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Tournament News and Tips

10 Tournament Preparation Tips

Use your tools. AYSO’s Tournament Manual has a ton of need-to-know information, including a checklist of things that need to be accomplished before, during and after your tournament.

Stay organized. Create an organization chart of who will be responsible for different aspects of your tournament. Review this chart regularly to make sure that all important duties are assigned pre-tournament.

Plan ahead. Be sure to set up planning meetings with everyone listed on your organization chart at least 30 days ahead of the tournament date. After your first meeting, schedule smaller update meetings that are closer to your tournament date.

Outside help. Besides the volunteers that are handling tournament logistics, you’ll have a lot of outside vendors pitching in as well. Coordinate and prepare for emergency medical services, and food and T-shirt vendors, etc., to be on site and easily accessible.

Remember to schedule. It’s important to remember that your tournament schedule isn’t just for your reference, but for all of your volunteers and attendees as well. It’s a good idea to have your game schedule ready to share no later than two week before the tournament. Plan to have your referee schedule ready no later than one week prior.

Do an inventory. Look over what equipment your Region already has, and what has to be purchased. Do you have enough tables, chairs, shaded areas, hand stamps, water, bathroom access, etc.?

Figure out your fields. A good time to figure out how your fields will be used is when you’re planning your game schedule. What age groups are going to playing on which fields? Who’s going to line and monitor the fields on game day?

All about awards. This will take some planning ahead – you’ll want to order the tournament medals, pins, coins and other awards at least 45 days prior to your tournament date. Once you receive them, you’ll need some time to organize them by age group, etc. Remember, there’s no penalty for planning ahead!

Rain, rain, go away. Every tournament needs a rain-out plan. What happens if a few games, or an entire day gets affected by rain? Is there an open day where these games could be rescheduled? Plan this out with your board.

Talk about it. After your tournament is over, schedule a post-tournament de-briefing with your board. Talk about what worked, what didn’t and things you would change for the next time around. 

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