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MaddenUniversity Official Tournament Rules

Category: Rules 11 months ago Tournament Rules

ELIGIBILITY:  Tournament registration and play is open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are thirteen (13) years of age or older at the time of entry.  Participants are required to pay the $30.00 entry fee in order to compete.  Entry fees are non-refundable.

PRIZES: Total Prize Pot is $300 awarded to the top 3 finishers

    Grand Prize:  $175.00
    2nd Prize:  $75.00
    3rd Prize:  $50.00

PLATFORM: The Tournament is being played on the PlayStation 4 (PS4) console using the Madden NFL 16 title from EA Sports. Any standard PS4 controller can be used.  Players are encouraged to bring their own standard PS4 controllers.  Controllers can be rented for an additional $10.00 at the event.

EQUIPMENT: Please bring your own PS4 controller for use during the tournament. Participants that do not have a controller can rent one the venue for $10.00 for the duration of the event.  Renting controllers require a $30.00 deposit, $20.00 of the deposit will be refunded once rented controllers are returned in good condition.

ARRIVAL TIME: Participants are expected to arrive on time.  Game Day check-in begins at 11am.  Verification of entry fees and valid photo identification are required at check-in.  After identity and eligibility verification, participants will begin play shortly after being assigned to 3-man divisions.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT: Participants are guaranteed at least 2 games in 3-man divisional round robin play. Participants are required to play one (1) game each against the other participants in their assigned division.  The winner of each 3-man division earns a position in the Single Elimination Playoff Round (SEPR) scheduled begin approximately 15 minutes after divisional play has ended.  SEPR will begin once enough players are seeded, according to participation.  The maximum players allowed to play in the SEPR is 64, however, SEPR may begin with less than 64 contestants if participation dictates.

DIVISIONAL ROUND PLAY: To make the SEPR participants must win a 3-Man Divisional Round Robin. Divisional play begins immediately after check-in and divisional assignments are completed. Divisional Round Play will continue until 3PM or until all SEPR slots are filled, whichever comes first.  SEPR slots will be determined after check-in.   Divisional Round play will begin with 2 participants in a head-to-head match.  For the second game, the loser of the first game will play the remaining participant.  For the third game, the winner of the first game will play the participant that did not play in the first game.  The participant with the best record in each 3-man divisional play will earn a slot in the SEPR.  3-way ties (1-1) will be settled using statistics for (1) point differential, (2) total points, and a (3) coin-flip.

BUY BACKS: Participants failing to qualify for the SEPR may attempt to re-qualify by entering another 3-man Divisional Round if participation permits to fill remaining SEPR spots.  Re-qualification for the SEPR requires a re-qualification fee of $30.00. To re-qualify, alert a tournament official.

PLAYOFFS:  Playoffs will consist of 32-64 Qualifying Bracket Winners. Participants that win a Qualifying 3-man Bracket are eligible for the SEPR. If participation permits, wild card positions in the SEPR may also be available.  SEPR will be Single Elimination with no buy-backs available.

TEAMS: Participants may use any of the 32 current NFL teams. Participants may change teams before any game and may play with the same team as an opponent.  All games will use the latest rosters updates from EA Sports.

CREWS PLAYING SAME CREW: will attempt to honor requests to separate participants during Divisional Round Play.  Early arrival on game day ensures priority when 3-Man Divisional groups are created.  Later arrivals may face less flexibility in creation of Divisions.  Participants must inform tournament staff of separation requests during check-in.  Tournament official judgments are final.  Players with separation requests assigned to meet in divisional rounds must be played as scheduled. Failure to play scheduled Divisional round games may result in disqualification.

FORFEIT GAMES: Participants that decide not to play will forfeit the game advancing the remaining participant automatically with the exception of the Championship Game. Registered participants must be available to start games as they are announced.  Failure to be available when one's name is called will result in forfeiture or the game.  Tournament officials will attempt to contact players three (3) times.  3-Man Divisional spots will go to the next participant on standby.  Tournament officials judgments are final.

21-PT MERCY RULE:  There is a Twenty-One (21) point mercy rule for this tournament.  Any participant gaining a lead of twenty-one (21) or more points, shall be declared the winner if their opponent is unable to on the ensuing possession.  Once a participant gains a 21 point lead, they may not use onside kicks to deny the trailing opponent their possession.  If the trailing participant is unable to reduce the lead, the game is over.

USE OF HURRY UP OFFENSE: Hurry-up offensive philosophy is permitted at any time, including after incomplete passes (software permitting).  If hurry-up is used after an incomplete pass, the offense must refrain from calling any audibles, hot-routes, play flipping, or any other adjustments until the defense is set at the line of scrimmage.  Failure to abide by this rule will cost a timeout for each offense, and forfeiture of possession after all timeouts for a half are exhausted.

NO TAKE OVER TEAMS: Participant assignments and SEPR seeding is not transferable. If a participant cannot finish his/her game, they shall forfeit and the remaining participant shall advance.

VIEW: Our tournament default view is Standard View.

NO REFUNDS: Once registration fees are received, refunds will not be issued.  Refunds will only be issued for controller rentals after the controller is returned and verified to be in good working order.

PERSONAL MEMORY DEVICES: No personal memory devices, such as USB drives, permitted.  Tournament officials may use memory devices to upload updated rosters prior to the tournament.  No other memory devices permitted.

AUDIBLES: Participants are allowed to change audibles before each game, at half-time, and during timeouts that the participant has called. Audible privacy will be given to each participant for two (2) minutes prior to game time.  Thirty (30) seconds of audible privacy are given during halftime and timeouts.


Tournament officials will present a list of banned plays on game day based on the known technical issues with the Madden NFL 16 software. Banned plays may not be used during the divisional or SEPR rounds.

If a participant suspects an infractions has been committed, they must immediately pause the game and report the infraction to a Tournament official. If an infraction has been committed then offending participant will receive a verbal warning, REVERSAL OF ANY YARDS GAINED OR POINTS SCORED.   A second violation will result in an Automatic Forfeit of Game.

CHEATING OR INFRACTION: Participants that feel an infraction has been committed must pause the game and alert a tournament official. Tournament officials will assist in addressing any issues.

REPORTING INFRACTIONS:  Once a violation is committed, participants reporting violations must pause the game immediately and alert tournament officials.  Do not review a play before contacting the official. Do not wait til the next play to report possible infractions. Tournament officials will only make a ruling on any infractions that  are reviewed immediately after their occurrence.  There will be no penalties assessed for not reviewed plays.

PLAYBOOKS: Custom plays and/or playbooks are not permitted in this tournament.

PLAYER POSITIONING: Defensive Lineman must be visible on-screen before the snap of the ball.

SCREEN TOGGLING:   Excessive screen toggling is not permitted prior to a snap or during FG or punt plays. Infractions will result in loss of a timeout.  Participants reporting this infraction must pause the game and alert a tournament official. Snapping the ball forfeits the right to report a violation.  Participants are not permitted to pause the game with a field goal or punt in progress. Participants failing to adhere to this rule must call a timeout to allow the kick to progress properly.

KICKING: Participants are not allowed to manually block Field Goals or Punt attempts.  Players may choose to move a player off the line of scrimmage to provide additional blocking for returns, but my only move one player away from the line of scrimmage and must remain in control of that player until the ball is snapped.  Any other defensive movement during field goals and punts is prohibited.  In situations before the half, participants are not permitted to jump offside when their opponent is attempting a FG.

Participants may opt to go for it on 4th down at anytime. Fake punt plays are legal only on 4th down outside the opponent's 35 yard line. Fake punts are not permitted on point after attempts.

Fake Field Goal Plays are permitted outside the 40-yard line and only on 4th down, or the last play of a half.

Onside kicks are allowed at anytime, except when one participant is leading by 21 points or more.

SUBSTITUTIONS: Substitutions may be made at any time using the package system from the play call screen.  Substitutions requiring the game to be paused must be made before the game, during halftime, or during timeouts that the participant making substitutions has called.  Timeouts requiring a pause are limited to 30 seconds.


    Quarter Length: 3 minutes (3-Man Qualifying Bracket)
    Quarter Length: 3 Minutes (Single Elimination Playoff Rounds)
    Quarter Length: 4 Minutes (Championship Game)
    Skill: All Madden
    Madden Default Settings
    Injuries: On
    Fatigue: On
    Accelerated Clock: Off
    Madden Challenge: Off
    Random Weather: Off


    Penalties: On
    Offsides: On
    All penalties at Middle slider


    All assists: Off
    All Meters: Middle
    Human and CPU: All sliders at middle setting

IT IS NOT the tournament directors responsibility to make sure all auto assist are off. You must take the liberty of checking that yourself of your opponent before each game.

Audibles, Depth Chart, substitutions - Players have 2 minutes each to set audibles, depth chart, substitutions


    1st Down lines displayed
    Player Names displayed
    Auto Replay: off (May be ON in Finals)


    Announcer: Off

Settings will be saved on the system if possible.

If game settings are found to be wrong during a game, the settings will be corrected and the game will proceed.


    Players will continue play until someone wins.

COACHING: Assisting players with game time decisions, strategy, or tactics is prohibited.  Anyone offering assistance will be asked to leave the gaming area.

JOURNALS: Notebooks, magazines, cheat sheets, study guides, or Madden books will be permitted on the premises, but are prohibited during a game play.  Participants may consult with printed material during timeouts only.

RECORDING DEVICES:  Video cameras, digital cameras and 35mm cameras are allowed, but recording games is not permitted.

LIABILITY: We are not responsible for property lost, stolen, or broken during the tournament. Participants are asked to label items belonging to them to avoid confusion.

HOME & AWAY: A flip of a coin will decide which player gets to play at home. Once a participant advances to the later rounds both players will flip for home field advantage.

OVERTIME: All games that end in a tie will go to sudden death.

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY: All games will be placed on situation mode if there is any type of problem with the PS4 or Madden disk causing an interruption in game play.

RULES UPDATE:  Tournament officials reserve the right to append or remove rules from this list without notice.

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