For many years, the Attack Summer Classic has been a mainstay of SoCal tournaments for soccer-loving families across the region. Held every year in mid-August, the Attack Summer Classic attracts teams at all levels of soccer. Clubs, coaches, players, and parents know that participating in the Attack Summer Classic will be a weekend of fun and of great soccer.
In 2015, the Attack Summer Classic shifted from being held at multiple venues scattered across San Diego to one central location: The SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside.
Tournament director, Marilee Pacelli, explained, “We’ve grown every year, and moving to the So Cal Sports Complex has been instrumental in that growth and for putting on a great tournament for everyone.”
The 2018 Attack Summer Classic hosted nearly 300 different teams divided into fifty evenly-matched brackets. Pacelli described the importance of ensuring good competition: “In smaller tournaments, you might have a four-team bracket that could end up being severely mis-matched. We work hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. I have so many coaches email me after the tournament, thanking me for making sure the brackets were evenly matched. A bracket with a huge difference in competitive levels isn’t fun for anyone.”
Another concern for coaches is always the dreaded coaching conflict. Many coaches have multiple teams in the same tournament, and making sure coaches can be at every one of their games is a task that falls onto Pacelli and her staff at RSF Attack Soccer. “We had 494 games over two days, and out of those 494 games, we were able to eliminate all but FOUR coaching conflicts. Those were coaches that had three or four teams playing. We worked for hours and hours making sure we could eliminate conflicts for coaches. The reason we couldn’t eliminate those last four was because any change we made to those games caused two or three NEW coaching conflicts. For those four coaches, we made sure we emailed them before the schedule was published to let them know, and we put them on the VIP list so they didn’t need to pay for parking.”
At the end of the tournament, RSF Attack Soccer presented 50 championship ceremonies and 20 awards ceremonies for the 2011 age group. Pacelli explained, “Cal South has told all of their clubs that they want to emphasize development, enjoyment, and participation at the youngest age groups. So for the 2011 brackets (players who are turning seven years old in 2018), we still kept score, but we didn’t have any championship games. All of the 2011 brackets played a ’round-robin’ style format, and we had an awards ceremony for each of the twenty 2011 teams — just like the older championship ceremonies.”
Organizing seventy ceremonies was no small feat. An army of RSF Attack staff helped teams check in at the awards area.
RSF Attack staff ensured champions and finalists were swiftly assigned a stage and escorted coaches, teams, and parents to one of five awards areas.
At the awards areas, Masters of Ceremonies presented the teams with their awards, and coaches gave their speeches to the players and families.
Championship teams were also awarded with Nike “ATTACK SUMER CLASSIC CHAMPIONS” backpacks.
A common misconception surrounding soccer tournaments is that they are significant fund-raisers for competitive clubs. Pacelli agreed, “Yes, some of RSF Attack’s revenue does come from the Attack Summer Classic, but OVER NINETY-FIVE PERCENT of our club’s revenue comes from player registration fees. Putting on this tournament is a huge year-long project, but we’re not in it for the money. RSF Attack is a small neighborhood boutique club in the middle of very large SoCal soccer clubs, and we want to put on a great tournament for teams where they’ll have great competition, a fun weekend, and RSF Attack will continue to get great recognition in the area as well.”