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Hosting a Tournament

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National Tournament Handbook

A tournament is any organized special event that brings together teams of soccer players for the purpose of competing in soccer games; whether for sportsmanship, friendship, a championship or other competitive recognition, with or without awards or other recognition, in an environment that is good for the players and good for the game.

Tournaments can either be a play-off system for the primary program, or a secondary-play program activity. They can be for-fun (i.e. a soccerfest) or for competition (i.e. a play-off with an eventual winner). But mostly, tournaments are intended as a means to allow kids an additional opportunity to play soccer.

Participating in a successful tournament should be the source of good memories and lasting friendships for both the hosts and guests. Innumerable hours of hard work and preparation by a staff of dedicated volunteers are necessary to have a successful tournament experience.

Holding a tournament can and should be beneficial to the AYSO group hosting it. There are a variety of reasons to host one:


Most significantly, a tournament provides a valuable opportunity for players to play the game of soccer beyond the primary program, providing an enjoyable time for players, coaches, referees and tournament volunteers. This opportunity is good for the kids and good for the game.


Other reasons to host tournaments include: fostering Region, Area or Section development through camaraderie; demonstrating the AYSO philosophies to your local community; building player and volunteer camaraderie; or as a playoff activity that advances teams to Area or Section play.


Fundraising activities involve fiscal responsibility to the Region and the organization. AYSO is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and all fundraising ventures must be designed to protect this status. The most common acceptable fundraising usages include monies for player scholarships, keeping Region registration fees affordable, field development, field usage fees and new equipment.

Hosting a tournament should also be looked at as a business venture entered into by the Region, Area or Section. While most tournaments hope to generate some revenue from the event, the reputation of AYSO and the hosting body is at stake. Additionally, there is also the risk of some economic loss. Being entrusted with fees paid by teams to provide a service (a tournament) implies an obligation on the part of the hosts to deliver that service in a quality manner and as stated in the tournament invitation.

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