Volunteers - Tournament

Hosting the
El Palo Alto
Invitational Tournament

Check the Regional Calendar on web site front page. 

Be 10 minutes early.  Presentation will start right on time.

Hosting the Tournament in Palo Alto is a great opportunity to bring our AYSO neighbors to our community and share with them our warmth, sportsmanship and community spirit.  We can give back to our neighboring regions for inviting our teams to their tournament.  

Running a tournament takes great effort and the responsibilities comes down to tournament organization and field duties.  Administrative aspects of the Tournament are being taken care of by Regional Volunteers under the direction of the Tournament Director.  Field duties are assigned to our Palo Alto Select teams.  Instructional parents also volunteer as Field Marshals and pitch in.

Anyone can perform the duties of the Field Marshal, if they understand the role and duties.  There is a cheat sheet at each station to help the Field Marshal step through the details, and not have to rely on memory.  It is strongly advised to understand your role and activities before relying on the cheat sheet. 

Field Duties and Task Slots
The field duties for each team are two-fold; Field Marshal and Keeper Wars.  To volunteer for a Field Marshal slot, go here.  To volunteer for Keeper Wars, follow the instructions on the page, How Do I Find and Volunteer For a Task.

These duties must be completed completely and correctly.  Do not leave your Field Marshal station early, even if it seems like not much is going on.  

Volunteer Registration
Tournament volunteers must be current in their AYSO volunteer registration, and be Safe Haven certified to ensure understanding and prosecution of AYSO child supervision policies.  This is a requirement of our field permit from the city, as well.  If you are not current in your volunteer registration, you can get current here.

Field Marshal - All Divisions
The Field Marshal's role is to make sure the field activities of the Tournament proceed smoothly.  The field must be supervised by a Field Marshal all day.  Each Field Marshal serves for one slot of time that varies in length by division in accordance with game length for that age group.  The Field Marshal performs the following:
  1. Tournament Check-In of teams
  2. Game Check-in of teams
  3. Game Results: phone in the game results
  4. General: report any issues to the Tournament Director, enforce AYSO Safe Haven and Kids Zone rules
The Field Marshal is an information source for visitors and is responsible to monitor and enforce the Tournament regulations. 

Field Marshal Station
There is a canopy, table and chairs for Field Marshals at each field complex.  The Field Marshal Station needs to be very visible and situated away from the pitch.  The coaches will seek out the Field Marshal Station for Tournament check-in.  

Referee Refreshment
Referees will seek refreshment at the Field Marshal Station.  The referees will be provided morning coffee and juice, snacks during the day, and lunch.  The more the referees hang around the field, the more games they can cover, especially if someone does not show up on time, or not at all.  The refreshments are provided separately.  If you need an additional referee to cover your game, seek an off-duty referee at the Field Marshal Station.

Referee Management
Each game requires 3 referees, a Center Referee to manage the game and two Assistant Referees to watch the touchlines, offside play and fouls.  Referees are required to check in with you prior to the game to let you know they are present, but may not be able to if the referee is still working a game.  Occasionally, a referee will not show for a game, or is too late for the start of the game. The Field Marshal fills the position by asking one of the off-duty referees to fill in.  If you are unable to find a referee by 10 minutes prior to game start, immediately call the Tournament Director.  The phone number is on your instruction sheet.

Procedure for the Field Marshal

Game Management
Game times are tight so we must keep to the schedule.  More than one field is used for the games and if one field fails to keep the schedule it will affect the interlock of games with the other fields.  If the schedule appears to be in jeopardy, immediately contact the Tournament Director.  Don't wait for the schedule to fail, please anticipate.

Coach/Player ID Passes
These passes will be validated at the initial Tournament check-in against the approved Tournament Roster. Each pass will have a photo of the player or coach along with their name and other  information.  Approved players and coaches will have an El Palo Alto Tournament logo sticker their ID.  These passes are required for participation in the tournament.  Simply put; no approved pass, no play; for both coaches and players.

AYSO Player Forms and Medical Release
Each player must have a properly signed and dated AYSO player form and medical release in the possession of the coach at all times during the tournament.  If the coach does not have the forms, the affected players may not be checked in to play in the Tournament.

Game Check-in 
Each team reports to the Field Marshal at least 20 minutes prior to the game.   The team presents their approved game card, and their Coach and Player ID Cards.
  1. Receive and check the approved Player ID Cards against the approved game card.
  2. Line out any player on the game card that is missing an approved ID Card, or is absent from the check-in.
  3. Check that the coach has the AYSO medical release form for each player.  Line out on the game card any player for which the coach does not have an AYSO medical release form.
  4. Keep the Coach/Player ID Cards during the game in the box
  5. Perform safety check of players.  Key points listed below.  If in doubt of a player's safety issue, consult a referee.
    1. must have shin guards and appropriate shoes
    2. shin guards must be on correctly and completely covered by socks
    3. every player must have correct uniform, including matching team jerseys, shorts and socks
      1. if uniform is out of spec, either by color or some other detail, note the infraction on the game card.  It is up to the referee if the player may participate, but it will affect the sportsmanship points
      2. socks of the wrong color, even if only a different shade, are unacceptable.  Note it as an infraction on the game card
      3. home team must adjust color for the visiting team if there is a uniform color conflict.  Pinnies are acceptable.
    4. no rings, wrist items, earrings or studs, head bands (except scrunchie style or soft stretchable), piercings. nor casts nor splints
    5. soft knee, elbow or ankle support wrappings are acceptable, as long as they are not reinforced with a stiff object
    6. Medical tags and bracelets are allowed, but must be secured by tape in a way to prevent injury by snagging
    7. shoes/cleats for the field and not with toe spikes
    8. prescription glasses only (combination prescription/sunglasses are permitted)
  6. Mark the Game Cards of the players that are checked in with your initials to the left of each name
  7. NOTE:  Only players that pass every aspect of the check-in, including the AYSO medical release form, may be checked in.
Game Cards
The Game Cards are pre-printed and given to you by the coach at team check-in.  You check in the team and then give the Game Card to the coach, who will give them to the Center Referee before the game.  The Center Referee or coach will return the cards to you after the game.  Ensure the Game Cards are signed by the coaches and the Center Referee.  You keep the ID Card of any player that has received a Red Card, or Coach that has been ejected by the Referee.  Return the rest of the ID Cards to the coach and take the retained passes to the Field Marshal Table, phone the Tournament Director and report the red cards or ejections, and leave the passes in the labeled box.  Be sure to note the circumstances of the red card or ejection for Tournament Director follow up.

Report the Score
If the referee has not reported the score, phone in the score to the Palo Alto AYSO number, 650 735 1493.  State your name, the field, division, and each team name and the score.  Then state whether any red cards or coach ejections occurred, who it was, and the field where the retained passes are being left.  If you are unsure whether the referee reported the score, report it anyway.  It is better to have the game reported twice, than not at all.

Tournament Check-In
Coaches or a team parent may check the team into the Tournament, and need do it once only.  Players do not need to be present for the Tournament check-in, though typically they are, and the coach combines Tournament check-in with his first game check-in.  At the Tournament check-in the ID Cards, the game cards and the official roster are reviewed and cross-checked, then tapproved for Tournament play.

The Tournament check in must be done at least 45 minutes prior to the team's first game, to allow for time for the official paperwork to be reviewed and the results taken to the appropriate field for the game.

The following procedure is to be followed:
  1. Compare the official roster of the team with the ID cards
  2. For each ID card matching the official roster
    1. If the coach has the AYSO medical release for that player, then put an El Palo Alto sticker on the ID card, approving that player for Tournament play
    2. place a sticker on the coach cards matching the roster
  3. Review 4 game cards
    1. for each player on the game card that is approved, initial next to his name on the game cards
    2. for each player that is not approved, place a horizontal line next to his name on the game cards
    3. for any player that will not be attending the Tournament, stroke out the player's name on the game cards
    4. initial all approved coaches' names
  4. Give the ID cards and game cards back to the team representative

Keeper Wars - U10 & U12
Keeper Wars are conducted during lunch break for the U10 and U12 divisions only.  Keeper Wars volunteers must move the goals into place, organize the contestants into two-single file lines, supervise the contest, present the winner awards, and return the goals for resumption of the Tournament play. 

Keeper Wars Format Details
The figure below shows the setup of the goals for the U12 Keeper Wars for Greer Park, using fields 1 and 2.  When there is only one Keeper Wars at a field, such as U10, use the center line to separate the goals.


The Time Keeper supervises the Keeper Wars volunteers, and obtains the gift cards from the Field Marshal prior to the Keeper Wars session.  The Time Keeper will present the gift cards to the Final Four, and to the two finalists.  The gift cards will be in an envelope and clearly marked.

Ask a few visiting parents to help move the goals, although generally two adults can move the goals without difficulty.  It is important to move those goals as soon and as quickly as possible.

The Keeper Wars must be conducted quickly with as little loss of time, for setup and return of the goals, as possible.  The persons with these duties should be ready to move the goals right away, as soon as the game ends prior to lunch break, without the field being cleared, and know ahead of time exactly what to do.  There is no time during the Keeper Wars time slot to figure it out.

Move the goals to facing each other on the soccer pitch, such that the distance apart is two penalty areas.  The area used for the Keeper Wars should be a lesser used area of the regular pitch, so as not to harm the pitch.  Cones should be put out to mark the touchlines of the Keeper Wars pitch.  The cones should be about 4 yards wider than the goal width on each side.

Have 2 balls on each side of the goal ready to put into play if a ball goes wild.  The persons who moved the nets into place, station themselves as net minders on each side of a net, and help the timer keep the game moving by giving a keeper one of the reserve balls, at the timer's direction.  Spectators should return balls to the net minders.

There will be 2 contestants from each Tournament team.  To start, the contestants from each team are divided into two pools, and each stands in line on opposite sides of the field.  If there is an odd number of players, the odd player will play the next round as first in line.  The time keeper will call for a match, and usher sends in the player from the front of the queue.  The player should proceed to the goal to their right.

The time keeper will throw in the ball to a keeper to start the match, alternating to the left and right for starts for each match. The keepers play their match.  The winner of the match remains in the event and returns to the usher to go to the back of the queue for the next round.  The other player is eliminated and joins the spectators. Each round is a running 2 minutes. The first player to score 3 goals is the winner of the match or the player with the most goals at the end of 2 minutes wins the match. If the score is tied after 2 minutes, the first player to score - golden goal - wins the match.

Once all the players from the initial queue have played, round 1 is completed.  Split the keepers evenly between the two ushers, minimizing the number of keepers from the same team on the same side.

Conduct round 2 in the same manner as round 1. 

Keep repeating this process until all are eliminated except the Final Four or five players.  If you end of with 5 players, draw straws or pick numbers to randomly choose 2 of the players.  Those two will do a Keeper War to determine which of them will advance to the Final Four.  Give a gift card to the fifth player being eliminated.  Bring the Final Four to the center of the field and announce them as the Final Four.  Present a gift card to each of the final four.

Divide the Final Four into two groups with the first two in the alphabet by first name on one side and the other two, opposite, and repeat another round, eliminating two, and then hold the championship round to determine the finalist.  Present the finalist and runner up gift card.

Return the goals to their regular position, resecure the goals and nets to resume the Tournament.