Soccer is played by millions of people across all genders and ages. Recent data reveals that soccer participation is at an all-time high in the US, and in 2019 there were 11.9 million outdoor soccer participants across the country. Not only is it a fun pastime, but playing soccer is a great way to foster camaraderie, community engagement, and physical activity among kids, teens, and adults. Moreover, it makes for a great sport to play in a tournament. According to statistics, there were 850,000 boys and girls in high schools across the country who played in soccer tournaments during the 2018-2019 season, and this number is expected to increase as schools and sports clubs have started reopening.
Having a soccer tournament in your area can help revive your community as we transition to the new normal. If you’ve never organized a soccer tournament before, here’s what you need to do to get people to play soccer in your community.
Determine Which Type of Soccer Tournament To Organize
There are a couple of questions that you need to ask yourself before recruiting soccer players. Do you want a small tournament that lasts only one day, or would you want one that takes up the whole weekend? Do you want the tournament to be a men’s tournament, women’s, kids’, or teens’ tournament? Do you want to hold the standard 11-aside game or the smaller and faster-paced 7-aside soccer game? List down the details of the competition and use this as your basis for further action.
Find A Location
Check out schools, parks, or private fields within your area to hold your tournament. It must be close to your community so it’s easy for everyone involved to get to the location. It must have a flat and level playing field with grass, a place for spectators, bathrooms, and parking. Ask for the per hour or per day fee, insurance requirements, cleaning, and other important details you need to know to be able to hold a tournament in the location.
Once you have a location, start planning your budget. How much do you need for a full-day competition? How about for an entire weekend? How much will you be paying the officials, such as the referees, linesmen, commentators, medics, and other important officials to help operate the tournament? You can send out sponsorship letters to private companies in exchange for brand exposure, or you can partner with non-profit organizations, schools, or even your local government to help raise the funds.
Form The Teams
The teams to invite to your tournament depend on the kind of participants you want to have. Do you want to invite existing teams or clubs? Or perhaps you want to extend your invitation to a few school teams? If you want the tournament to consist of participants who don’t have teams yet, such as kids ages 4 and up, or teams that consist of moms, you can use a random team generator to randomly split players into teams that will be participating in the weekend games. Typically, each team must pay a specific fee to be able to join the tournament, which will can help to cover the costs of the competition.
To make your tournament legitimate and to avoid complaints, you need to hire professional referees and linesmen. The officials must be certified by the USSF to ensure they are trained and experienced in the rules of the game. Things can easily get out of hand in a contact sport, and you must have professional game officials who know what they’re doing and are authorized to implement rules and regulations in and out of the game. Other important personnel you’ll need to hire include medics, commentators, and registration assistants to make the tournament smooth-sailing.
Set Up The Tournament
Set up the location the day before the tournament. Make sure you have enough soccer balls for the game, flags and cones for marking, goal posts, and trophies for winners. Check to see if the sound system is working, as well as the scoreboard and other equipment on the field. Designate areas where the players need to stay, where the spectators are allowed, as well as an area for the officials and organizers. For the day itself, invite a popular soccer player or government official to officially commence the tournament. And let the games begin!
A soccer tournament is a great event that brings members of the community together. It doesn’t have to be a professional competition– it can be viewed as a fun activity that gets everyone involved in sports. With the ever-growing popularity of soccer in the US, a soccer tournament can even be a viable fundraising event for charities in your community, giving you the opportunity to do some good while having fun.