There are as many as 240 million registered soccer players in the world. Soccer is more popular than basketball, American football, hockey, and baseball.
The world seems to stop for a month every four years while everyone watches the FIFA World Cup.
Soccer is a great way to bring people together. You can do that by organizing a soccer tournament. It can be a small weekend event or a huge weeklong tournament.
If you want to know how to organize a winning soccer tournament, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn the top tips for organizing a soccer tournament.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
A soccer tournament isn’t something that you can plan a couple of weeks in advance. If you want to make an impact on participants, you’ll want to give them and yourself plenty of time to plan to prepare.
How long does it take to organize a soccer tournament? It depends on the size and scope of the tournament. A weekend tournament takes between six months and a year to plan.
As you’re about to discover, there are a lot of steps involved in organizing a soccer tournament.
Get an Organizing Committee Together
Don’t expect to do everything to organize the soccer tournament. You need help. An organizing committee is essential to put on a fantastic tournament.
You’ll need people with certain skill sets. For example, you’ll need someone skilled in sales to get sponsors. It helps to have community connections to secure permits and fields.
Know your own strengths and weaknesses. Get people on the committee to handle the things that you don’t want to do or don’t fall in line with your strengths.
Choose the Purpose of the Tournament
What do you want this tournament to do? It can be a fundraiser for a local organization, bring teams together in a region, or serve as a recruiting opportunity for travel and college teams.
Decide if this is a one-time event or if this is an annual thing. If you want to have an annual tournament, you’ll want to claim a particular date on the calendar, like the third weekend in May.
That regularity helps everyone plan ahead. Teams can mark their calendars and sponsors can allocate their budgets.
Who’s Your Target Audience?
Understanding the target audience helps you determine the logistics of the event. For instance, if you’re looking for U-9 to U-13 teams, you’ll market to their parents.
You’ll also look for sponsors that cater to this demographic. It also sets the tone for the tournament. If it’s a recruiting event, then it’ll have a serious tone.
A tournament for adult recreation players should be competitive and a lot of fun, too.
Map Out the Logistics
There are a host of logistical challenges to putting on a soccer tournament. First off, ask yourself if players and teams need transportation from the airport or to the fields.
This isn’t necessary if the teams are nearby and drive to the matches.
You’ll need to secure fields and permits to put on the tournament. You’ll definitely want to have an insurance policy that covers your organization’s liability.
A soccer tournament isn’t complete without referees. Make sure you have qualified refs to manage the tournament. They should be able to handle parents, coaches, and players in stressful situations.
If you have teams traveling from far away, you should work with a local hotel to secure a block of rooms.
A memorable soccer tournament has a fantastic opening and closing ceremony. You’ll want to organize locations near the playing fields to host these events.
Don’t forget about trophies. You’ll need to have trophies made for each division winner.
How much will all of this cost? That’s what you need to figure out in the budget. Each item listed above needs to be included in the budget. You’ll then add on how much you want to make for your organization.
This allows you to set the pricing for teams and players accordingly.
You might find that it’s expensive to organize a soccer tournament. You want to make it affordable for teams to show up, but you have to make ends meet.
One way to offset the costs of the soccer tournament is to get sponsors. They pay a couple of hundred dollars to have their logo on promotional materials.
Sponsors can also provide items for free or at a steep discount. It’s possible to have a hotel sponsor give an additional discount to tournament participants.
A grocery store can sponsor the tournament. They’ll provide snacks and water instead of a cash contribution.
Make a list of sponsors who want to reach tournament participants. Assign each sponsor to a committee member to contact.
Get additional sponsors to provide coupons and samples for a swag bag for participants.
Open Team and Player Registrations
You’ll need to get a website and software to manage the payments and registrations. This makes keeping track of the teams and payments easy.
The website can serve as a marketing tool as well. Optimize it for search engines so when people search for social soccer near me or keywords related to the purpose of the event, you’ll appear.
There may be players that don’t have teams but would love to play. Keep a list of registered players that don’t have a team and assign them to teams before the games begin.
You’ll want to have an opening date and closing date for registrations. This gives you enough time to plan the rest of the tournament.
You’ll set the final schedule and let the teams play to win.
How to Organize a Soccer Tournament
It takes a lot of work to organize a soccer tournament. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time and get a committee together to plan and take care of the logistics.
You’ll have a great soccer tournament that people will want to come back to year after year.
Visit this blog often for more helpful tips and advice.