If run well, youth sports tournaments can be great for athletes, parents, and organizations. Follow these tips to make sure your next tournament stands out for all the right reasons.
A tournament, done well, represents everything that is great about youth sports. For the players, there’s the joy of competition and lasting memories spent with their friends. For organizations, hosting a tournament can be great exposure and even a chance to make a profit.
While there are many benefits, running a tournament also takes a lot of planning and time. Follow these tips to make sure your next tournament maximizes fun and minimizes hassles.
The first step to organizing a youth sports tournament is creating a planning committee and naming a director. Clubs need to establish accountability and leadership to ensure all details are covered and delegate tasks. The director can keep individuals on-task and set meeting agendas. They will also become the go-to person for questions and communications.
A big part of organizing a youth sports tournament is setting a budget for how much the club can invest in the tournament. Organizations will recoup funds as teams pay registration fees, but they still need to determine how much money to spend. Setting a budget will also determine how much the club needs to earn during the event to make a profit.
After the committee and budget are in place, the next step in tournament planning is determining the date and location of the tournament. Organizations should make sure the event is not competing with events in the area or other key tournaments.
With the date and venue set, clubs should schedule officials as soon as possible to ensure there are enough officials to properly run the tournament. Knowing the number of available officials can also impact the tournament size and format.
Youth tournaments need volunteers to function. These can be staff members, parents, players, or others in the community. The tournament committee should have a detailed list of jobs with expectations and levels of commitment needed so volunteers know exactly where they need to be and when.
To be successful, tournaments need teams and participants. Clubs should start advertising the event as soon as the date and location are set. They can send out notices to other teams, post flyers around the area and on social media, and use word-of-mouth advertising at other tournaments the team attends to promote the event.
To help cover the costs of running a tournament, clubs need revenue streams Consider:
Sell merchandise. Determine what merchandise you will sell and make sure to place an order well in advance of the event. Consider offering a sponsorship opportunity for a logo on the merchandise as part of your available sponsorship options.
Send communication well in advance of the event to relay details and logistics of the tournament.
Follow these tips and you will set yourself up for a tournament that will make your event a must-do event for clubs year after year.