How To Run a Soccer Tournament

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

Decide the level of competition you are looking for and number of teams. Soccer leagues all over have different levels of ability ranging from recreational to high quality clubs. This should determine the amount each team will need to pay for entry.

Step 2

Contact teams and choose who you would like to compete. You'll need teams that are of the same caliber to keep the competition fair. You'll need a minimum of 6 teams to make the tournament worthwhile. Contact teams from anywhere in the state to ensure numbers.

Step 3

Secure fields and officials. Reserve field space at least a month in advance. Get in touch with the parks and recreation department of the county you would like to hold the tournament in and secure permits. The permit rates should be on the county website, as well as the officials listings would be on the referees association website.

Step 4

Find a good number of volunteers. Reach out to the parents of participating clubs and teams.

Step 5

Set seeds and a tournament style. I suggest setting teams into groups of 3-4 and have them play all of the group. The top 1-2 of each group move on to play the other group winners. This way even teams that don't make it far into the tournament will get a good amount of games and want to participate. From then on single loss eliminations.

Step 6

Set up a concessions stand. That way parents and players can fuel up during down time, while you make money to help fund the tournament or the the next one. Use volunteers to run a table with sports drinks, energy bars, snacks. Have a grill master making hot dogs and hamburgers for players and parents in between games.

Step 7

Get trophies fit for champions. You can say trophies don't matter but whats a better show of your accomplishment than a nice looking trophy. Hand out other awards such as top scorer to involve the rest of the teams in the final stages of your tournament.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Setting up the game schedule will be tough you must stay organized and make sure each teams are set up correctly. Ask that teams have a coach or booster come at least an hour before their fist game to register. Ask volunteers to show up 2 to 3 hours early to help set up and register teams.

Stuff You'll Need

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When did you first do this & how did you get started?

Last year was my first experience helping set up a local tournament, and it was great. I will be doing it for years to come thanks to my old club.

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