Multi-day Tournaments

11133853_10152843362547877_2184423144662082607_nFor teams playing multi-day tournaments, you are often on the road Friday night, heading out of town.  If you are new to this tournament format, there are few things you need to know.

Pre-tournament Prep

  • Several days before a tournament, your player should be focused on hydrating well and eating healthy.  Remember that hydration is most important in the days before competing – you can’t wait until the competition day itself to drink enough fluids.
  • Parents should pack food for their player’s breakfast and for during tournament play.  Many hotels will have refrigerators in the room (automatically or upon request).  Some of our hotels will include breakfast, but you can’t always count on it to be healthy.  So it’s better to be prepared with breakfast items on your own.
  • During tournaments, players do not typically eat meals but rather snack on smaller, healthy portions of food.  Of course, bring your own sports drinks.  Water refills for water bottles is usually available at most tournament venues.
  • Otherwise, players need to bring all uniform components and gear, personal items and maybe street clothes for going out to dinner.
  • Many venues do NOT allow you to bring in your own chairs, in particular, civic/convention center-type venues.  You may have a camping chair outside the playing space, but it is often not necessary.  For tournaments played at multiple venues where a high school or college gymnasium is used, it could be different.  Our advice is to throw the chairs in your car but don’t plan to lug them in until you know if they are allowed.

Travel to Tournament

Parents are responsible for getting their athletes to the destination. There won’t be a team meeting the night before the event.  Note: If you are not staying at the team hotel you still have the responsibility to meet all team activities.  Please stay close by.

Each team will play in either an AM wave (8AM -2PM) or PM wave (3PM – 9PM).

What to Expect for the Day – AM Wave

Breakfast begins at 6 AM. The time that teams will leave for courts will be determined by distance to the venue. Usually, teams are heading out from 6:30 AM to 6:45 AM. Play is typically over at 2 PM, and the team will go to a late lunch together. Parents are welcome to attend but sit amongst themselves. This is TEAM TIME.

The team will get back to hotel, shower and have study hall (from 4 PM to 5:30 PM). Players and parents are on their own for dinner. There will be a team meeting at 9 PM for about 10 minutes. For those families/players not staying at host hotel, attendance is not required. Team Captains will contact teammates by text with information from the meeting.

For three-day tournaments, the next day is a repeat.  On the final day of the tournament, the schedule may be adjusted slightly depending on playing times – and of course, there is no study hall.

What to Expect for the Day – PM Wave

Breakfast begins at 8:30 AM. Study hall starts is from 10 AM to 11:30 AM. The team leaves for lunch at noon and will arrive at the courts at 2 PM. Often teams won’t be leaving their venue until 9 PM, and usually team has a meal brought in to the hotel. Players will typically eat, shower and head to sleep after a brief meeting at 11 PM for 10 minutes. Team captains will contact by text those teammates staying at another hotel.

For three-day tournaments, the next day is a repeat.  On the final day of the tournament, the schedule may be adjusted slightly depending on playing times – and of course, there is no study hall.

Stay to Play Events

The majority of the events we play are “Stay to Play Events”. This confuses a lot of people, so here’s a quick explanation.

First, “Stay to Play” means that each club participating in the tournament is responsible to reserve rooms at hotels designated by the tournament organizers.  On a positive note, this often means better room rates, since the tournaments are guaranteeing large numbers to the hotels. The hotels are also typically in very good locations for the tournament venues.

Second, clubs are required to book a minimum number of “room nights” on their room block contract.  Typically, they are then responsible to meet 90% of the reservation status. This means 90% of the status for each night of the reservation (i.e., two nights for two-day tournaments, three nights for three-day tournaments).

Usually, our club will base the numbers we give to the tournament organizers on 70% of the team members. So a team that has 10 members has reservations available for 7 rooms per team.  This accounts for some parents splitting a room with other parents and the overlap for sibling players on different teams staying in the same hotel room.

Please understand:  If you have reserved a room for an event, it is your responsibility to meet the fiduciary responsibilities that a “Stay to Play Event” requires. Cancellation of room nights may result in credit card charges by the vendor.  This isn’t our call; we have to play by the rules for these types of events. If our club has a large enough number of folks not abiding by this rule, it could result in our tournament entry being cancelled.

As always – if you have additional questions about multi-day tournaments, please don’t hesitate to ask your coach, team parent or our club director!


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