto) the sharing of any prize by the team and/or the broadcast, exploitation or use of Tournament or Tournament-related activity. The foregoing obligations of defense and indemnity extend to the facilities hosting the games. Winners acknowledge that all prizes are awarded will be to the respective team Captains on as-is without warranty of any kind.
13. General Conditions: Released Parties shall not have any obligation or responsibility, including any responsibility to award any prize to Participants, with regard to: (a) events that do not comply with or violate the Official Rules; (b) notifications that are lost, late, incomplete, illegible, unintelligible, or otherwise not received by the intended recipient, in whole or in part, due to computer, human or technical error of any kind; (c) Participants who have committed fraud or deception in entering or participating in the Tournament or claiming the prize; (d) telephone, electronic, hardware, software, network, Internet or computer malfunctions, failures or difficulties; (e) any inability of the winner to accept the prize for any reason; (f) if a game cannot be conducted or a prize cannot be awarded due to delays or interruptions due to Acts of God, natural disasters, terrorism, weather, scheduling or any other similar event beyond League’s reasonable control; or (g) any damages, injuries or losses of any kind caused by participating in any tournament or resulting from awarding, acceptance, possession, use, misuse, loss or misdirection of any prize or resulting from participating in the tournament or any tournament-related activities. League reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual or team it finds to be (a) tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Tournament, or with any Website promoting the Tournament; (b) acting in violation of the Official Rules; or (c) entering or attempting to enter the Tournament multiple times through the use of multiple accounts. Participants agree to hold League harmless for any claims that the Captain: (a) failed to properly distribute the prize money; (b) failed to include any particular Participant in the distribution of prize money; or (c) distributes a percentage to a Participant that a Participant believes is too small or unfair.
If League determines, in its sole discretion, that technical difficulties or unforeseen events compromise the integrity or viability of the Tournament, League reserves the right to void the Tournament, and/or terminate the relevant portion of the Tournament including the entire Tournament, and/or modify the Tournament No more than the stated number of each prizes will be awarded.
In the event that weather, facility damage, force majeure or any unforeseen circumstance prevents a game from being played, the League will have full discretion to reschedule the game or provide a skill-based mechanism to determine which team will advance to the next round.
14. Dispute Resolution and Arbitration: Except where prohibited by law, as a condition of participating in this Tournament, all Participant agrees that (1) any and all disputes and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Tournament, including but not limited to any game-related issue or prize awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the Commissioner of the League. In the event that a final decision of the Commissioner is objected to, the party seeking redress shall be limited to final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association to be held at a mutually convenient JAMS regional office; (2) the Federal Arbitration Act shall govern the interpretation, enforcement and all proceedings at such arbitration; and (3) judgment upon such arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. Under no circumstances will either side be permitted to obtain awards for, and both sides hereby waive all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys’ fees, other than Participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with participating in this Tournament), and Participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Participant and League in connection with the Tournament, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of New York or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.
15. League Results will be displayed at http://americanflag.football
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Dated: February 6, 2018