Steamboat Mountain Soccer tournament draws top teams to town for annual event
Steamboat Springs — On Thursday, 154 soccer teams will arrive in Steamboat Springs for one of this summer’s biggest events. The teams will come from Colorado and 33 other states, with each team hoping to land a spot in the finals of their division of the Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament on Sunday.
“We are looking forward to another great tournament where teams from Colorado and surrounding areas can enjoy a weekend of fun and friendly competition,” said Katie Black, this year’s tournament director.
This weekend’s tournament will be a first for Black, but it will be the 32nd year the event has filled just about every available field in the Steamboat Springs area. The event is a fundraiser for the Steamboat Springs Youth Soccer Association and helps reduce fees for players on local teams.
Without the tournament, Steamboat Springs Youth Soccer Director Rob Bohlmann said the fees players pay each season would be double what they are now.
Bohlmann said that’s just part of the reason the tournament is important to the club and the community. He said teams will start arriving on Thursday, and many will stay through Sunday’s finals. Bohlmann said the tournament has a huge economic impact on the community.
Additionally, the tournament draws top teams from around the state, which makes the event a rewarding experience for the local teams that play in it every year.
“This in an opportunity to host a first-class tournament in our own backyard,” Bohlmann said. “That’s a great thing for our club and for our community.”
Games will begin on Thursday afternoon and will take place on fields at Memorial, Emerald, Ski Town, Whistler and Heritage parks. The turf field and practice field at the high school will also be used to host the tournament.
Teams will compete in U-9 to U-19 divisions. The younger divisions will offer players a chance to play seven vs. seven in the U-9 and U-10 divisions. Players in the U-11 division will play nine vs. nine, and the U-12 divisions can chose between nine vs. nine and the regulation 11 vs. 11 divisions. Teams U-13 and above will all play 11 vs. 11.
Steamboat Springs has 24 teams entered in the tournament, and last year, several of those local squads either won or competed for titles in their divisions.
Bohlmann said the event is supported by parents who volunteer their time to fill the many positions required to run the event. Bohmann said this is key because it gives those parents ownership not only of the tournament, but the club it supports.
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