If you want your tournament to be successful, it needs to be well-planned and professional. While holding your own tournament is a ton of work, it’s also rewarding. To organize your soccer tournament, you’ll need to budget for your event, find a good location, establish your tournament, attract teams, and host your tournament.
Prepare an expense plan.
You can use a spreadsheet or just make a list that helps you keep track of your tournament expenses. You need to have written documentation for your tournament costs so that you can keep your finances organized and easily explain the costs to your funding sources. Insert all of your figures into a spreadsheet, including a contingency fund. Calculate a total cost for the tournament so that you can plan how to fund it.
Find out the market rates of rental facilities. You need to have a general idea of how much it will cost to rent fields for your tournament. Contact your local government, schools, and athletic clubs to ask about available fields and the rental costs. Insert the number range on your spreadsheet.
While you're asking about costs, consider getting information about rules and policies.
You will need referees, concession stand operators, security, cleaning crew, and people to help during game transitions. Ask other local organizers for rates they pay or go online for a pay range.
Consider asking for volunteers to referee, clean up, or work the concession stand. You may be able to make it a condition for entering the festival that the team provides a certain number of parent volunteers during times the teams are not playing.
Look for sponsors. Sponsors can offset a lot of your costs if you’re willing to promote other organizations or events. You may even be able to partner with another organization to share the costs and the proceeds. Make sure that you get any sponsorship deals in writing and fulfill your side of the bargain.
You may be able to sell advertisements as a form of partnership. These ads can be placed on t-shirts, signs, or promotional materials that you use to advertise the tournament. Consider placing signs around the edges of the field.
Choose a date. Before you can book your venue, you’ll need to choose a date so that you can make sure that the location you want is available on the day or weekend you plan to host the tournament. Your tournament should not conflict with other tournaments, and it will probably attract more established teams if you choose a date during the normal soccer season in your region.
You may need to have your tournament over a weekend, depending on how many fields you have and how many teams you plan to accommodate. Make sure that you budget enough time for games.
Find an available field. Your tournament will need to allow for at least one playing field, though more fields will allow for more teams to enter. Refer to the list of fields you called during budgeting to choose the best one.
Call local facilities, particularly those that already host soccer games.
Consider how many teams will be playing in your tournament to help you find your field needs.
You may be able to get the field for free as a sponsorship opportunity. For example, a local school may allow you to use their field if you promote them as a sponsor.
Make sure that your field has seating. Your tournament will draw spectators who will want a comfortable means of watching the teams play. Don’t count on your spectators to bring their own seating. You need to choose a field that has seating, such as stands
Ask about the requirements to use the field. You will likely need to purchase insurance for your tournament’s use of the field, so ask the field owner how much insurance you will need to purchase. You also need to find out what you need to do to prepare the field and clean it after the tournamenstands
Name your tournament. Choose a name that will attract attention and tell people what kind of tournament it is. Depending on the size of your area or the type of your organization, you may want to include the area’s or organization’s name in the tournament. Teams are more likely to want to participate in a tournament that sounds elite or like it’s for a good cause, so keep that in mind.
Recruit volunteers. Using volunteers will allow you to collect more proceeds since you won’t have to hire as much staff. Contact local colleges and civic organizations to look for volunteers to help with refereeing matches, serving concessions, picking up trash, providing directions to guests, monitoring the area, reminding people of the rules, and other basic duties.