Out of town youth football tournaments are an excellent end of season treat for all youth football teams. Pop Warner, AYF and other organizations have regional and national title programs that are the goal of numerous youth football coaches in those leagues.
When I played youth football, we traveled to Las Vegas, Kansas City, Nashville and Atlanta to play in tournaments. It was a good way to see exactly how we stacked up to competition outside Nebraska. I still can recall those memories, losing one of those games in overtime in Las Vegas to an all-star team from California.
What’re these tournaments like and as a youth football coach should my teams play in a single? Coaching youth football means having lots of influence on deciding to take these games or not.
There are more independent youth football organizations than Pop Warner and AFL combined and the independents play in a variety of youth football tournaments through the entire USA. The tournaments vary in proportions and quality as does anything in life. That is one of the big benefits of the Pop Warner National Tournament, you understand that the weekend would have been a quality event and the guidelines will undoubtedly be enforced.
Many of these tournaments are done within the Thanksgiving Holiday and your team plays 2-3 games. Your football team is place in a bracket based on pre-set age and sometimes weight restrictions. Most tournaments have attended unlimited weight with running back weights, with several still having some total weight restricted divisions. The tournament host then puts teams into brackets based on record, perceived strength, historical league strength, coach preference, average age and sometimes average weight is known as as well. Most tournaments have very heavy restrictions regarding verification of birth certificates and roster (no all-star teams) and most do weigh-ins the day of the games ข่าวฟุตบอล.
In my day, we lived in a different society and lived under different rules. We would play youth football teams from all over the country right here in Omaha at seasons end. The opposing players would stay within our homes throughout their stay.Our family made some life long friends through this process. I’ll always remember flying to Las Vegas in 1973, this being the first exciting plane ride for about 90% of our players.
Staying with families gave us to be able to bond with the other players and experience how they lived. In 1972 my team partner Joe Dukich and I got to keep with a dark family in Kansas City and made some very nice friends. Obviously in today’s world, sticking to families to get this kind of experience and save money on hotel costs would be out from the question.
Since that time, my personal youth football teams have played in tournaments in Iowa, Kansas, Omaha and Kearney Nebraska and Florida. Where we played had a great deal to do with the amount of money we had available, as traveling costs lots of money. Back when I played, we sold raffles and would get out in groups on Friday and Saturday nights to local bars and bowling alleys to sell tickets. Each player had a quota to sell and the coaches got sponsors as well, again a different era, different rules. But needless to say there were no lodging or food expenses in the past as a result of players sticking to host families, so we didn’t have to improve the maximum amount of money.
Our teams have not had the opportunity to play in the big Florida Thanksgiving tournaments based on several factors, one being money. One other is daylight savings time hits the first week in November approximately and meaning it gets dark around at 5:30. We’ve never had a practice field with lights and we often see very cold conditions and even snow in those days of year. The sole time we could practice would be on weekends or in gyms. Gyms aren’t the very best places to have a football practice and it’s also the full time most basketball teams here start gearing up. We’ve not had the opportunity to secure gym time from some of the public schools in the region and even if we did, you can’t run your football plays all out in a gym.
Centered on these factors, we’ve been limited to youth football tournaments that are sooner than Thanksgiving like the ones in Omaha, Council Bluffs Iowa, Kansas City Kansas (Johnston County) and the Snapper Bowl in Panama City Florida. The Omaha tournament is put on with a very sharp person “John” from Omaha’s Nebraska Midget Football League. It is well run and organized and runs over a weekend. This youth football league invites teams from their league and others in the Midwest to participate. We’re quite often the only local team not from their league invited to participate. We’ve won that tournament’s “A” Division Title a number of times. Monte O’Hara runs a good tournament with outstanding sportsmanship, officiating and pagentry, in Council Bluffs, Iowa with some games played at the University of Nebraska at Omaha stadium with field turf and underneath the lights. We’ve always done real well there as well and are often the only Nebraska team invited to play. The Lil Vikes tournament in Omaha is one we won several times and had great experiences 3 of the 4 years we played and were the sole Omaha team outside their league invited on several occasions. The Kearney, Nebraska tournament was a good experience, with the opposing team taking our youngsters on a hayrack ride and even taking up a collection for us at the church services we shared. We won any particular one in the sleet and the pictures of our youngsters and theirs arm in arm after the game, all smiles covered in slush is one for the ages.
The Johnston County Kansas Youth Football Tournament is in the Kansas City area and often gets above 100 teams from the Midwest to play. I’ve taken my youth football teams to play because tournament for over 15 years and done real well, we won just last season. It is well run of late, the sportsmanship was good and the organizers did an excellent job. A great place to keep may be the Great Wolfe Lodge Indoor Water Park and Hotel about 30 minutes from the fields. We had an incredible team swim party there after our big win this last season.
In 2003 two Screaming Eagle teams played in the Snapper Bowl in Panama City Florida, which will be 6 hours nearer to us than Daytona. We had an academic contest that year for the 14 teams that involved weekly school academic accountability reports done by their teachers. Two hard working teams won the contest and they had the full time of these lives staying on the beach in Destin, Florida. A nearby “Angel” footed the bill around $26,000 for 2 buses, lodging and food. Since we had no way to rehearse after Daylight savings time, the Snapper Bowl people (Harold Creel) arranged for us to play a casino game in the first week of November away from context of the beds base tournament. Both Eagle teams that won the academic contest unfortunately were our 2 least competitive teams, so one played and lost in overtime and the other got beat by 4 scores. Our team failed to win the academic contest and we were expecting during the time anyways, so that it exercised for the best.
If you should be planning a conclusion of season trip, now is the full time to get going on planning and raising funds.
Various other suggestions include being on your own absolute best behavior and send a many thanks note to the organizers signed by all of your players. We often get invited back and even fees waived because of the overt sportsmanship our teams practice while playing in these youth football tournaments. Mr Creel from Florida was in awe of the overt sportsmanship of our players and fans, in his words we were “Too Good to be true.” We had a great time and made great friends. In the event that you win big and ugly you won’t get the red carpet rolled out for you. Just last year I had three moms from the other team in Kansas City track me down after our game and just rave about exactly how we were the very best sportsmanship team they had noticed in over 15 years of visiting the tournament. Which was in a casino game we could have easily won by 40 plus points against a team twice our size. We always get invited back.