Which tournament should I play

Tournaments as forms of play in soccer training

From my experience in several soccer camps, all types of tournaments are actually a lot of fun and even if many children's coaches don't like it - results and tables or winners are for me personally part of a tournament. How to convey the value of these results to the children and young people is up to each trainer.

In order to offer something suitable for every coach, I present three different forms of tournaments with different organizational efforts.

The classic "Champions League"

The effort for a Champions League tournament is minimal - you don't need pen and paper, you divide the team into several teams. The only drawback, there always has to be an even number of teams.

Depending on the number of teams, you then set up the required playing fields next to each other. You give each playing field a name - so that everyone feels good, I wouldn't call a playing field “district class” or “farmers league”, but start as high as possible.

In other words, if you have 8 teams, you need 4 playing fields, which you then name in order of the Champions League, Europa League, 1st Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga. Thus, all players have arrived in the "professional area".

Overload the referee decisions on the players themselves - but make sure that everyone remains fair. Well-balanced teams increase the fun and excitement here even more. At the end of a game (e.g. 5 minutes) the winning team moves up a league, the losers move down. After a certain number of rounds, the champions and runners-up of the individual competitions are determined.

One variation that I find exciting is to play 6 rounds, the winner of the Champions League has to start again in the 2nd Bundesliga and the loser in the 2nd Bundesliga stands against the promoted player in the Champions League - maybe not realistic, but it can weaker teams also win the tournament.

The World Cup"

Also a classic, but with a little more effort for the trainer. In contrast to the last tournament form, this is limited. All that is required is a small game plan with a group phase and two finals with 4 teams. In the group phase, each team plays against each other and the final pairings are then based on the results of the group phase.

Game 1: A against B, C against D
Game 2: A against C, B against D
Game 3: A against D, B against C.
Game for 3rd place (small final): 3rd against 4th
Game for 1st place (final): 1st against 2nd

As with every form of game, if you do not want to draw the teams, you should make sure to form teams that are as equally strong as possible.

"Hollandturnier" - everyone with everyone, everyone against everyone!

My personal favorite, unfortunately also associated with enormous effort, since every game has to be played with new teams. Let's assume 16 players here - each of these 16 players receives a number from 1 to 16 and has to remember this for the course of the tournament. We need two equal-sized playing fields and four marker discs in each field, which are always removed in the playing field and are ready for the new teams.

The aim is that every player only plays once on a team with every other player. For each victory, each player in the sailing team receives 5 points and for each goal the players receive an additional point. The points for scored goals are also awarded to each player from the losing team.

For example: a game ends 3: 2, the players on the winning team get 8 points, the players on the losing team get two points. The points must be kept individually for each player.

After 5 games, all possible combinations are complete. To make it easier for you to get started in this form, I have created a game plan for 16 players and made it available to you . More templates and discussions about the tournament form are available here and it shows how difficult this tournament form is: Topic in Trainertalk.de.

In order to promote targeted technical elements in your training, you can use the tried and tested means of competition control, be it a contact limit, goals only below the hips, goals only directly, every player must have touched the ball before scoring, etc.

Enjoy the training!

Bjorn Burhenne