Some Best Practices

This page is mostly for new tournament directors who want to know how to get on track and stay on track quickly without having the expense of trial and error. We will update it from time to time to reflect current trends and what we see soccer tournaments do that works well.

The goal is to be up-to-date, TO THE DAY (to the hour during the tournament event) at all times. The “trick” to staying up-to-date is to prepare as much of the information, including broadcasts, forms and FAQs in advance and stage them. This reduces the level of anxiety for your guest teams, increases their trust in the accuracy of your web site and reduces stress considerably for you, allowing you to spend more time in seeding and scheduling your guest teams more accurately and efficiently. The matrix below is merely an outline for events that happen through the eight phases of a tournament.

Phase I – Latency

Make sure all information is up to date and reflects the status of the tournament. Get your sanctioning, put together a marketing plan and begin writing your broadcasts.

Guest Teams
Guest teams must likely are not thinking about your tournament as much as you are. Don’t worry; they will.

Phase II – Marketing

Broadcast email messages to last year’s teams, let them know you are there for them.
Prepare and mail postcard marketing
Make sure your link on the association web site is up and working
Attend divisioning meetings and hand out marketing materials to potential guest teams.

Guest Teams
Guest teams are looking at the web site and deciding which tournaments they will be applying to. Teams are also looking at past team scores and standings.

Phase III – Applications

Applications will be coming in. As they come in, you should look at them and begin to “seed” them into large groups (1, 5, 9, etc) Don’t worry about seeding precisely.
Front page breaking news, quick news and the scroll message should be updated to reflect the application phase.
Teams should be marked as they pay; messages should be going out to teams who have not yet sent in their check within the past 5-7 days.
Teams who apply should be getting information email messages at least every two weeks, to keep them informed.
FAQ postings accurate and timely. Prepare FAQs for registration, etc.
Forms for registration should be prepared and finalized, including the shirt design.

Guest Teams
Guest teams are logging into their application and keeping track of their fees being paid, rosters received, travel, etc.
Guest teams should be encouraged to keep their information accurate and up-to-date.
Guest teams will be able to change their application until the deadline, after which they will be able to only see their status.
After the deadline, all applications will be marked Waiting, in green.

Phase IV – Acceptance and Confirmation

Turn off the application FAQs and turn on the registration and confirmation ones.
Check all the teams that you are accepting in one action using the “mark” tool. The guest teams are monitoring their status almost every hour.
Make sure that ALL your registration forms have been placed on the web site.
Change the front page, Quick news.
Send an email to the guest teams letting them know they have been accepted and they must CONFIRM by logging into their application.

Guest Teams
Guest teams will log in using their TEAM ID NO that appears on the top of every email that is sent from the Applications Module.
Teams will log in, click on the “Click Here to Confirm” link and their application will be tagged as Confirmed and the date and time will be written as part of their record.
A menu of forms will then be presented to the team.
If they need duplicate forms, they should log in again using their TEAM ID NO Instead of the link saying “Click Here to Confirm” it will say “Click here for duplicate forms”

Phase V – Scheduling

Build the list of fields
Build the list of tournament divisions. If you don’t know all the divisions, build at least one per age group.
Build a list of winner placeholders. Be sure to include Wild Cards and qtr finals and semi final winners, if necessary.
Make final decisions on the team seeds and mark accordingly.
Pair teams with the scheduling tool. If you use an off-line scheduling system, be sure that your on-line schedule matches. When you are done, publish your schedule. Be sure to update the schedule using the schedule tool if things change.
Broadcast that the schedule has been posted. Change your front page, quick news to reflect your status.
Make sure all teams have paid.
Email broadcasts should be going out regularly, but not too often as to create fatigue. During the last 2 weeks, they should be going out at least once a week. The week leading up to the tournament is your biggest pre-event traffic week, with heavy hits on restaurants and hotels.
Write your THANK YOU MESSAGE NOW!! You will be too tired to think of anything on that last day.

Guest Teams
Guest teams will pick up their schedule from the web site.
Registration materials completed.
Teams are checking out places to eat, entertainment, especially during the last week leading up to your tournament.

Phase VI – Registration

Create and communicate an online registration program.
Receive and approve registration materials.

Guest Teams
Teams prepare and send their official registration paperwork.

Phase VII – Tournament Play

Scores updated through the admin section.
As winners emerge, change the team pairings on the schedule.
Update the front page, quick news to reflect the current action. Plug vendors at the tournament, etc. People are visiting the web site during the event.

Guest Teams
Guest teams are checking out scores, DEALS, information FROM THE SIDELINES as the games are going on for updated information.

Phase VIII – Post Tournament

Post your thank you message up on the front page.
AUDIT your scores. Make sure they are complete and accurate.
Take care of the lost and found items. Mention the lost and found page in your final broadcast.
Move into Phase I for next year

Guest Teams
Teams will get home, check out scores until about 2-3 days after the tournament.