Organize a Football Tournament

By Sam Feeder , last updated December 11, 2011

If you want to see some real competition between rec league football teams that play on the weekends, organize a football tournament so that teams have something to play for. Tournaments, which everyone in the sports world seem to understand, make sports incredibly exciting and really determine who the best teams are on the field. So even in the smallest sports settings, a tournament ups the stakes and makes the entire experience more fun. When it comes to football tournaments, you will have to organize it as a flag or touch football tournament, as equipment and the risk of injury will be too great a cost (not to mention that most everyday people don't play tackle football). Check out some of the tips on how to successfully organize a football tournament, below.

Initial Tournament Set-Up

The first thing you will need for the tournament are rules for how to enter and a set number of teams. Ideally, you need at least four teams to run some sort of tournament. Six can work, though eight or sixteen teams is better, despite a lot of people playing in the tournament. Figure out how many players must be on each team and what the entry fee for the tournament will be per team, or per person. Set a deadline for when all the teams need to turn in their rosters and payment for the tournament, so you know exactly who is participating.

Hire Officials

If this is a legitimate football tournament with a lot of teams and people paying money to play, you will need to hire at least one or two officials for each game, making a fair amount of money for their day's work. This means they will have to be paid a hundred bucks or more for the day and they will also have to know the rules of the game so that they can accurately officiate. You can usually find these part-time officials off Craigslist or you can hire a friend to do it along with yourself, to save money on the tournament and make it a more friendly atmosphere.

Make Brackets

As there will be no regular season allowing you to make fairly matched brackets for your flag football or touch tournament, you will have to randomly pair up teams based on what little you know about who will be on each team. This might make certain games completely unfair, some games blowouts and other games grudge matches. However, teams will have to be matched up per round to play each other to the championship. The winner moves on, the loser goes home, or tailgates.

Prepare a Party Afterwards

As this is a football tournament that is more for fun than anything else, you should use the money that people paid in to pay for a party afterwards. This should be located at either a house, a restaurant or a bar, depending on how much money you have to spend and who is playing in the tournament. Doing this will allow both the winning and losing teams to commisserate and bond over the football tournament, which is really what sports is all about at the end of the day. It will also encourage everyone to play in the tournament the following year.

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