RULES

2016 Official Rules of Freestyle Football Competitions

Produced by Freestyle Football Federation.

This document outlines the core components and official rules of freestyle football competitions that are acknowledged by the Freestyle Football Federation.

This should be seen as the basic minimum requirements for any event worldwide, although they can be altered to suit the needs of non‐official events (events in which no world rankings points are available) if appropriate.
Modifications to these rules may be published throughout the year after the Rules Committee Meeting. Headlines will be posted in Modifications on the Contents page. You should always check back in this document prior to your event.

Rules Meetings: Last Friday of month in April & August

1.0. World Ranking Events

The Freestyle Football Federation herein creates the rules for all officially recognised freestyle football events. Any other freestyle football event can use them as appropriate.
The Freestyle Football Federation has created the World Ranking Events which allocates points for each event, which freestylers can earn to try and win a place on the Freestyle World Tour, the Professional Tour of the sport. A freestyler can only enter a maximum of three world ranking accredited events in a calendar year which includes 1 x 1 Star Event (National Championship), 1 x 2 Star Event (Continental Championship) and 1 x 3 Star Event (SuperBall).

Entry Details:

a) The season for these events runs from 1st January to 31st December each year.
b) Freestyle Football Federation recognised events must be open for anyone to enter in the first round.
c) To have the right to gain points and participate in National (1-star) events, freestylers must identify themselves with their corresponding passport or ID card. Freestylers not living in their country of birth or with duel nationalities must choose whether they will represent their country of birth or another (in which they must have a valid residence permit/passport for).
d) To have the right to gain points and participate in a continental (2-star) event, freestylers must identify themselves with their corresponding passport or ID card. Freestylers can only participate in the Continental championship that corresponds with the 1-star event that they have already chosen to represent.
e) Freestylers cannot enter an event in a country or continent which they have not nominated for at the start of the year.
f) Player with duel nationalities are not allowed to change their country of allegiance during the year.
g) The Top 6 players in the World Rankings on December 31 will qualify for the following seasons Freestyle Football World Tour.

1.1 World Ranking Points

EVENT TYPE WINNER FINALS S/F Q/F R16 R32 ENTER
3 Star [World Open] 500 300 180 90 45 20 1
2 Star [Continental Championships] 250 150 90 45 25 10 1
1 Star [National Championships] 125 75 45 25 10 5 1

1.2 Event Weighting

The Freestyle Football Federation recognises that some countries have larger number of participants and standard of freestyler. To compensate this in 2014 an Event Weighting system was introduced on a 3 tier system. An event can be weighted in two ways:
a) Number of Participants in National 1 Star (less than 8 participants) and Continental 2 Star (less than 16 participants) or b)  Overall Level of competition (This will be decided by a Specialised Sub Committee of the Events Committee)
In both of these cases there is a reduction in the points available at these events, which are as follows:

EVENT TYPE WINNER FINALS S/F Q/F TOP 16 ELIMINATION ENTRY
2 Star 225 135 80 40 20 8 1
1 Star 110 65 40 20 8 4 1

2.1. Qualification Stage

The stage is designed to qualify the strongest participants for the final round. It is really important to do this properly to avoid unhappy athletes and ensure all runs on time.
Each competition will have different numbers of participants, so the Federation have identified the two following scenarios that must be used at qualification stage:

a) Battle Circles (more than 40 participants)

b) For official Federation recognised National Events (1-star) there must be minimum of 8 participants registered.

c) For official Federation recognised Continental Event (2-star) there must be minimum of 16 participants registered

d) If your event looks like having less competitors than the minimum it can still be classed as an official event but points will be weighted lower.

2.1.1. Qualification with up to 20 participants

a)  Each participant must make a 1 minute performance.
b)  To determine the starting order of the freestylers for this round there is a general seeding of players (this could be based on F3 world rankings or results from previous championships for example). If no previous event has previously happened then names will be drawn out of a hat.
c)  Athletes perform in order from last to first in accordance with the seeding.
d)  There must be at least a top 8 for the 1-star events and a top 16 for 2-star events.
e)  Judges rank participants in order from the best to the worst performance (see point 2.2.4 for judging criteria).
f)  To give maximum opportunity in some countries for new freestylers to develop and learn, it could be managed so the top 12 from National rankings go through automatically and then for the final 4 places in the top 16 for battles, a qualification round can be made.
g)  Final top 16 order is made (see point 2.2.6 for exact order).
h)  In case there are exactly 16 participants, the qualification will determine only the order of athletes from 1st to 16th place.
i)  Qualification could be modified for top 32 battles or top 8 battles in the final stage. It all depends on time management of the event and the organisers.
j)  The same rules as knockout stage apply (see point 2.2.1).

2.1.2. Qualification with more than 20 participants (Circle battle)

a) There are 4 groups of athletes created based on the seeding.
b) Every athlete is in a group of four meaning they all have three opponents to compete against.
c) All players are in a circle and battling each other.
d) The number of circles depends on the number of athletes registered to compete.
e) Every athlete has three rounds, which last 30 seconds each.
f) Athletes each take their turn in the centre of the circle.
g) After each round, the athlete should move from the centre spot quickly back to their corner to make room for the next athlete.
h) The two best athletes from every circle goes through to the next round (could be more or less depending on the number of circles).
i)  Those two winning athletes are announced straight after each circle battle by the head judge after a short general discussion between the judges.
j)  The same rules as knockout stage apply (see point 2.2.1).
k) For more information on this format along with templates contact info@freestylefootball.org

2.2. Battle Knockout Stage

. 2.2.1. Battle Knockout Rules
The violation of following will result in disqualification at the end of the battle by the Head Judge 
a)  No outside interference is allowed to help stick the ball to the body or clothing (E.g. glue, tape, sticky laces). A check should be made at the start of competition by Head Judge to see if this rule is being broken (Head Judge has the right to inspect the Freestyler immediately after the battle if he is suspicious of rule 2.2.1.b being broken) Note: A hat is not classed as a foreign object so can be integrated into battle
b) Changing equipment (shoes, ball) is not allowed during a battle.
c)  No other people are allowed to be brought into battle.
d)  Use of more than 1 ball in forbidden.
. e) Impersonating of the opponent is allowed, but disrespecting is strictly forbidden. There is a very fine line here and collectively the judges shall decide if anyone is acting inappropriately (See point 3.2)
. 
The violation of following will result as losing the Mistakes criteria in their overall decision
f) Hands are NOT allowed (see point 2.2.3).
g) Participants must not leave the stage at any time during the battle.
h) Whilst one participant is performing, the opponent must not perform any moves or infringe upon their show.
.
. 2.2.2. Footballs
a) The Freestyle Football Federation recognise that a ball of size 5 is the preferred choice. Nevertheless there is tolerance of 0.5 both ways (4.5 and 5.5).
b) No modification to a ball is allowed.
c) If there is an official ball of the tournament, the organisers must ensure every participant has this ball at least 1 month before so they can get used to it.
. d) Once player enter the battle with one ball he must not use any other
.
. 2.2.3. The use of hands
b)  Use of the hands in battles is considered as a mistake.
c)  A ‘hand’ is deemed to be used if the ball contacts anywhere from the tip of an athlete’s finger to just below the shoulder. It is accepted that an athlete can hold the ball prior to spinning the ball into a trick.
.
. 2.2.4 Judges and Judging Criteria
The Freestyle Football Federation have created criteria for a globally recognised judging structure and format. This is developed with input from freestylers across the globe to ensure accuracy.
All official national and International events in the Federation network must adhere to these criteria and it is expected that anyone else organizing freestyle football events will incorporate this system to ensure satisfaction from all participants. 
a) The Federation has educated a team of official judges that can be offered to any event anywhere if required. They are experienced individuals who have worked with the sport of freestyle football extensively as athletes and officials. It is understood by the Federation that any judge of any freestyle football event must be actively involved in the sport and art of freestyle. Judges don’t always have to be actual freestylers, as long as they can accurately assess the sport.
b)  A Head Judge must be appointed at each event.
c)  All judges must be associated with freestyle football, active in the scene for more than 4 years and approved by a member of the events committee. A member of the committee will be assigned to each event once it is registered.
d)  If requested, Judges should all give a short explanation detailing why they made the decision they have at the time they announce the winner of a battle.
e)  Judges decision is final and cannot be changed.
f)  Judges cannot discuss their decision before making it. In the final, the Head Judge must only collect all votes from other judges and the outcome should not be discussed.
g)  Every single judge has the right to use a blank vote in case they are not sure about a decision. They can use this right only once during the whole tournament. Only one exception is for the final battle where a final decision must be made immediately.
h)  In case the same number of votes are given to both players, there can be one extra round of 30 seconds for each player. In this case nothing from the previous battle is considered and the performance in this final extra round is all that counts.
. The 6 x considerations/criteria for Battle Knockouts & Qualification are:
  Difficulty – Technically difficult tricks and combinations are appreciated
  Originality – Performing with individual style and creativity is recommended
  All Round Skills – Competence in all basic aspects: uppers, sit-downs and lowers
  Trick Execution – Looking for clean demonstration of each trick
  Mistakes – Drops or use of hands are not appreciated
  Variety – Repetition should be avoided in battles

A judge should decide which freestyler won each of these 6 x criteria.
If it is a draw 3-3 then the freestyler who won Difficulty will be deemed the winner as this is the most weighted criteria
. 2.2.5. Timing
b) Athletes alternate every 30 seconds (both freestylers will have 3 x 30 seconds in each battle knockout to impress the judges and outperform their opponent).
c) Each athlete should be told to end their round by the MC/host and they are obliged to stop performing immediately to free the space for their opponent. They should each be given 5 seconds notice before the end of each round.
d) If an athlete is mid-combination move at the end of their 30 second round, they will be allowed to complete it and then the opponent’s next 30 seconds will begin (host will announce this).
e) If one athlete ends their round earlier, then the opponent can use this time in their round.
. 2.2.6. Graphical demonstration of the battle schedule 


3.0. Additional regulations

. 3.1.  Protesting
The Tournament Director should be notified immediately during the event if there are any causes for complaint or breaking of the rules set out herein. 
If anyone is unclear about the rules, then any questions should be raised before the event begins. No complaints regarding a misunderstanding of the rule will be considered once the event has started. 
The judges’ decision is final and all participants should respect that. Every participant however does have the right to an explanation of the results from any battle they feature within. This explanation should be given straight after the battle and prompted by the MC/host.
. 3.2. Disrespecting opponents 
Within the format of the battles, successful performers will react to the situation, the music being played by the DJ and to the skills presented by their opponent. 
At times there may be a fine line between impersonating the opponent and their moves and offending them in the heat of a battle. 
With the nature of any freestyle football event now, content will be produced for TV, Mobile and Internet usage almost instantly if not broadcasted live anyway. Therefore with the Federation promoting Freestyle Football around the world as a healthy lifestyle choice for young people and pushing the athletes as role models for others, it is essential that the sport is perceived correctly. 
If the judges feel that any participant acts with any form of major disrespect to their opponents or the judges, the MC/host of the event may (after consulting the judges) highlight this by way of a warning to the participant. If they continue, then the judges have the right to stop the battle and eliminate the athlete. 
Forms of disrespect could take the form of (but not be limited to) racism, negative references to opponent’s family members, general bullying and references to alcohol or drug abuse.
. 3.3. Stage layout 
The stage format in each event could be different. As a basic guideline the Freestyle Football Federation expect each event to allow a 20 feet diameter stage area for the participants to perform within. 
It is always recommended that the event should have consistent weather conditions, which means indoor events are always preferred by the Federation.
To ensure the best performance from players it is requested that a stable stage with non-slippery surface is used. 
The exact details of the flooring and general environment must be declared to the participants prior to the event.