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Menace Midwest Invitational

Covid-19 Update:

The City of Des Moines has closed Cownie Soccer Complex until May 11th. Due to this, we will be postponing MMI 2020. If you have already signed up for the tournament - please check your email for details from our tournament director.

If you are interested in staying up to date with possible new dates and details, please email to add your email to our list! 


Click here for the MMI 2020 Schedule


Hello there, and thanks for your interest in the Menace Midwest Invitational tournament!

My name is Sydney Tatam, and I am the tournament director for these events, hosted by the Des Moines Menace.

I'm here to help. So, please feel free to call (515-457-6367) or email me any time.

If you haven't done so already, I'd also encourage you to take a moment to read over this page, which attempts to answer some basic questions you might have.

If you're part of a team planning on coming to your first MMI event:

Thank you for giving us a chance. We know there are a lot of tournaments you can choose from, and we acknowledge that a tournament weekend means a huge investment of the time and resources for your team members and families. We strive to make your MMI weekend a memorable experience that everyone in your group will feel good about.

If you're part of a team that's returning to MMI:

Thanks so much for your continued support! We're excited to have you along for the ride. The best compliment for us as the tournament host: teams and clubs like yours that keep coming back, and - better yet - players, coaches and parents who spread the word-of-mouth to other members of the soccer community, growing the excitement for the game. 

Thank you for your time, and I hope to see you at MMI!


May 9-10 2020 @ Cownie Soccer Park

2600 Hartford Ave, Des Moines, IA 50320


Checking In

Friday, May 8, from 6 PM to 8 PM 

1459 Grand Avenue Des Moines, IA 50309

If necessary, teams from outside the area may check in at Cownie Soccer Park, at least an hour before their first match. To check in your team at the soccer park, please report to the table in front of the concession stand (on the right-hand corner as you approach this building). Here, you will find tournament staff to welcome you and get your team all set for an awesome MMI weekend.

Please note: Only one representative from your team needs to be present to check in your team.

You do not need to have any players with you at team check in. Please have your player passes (and coach passes) at the field before each game, for the referees' roll call.


Please provide copies of italicized documents for our files.

Please have all passes uniformly hole-punched, in the order that

matches up with the order of your team roster.

 All teams need to present:  

>> Official team roster (approved by your association)  

>> Player passes for all players and coaches    

>> Medical  releases (do NOT need to be notarized) for all players

Teams with guest players need to present:

  >> Guest-player form (if required by your association); Maximum of five guest players per team.

>> Player passes for guest players

>> Medical releases (do NOT need to be notarized) for guest players

Teams from outside Iowa must present a permission-to-travel form, unless they are affiliated with US Club Soccer. 

Rules for MMI 2020

1.     Competition Eligibility

Welcome to the Menace Midwest Invitational, hosted by the Des Moines Menace!


Participation in this Unrestricted Tournament is open to Boys and Girls teams sanctioned by USSF member organizations (including US Youth Soccer/state associations, US Club Soccer, USSSA and AYSO), based on rosters from the 2019-20 season. 


Roster Limitations:          

·         11U/12U (9v9): Maximum 16 Players

·         U13 – U18 (11v11): Maximum 18 Players


Age Groups:       

·         11U – (born in 2009)                    

·         12U – (born in 2008)                    

·         13U – (born in 2007)        

·         14U – (born in 2006)

·         15U – (born in 2005)


Guest Players:     Each team will be allowed up to five (5) guest players.


Required Forms:  Association-approved roster; current player pass for each player; medical liability form for each player; and permission-to-travel forms (for teams from state associations outside of Iowa) must be presented at tournament check-in. Forms are NOT required to be notarized.


2.      Laws of the Game

All games will be played in accordance with FIFA laws, except where modified by these rules.


3.      Duration of the Games and Ball Size

All games will consist of two halves and a continuous running clock.

·               11U/12U      25 minutes per half        Size 4

·               13U-15U      30 minutes per half        Size 5  


Interval between halves shall be 5 minutes.  The referee is the official timekeeper of the match.

The visiting team will supply the game ball for each match; referee will inspect the game ball prior to each match.


4.      Player Equipment

A.        No necklaces, bracelets, earrings, or rings of any kind will be allowed.

B.        All players on a team must wear similar uniforms with each jersey being numbered distinctly with no numbers being repeated. In the event of cold weather, players may wear extra layers under their jersey and shorts.

C.        Shin guards must be worn at all times.

D.        If a uniform conflict occurs, the home team (listed first on schedule) is responsible for making the appropriate changes.

E.        Any player wearing a cast, splint, or brace must cover this with bubble-wrap or a similar material, to ensure the safety of other players.


5.      Substitutions

Substitutions for all age groups will be unlimited.  Substitutions may be made with the consent of the referee at any of the following times:


A.        Prior to a throw-in by either team;

B.        Prior to a goal-kick by either team;

C.        After a goal by either team;

D.        After an injury by either team where the referee stops the play and can substitute one for one;

E.        At the half-time;

F.        If a player is issued a yellow card, a coach may substitute for that player only during that stoppage in play.


6.      Conduct

A.        Any player dismissed/sent off (red carded by the referee) must sit out the remainder of that match plus his/her team’s next tournament match.  A point will be deducted from team’s point total for every red card received.  No substitution may be made for the player sent off during the match in which the red card was issued. 

B.        A coach who is sent off will not be allowed to coach that team for any more matches in the tournament, and is not allowed in the vicinity of the field for that team’s remaining matches. A point will be deducted for every coach who is sent off.

C.        A fan who is sent off will not be allowed in the vicinity of the field for remaining matches played by either team participating in the match he/she was ejected from.

D.        Two yellow cards issued to the same player in the same match equal a red card and are subject to the same penalties as outlined above from that point

E.        A report will be sent to the state association and league/club of teams whose players or coaches receive red cards or where other serious matters involving the conduct of a team are concerned.


7.      General Rules

A.        Both teams will bench themselves on the same side of the field, and the spectators should be on the opposite side of the field.

B.        Under no circumstances will the tournament committee or the Des Moines Menace be responsible for any expenses (including tournament fee) incurred by any team.  This includes any situation where the tournament or any of its games are cancelled in part or in whole.

C.        The tournament committee’s interpretation of the rules shall be final.

D.        The visiting team will supply the game ball for each match; referee will inspect the game ball prior to each match.

E.        There will be no protests


8.      Failure to Show and Forfeits

A.        A team will be allowed a 5-minute grace period after match was scheduled to kick-off.  After this 5-minutes period has expired the match is awarded to the opponent.  You must have a minimum of 7 players to begin a match. 

B.        In no case will a team, which forfeits a game, be declared a bracket winner.  If an apparent bracket winner forfeits a game, the team with the next best point total in that bracket will be declared the bracket winner.

C.        In the event of a forfeit in the preliminary round, the opposing team will be awarded the win.  The score of a forfeited match will be recorded at 3-0.

D.        Forfeited matches do count towards the 3 games guaranteed to each team.  The tournament committee is not responsible for teams who do not show up for their matches.


9.      Determination of Game Winner

A.    Preliminary games may end in a tie. 

B.    Semi-final and final matches ending in a tie will go directly to a shootout (kicks from the mark).


10.   Game and Score Reporting

The center referee will be given the official score card for each match.  The winning team’s coach must initial the card following the conclusion of every match.  In case of a tie, both coaches must initial the card.  The referee will also indicate any cautions or sendoffs that were given and the reason.  The field marshal will collect score card and report it to the event headquarters. For official score reporting for each game, goals will be capped at 8 goals per team.


11.   Determination of Advancing Teams

The following format will be used to determine bracket winners and advancement to semi-final and final matches.


For semifinal matches: We will switch home teams in the event that teams from the same club are matched up in the semis (even if this means two teams from the same pool will face off in the semis).


·         16 TEAMS: 4 Pools with 4 Teams – Teams will play a round-robin format within the pool to determine the four pool winners that advance to the semifinals.

·         14 TEAMS: 2 Pools with 4 Teams and 2 Pools with 3 Teams – Teams in 4-team pools will play a round-robin format within the pool; Teams in 3-team pools will play the other two teams in their pool, as well as one cross-bracket match. Each pool’s team with the most points advances to the semifinals.

·         12 TEAMS: 3 Pools with 4 Teams – Teams will play a round-robin format within each pool to determine a winner. Semi-finals will have the three pool winners and a wildcard (the team with the next highest points). In the event that the wildcard team is from the same division as its scheduled semifinal opponent, we will switch home teams for the semis.

·         10 TEAMS: 1 Pool with 4 Teams and 2 Pools with 3 Teams – Teams in the 4-team pool will play a round-robin format within the pool; Teams in 3-team pools will play the other two teams in their pool, as well as one cross-bracket match. Each pool’s team with the highest points will advance to the semifinals, along with a wildcard (the team with the next highest points). In the event that the wildcard team is from the same division as its scheduled semifinal opponent, we will switch home teams for the semis.

·         8 TEAMS: 2 Pools with 4 Teams – Each team will play every opponent in their pool.  The top team in each pool, based on points, will play in the final.

·         6 TEAMS: 2 Pools with 3 Teams – In Saturday’s scheduled games, each team will play the other two teams in its pool. These results from Saturday will determine the third game for each team, to be played Sunday. In Game 7, the Pool A team with the most points from its intra-pool games will play the Pool B team with the second-most points; In Game 8, the Pool B team with the most points from its intra-pool games will play the Pool A team with the second-most points; Game 9 matches up the teams with the third-most points from pool play. The final will be a matchup between the Game 7 winner and the Game 8 winner.

Please Note: In our six-team divisions, if two teams from the same club are matched up in one of the semifinals (Game 7 or Game 8), Game 7 will become a division final between the top team in Pool A and the top team in Pool B (based on intra-pool games); this will replace the division final scheduled as Game 10. Under these circumstances, Game 8 will be a matchup between the second-place teams from each pool, while Game 9 will remain a matchup between the pools’ third-place teams.

·         5 TEAMS: 1 Pool with 5 Teams – Teams will play a round-robin format (4 games per team). First- and second-place will be based on points.

·         4 TEAMS: 1 Bracket with 4 Teams – Teams will play a round-robin format (3 games per team). The two teams with the most points in pool play will face each other in the final.


12.  Point System

The following will determine the division or bracket winners:

·                       Three (3) points for a win

·                       One (1) point for a tie

·                       One (1) point deducted for every red card received by player and for every coach who is sent off.


13.  Tie-Breakers

1.         Head-to-head competition (not used in three-team tie)

2.         Wins in preliminary matches

3.         Least goals against

4.         Most goals for (capped at 8 goals per match)

5.         Kicks from the mark


When there is a three-team tie in a situation where there are two advancing places up for grabs (for instance, determining a pool winner and a wild-card winner, or determining the first- and second-place teams in divisions with four or five teams), we will determine the first spot using the above tie-breakers (not using head-to-head competition). Then, we will go back to the top of the tie-breakers to determine the remaining spot (Under these conditions, we consider this a two-way tie, so head-to-head applies here).


In the crazy event that three teams have identical records, goals allowed and goals scored: The tournament director (or someone appointed by the tournament director) will conduct a drawing of team names. The first team drawn will receive the bye; the next team drawn will be the home team against the remaining team in the first contest of penalty kicks. The winner of the first contest will then compete against the bye team in penalty kicks to determine the winner. The bye team will be the home team.



14.   Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, the Tournament Director has the authority to change games as follows:

A.        Relocation or rescheduling of games.

B.        Reduce the duration of any game.

C.        Use “kicks from the mark” to make up any postponed games.

D.        Cancel any preliminary round games, which have no bearing on the selection of bracket winners.

E.        Games (preliminary, semifinals and finals) terminated after one half of play due to weather will be considered final.


15.  Refunds

The Tournament Director has final authority concerning the cancellation, delay, change of time, or any other alteration of games, as required due to weather or emergencies.


The following is the tournament’s refund policy, in the event that preliminary games are not played due to weather, emergencies as deemed by the Tournament Director, rental of facility, opponent not showing up, or act of god:


A.        No games played = All but $100 of the registration fee is returned.

B.        1 game played = 50 percent of the registration fee is returned.

C.        2 games played = No refund.

D.        3 games played or failure to play semi-final and/or final games = No refund.


If semifinal or final games are cancelled, champion and finalist will be determined on points standing after preliminary games.


16.   Credentials

A.      Association-approved roster

B.        Permission-to-travel form if team is from out-of-state (U.S. Club teams do not need this form)

C.        Passes for all players, including guests

D.        Guest-player form (if required by your association)

E.        Medical-release forms for each player (including guest players). Medical-release forms do not need to be notarized.


17.   Acceptances

A.        Teams will be notified on the acceptance date.

B.        Teams will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

C.        No refunds after teams have been accepted.

D.        If not accepted you will be refunded the full amount of the tournament


With the goal of serving the greater good, the tournament host reserves the right to modify the rules. Please understand: No protests are allowed, complaining is never a good solution, the referee’s decision is final, and the tournament host will have the final say in all matters. We are all doing our best here, and we are united by the common mission of providing a positive youth-soccer experience.

Thank you for your support, and thanks for setting a good example of sportsmanship, kindness and respect.

cownie soccer park


One of the Midwest's finest soccer facilities, Cownie Soccer Park is the site of the

Just for Girls events, as well as our Menace Midwest Invitational in May.

Cownie has hosted several high-profile events, most recently the 2013 US Youth Soccer Region II Tournament.

The facility is owned and operated by City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation; Iowa Cubs Sports Turf Management

takes great care of this spectacular facility, which features 12 top-notch grass fields.

Getting there: Cownie Soccer Park is located two miles south of I-235,

and nearly two miles east of US Highway 69 (E. 14th Street).