CUP COMPETITION STRUCTURE

The Cup Competition will take place in three stages: Regional Group Stage, Winter Showcase Group Stage and Spring Showcase Knockout Stage.

Please note: details of the competition structure are subject to change.

Fall Regional Group Stage
Clubs are divided into two tiers, Tier 1 and Tier 2, then divided into regional groups. Tier 1 will be composed of 24 top-performing clubs and the number of Tier 2 clubs is dependent on Academy membership for the 2019-20 season.


Tier 1 Clubs will compete in six regional groups of four teams during the fall. Each team will play three games, one against each opponent. Game 1 will be either home or away. Games 2 and 3 will take place over the course of one weekend at the same location. Regional Group Stage results for Tier 1 clubs determine seeding for the primary Winter Showcase Group Stage.

Hypothetical Regional Group Stage set-up

Tier 2 Clubs will compete in groups of varying size during the fall. Each team will play three games. It is possible each team will not play every team in their group. Game 1 will be either home or away. Games 2 and 3 will take place over the course of one weekend at the same location. Winners of each Tier 2 Regional Group will earn berths in the primary Winter Showcase Group Stage. All other results will determine seeding for the secondary Winter Showcase Group Stage. Teams will be ranked by points-per-game (three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss).

Games during the Regional Group Stage will take place on a club schedule, meaning all age groups within a club play the same schedule.

Hypothetical overall ranking table after Regional Group Stage

Winter Showcase Group Stage
The primary Winter Showcase Group Stage will consist of eight groups of four teams. The secondary Winter Showcase teams will also compete in a group stage format. All teams will play three games, one against each team in their group. The eight group winners from each age group's primary Winter Showcase Group Stage will be seeded in the championship bracket in the Spring Showcase Knockout Stage.


Beyond the eight group winners, all other teams in the primary and secondary group stage will also be seeded in consolation brackets for the Spring Showcase Knockout Stage. Second place teams will be seeded against other second place teams, third place teams will be seeded against other third place teams, and so on.

Hypothetical Winter Showcase Group Stage set-up

Games during the Winter Showcase Group stage will take place on a team schedule, meaning different age groups from the same club will play different schedules.

Spring Showcase Knockout Stage
Teams competing in the championship bracket will compete to be Cup Champions. The winners of this bracket will lift the cup as champion.

All other teams will be competing to improve their chances for a wild card Playoff berth and to determine seeding in next season's cup competition. Top-performing teams in the consolation brackets will get the opportunity to "play up" and improve their standings.

Games during the Spring Showcase Knockout Stage will take place on a team schedule, meaning different age groups from the same club will play different schedules.

PLAYOFF QUALIFICATION
At the end of the regular season, the top teams from each division will qualify automatically for the Playoffs. Additionally, a number of wild card spots will be awarded based on cup competition results.

PLAYOFFS AND CHAMPIONSHIPS
Teams will compete in a group stage at Playoffs with group winners advancing to the knockout round. Following the group stage, the knockout round will be held in the established format. The winner of the knockout round advances to the Academy Championships, where an Academy Champion will be crowned.