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Our Handy Guide to Organising Youth Football Tournaments

Our Handy Guide to Organising Youth Football Tournaments


As the football season draws to a close, many grassroots clubs are looking at hosting their youth football tournaments. Not only are these events pivotal for fundraising, but they also bring together the community in a celebration of sport and teamwork. Here at Laceeze, we’ve gathered insights from parents, coaches, and volunteers to help you plan and execute a successful tournament that everyone will enjoy.

Parents' Perspectives: Likes and Dislikes

Parents are a cornerstone of any youth football tournament, and their feedback is invaluable. They love tournaments that are well-organised, with clear information on schedules and locations provided in advance. Accessibility and ample parking are also high on their list. On the flip side, parents dislike events that run significantly over time or are disorganised, which can lead to frustrated players and families.

Parents from our Pitchside Parents Hub chat group on Facebook have said they would love a bouncy castle or some other engaging activities for younger siblings to enjoy during the day.

Top Tips from Coaches and Volunteers

  1. Early and Clear Communication: Plan everything in advance and keep everyone informed. Use WhatsApp chats, email newsletters, social media updates, and (if budget or resources permit) a dedicated event app to ensure that schedules, fixtures, and any changes are communicated as soon as they happen.
  2. Delegate Responsibilities: Break down the event into manageable tasks (e.g., registrations, refreshments, timekeeping, tuck shop etc) and assign them to different volunteers. This spreads the workload and ensures that no one person is overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to call out parents who don’t offer to help the first time!
  3. Prepare for the Unexpected: Always have a contingency plan for bad weather or last-minute drop-outs. Whether it’s having access to an indoor venue or ready substitutes for teams, flexibility is key.
  4. Focus on Fun: Remember, it’s all about the kids having fun and playing football. Keep the atmosphere light and positive, with plenty of encouragement from everyone involved. Bring along small rewards for players who keep up team morale, regardless of the score! Taking along a few small bags of sweets never hurts!

Planning Hacks and Fundraising Tips

  1. Use Technology: Leverage online tools for scheduling and registration to streamline the process. Apps like Tournament Manager can reduce the hassle of paperwork and keep everything running smoothly.
  2. Engage Local Businesses: Reach out to local businesses for sponsorships or donations. In return, offer to feature their logos on kits, banners or promotional materials. Encourage them to give out freebies or provide raffle prizes as well.
  3. Add Value with Extra Activities: Including activities like a penalty shootout for parents or a skills challenge for different age groups can add an exciting layer to the event. These activities not only entertain but also provide additional fundraising opportunities.
  4. Refreshments and Merchandise: An ice cream van or a BBQ stand can be a hit among families. Selling snacks, drinks, and even club merchandise can be a significant source of extra revenue.
  5. Boot Swop: Why not introduce a boot swopping station? Where parents can bring along boots that no longer fit and in return for a voluntary donation, swop them for a size up.

Many clubs have found success in creating a festival atmosphere at their tournaments. Organising mini-games, music and food stalls makes the day enjoyable for non-players too. Keeping the focus on community and enjoyment rather than just competition fosters a more inclusive environment.


Organising a youth football tournament can be a big task, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding experience. With the right planning and a focus on what participants love, your event can become a highlight of the community calendar. Don’t forget, it’s these grassroots events that fuel the passion for football in young players and create lasting memories for everyone involved.

For more tips on supporting youth sports and ensuring every game is hassle-free, check out our innovative products at

We’re here to help you keep the game running smoothly so you can focus on what’s important – playing and enjoying football!

If you have your own tips or questions then please head over to Pitchside Parents Hub to join in the discussion.

Don’t forget to tag @Laceeze on socials in your tournament pictures so that we can give you a shout out!


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