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Tips for Choosing the Right
Tournament for Your Team

The soccer season may officially be coming to a close, but parents know that doesn’t mean much in terms of your child’s schedule. Tryouts, camps, tournaments -- these days, a top young soccer player has plenty to keep busy until the season starts again next fall.

Last month, PlayOn! took a look at camps and gave parents a list of questions to ask and things to look for when choosing a camp. This month, we do the same for tournaments – with so many to choose from locally, across the state and even around the country, what steps can you take to narrow the list and find the tournaments that will be the most rewarding for your team?

To help us, we went to one of the Seattle’s area’s most respected tournament coordinators, Starfire Sports’ Director of Business Development and Tournaments Teddy Mitalas. Teddy coordinates dozens of soccer tournaments throughout the year for recreational and competitive youth players – even professional teams.

Below is Teddy’s checklist with the key questions to ask, and main qualities to look for when choosing the right tournament for your team this summer.

Value/Bang for your buck

  • What are you getting? Giveaways, awards, pins, etc
  • Field/facility quality
  • What’s provided – do you have to bring your own game balls? What is the quality of the game balls, goals, etc?
  • How well is the tournament managed – how quickly are questions answered? How easy is it to find and view your schedule? How quickly are scores posted? How responsive is the staff?
  • On-site medical services? At a fee? Free?
  • Other added benefits (activities, entertainment, etc)?


  • Traveling team? Consider how close the playing fields are to hotels and the airport.
  • How close is the location to activities and amenities such as restaurants
  • On-site amenities? Restaurants, locker rooms, other?
  • How many venues will you be playing at, and how far away are they from one another?


  • What kinds of teams will be there? Will teams from other states/other countries be there? What skill level will be there?
  • What level is your team?
  • What are you looking to get out of the tournament? Do you want to play to advance (i.e. advance to a regional or national tournament)? Do you want to showcase your team/players? Are you looking to really challenge your team? Are you looking for a little fun?

Follow these easy steps, and you’ll be sure to have success at whatever tournament you choose this summer. As always, you can view a list of sanctioned tournaments throughout the year at, by clicking the “Tournaments” tab at the top of the page.

For more information on Starfire Sports and the soccer services they offer, click here.

Washington Youth Soccer

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