2017 was the first year of the Rocky Mountain Adult Soccer Tournament. We want to report on how we did.
We obviously had lots of discussions during the tournament among ourselves and with participants. We also conducted an electronic post-conference survey of team managers and players. We have had or will have reviews with the referees and the City of Boulder recreation department.
The big picture is excellent:
- The overall tournament scored a 4.21 on our five-point scale where four = very good and 5 = outstanding.
- When asked how the tournament compared to other tournaments people had participated in, 67% said “better”, 33% said “the same”, and 0% said “worse”. We are pretty proud to be considered equal or better than all other tournaments – in our first year!
What rated the best with our attendees?
- The fields at Pleasant View Soccer Complex are outstanding and rated 4.83 out of 5.0.
- Boulder and Colorado as the host location rated 4.79.
- The atmosphere of the tournament rated 4.72, which based on the comments is because of having all teams playing at the same complex and the overall tone set by we organizers, “serious but fun”.
- We were also pleased the organization of the tournament rated 4.50 (1/2 “outstanding” and 1/2 “very good”).
And what do we need to improve on?
- The referees were by far the biggest area of complaint, rating only 3.28. See more on this below.
- The beer garden rated 3.52 and the food vendors rated 3.48. See comments below on these aspects too.
- In non-survey results, we learned referees issued 23 yellow cards and seven red cards during the 31 games of the tournament. The referees and we feel the yellow cards are fairly normal for competitive play. However, given our focus on fun, recreational soccer the seven red cards are too many. We have increased the penalties for yellow and red cards for 2018.
Overall, we are thrilled with the results and with participant feedback. We invite those of you who did not attend to enjoy Boulder, our outstanding fields, and the positive and fun tournament atmosphere we are striving to create.
In terms of referees, it is difficult to know whether the referees were poor or whether referees are always the biggest complaint in soccer. It is possible some people had poor experiences based on specific calls; 55% of survey respondents rated the referees “very good” or “outstanding”. However, referees are hugely important to the success of the tournament; those who rated the referees the lowest rated the overall tournament 3.29, a full percentage point below the average. We will do our best to work on this.
In terms of the beer garden and food vendors, we were quite proud they even existed in 2017. Ours was the first beer garden at Pleasant View Soccer Complex in 24 years of its existence! But we agree they could use improvement. Some items (like moving the fields from the concrete pad to the grass) are out of our control. Others (like moving the beer ticket sales within the beer garden from outside where it was this year) are easily changed. We will improve this in 2018.
In all, thank you to those who participated in the inaugural tournament and we hope to see many more of you in 2018!