soccer ball with medical mask

It only takes one

It only takes one player with courage to make a difference and affect change.

It only takes one player to stand up and do the right thing. I’m not talking about the first one to do something, like insisting on wearing a mask at all times — even on the pitch — during a pandemic. That player was born with courage; she is always going to do the right thing no matter what. To attempt to coach this quality out of her is pointless.

I’m talking about the second player to support her. I’m talking about the second player to stand up, face her and put on a mask.

Being that second takes an incredible amount of courage.

Soccer is a team sport and requires all its team members to pull together in the same direction. Inevitably, the question of dissent creeps into this argument by way of questioning a player’s “coachability.” Is a player who defiantly takes a stand “coachable?” Surely not, most coaches would say.

But they would be wrong. When a player takes a stand that is the moral and ethical thing to do, one that is supported by science and data, what right does the coach have to suppress that?

She doesn’t. In fact, she has a duty to stand up and be that third person to support her player.

A great coach draws good qualities out from her players, supports and nurtures them. A great coach recognizes that she is not the true leader of her team, but the players who are instilled with bravery and fearlessness, who charge onto a pitch that contains the unknown and untested — armed only with the confidence in their convictions and skills — are the true leaders.

Treasure those players. Support them and they will support each other.

Have the courage to be that third.

There’s a global pandemic raging right now. Take care of yourself and others as you seek to safely play this game we all love. Wear a mask, wash your hands often, practice safe distance by playing the ball and not the player. Be safe and we will all get through this together. The game will go on; make sure you are a part of it.

Post pandemic soccer tournaments

Nobody knows what soccer tournament play will look like post-pandemic, but the soccer community does agree on one thing; there will be soccer tournaments. It remains to be seen how much less contact the “non-contact” sport will become.

Regardless, it will be interesting.

Tournament directors will have to think deeper about how they want to manage their fields, what social distancing means, and how much health-related behavior compliance they can require. In some states, there will be laws and executive orders to aid the directors, whereas some states will bend more toward individual liberties. The rift will be felt most when teams from less complaint states will cross into those with stricter safety guidelines.

In any respect, a solid #COVID-19 policy should be crafted now, teams applying into your tournament event should be required to sign (explicitly or via the application TOS) and a plan for execution and enforcement drawn up now, before the fall season gets busy.

Our recommendations are:

  1. Keep it simple. Then simplify it even more.
  2. Use as little technology* as possible to communicate and execute the plan on-site.
  3. Sanitize everything. Be visible, show your guest teams that you take this seriously and in return, you expect them to take it seriously.
  4. Use signage, big signs with as few words as possible. Be specific, direct, don’t worry about being
  5. Use physical barriers, ground markings, etc to calculate distancing for the participants. ENFORCE THEM WITH ZERO TOLERANCE! There is a lawn company locally that advertises on TV.. their tag line is “if you give a weed an inch, they will take a yard.” Don’t give up one inch of your six feet distancing.

Here are some signage ideas:

  • Face masks are required for all players and attendees. Players ONLY may remove mask while on the pitch, but mask must remain on while on the sidelines.
  • Parents and fans are encouraged to remain in their cars during games.
  • Spectators MUST remain 6 ft apart while on the touchline and may NOT extend past the box.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Move quickly between games but maintain social distance.
  • ABSOLUTELY NOBODY EXCEPT TOURNAMENT STAFF IS ALLOWED IN THE HQ TENT or within 30 ft from the front or any other opening.

On another note, when teams come out for Fall tournaments, they may not be in the best shape for competition. Even if individual players have kept up their fitness and ball skills, they will have lost a bit of team play. It will take them a bit to find their rhythm.

Should you include your COVID-19 policy in your official rules? YES, we think so!

Be patient. Be safe.

*Sounds weird coming from a technology company, right? But as we’ve been all taking a break, we’ve been watching a lot of soccer tech companies making a lot of noise about how they will be solving the social distancing issues that are inherent in soccer tournaments. This is great stuff, I suppose, if compliance were 100%, but every tournament director knows that a plan only sounds great — until that whistle blows. Then, it’s organized chaos. Keep it super simple; don’t tech the crap out of something that a good sign, field markings and rope can solve.

COVID-19 Updates and Soccer Tournaments

The coronavirus pandemic is rapidly evolving and will affect soccer leagues and tournaments. Right now, it’s not a question of if, but when and how much.

While each tournament needs to determine the best path going forward, in some instances these decisions may be made for you, as in Ohio and Michigan recently.

While we know you have a lot of questions regarding your website, rest assured firstly, TourneyCentral isn’t going anywhere. While this sudden downturn will be uncomfortable, we are sufficiently capitalized and staffed to weather this. We are both in this together and together, we will also get through this.

Please take the time to review your own contingency plans should the dates of containment be pushed back. Communicate clearly and concisely with your guest teams. Your TourneyCentral website is equipped with communication tools to help you manage this task efficiently. Be sure your Frequently Asked Questions are updated and current.

We’ll make it through. Stay calm, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face and practice social distancing. (WHO Website for COVID-19 info)


Now may be a good time to review our cancelation policy. As always, please advise us as early as possible if you will be forced to cancel. As always if needed, we will work with you as best we can.

20 second timer

Soccer tournaments and coronavirus

As a soccer tournament director, you should be crafting a plan to address the coronavirus for your event.

A soccer tournament hosts a lot of people in a concentrated area. As a tournament organizer, you need to be prepared with a written statement, a strategy and a training session for all volunteers. Hopefully, this post will help you formulate that plan, assuage anxiety within your staff and with the teams you are hosting.

You should not panic, but you should be cautious, vigilant and prepared.

Firstly, keep yourself informed. Misinformation is not helpful for you or your hosted teams. The best organization for information is the World Health Organization. In the United States, the prevailing authority for the coronavirus is the local health officials, so make sure you are in direct contact with the municipalities where your tournament is being played.

DISCLAIMER: We are not medical experts and this post is not medical advice.

Ok, that said, and following the advice of the medical professionals at the WHO and your local health departments, here are some soccer tournament-specific tips we think will help everyone attending your event.

Tournament Staff:

  • Firstly, respect the wishes of your guest teams. If they wish to withdraw amidst fears of the coronavirus, respect that. Have a plan in place, whether that is event insurance or a refund.
  • Stock Lysol or similar disinfectant that is specific for a coronavirus.
  • Map out all the public areas like restrooms, porta-lets and concession areas. Create a plan to methodically disinfect all these areas. Assign volunteers to disinfect these areas throughout the tournament. Post a sign-off sheet in plain view of the participants with dates and times the area was last disinfected to assure them you are taking necessary steps to ensure their safety.
  • Include a statement in your liability release that indemnifies your event. (consult your legal counsel on this one, please)
  • Ask your local health department if they have a brochure you can hand out or post to your forms area on your website for the coaches and parents.
  • Wash your own hands frequently. Make sure all your volunteers do the same. You may want to do this in plain site of the participants to set an example and also assure them you are protecting them.
  • Make sure your vendors are aware and ask them for their coronavirus prevention plans, especially any food vendors. This is no time to be shy; ask them directly. Make sure they stick to the plan they say they will abide by. Again, be direct.
  • Post signs in every restroom areas — above the sinks, on the front and back of each door, in each stall, on the porta-let doors, on the concession stand areas — reminding participants to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. Provide soap that is listed as killing a coronavirus and make sure you never run out.
  • Keep the restroom areas clean and make sure any used hand towels are contained entirely in trash cans. Don’t allow them to overflow.
  • Encourage all participants to make your soccer tournament a “no touching” event. Eliminate handshaking as much as possible. Ask teams to air-touch hands, fist-bump or elbow touch at the start and end of the games. Also, encourage parent to NOT make a tunnel for the players to run through.
  • Spray the game ball with disinfectant before and after every game.


  • Respect the parents’ wishes! If they don’t want their kid to play in the event, don’t force it or punish them. You are responsible for the team, but the parents are responsible for their kid’s overall health.
  • Respect the coronavirus policy of the tournament. Make sure your parents are also respectful of the policy, regardless of their personal opinions.
  • Encourage your players to keep the soccer ball at their feet at all times. A cool unintended consequence of this is they get more touches and develop more ball control skills.
  • Identify and eliminate times when players will touch.
  • Encourage players to cough into their elbows or upper arms. Don’t play players who are sick.
  • Practice precautions yourself and be a good example to your players.

I’m sure there are a few more tips that you can think of, but the important take-away is to be prepared, be vigilant but not panicked. Above all, do not spread misinformation or allow it to be spread. Be clear, concise and visible about your coronavirus policy.

Soccer is a team sport and we are all in this together. Let’s do all we can to make your soccer tournament a safe event.

*That graphic at the top of this post is just me saying, “Hey Siri, set a timer for 20 seconds” before I start washing my hands. I’m told singing two verses of ‘Happy Birthday’ is also about 20 seconds long.

DaytonStrongCup 3v3 Soccer Tournament

DaytonStrongCup 3v3 Soccer Tournament

UPDATE: Thank you for your support of the Dayton Community as we continue to repair the damage caused by the Memorial Day tornados. Through your generosity, we were able to raise $2,957.00 for the Miami Valley Community Action Partnership. The funds will be used primarily to help displaced residents find and secure housing.

While the TV cameras have largely moved on from the damage the Dayton community sustained from the Memorial Day tornados, many residents continue to need help reconstructing their lives they lost in the few moments the tornados touched down on their homes. Many lost everything.

There is still a lot of work to be done and your generous contribution will help organizations on the ground continue to do their work.

* * *
On Memorial Day, 15 tornados touched down in the Dayton, Ohio area, the largest ones hitting Trotwood, Brookville, Riverside and Old North Dayton. They were rated EF4, with winds up to 170 mph.  

Many lost their homes; many more were displaced without power, food, water or shelter. Thanks to local groups on the ground, a lot of the initial cleanup has been addressed, but the hard work of rebuilding lives still needs to be done. In the coming months, the tornado survivors will need not only their physical needs met, but their mental well-being cared for. 

We believe that sports help heal. It is in that spirit that we are reaching out to the soccer community and asking us to come together to help provide a fun day of play and entertainment, food and laughter.

We are organizing a fun 3v3 soccer tournament event to help raise funds that will continue the relief efforts. The games will be 25 minutes each, with 12 minute halves, played on three small-sided fields. Team divisions will be separated by age. All teams are co-ed, youth and adult (parents, fans, coaches, referees) We are limiting the number of teams to 36 due to the number of available fields, so apply early!

We are not asking for team fees to compete, but rather donations for what you feel you can give (suggested fees are $50.00 per team.) We are also accepting sponsorships for individuals and organizations who would like to help but can’t form a team. For those players who have lost everything, we only ask that you have a good time. (checks accepted on Saturday, credit cards will also be accepted)

In addition, June 20th is Warrior Soccer Club night at the Crew Stadium in Columbus. We have purchased four tickets to the Columbus Crew vs Montreal Impact match at 7:30pm. Each player on a competing team is eligible to win. Players who are able to travel to the game can place their name in a hat and the winning names will be drawn prior to the 1:00pm game.

The Dayton, Ohio area is home to TourneyCentral and the soccer and business community here has been very good to us the past twenty years. For us here at TourneyCentral, this is very personal. We hope to raise funds to help, but more importantly, we hope to raise spirits.

We hope that by bringing the community together, we reaffirm to each other that we are all in this together; that what affects you, affects me. We hope you meet others throughout the day and take the time to share in each other’s story.

Gerard and Chris

Chris Bess, Event Director

To register a team, apply at

July 20, 2019. Games start at 8am and are scheduled through 2pm (finish up at about 2:30pm)

Warrior Soccer Complex
4110 Fishburg Road Dayton OH 45424

#DaytonStrongCup  Use it widely across all your social channels. Photos will also be taken throughout the event and posted.

Event tshirts are pre-order only for participating teams on $15/per

Donation requested, suggested minimum; $50/team

Funds raised will be donated to the Miami Valley Community Action Partnership