Over the summer (and winter!) we spend many weekends traveling around Southern California attending soccer tournaments. As always, all opinions are my own and based on personal experience unless otherwise noted. If you have reviews of your own, please add in the comments!
Name: Surf Thanksgiving Tournament(San Diego Surf Soccer Club) Girls and Boys U8-U15. Older age groups play in the Surf College Cup on the same weekend.
Overall Impressions: This was our first time attending this tournament and we were very excited to go! The winner of each age bracket gets an automatic invite to the most prestigious tournament of them all- the summer Surf Cup. Although our teams had a great time and it was definitely worth attending, there were a few things that were a little strange. One of those was that there were no pins for the girls! Really? That much money for a tournament and you can’t provide pins? I know it sounds silly and the older girls didn’t care, but the younger ones definitely still love the pins. I heard a lot of grumbling about that from other managers as well.
Dates:November 23-26, 2012 (Thanksgiving Weekend)
Cost: $545 U9/U10 $795 U11/U15
Location:North San Diego County
Application Process/Organization/Coaching Conflicts:The application process was organized and easy and the tournament director, Brenda Sampiere, was very efficient and quick to answer questions. I know they tried to avoid coaching conflicts, but our coach had a game ending and starting at the same time at fields 30 minutes apart. This was his only conflict, so the rest of the weekend worked out very nicely. I would love to go back, but I would hope for a later game on Friday so that we didn’t have to leave on Thanksgiving. Many teams applied and were not accepted, so we were happy that both our teams were able to play even though neither team advanced.
Check In:Fabulous one hour prior check in at the field! Check in was organized and easy and was also required before and after each game.
Rules: 10 Point System; 25 minute halves. Quarter Finals resulted in PKs if tied and Semis and Finals had extra time then PKs if tied.
Number of Teams at our Age Level: U10- 24 teams, U12- 28 teams
Strength of Competition: This is a premier tournament attended by almost all of the top level teams. Many teams travel from out of state to attend and our age group had teams from Hawaii and Utah as well as teams from Northern California. There was only one bracket, so lower level teams really struggled.
Fields: Games were played across Northern San Diego County, and our girls played in Rancho Santa Fe and by Miramar College. I love seeing all teams of a single age group at one field. It’s fun to meet new friends and see girls on all different teams. The tournament volunteers did a great job of keeping things moving and all of our games were on time. It wasn’t a concern for us, but I heard people complaining about playing late afternoon games in the dark on fields with no lights. Some of the fields were still muddy from the rain the week before, but there wasn’t much that could be done about that.
Referees: This was where both our teams had some bad experiences. Our 12s had a keeper catch a ball in the goal and it wasn’t counted as a goal. Big soccer girl was standing at the post and had a clear view. They also had games where free kick after free kick was called against them. Our 10s also had some strange situations with the worst being our girl on a breakaway right in front of the goal and shooting having a foul called against her. The ball goes in the net, but the ref gives a free kick instead of the goal. He comes over to apologize, but doesn’t fix the situation. We also had a girl running down the field with plenty of daylight called to stop because they were playing with the wrong size ball. Strange situations that just seemed to pile up all together. That being said, I sure wouldn’t want to be a ref.
Weather:It was beautiful. The temperature hovered around 70-75 degrees under very sunny skies.
Restaurants/Attractions: Our team stayed at the Hampton Inn in Poway which was a very nice hotel for a little price. It was far from the freeway (about 5 miles) which was a bummer, but other than that it was a great place to stay. We were also able to rent a meeting room and bring in Olive Garden for 70 people for a very fun team dinner on Friday night. Many people also went to Sea World or the Zoo, both of which are close by. San Diego is a beautiful city and always fun to visit.