2019 US Open of Football Tournament Official Rules
The 2019 US Open of Football Tournament (the “Tournament”) is governed by these Official Rules and is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws. The Tournament will consist of regional events operated by Local Directors (“LD”) or by the American Flag Football League (the “League”) and a subsequent 16-team single-elimination tournament operated by the League. Tournament eligibility and acceptance is in the sole discretion of the League whose decisions are final and binding in all regards.
1. Eligibility: The Tournament is open only to legal residents of the United States and residents of jurisdictions where participation is permitted by law, who are natural persons age 18 or older as of the first day of Participant’s (defined below) Tournament play. If you are not yet 18 years old but will turn 18 prior to the first day of Tournament play, parental or guardian consent is required for all Tournament related rules, forms, agreements and releases. Void where prohibited. Proof of residency and age may be required. To participate in the Tournament or receive any prize money or other award (collectively, “Prizes”), you must fully comply with these Official Rules (as well as the League Apparel Policy, Game Rules, Tournament Rules and any other applicable League policy), and complete all releases, waivers and agreements. By registering as a potential participant in the Tournament, Registrant (defined below) agrees to be bound for the duration of the Tournament by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Tournament, whose decisions shall be binding and final in all respects. Acceptance into the League is subject to the League’s discretion and is not on a first-come first-served basis. The League bears no responsibility for any Registrant accepted to participate in the Tournament (including any free agent picked up by a team and who agrees to play in the Tournament, each a “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 Participants are encouraged to check with their coaches and/or athletic directors before participating in the Tournament regarding the potential effects on their eligibility or other restrictions. All Participants with professional experience in any sport are encouraged to check with their agents, attorneys, teams or leagues before participating in the Tournament regarding the potential impact on their professional standing or other restrictions. The League and the LD are not responsible for determining a particular Participant’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 April 15, 2019 to July 31, 2019 and will consist of group play and head-to-head, single-elimination games. Deadline for team entries is on or before April 1, 2019.
4 How to sign up/enter: Registration is on a team basis. Potential participants (each a “Registrant”) must complete a Profile (defined below) and register as part of a ten (10) to fifteen (15)-person team at https://www.affl.com/ (the “Website”). Registrants may sign up for one team only. Any person not listed on an initial roster may register as a free agent. Any person who does not complete the Profile and required releases, waivers, and agreements and/or the registration process is ineligible for the Tournament. All team registrations must be submitted and completed no later than April 1st and teams will be accepted on a rolling basis. The League will notify Team Captains when their team has been accepted. The entry cost per team is nine hundred dollars ($900.00) which is due on the date of payment as designated by the League. The League reserves the right to reject any Team Name for any reason in its sole discretion.
Prior to the first game, the League will post a list of rosters identifying the eligible participants.
Teams must designate a Captain who shall be the contact person for LD and League communications and notices as well as being responsible for interacting with the applicable LD and the League on behalf of the team. Teams are responsible for having submitted their final roster with the applicable LD and League by April 1, 2019 in order to be eligible for acceptance by the League, no exceptions will be made. Participants will be required to wear a league approved 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 Tournament events. Participants are responsible for all travel and travel-related expenses, which will not be reimbursed by the League.
Teams need to have at least one Coach and may have up to three (3) Coaches (coaches cannot participate as a Tournament player) per team, but only one Captain is to be designated to communicate with the LD and League. To participate, a Coach will need to fill out all the same documentation as Registrants/Participants.
Team Rosters. Once a team roster has been accepted, any players listed on a team’s initial roster cannot be cut until the Initial Free Agency Period (defined below). Once your roster has been accepted you may add players up until April 1, 2019, teams may add to their rosters up to the maximum number of fifteen (15). Following April 1st no changes to the Roster shall be made until the Initial Free Agency Period. Teams must have a minimum of seven (7) and a maximum of twelve (12) active players on any given day a game is being played.
5. Adherence to League Rules and Policies: Registrants who seek to become a participant in the Tournament, understand and acknowledge that some or all of the Tournament 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 his or her 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 Tournament Rules or any other agreement or releases in connection with his or her participation in the Tournament, League may, in addition to the right to enforce such covenant, agreement or release, reject any Registrant’s application or disqualify any Registrant from participating in the Tournament and/or disqualify Registrant, in its sole discretion, from receiving any Prizes. Every Participant must bring to each game acceptable documentation to verify their ID, age and eligibility. If a Participant’s eligibility is challenged, the Participant must produce appropriate documentation including photo identification to the referee or League-sanctioned official. Failure to do so may result in disqualification of the player in the sole discretion of the referee or league 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, if accepted, to participate in the Tournament and assumes any and all risk associated with such participation and will hold harmless the applicable LD and League and all Released Parties (defined below) from any liability in connection with any participation in the Tournament or the League.
6. Participant / Team selection: Team entries will be limited per region and based on the acceptance by 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 in its sole discretion. The LD or League may, in their sole discretion, require the removal of a Participant or a team 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 participant. Participant must execute a Participation Agreement and Release relating to medical/liability release and certain publicity rights in order to be an eligible Participant. If at any time, in the sole discretion of the League, a player or coach is charged with a crime or becomes the subject of public disrepute, contempt, or scandal that affects his or her image, reputation or goodwill, or such that his continued participation might affect the image, reputation or goodwill of the League, then the League may, upon written notice, immediately suspend or terminate the person’s participation in the League (including regional games), in addition to any other rights and remedies that the League may have. The League may also, in its sole discretion, terminate a person’s eligibility and/or participation at any time after it learns that such person has been convicted of, or plead guilty to, a felony or a misdemeanor that involves moral turpitude or which, if that person is allowed to continue in the League, adversely affect the League’s image, reputation or goodwill. 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 through the following Free Agent process. After Group Play (described below), a team is allowed to add up to four (4) players provided that player, if applicable, has not played against the team picking him up in an elimination game. These transactions must be communicated by the Team Captain via email through the roster management tool on the League’s website or to a designated League email address, during the period between June 4th and June 9th 2019 (“Initial Free Agent Period”), or such other dates as determined by the League in its sole discretion and communicated to the Participants; provided further, that no changes may be made to a team roster after April 1st and prior to the commencement of the Initial Free Agent Period. Each proposed transaction will only be valid to the extent the Team Captain has received a confirmation email from the League. After the Initial Free Agent Period, if a team has not used all four (4) moves, they are allowed one (1) move for the remainder of the Tournament including the final game with each Free Agent Period beginning 7pm on the day following the last game played of each round and ending 48 hours later. To avoid confusion, if a team elects to add zero (0) players in the Initial Free Agent Period, it would still only have one (1) move for the remainder of the Tournament. If a team elects to add a player and already has 15 players already on its roster, it must remove (cut) one member from its roster. Further, in the event a player elects to join a team in another League run bracket competing for a spot in the Finals, replacing that player will not count against the allowable transactions. 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 money payments to Free Agents and cut players. 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. If a team loses a player to a “Pro” team under any circumstance, that team will be able to replace that player with no penalty and such replacement will not count as an official free agent move. Coaches can be added during any Free Agent period without restrictions. There are no exceptions made for injuries to these free agency rules.
During the registration period, individual players not affiliated with a team who wish to participate can register 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. The Game Rules are set forth on the Website at https://www.affl.com/, 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 Game Rules will become official and binding at the time posted on the Website.
9. Rounds/winner determinations:
The Tournament will consist of the following games:
The applicable LD will schedule head-to-head match ups at a location determined by the applicable LD and 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 LDs and 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: Up to 128 teams competing in both “group play” (teams playing multiple, randomly matched games) and single-elimination format as set forth below. The League reserves the right in its sole discretion to grant teams, in either the group play or single elimination rounds, one bye to the next round or to require teams to play one extra qualifying game. Further, the League may grant a bye to a losing team in the regionals if a winning team is unable to participate in the Single Elimination rounds (described below).
Group Play: Up to 128 teams. To be operated by the LD.
- Each regional will host teams in multiples of 8
- Each team will play 3 games in “group play” to determine seeds for the elimination rounds (this is not round robin and matchups are determined randomly)
- Teams are seeded in a traditionally seeded bracket (no re-seeds) by the following criteria:
- Head to Head
- Point Differential
- Points Scored
- Coin Toss
- Win 3 games and move onto “TV Bracket” which will produce 16 Teams
Single Elimination – 16 Teams Total – To be operated by the League.
16 Teams will advance from Group Play to play a single elimination bracket, with seeding determined by the League in its sole discretion. Brackets will be released on the website and by email to the captains.
Round 1: 16 Teams playing in one head-to-head game resulting in 8 remaining teams.
Round 2: 8 Teams playing in one head-to-head game resulting in 4 remaining teams.
Round 3 (Quarterfinals): 4 teams playing in one head-to-head game resulting in 2 remaining teams;
Round 4 (Semi Finals): 2 teams playing in one head-to-head game each resulting in 1 remaining team;
Round 5(Finals): The last remaining team from Group Play playing in one head-to-head game against 1 team to be selected by the League that may include players of any ability or skill level, including professional athletes, resulting 1 Champion.
10. Prizes: Subject to the conditions set forth in Paragraph 14, prizes to eligible winning teams are as follows:
The League will pay each rostered member (up to 15 players) plus the Captain his or her proportional share of any Prize money won by the team, such proportions to be pre-determined and submitted by the Team Captain (including an allocation in the amount of six percent (6%) of such Prize money for Coach(es)). Prizes amounts are , subject to change up until the date your registration fees have been paid. 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. Participants 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, Participants 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 (Regionals): $7,500 per team
Round 2 Winner (Round of 16): $10,000 per team
Round 3 Winner (Round of 8): $10,000 per team
Round 4Winner (Quarter Finals): $20,000 per team
Round 5 Winner (Semi Finals): $50,000 per team
Round 6 Winner (Finals) : $1,000,000 per team
No more than the stated number of money 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). Prizes 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 Registrant agrees to: (a) comply with and be bound by these Official Rules, any other League policy, release or agreement 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, members, 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, the 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 that are awarded will be based on the team-specific agreed upon prize allocation 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 the Tournament or related activities 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 or interfering in anyway 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. Any Prize money to be awarded as set forth herein will only be distributed for games actually played.
In the event that weather, facility damage or loss of right to use the venue, force majeure or any unforeseen circumstance prevents a game from being played, the League will have full discretion whether to reschedule the game(s), to the extent reasonably possible, or provide a skill-based mechanism to determine which team will advance to the next round, as applicable.
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 https://www.affl.com/
For questions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dated: January 1, 2019