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: NHB Cup (hosted by NHB FC)
Overall Impressions: NHB Cup is in it’s 35th year so they obviously have some experience. This is the third time BGS has played in this tournament, but my first as manager. I really appreciated the ease of check in and their policy of keeping the game cards and player cards in between games really made it a much more relaxing weekend for me. Another thing that made the weekend more enjoyable was that every team was guaranteed four games. I think that took the pressure off and also contributed to a great weekend. Individual trophies for all finalists and champions is a great touch…but what made the weekend especially enjoyable was BSG taking home her own big championship trophy after her team winning the final in PKs. It was also really fun to see one of my “Goat” friends.
Dates: August 24/25, 2013
Cost: $475 U9B U9/U10 $575 U11/U19 $750
Location: South Orange County (It’s kind of funny that it’s a North Huntington Beach tournament, but it’s mostly played in South Orange County. Oh well- we had great fields at the ranch which are worth the extra drive)
Application Process/Organization/Coaching Conflicts: This is a very organized tournament with an easy application process and scheduled released well in advance. I was impressed that they even switched our bracket around after realizing that two of the stronger teams were in the same bracket. Our Saturday schedule of 9:15 and 4:45 wasn’t exactly convenient, but it worked out fine. Our Sunday schedule of 10:30 and 2:30 was awesome.
Check In: At the field one and a half hours before game time- hooray!
Rules: This one was a big different due to every team being guaranteed four games. If you won your bracket on Saturday, that determined if you were in the semi-finals or the consolation bracket. The four games were really nice, but the 25 minute halves for three of the games kinda threw the girls (and their coach!) off.
Number of Teams at our Age Level: U13- 12 teams flight one, 8 flight two
Strength of Competition: In our Flight One bracket there were three Flight One SCSDL teams (including us), one gold Coast team and one silver elite Coast team. The rest of the bracket was rounded out by a few out of state teams from Arizona and a few other California teams. None of the “big dog” teams were there, but our semi-final and final games were both very tough.
Fields: Games were played across Orange County and our team played at one of my favorite places to play- the Ranch Soccer Complex in San Juan Capistrano. I really enjoy playing at the large complexes where you see multiple teams playing. The fields are always in great shape and parking is plentiful, but not free. There are many trees to set up a “team camp” and let the girls relax in the shade as well as many restaurants close by.
Referees: The refs were fine in for the most part in our games.
Weather:It was beautiful and very warm. The temperature hovered around 75-85 degrees under very sunny skies, but there was a nice cool breeze.
Restaurants/Attractions: Our team drove in for the tournament, but there are many hotels in the area. My girls favorite attraction nearby is Farrell’s Ice Cream parlor in the Mission Viejo Mall (about 10 minutes away). I promised BSG we would go if they won, so some of the girls went and we had a great time!